in Prague on 5 August 1747, Jan Křitel Krumpholtz is better
known by the French form of his name. Harpist, composer and inventor,
he was a major influence in the development of the harp.
the harp with Christian Hochbrucker in Paris, composition with
Haydn at Esterházy
and instrument making in Metz with Simon Gilbert, Krumpholtz
settled in Paris. There, he became an extremely successful teacher,
and worked with both Naderman and Erard on the developments of
the technical aspects of the instrument, which at that time was
limited to playing in eight major keys, and five minor ones.
As a composer, he circumvented these inherent limitations by
his imaginative use of enharmonics, his use of this technique
being especially notable in the dark Eb minor opening of this
last years of his life coincided with the turmoil of revolutionary
Paris, and on the night of 19 February 1790, in a final gesture
of despair, Jean-Baptiste Krumpholtz threw himself from the Pont-Neuf
into the Seine. The highly dramatic and emotionally charged nature
of this sonata, subtitled Scène dans le style
pathétique, rather than being in the expected Classical
style, anticipates the sensibility and excess of the Romantic period.
the first time since Naderman’s
original edition of 1787, it has been prepared for Adlais by
©Ann Griffiths 2002
See also extensive article about Krumpholtz written by Ann Griffiths