Christian Ignatius Latrobe

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Selection of Sacred Music
Christian Ignatius Latrobe (12 February 1758 – 6 May 1836) was an English clergyman of the Moravian Church, as well as an artist, musician and composer. He created a large number of works for, and most famously edited, a Selection of Sacred Music in six volumes between 1806 and 1826, introducing the sacred music of Haydn, Mozart and Pergolesi and other European continental composers who were largely unknown to English audiences.
He was born in the Fulneck Moravian Settlement, near Leeds, to the Reverend Benjamin Latrobe, of Huguenot descent, and the American-born Anna Margaretta Antes. His brother was Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the noted architect responsible for the United States Capitol and the Catholic cathedral of Baltimore, Maryland.
In 1771 Christian Latrobe went to Niesky in the Upper Lusatia region of Saxony in Germany, to attend the Moravian College there. On completion of his training he taught at the high school attached to the college for a while, after which he returned to England and was ordained in 1784.
As a promoter of the missionary activity of the Church, in 1815 Latrobe voyaged to the Cape of Good Hope to visit the Moravian mission stations there. Once there, he journeyed from Genadendal to George, Uitenhage, and the Great Fish River. He planned the founding of a new mission station called Enon on the Witrivier near Kirkwood. He described his journey with coloured illustrations in Journal of a Visit to South Africa in 1815 and 1816: With Some Account of the Missionary Settlements of the United Brethren, Near the Cape of Good Hope. Years after his death, a collection of letters written to each of his children during his South African voyage was published.
Latrobe translated George Henry Loskiel's book "Geschichte der mission der evangelischen Brüder unter den Indianern in Nordamerika" as History of the Mission of the United Brethren Among the Indians in North America in 1794. He also helped Charles Burney by translating material from German for his multi-volume "A General History of Music."
Latrobe often brought newly published music from the Continent to England in the early 19th century. He purchased a number of music scores and oratorios from Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, near Niesky, when they were not published due to a perceived lack of interest. In an 1817 letter to Vincent Novello Latrobe mentioned a conversation with Gottfried Christoph Härtel in Leipzig concerning works "...printed -- and a whole wheelbarrow full of [manuscript] music scores and some good German oratorios which I bought for a trifle." Among these acquisitions may have been a Mozart arrangement of Handel's Judas Maccabaeus (1747) discovered in 2001 in Halifax, West Yorkshire.
Latrobe recalled that not long after Haydn arrived in England in 1790, he called at Latrobe's home. After confirming that he was at the correct place, Haydn asked Mrs. Latrobe "be you his woman?" and spotting a picture of himself said "dat is me – I am Haydn". Mrs. Latrobe hurriedly sent for her husband who was at a house nearby. A fairly close friendship grew out of this meeting and Latrobe became a regular visitor at Haydn's home during his two stays in England.
Latrobe dedicated a set of three piano sonatas to Joseph Haydn. He also wrote clarinet concertos (now lost), duets and arias, and more than a hundred vocal pieces, among which were "Lord of Life Now Sweetly Slumber", "How Shall a Mortal Song Aspire" (from his cantata "Dawn of Glory"), "Psalm 51" ("Miserere mei Deus") and "We Praise Thee, Oh God". The bulk of Latrobe's musical works reside in Moravian Church archives in Herrnhut, Germany, Christiansfeld, Denmark, and at the Moravian Music Foundation in Winston-Salem, NC and Bethlehem, PA. A number of works attributed to him reside at the Warsaw University Library, but several may be compositions by his brother Johann Friedrich (Boneval) de La Trobe (1769-1845).
He died in the Fairfield Moravian Settlement on 6 May 1836, at the age of 78, and was buried there.
Christian Latrobe married Hannah Benigna Syms (28 October 1758 – 18 April 1824). Their children were:
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