Joseph Brentner. A Catalogue of His Works (Brk)

Chronology of life and work


Countess Elisabeth von Halleweyll releases Johann Georg Brentner from serfdom in Pyšely. Born in Lipová, North Bohemia, J. G. Brentner had worked in the service of her son Count Franz Anton for seventeen years (letter of discharge)


In Dobřany, "Spectabilis ac doctissimus Dominus" Johann Georg Brentner marries Anna Catherina Bittermann, daughter of local burgher (entry in parish register)


On 2 September, their first-born son Johann Joseph is baptized but dies at only six months of age (entry in parish register). Up to 1702, ten other children are born to the couple in Dobřany (list of composer's siblings)


On 3 November, the future composer Johann Joseph Brentner is baptized in Dobřany; throughout his life he will prefer to use the name Joseph (entry in parish register)


Joseph Brentner is studying at the Jesuit grammar school in Jindřichův Hradec, followed a year later by his younger brother Franciscus, as we can deduce from their membership in the local Latin Congregation of the Annunciation


The collection of twelve arias Harmonica duodecatomeria ecclesiastica, op. 1, is published in Prague; the composer dedicates it to his patron, knight Matthias Gildea von Altbach (Brk Coll. 1, dedication)


Brentner dedicates his collection of six sacred compositions Offertoria solenniora, op. 2, to the abbot of the Premonstratensian monastery in Teplá Raymund Willfert (Brk Coll. 2, dedication)


Either in this year or in 1723, Brentner composes mourning motets to German texts for the fraternity of the deceased at St. Nicholas church in the Lesser Town of Prague (Brk Coll. 6)


Among compositions bought for Count Thun orchestra by its director Sebastian Erhard there are "9 Prentnerische concerten und parthien" and "6 Prentnerische hauthbois concerten" (document)


The composer dedicates his collection of twelve arias Hymnodia divina, op. 3, to Karl Maxmilian Count of Steinbach; while the only surviving copy lacking the title page indicates was printed by Georg Labaun in 1718, a period copy of the title page states year 1719 (Brk Coll. 3)


Brentner composes music for the novena to St. Theresa of Ávila intended for the barefoot Carmelite nuns of Graz; it was commissioned from the composer by the prior of the Prague Carmelite monastery P. Carl Joseph a Sigismundo (Brk Coll. 7, chronicle)


The collection of six instrumental compositions Horae pomeridianae, op. 4, is published, most likely at the Brentner’s own expenses. A caption states that the composer then lived in the Lesser Town of Prague (Brk Coll. 4)


Following the model of other convents of the province, the Prague Carmelite nuns introduce novena to St. Theresa of Ávila (chronicle), probably accompanied by Brentner’s music; another Prague-based composer Antonín Reichenauer writes music for the same occasion


Three antiphons from the set of compositions for the novena to St. Theresa of Ávila are copied as offertories or motets in the Benedictine monastery of Lambach. In keeping with the local tradition, the instrumentation is enriched by trumpets and trombones (Brk 35, Brk 43, Brk 44)


Missa Sanctae Scholasticae copied by a local scribe at the Benedictine abbey of Kremsmünster (Brk 3)


In the course of this and the following two years, P. Maurus Brunnmayr from the Benedictine monastery of Göttweig copies Brentner’s Loreto litanies (Brk 21) and arias (Brk 69, Brk 74, Brk 51). The local music collection includes among all the autographs of the composer’s masses and a requiem (Brk 1, Brk 2, Brk 4) as well as possible autographs of two solo motets (Brk 64, Brk 80)


In the music collection of the Benedictine monastery in Rajhrad, Brentner is the most frequently represented composer with more than thirty compositions listed in the inventory.


The member list of the literary confraternity in Dobřany mentions Brentner as a "componista" (document)


On 13 January, Brentner is best man at his brother Franz Anton’s wedding held in Mirošov (entry in the parish register from Dobřany)


P. Johannes Jungwirth donates a collection of Brentner’s Loreto litanies to Johannes Frantze SJ his successor at the post of the leading chorister at the court Catholic church in Dresden (Brk Coll. 8)


The motet Gloria laus et honor Deo copied by a local scribe at Kremsmünster (Brk 33)


An unknown scribe writes out the scores to instrumental pastorellas composed by Joseph Brentner and Thomas Anton Albertini, probably for study purposes (Brk 99)


Juan José (Johann Joseph) Messner, SJ (1703–1768), who was born in Ústí nad Labem, studied theology and mathematics in Prague in 1730–1733 and from1739 worked at the San Javier mission (Santa Cruz, Bolivia), disembarks a ship in Buenos Aires. Considering he was a renowned musician, it is quite likely that he was the one to bring Brentner’s music to the Jesuit missions in South America (Brk 28, Brk 31, Brk 32)


Suffering from severe gout, Joseph Brentner, „juvenis et praeclarus componista“, drowns in the river Radbuza on 28 June early in the morning (entries in parish register and diary)