Oehlschlägel [Oehlschlegel, Oelschlegel], Franz Joseph [Lohelius, Joannes]
(b Lahošť, nr Duchcov, Bohemia, 31 Dec 1724; d Strahov, Prague, 22 Feb 1788). Bohemian composer, choirmaster, organist and organ builder. He was a church organist first in Bohosudov and from about 1741 in Prague. After finishing his philosophical studies he joined the Premonstratensian order in August 1747, taking the name Joannes Lohelius, under which most of his music was written. His earliest autographs date from about 1755. Besides serving as choirmaster of the monastic churches at Milevsko (1749–50) and at Strahov (from November 1756), he spent 15 years rebuilding the Strahov church organ, making it one of the best and largest in Bohemia at the time (Mozart tested and admired it in autumn 1787); he also designed the organ of the Barnabite monastic church of St Salvator in Prague.
Oehlschlägel was a pupil of J.A. Sehling and Franz Habermann, but he evidently felt a strong inclination towards the more modern idiom of his younger contemporaries Antonio Boroni and F.X. Brixi; works of the latter are predominant in the music he copied for the Strahov choir. His own works show an amalgamation of pre-Classical and early Classical elements. His church oratorios are operatic in style, with large da capo arias, and are remarkable for the skilful treatment of wind instruments in their orchestral accompaniments. Although he was one of the most authoritative and prolific composers of Bohemian church music in the second half of the 18th century, none of his works was printed during his lifetime.
R.Perlík: Jana Lohelia Oehlschlägela život [Oehlschlägel’s life] (Prague, 1927)
R.Perlík: ‘Jana Lohelia Oehlschlägela dílo: 1. Strahovske varhany’ [Oehlschlägel’s work: 1. The organ of Strahov], Cyril, lv (1929), 9–10, 32–4; lvi (1930), 7–8; lviii (1932), 16
V.Němec: Pražské varhany [Prague organs] (Prague, 1944), 139, 144, 155–6
J.Kouba, ed.: Průvodce po pramenech k dějinám hudby [Guide to sources of musical history] (Prague, 1969)
Z.Culka: ‘Pražské varhanářské smlouvy ze 17. a 18. století’ [Prague organ builders’ contracts of the 17th and 18th centuries], HV, xi (1974), 372–85, esp. 372, 383
O.Pulkert: Domus lauretana pragensis: catalogus collectionis operum artis musicae, Catalogus artis musicae in Bohemia et Moravia cultae, i (Prague, 1973) [summaries in Eng., Ger.]
J.Pešková: Collectio ecclesiae březnicensis: catalogus collectionis operum artis musicae, Catalogus artis musicae in Bohemia et Moravia cultae, iii (Prague, 1983) [summaries in Eng., Ger.]
Z.Pilková: ‘Doba osvícenského absolutismu (1740–1810)’ [The age of englightened absolutism (1740–1810)], Hudba v českých dějinách: od středověku do nové doby [Music in Czech history: from the Middle Ages to the modern era] (Prague, 1983, 2/1989), 211–84, esp. 257–8
J.Štefan: Ecclesia metropolitana pragensis: catalogus collectionis operum artis musicae, Catalogus artis musicae in Bohemia et Moravia cultae, iv (Prague, 1983–5) [summaries in Eng., Ger.]
(b Floda, nr Göteborg, 4 Sept 1887; d Stockholm, 26 Dec 1967). Swedish tenor. He studied the piano and the organ at the Stockholm Conservatory, and then, privately, singing in Stockholm and Milan. He appeared first in concerts in 1914, making his operatic début in Fra Diavolo at Göteborg three years later. The Swedish Royal Opera, which became the centre of his career, heard him first in 1919 and last in 1941. He became well known for his singing of the more lyrical Wagnerian roles, yet in his single season at the Metropolitan in 1924 he appeared only as Laca in the American première of Jenůfa and as Saint-Saëns’s Samson. At Covent Garden in 1928 he sang Tannhäuser and Walther in Die Meistersinger: the power of his full voice and the charm of his mezza voce were admired. Some of his best work was done in Berlin, where he sang in the local première of Simon Boccanegra (1930). As a teacher he numbered among his pupils Jussi Björling, Martti Talvela and Nicolai Gedda, all of whom paid warm tribute to his musicianship and clarity. On recordings he is somewhat variable, but at best the voice has fine quality and the style remarkable sensitivity.