Václav Vodička

composer (ca 1712–1774)

Václav Vodička was likely born on 19 August 1712 in Mšeno, but this date is yet to be conclusively proved.25 We don’t have any information about his childhood and youth yet. Withheld, therefore, remains his general and musical education. The first verifiable data on Vodička’s life can be considered his admission to the band of Elector Charles VII Albrecht in Munich in 1732.

There are also relatively few facts about Vodička’s other trips abroad, but with a certain probability one can assume that in 1739 he stood for a while in Paris where he was given the opportunity to print six violin sonatas (op. 1) “Sei sonate a violino solo e basso...opera prima“, subsequently distributed by Mme. Boivin a Sieur Le Clerc. These sonatas were twice reprinted in London (in 1740 and 1750) by John Simpson and John Johnson as “Six solos for a violin and bass”. After 1742 a second volume of Vodička’s sonatas (op. 2) called “Huit sonates pour le violon et la basse dont il y en a quatre pour la flute traversiere...oeuvre second“ was published in the same Parisian publishing house.

From here, Vodička’s career soared. In 1745, he received the title of “butler” (Kammerdiener) for Charles VII Albrecht’s sister, Princess Maria Anna Caroline,29 and two years later he was appointed as concertmaster and elector’s councillor.In 1749 he became one of the founders of the Caecilian Brotherhood of the Court Musicians of Both Sexes. Vodička probably enjoyed great confidence at the court, an assertion supported by letters and other documents. His daughter Walburga, born on 14 January 1749, was to have Imperial courtier and countess Theresia Seau31 as Godmother; we also find in the court roster of 1753 that he is described in the familiar as “Sig: Wenzl”, in contrast with the more formal listings for other court musicians.

Alongside his court duties, Vodička taught three times a week as a violinist in the Seminarium Gregorianum, later called Königliche Erziehungs-Institut für Studierende (Royal Educational Institute for Students) in Munich. Maybe for his own pedagogical activities he wrote a thin treatise, a ‘school’ on violin playing – only thirteen pages long.

Václav Vodička held the position of concertmaster of higher strings in the Munich orchestra for a respectable 27 years. He died 1. 7. 1774 in Munich.

In addition to Vodička's violin and flute sonatas, over two dozen symphonies have survived, as well as one flute and two violin concertos.

Titles for sale:
Sonatas for Violin or Flute and Basso continuo, op. 2
Sonatas for Flute and Basso Continuo, op. 3

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