Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was born in Megeve, Savoy, (now in France), and of Scottish descent. He studied in Paris with Jean Baptiste Lully between 1663 and 1669, then became an organist in Molsheim and SÚlestat. Later, he studied law in Ingolstadt, afterwards settling in Vienna. He could not get an official appointment, so he travelled to Prague in 1677, then to Salzburg, where he worked for the archbishop for some ten years.
About 1680, he travelled to Italy, there studying the organ with Bernardo Pasquini, a follower of the tradition of Girolamo Frescobaldi; he also met Arcangelo Corelli, whose works he admired very much. From 1690 to his death, he was Kapellmeister to the bishop of Passau, a Bavarian town, where he died.
His works are strongly influenced by both French and Italian composers:
- Sonatas for various instruments (armonico tributo 1682);
- Orchestral suites (florilegium primum & secundum 1695);
- 12 Concerti grossi (auserlesene... instrumental Musik 1701) re-using some thematic material from armonico tributo
- 12 Toccatas for the organ as well as other pieces : passacaglia, chaconne, air with variations (apparatus musico-organisticus);
- some partitas for the harpsichord, kept as a manuscript
- several religious works (notably three masses, Salve Regina, etc.) from which only Missa in labore requies for 24 parts is preserved.
Muffat was, as Johann Jakob Froberger before him, and Handel after him, a cosmopolitan composer who played an important role in the exchanges between European musical traditions. His music books contain useful indications on musical practice during his life.
He was the father of Gottlieb Muffat .
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