Andrea Luchesi (1741-1801)
Until a short time ago the only merit accorded to this Venetian musician, eradicated from late 18th century history of music, was that he was Kapellmeister to the Principality of Cologne from May 1774 to October 1794, when Ludwig van Beethoven was studying in Bonn. But there is no mention of his works, his having taught the titan Beethoven and other important composers for over twenty years in Bonn, and indeed, of his very existence, in the biographies of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, who owe at least part of their fame to him. In 1930 Fausto Torrefranca first drew attention to the falsity of research on Luchesi in “Le origini italiane del romanticismo musicale” (The Italian origins of musical romanticism). In 1937, during German Nazism, a courageous paper written by Theodor Anton Henseler “Andrea Luchesi, the last Kapellmeister in Bonn at the time of the young Beethoven”, caused considerable anger amongst the National Socialists, who were busy trying to hide the Italian influence on the monstre sacrés of the Wiener Klassik and portrayed the organist Christian Gottlob Neefe as Beethoven’s only teacher in Bonn. Even though Henseler was only familiar with an Andante and an Allegro composed before 1764, of the over forty Sonatas for organ or harpsichord known today, he wrote that the two works “... con i loro svolazzanti abbellimenti presentano i sospiri sentimentali ed i cromatismi del circa ventenne maestro nella più moderna e galante corrente della musica per cembalo proprio negli anni in cui più tardi incontriamo anche il giovane Mozart. L’Andante è in due tempi (…) Accanto scorrono sorprendenti mozartismi” (... )with their fluttering ornamentation present the sentimental sighs and chromatisms of the nearly twenty year old maestro in the most modern and gallant current of harpsichord music exactly in the years in which we will later meet the young Mozart. The Andante is in two parts (…) There are also surprising “Mozartisms”). Henseler first reminds the reader that the “maestro di cemballo”, Luchesi, gave the two Mozarts a Concerto for organ or harpsichord and orchestra in Venice, which Wolfgang played again on 28 October 1777 in Ellwangen an der Jagst and then in Munich and Paris, showing that he preferred Luchesi’s works to his own.