Wenzel Heinrich Veit
Veit, Wenzel Heinrich (1806-1864). Czech composer. Although almost all his life an official of the state legislature Veit was a highly accomplished and highly respected dilettante musican and for a brief period Kapellmeister of the city theatre in Aachen. For a period during the late 1850s and 1860s he was fêted by German- and Czech-orientated Prague periodicals and newspapers alike as a leading native composer. His substantial output of chamber works and his two orchestral works - the Symphony in E minor and the semi-programmatic overture in D minor - ranks among the most effective and original pieces in their genre by a middle nineteenth-century native Czech composer. A humorous Concertino for solo violin in D major (to be played entirely on the open strings) was performed in a benefit concert by leading Prague musical personalities of the day. His Czech choruses achieved considerable popularity throughout the Czech lands during the second half of the nineteenth century. Considering the sensitive nature of his position as a respected, high-ranking member of the Bohemian judiciary, Veit expressed and exhibited within his musical output notable pro-Czech stylistic and aesthetic leanings. Several of his most important works - most notably the Scherzo of his Symphony, and in movements of a number of mature chamber compositions – his style demonstrated a fascinating assimilation and expression of Czech folksong idiom. Choruses such as Na Prahu - probably the most-performed Czech male-voice chorus of the whole nineteenth century - are strongly and pointedly patriotic in their words. Tagesbote aus Böhmen 12/5/1857 reported that the newly composed Festival Mass by the splendid composer Mr W.J. Veit would soon be performed in Prague.