Bishop Jakob Ernst von Liechtenstein-Castelcorno and Music
The Bishop of Olomouc, Jakob Ernst von Liechtenstein-Castelcorno (1690–1747), was the grandnephew of the famed Bishop Karl von L.-K. (1664–1695), whose music chapel at Kroměříž earned itself a niche in the history of European music. From 1728–1738 he served as the bishop in the Graz-Seckau diocese, between 1738 and 1744 he was the bishop in Olomouc, and from 1745–1747 he held the same position in Salzburg. Like his granduncle, he came to favour the Piarist Order. He founded a college destined for its members in Bílá Voda, in Silesia, to which he extended generous support all through his life. During the First Silesian War, in 1742, he hosted in his Olomouc residence King Frederick II of Prussia, notwithstanding which the Empress Maria Theresa picked him to officiate at her Prague coronation in 1743.
Though Jakob Ernst did not have a music chapel of his own at Olomouc, he was a keen lover and generous patron of music. At Salzburg, the organist of the local cathedral, Matthäus Gugl (b. 1683 in Těchlovice, Bohemia; d. 1721 in Salzburg) gifted him his general bass manual, Fundamenta Partiturae (Salzburg 1719). Immediately upon his election as Bishop of Olomouc, Jakob Ernst had two triforia with organ installed upon the pillars of the triumphal arch in the Olomouc cathedral, imitating the positioning of organs in the cathedrals of Salzburg and Passau. To accompany the bishop’s enthronement, music di- rector Václav Gurecký composed the Missa obligationis. Also approximately at that time, Ignazio Maria Conti dedicated to him a collection of masses in stile antico, in token of gratitude for some favour.
As the Archbishop of Salzburg, Jakob Ernst tried to introduce various reforms, but did not succeed. He was said to organize public banquets with music performed by a 24-strong orchestra. His affinity for music and organ in particular is documented by the IX Toccate e Fughe per l’Organo (Augsburg 1747), dedicated to him in the year of his death by court organist Johann Ernst Eberlin. The present text contains Jakob Ernst’s itinerary offering information about his personality traits and his relationship with music. The introductory part brings new findings about the youth of the bishop’s father, Franz-Karl von Liechtenstein-Castelcorno (1648–1706).
Key words: Jakob Ernst von Liechtenstein-Castelcorno; Franz Karl von Liechtenstein-Castelcorno; Matthäus Gugl; Maria Conti; Johann Ernst Eberlin; Frederick II the Great; Olomouc Cathedral organ; Piarists; Bílá Voda
Translated by Ivan Vomáčka