Reissmann, August



German musical writer and composer of note; born at Frankenstein, Silesia; received his early musical instruction from Heinrich Jung, the precentor of the town, and at the age of eighteen went to Breslau, where he studied piano and organ under E. L. Richter, theory under Mosewius and Baumgart, violin under Lüstner and cello under Kahl. Studied in Weimar from 1850 to 1852, and took up musical literature. He lived for several years at Halle, and went to Berlin in 1863, where, from 1866 to 1874, he lectured on musical history at the Stern Conservatory, and in 1880 went to Leipsic, living at a later period in Wiesbaden, and finally returned to Berlin. In 1875 the degree of Doctor of Philosophy was conferred upon h'im. His books are From Bach to Wagner; Das deutsche Lied; Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik; Allgemeine Musiklehre; Lehrbuch der Musikalischen Composition. His biographies of Schumann, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Haydn, Bach, Handel, Gluck and Weber are of considerable value, also his editing, in 1871, of the Musik Conversations lexikon, begun by Mendel, in which he had previously assisted, and now completed after the death of his predecessor. In 1881 he published a supplement to this work, and in 1882 a one-volume epitome of the whole. His compositions include the operas of Gudrun, Die Burgermeis- terin von Schorndorf, Das Gralspiel, Der Blumen Rache, and Konig Drosselbart; an oratorio, Wittekind; two dramatic scenes for solo, chorus and orchestra; choruses, ballads, songs, and duets; two violin sonatas, violin concerto, and suite for violin and orchestra; piano music. While his works are methodical rather than original, his industry and learning have made him an authority in Germany.