The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Fesca

FESCA. I. Friedrich Ernst, a German composer and musician, born in Magdeburg, Feb. 15, 1789, died May 24, 1826. His father held a minor municipal office in Magdeburg, and devoted much of his time to the practice of the violoncello and piano, and his mother had been a professional vocalist in early life. When he was but four years of age he could perform pieces of moderate difficulty upon the piano, and began the violin. He studied harmony and counterpoint under the instruction of Müller at Leipsic. In 1805 he made his first public appearance as a violinist, playing a concerto of his own in E minor. He soon after became attached to the chapel royal at Cassel, where he remained till 1813. After the dissolution of the kingdom of Westphalia he went to Vienna, and thence to Carlsruhe, where he became attached to the court of the grand duke of Baden. Here he remained 11 years and composed the majority of his works, including quartets and quintets for stringed instruments, overtures, symphonies, two operas, and settings of several of the psalms for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra. He was a man of noble disposition, kindly heart, and much devotional feeling. His works, formed on the best models, display a refined and elevated taste and a delicate fancy. II. Alexander Ernst, a German composer and musician, son of the preceding, born in Carlsruhe, May 22, 1820, died in Brunswick, Feb. 22, 1849. He studied the piano under Taubert and composition under Rungenhagen and Wilhelm Bach. At the age of 18 he brought out at Carlsruhe a comic opera entitled Mariette. His compositions evinced a fine original and progressive talent, especially his chamber music and songs, many of which have been republished in this country.