Wiegl, Josef



Dramatic and church composer, whose works attained great popularity; born at Eisenstadt, Hungary. After studying with Sebastian Witzig, choirmaster of Korneuburg, he received instruction of Albrechtsberger and Salieri, who took great interest in him, and until 1790 employed him as assistant conductor at the National Court Theatre. When sixteen he wrote his first opera, Die betrogene Arglist, which at Gluck's recommendation was produced and brought him the patronage of Emperor Joseph. His next attempt at dramatic composition was the Italian opera, II Pazzo per forza, which proved successful. In 1792 he became composer to the Opera, and was later made chapelmaster and conductor. In 1807 and 1815 he was invited to compose for La Scala at Milan, and produced there the operas Cleopatra and II Rivale di se Stesso. In 1823 he resigned his positions at the Opera, and in 1872 became ViceCourt chapelmaster, in which position he wrote only church-music. Up to the time of his receiving this appointment he had written over thirty German and Italian operas and about twenty ballets. Among these the most popular was Die Sweitzer Familie, produced in Vienna in 1809, which is still played. Other particularly popular operas were Nachtigale und Rabe; L'Uniforme; Das Waisenhaus and Der Bergsturtz. He wrote two oratorios, La Passione di Gesu Cristo, and La Resurrezione, besides many cantatas, masses, graduals and offertories, and minor secular music.