Simon Molitor

composer, guitarist, violinist, music historian

Simon portrait

(Alois Franz) Simon (Joseph) Molitor (3 November 1766 – 21 February 1848) was a German-born Austrian composer, guitarist, violinist and music historian – an influential figure both in early 19th-century guitar music and in the development of music history as a subdiscipline of musicology.

Simon Molitor was born in Neckarsulm, southern Germany. He was to follow his father's wish and become a school teacher, but as an 18-year-old student he secretly left university and began the life of an itinerant violinist, until during 1796–7 he became the conductor of an orchestra in Venice, Italy. In 1798, he became a civil servant in the Austrian Commissariat of War in Vienna where, from 1802, he took a career in catering there until his retirement in 1831.[2]

From that time on, Molitor concentrated exclusively on music. Between 1832 and 1842 he organised regular 'academies' in his house – semi-public musical performances and lectures, mainly devoted to historic music of the 16th to 18th centuries (in particular focusing on Bach, Corelli, Kirnberger, Monteverdi and Palestrina). Molitor possessed one of the largest musical libraries of his time. In a number of writings he published his research findings of the musical history of Austria, also engaging with contemporary musical criticism and the writing of Fétis in France. For these reasons, Molitor is today regarded as one of the founding fathers of Austrian musicology.

In Vienna, besides his civil servant job and particularly after his retirement, he made a name for himself as a performing guitarist, teacher and composer. His works and published theories proved very influential on contemporary guitarists in Vienna such as Wenzel Matiegka and Ludwig Joseph Wolf. The Große Sonate (Grand Sonata) op. 7 (1807) became a particularly widely praised piece. In an extended foreword he explains not only the history of the guitar as an artistic solo performance instrument, but also presents a new way of notating polyphony and a modern compositional approach, which were eagerly taken up by his contemporaries and successors.

