In praise of musical impostors
Pictured above is Jeremiah Clarke (c.1674-1703), an English organist, Gentleman-extraordinary of the Chapel Royal, and one of the most important composers of English sacred music of his time. Ever heard of him? You've certainly heard his most famous work, though you may not know he wrote it. Many a festive occasion has been heralded by Clarke's hit, known by him as the "Prince of Denmark's March", though better- and falsely-known as "Henry Purcell's Trumpet Voluntary". It's the piece that starts the classical music today on WFCR. Yes, dear listener, Clarke is one of the unfortunate composers who, through no fault of their own, had their best stuff come down through history under the name another more famous composer.
Also on the list (though no images survive of any of them): Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690-1749), whose beautiful aria "Bist du bei mir" has been attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach; Romanus Hofstetter (1742-1815), a German monk whose charming "Serenade" ("Andante cantabile") comes from a whole book of string quartets palmed off as Joseph Haydn's; and Friedrich Witt (1770-1836), a minor German composer and cellist whose "Jena" Symphony was once thought to be by Beethoven. Why each composer had their fame thusly stolen varies with each case, as we'll explain today on WFCR. Tune in and hear whether you'd have been taken in as well.