Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, 1623-1680


Selected Recordings


Chamber works

Polnische Sackpfeiffen (Polish Bagpipes)

Selected Sheet Music

Harmonia a 5



Showcase Piece

Sonata III in G minor

Notes and Commentary

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer was one of the most important violinists of the Baroque period, and an important influence on later German and Austrian composers for violin. He made substantial contributions to the development of violin technique and promoted the use and development of sonata and suite forms in Austria and South Germany. He attained a high reputation in a field (violin playing and violin composition) which at the time was dominated by Italians; indeed, one traveler referred to him in 1660 as “nearly the most eminent violinist in all of Europe.” Schmelzer’s Sonatae unarum fidium of 1664 was the first collection of sonatas for violin and basso continuo to be published by a German-speaking composer. It contains the brilliant virtuosity, sectional structure, and lengthy ground-bass variations typical of the mid-Baroque violin sonata. Austrian violinist and composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704) is believed to have been one of Schmelzer’s students. He lived from 1620-1623 to 1680.—Excerpted from Wikipedia

Books and Music

Selected Books

The Instrumental Music of Schmeltzer, Biber, Muffat and Their Contemporaries
Ashgate Publishing Company, 2011
Charles Brewer
$83.91 on Amazon


Before the Chinrest
Indiana University Press, 2012
Stanley Ritchie
$23.46 on Amazon


“He writes in an elegant, easy to follow style, using terms which a modern violinist can easily relate to”—Stringendo on Amazon

Selected Music

sch-solos Solo Violin Sonatas (2007), 1 CD

sch-sonatas Violin Sonatas (1996), 1 CD

sch-ball Sonatas – Balletti Francesi – Ciaconna (1993), 1 CD

More Johann Heinrich Schmelzer Music

Complete Works

Lamento sopra la morte di Ferdinando III
Duodena selactarum sonatarum
Sacroprofanus Concentus
Sonatae unarum fidium seu a violino solo
Die musikalische Fechtschul

Sacred Music
Ad cocentus o mortales ad triumphos
Currite, accurrite
Die Stärke der Liebe
Hodie lux tua, sancti fulgebit
Inquietum est cor meum
Le memorie dolorose
Missa Dei patris benedicte
Missa Jesu crusifixi
Missa Mater purissima
Missa Natalis
Missa Peregrina in honorem Sancti Rochi
Missa pro defunctis
Missa Sancti Joannis
Missa Sancti Spiritus
Missa Sancti Stanislai
Missa Tarde venientium in honorem Sancti Wenceslai
Nos autem gloriari
O Jesu summa charitas
Sileat misericordiam tuam
Terra triumphans jubila
Vesperae brivissimae de beatissimae virgine et de apostolis

150 suites, vocal works, and Christian music

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