Pichel, Wenzel



Als9 spelled Vaclay Pichl. An able violinist and prolific composer; well known in his day. Born in Bohemia, at Bechin, Tabor, he began at seven years of age to study the violin under Pokomy. He also studied counterpoint under Segert. He entered the service of the Bishop of Grosswardein, for whom he composed much churchmusic; masses; psalms; motets; graduals; and misereres. He became director of music to Count Louis von Hartig about 1769, but after two years left Prague and went to Vienna, where he joined the orchestra of the National Theatre. In 1775 he entered the service of Archduke Ferdinand of Milan. The French invasion n 1796 drove the Duke and his retainers to Vienna, and there Pichel remained until his sudden death from a stroke of apoplexy. He translated Mozart's Zauberflote into Bohemian and wrote over seven hundred compositions, including eighty-eight symphonies; more than a dozen serenades; a concertino; and an immense number of chamberpieces.