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Josef Gelinek

Eight variations on Wie stark ist nicht dein Zauberton

When Mozart visited Prague in 1787 for the premiere of Don Giovanni, he heard the young Josef Gelinek (Jelínek) improvising on a theme from one of Mozart’s own operas in the palace of Count Philipp Kinsky, and was sufficiently impressed to recommend him to the family. As a result, Gelinek, already ordained as a priest, went to Vienna and served for some fifteen years as domestic chaplain, piano teacher and tutor for the Kinsky family. The remainder of his life he spent as a domestic chaplain to Prince Nikolaus II Esterházy, all the while composing prolifically and striking up friendships with most of the leading composers, including Haydn and (for a while) Beethoven.

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