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Randhartinger, Benedict (1802-1893)
by Josef Kriehuber (1844)

Benedict Randhartinger

born: 27 July 1802
died: 22 December 1893
country: Austria

Randhartinger was certainly an acquaintance, perhaps even a friend, of Schubert and socialized with him regularly in the 1820s. He claimed to have been a school contemporary, but he actually came to the Imperial Konvikt only after Schubert had left. He was a pupil there between 1813 and 1819. He also boasted that he was the first to sing Erlkönig—he would have been thirteen at the time—but this story is almost certainly self-serving nonsense. The older Randhartinger got, the more he exaggerated his closeness to Schubert as there were fewer people still living to contradict him—he even claimed to have been responsible for suggesting the Müller poems for Die schöne Müllerin. He was a pupil of Salieri (after Schubert had left him as a teacher) and worked as a secretary for Count Széchényi whose poems had been set by Schubert; he received a manuscript of Erlkönig from Schubert in 1817. He had a long life in which to climb the greasy pole of Viennese musical endeavour and was court Kapellmeister from 1862 to 1865. In this position it was remarked on at the time that he did nothing to further Schubert’s neglected church music. He composed over 2000 works among which are 400 songs. He set many of Schubert’s poets, but he broadened his horizons to include younger writers like Nikolaus Lenau and Johann Nepomuk Vogl.

from notes by Graham Johnson 2006

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