  • Martin Hegel - A Mozart Tribute
    A Mozart Tribute
    Martin Hegel
    Acoustic Music, 2016
    Track list:
    1. Fantasie After Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni, K. 527: Maestoso - Andante con molta espressione - Allegretto - Allegro (arr. Johann Kaspar Mertz)
    2. Variations After Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-Flat Major, K. 271 (arr. Fernando Sor)
    3. Piano Concerto No. 8 in C Major, K. 246, Extract (arr. Anton Diabelli)
    4. Don Giovanni, K. 527: Deh vieni, al finestra (arr. Johann Kaspar Mertz)
    5. Cosi fan tutte, K. 588: Secondate, aurette amiche (arr. Simon Molitor)
    6. Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545: III. Rondo (arr. Ferdinando Carulli)
    7. Die Zauberflöte, K. 620: Marche religieuse (arr. Fernando Sor)
    8. Die Zauberflöte: Fuggite o voi beltá fallace (arr. Fernando Sor)
    9. Die Zauberflöte: Giù fan ritorno i geny amici (arr. Fernando Sor)
    10. Die Zauberflöte: O dolce harmonia (arr. Fernando Sor)
    11. Die Zauberflöte: Se potesse un suono (arr. Fernando Sor)
    12. Die Zauberflöte: Grand´Isi, Grand´Osiri (Choir) (arr. Fernando Sor)
    13. Fantasie Don Giovanni, K. 527: Introduktion. Larghetto con moto più lento - Più mosso (arr. Giulio Regondi)
    14. Fantasie Don Giovanni, K. 527: La ci darem la mano - Var. I - Var. II (arr. Giulio Regondi)
    15. Fantasie Don Giovanni, K. 527: Thema andante - Var. III - Finale (arr. Giulio Regondi)
    16. Le nozze di Figaro, K. 429: Voi Che Sapete (arr. Martin Hegel)
    17. Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467 "2": Andante (arr. Martin Hegel)
    18. Thema and Variations After 12 Variations on "Ah, vous dirai-je maman", K. 265 (arr. Martin Hegel)
    19. Requiem in D Minor, K. 626: Lacrimosa (arr. Martin Hegel)
    20. Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545: I. Allegro (arr. Martin Hegel)
    21. Ave verum corpus, K. 618 (arr. Martin Hegel)
    22. Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major, K. 331: III. Alla Turca (arr. Martin Hegel)
  • Massimo Agostinelli - Molitor: Works for Guitar
    Molitor: Works for Guitar
    Massimo Agostinelli
    Urania, 2014
    Track list:
    1. Grand Sonata, Op.7 - I. Adagio agitato ma non troppo allegro
    2. II. Andante
    3. III. Minuetto (Allegretto)
    4. IV. Rondo (Allegro moderato)
    5. Adagio and Rondo, Op.10
    6. Guitar Sonata, Op.12 - I. Marcia (Allegro moderato)
    7. II. Scherzando (Allegretto)
    8. III. Minuetto (Moderato)
    9. IV. Rondo-andante sostenuto-rondo (Allegretto)
    10. 6 Ländler - No.1 in C
    11. No.2 in F
    12. No.3 in A
    13. No.4 in D
    14. No.5 in A
    15. No.6 in C
    16. Funeral March
  • Ensemble La Violetta - Schwabische Romantik v.1
    Schwabische Romantik v.1
    Ensemble La Violetta
    Bayer, 2009
    Track list:
    Ach Göttin, eile, eile ; Walzer für Violine und Gitarre / Johann G. Arnold -- An die Mädchen ; Wonne wohnt im Frülingshain ; 2 Arietten für Sopran und Gitarre / Karl Keller -- Trio op. 6 für Violine, Viola und Gitarre / Simon Molitor -- 4 Lieder für Sopran und Gitarre / Wilhelm Ehlers -- 2 Lieder für Sopran und Gitarre / Johann Amon -- Neun Wanderlieder von Uhland / Konrad Kreutzer : 5 Lieder für Bariton und Gitarre / eingerichtet von Karl Keller -- Sonata op. 7 für Gitarre / Simon Molitor -- Drei Lieder für Sopran und Gitarre / Peter von Lindpaintner -- Maria Stuart ; 4 Lieder für Sopran und Gitarre / Johann R. Zumsteeg -- Das Lied der Nebelhöhle / Emilie Zumsteeg -- Ritter Toggenburg / Johann R. Zumsteeg
  • Red Cedar Trio - Three Guys Named Mo: Mozart, Molitor & Molino
    Three Guys Named Mo: Mozart, Molitor & Molino
    Red Cedar Trio
    Fleur de Son, 2005
    Track list:
    1. Molitor - Trio Concertant, Op. 6: I. Adagio
    2. II. Adagio
    3. III. Polonaise: Moderato
    4. Molino - Grand Trio Concertant, Op. 30: I. Larghetto
    5. II. Theme And Variations
    6. III. Minuetto
    7. IV. Rondo
    8. Mozart - Die Zauberflote: Act I: Der Vogelfanger bin ich ja (The Bird Catcher)
    9. Act II: In diesen heil'gen Hallen (Within These Holy Bounds)
    10. Act II: Ein Madchen oder Weibchen wunscht Papageno sich! (A Girl or a Wife?)
    11. Act I: Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen (With Men Who Feel Love)
    12. Act II: March of the Priests
    13. Such a Delicate Flute Tone



Guitar solo

Große Sonate op. 7 (1807)
Variationen op. 9 (c.1808)
Rondo (avec un Adagio) in A major op. 10 (c.1808)
Grande sonate in C major op. 11 (1809)
Sonata in C major op. 12
Sonata in G major op. 15
Method Versuch einer vollständigen methodischen Anleitung zum Guitarre-Spielen […] (1812), written with "R. Klinger" (= Wilhelm Klingenbrunner)

Piano music

12 Menuette op. 1 (before 1804)
11 Walzer op. 2 (before 1804)

Chamber music

Sonata in F major op. 3 (1805) for violin and guitar
Grande sonate concertante op. 5 (1806) for violin and guitar
Trio in D major op. 6 (1806) for violin or flute, viola, guitar

Orchestral works

5 violin concertos in B flat major, D major, A major, D major, C major


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