Johann Kaspar Mertz

For beginners
by popularity


2 Songs, Op.523 Duos for 2 Guitars, Op.383 Morceaux, Op.653 Nocturnes, Op.44 Easy Pieces4 Etudes6 Ländler, Op.9


Alessandro Stradella, Op.51Andantino


Barcarole, Op.41BardenklängeBelisario, Op.8


CapriccioCaprice sur un thème favori de Weber, Op.50ConcertinoCyanen, Op.5


Der Prophet, Op.21Deutsche WeiseDie lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Op.85Die Nachtwandlerin, Op.35Die Zigeunerin, Op.17Divertissement aus 'Don Pasquale', Op.15Divertissement on 'Rigoletto', Op.60Divertissement über 'Der Prophet', Op.32


Einsiedlers WaldglöckleinElegieErinnerung an Ischl, Op.12Etude in A majorEtude in C major


Fantaisie aus des Teufels Antheil, Op.31Fantaisie sur Norma de BelliniFantaisie über 'Alessandro Stradella', Op.29Fantaisie über 'Belisar', Op.30Fantaisie über 'Don Juan', Op.28Fantaisie über ein Motiv aus der Opera 'Il Pirata'Fantasia for Guitar in D majorFantasia 'I Montecchi ed I Capuleti'Fantasie aus 'Linda von Chamounix', Op.14Fantasie über Webers letzten GedankenFantasier öfver Oprerna 'Somnambula', 'I Puritani', 'Rigoletto'


Grand Caprice sur un motif de 'Lucie de Lamermor'Grand Fantasia for Guitar


Harmonie du soir


Il Trovatore, Op.86ImpromptuIntroduction et Rondeau brillant, Op.11


Je pense à toi


Kukuk. Musikalische Rundschau


La Favorita, Op.87La RimembranzaLe Carnaval de VeniseLe RomantiqueLes AdieuxL'Étoile du Nord, Op.100Linda di Chamounix, Op.27


Marco SpadaMartha Selections, Op.16Mazurka, Op.40


Nabucco, Op.62Nachtviolen, Op.2


Operne-Revue, Op.8Original Steyrer Tänze, Op.33Originelle Ungarische, Op.1


Pensée fugitive Rapsodie pour la GuitarPianto dell'AmantePolaccaPolonaisePolonaises and Mazurkas, Op.3Praeludium in D major


Ricoletto, Op.63Russisches Zigeunerlied und Thüringer Volkslied, Op.88


Schule für die GitarreSouvenir de ChoulhoffSpanische Nationaltänze, Op.89Ständchen




Variation brillante de l'opera 'L'Elixier d'Amore'Vespergang für 2 Guitaren


Wasserfahrt am Traunsee
Joseph Kaspar Mertz (in Hungarian: Mertz János Gáspár) (17 August 1806 – 14 October 1856) was an Austro-Hungarian guitarist and composer.
Caspar Joseph Mertz (baptised Casparus Josephus Mertz) was born in Pressburg, now Bratislava (Slovakia), then the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary and part of the Austrian Empire. He never used his full name when performing or on his publications, preferring only the initials "J. K.". The name "Johann Kaspar" first appeared in the German guitar journal "Der Guitarrefreund" in 1901 and since that time has been incorrectly repeated. In 1900 J. M. Miller used the name "Joseph K. Mertz" for his publication of three previously unpublished manuscripts of Mertz in Three Compositions For Guitar.
He was active in Vienna (c.1840–1856), which had been home to various prominent figures of the guitar, including Anton Diabelli, Mauro Giuliani, Wenceslaus Matiegka and Simon Molitor. As virtuoso, he established a solid reputation as a performer. He toured Moravia, Poland, and Russia, and gave performances in Berlin and Dresden. In 1846 Mertz nearly died of an overdose of strychnine that had been prescribed to him as a treatment for neuralgia. Over the following year he was nursed back to health in the presence of his wife, the concert pianist Josephine Plantin whom he married in 1842. Some speculation may lead one to the conclusion that listening to his wife performing the romantic piano pieces of the day during his period of recovery may have had an influence on the sound and unusual right hand technique he adopted for the Bardenklänge (Bardic Sounds) op. 13 (1847).
Mertz's guitar music, unlike that of most of his contemporaries, followed the pianistic models of Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schubert and Schumann, rather than the classical models of Mozart and Haydn (as did Sor and Aguado), or the bel canto style of Rossini (as did Giuliani). Though the date of his birth indicates that that was the logical influence, since Sor was born in 1778, Aguado in 1784 and Giuliani in 1781 while Mertz in 1806, a difference of about 25 years.
The Bardenklänge are probably Mertz's most important contribution to the guitar repertoire (a series of character pieces in the mould of Schumann), together with the great fantasias La rimembranza, Pensée fugitive and Harmonie du soir, considered a trilogy, the most technically demanding pieces written by Mertz, clearly inspired by Liszt's piano music.
The portrait of J. K. Mertz first appeared on the cover of Erwin Schwarz-Reiflingen's 1920 book Altmeister der Gitarre: Johann Kaspar Mertz. There was no attribution for the source, but in Schwarz-Reiflingen's commentary he mentions the duo 'Fantasie aus der oper "Elisier d'amour' came as a previously unpublished manuscript from Edward Bayer, Jr., son of the well-known guitarist Edward Bayer. It is possible, yet unconfirmed, that the portrait could also have come from the estate of Edward Bayer. The grayscale reproductions of the portrait have all come from a photo the Japanese guitar collector Jiro Nakano took in the 1970s from a copy of Altmeister der Gitarre: Johann Kaspar Mertz in the collection of Morishige Takei. It was provided to Astrid Stempnik for her dissertation by Masami Kimura. Originals of this book are only known to exist in the Takei Collection (at the Kunitachi College of Music, Tokyo, Japan), Bickford Collection (at California State University, Northridge) and The Danish Music Museum.
(all written for terz guitar and guitar)