Augustus Frederic Christopher Kollmann (1756-1829) was born in Germany and lived from 1782 at St James's Palace, London, where he was organist and schoolmaster of His Majesty's German Chapel. He was one of the most profound music theorists of his time, and a pioneer in introducing Bach's music to England. His most extensive effort to inform the public about developments in the whole field of music - from acoustics to concert performance, from musical patents to books about music - was The Quarterly Musical Register, the first number of which is dated 1 January 1812. It can be regarded as England's first musicological journal. Written almost entirely by Kollmann, this journal included the first substantial English-language biography of Bach, identified anonymous music reviewers in English literary periodicals, gave a retrospect of the state of music in Great Britain and Germany, discussed efforts to improve organs and pianos, critically reviewed two editions of John Wall Callcott's Musical Grammar, and provided an account of Kollmann's own theory and much more. The Quarterly Musical Register folded after its second number. Only eight copies of the first number and six of the second appear to be extant, and just two libraries have the covering wrappers with which each number was issued. This book reproduces in facsimile both numbers and their wrappers, and presents new information about Kollmann's life and works.
‘Michael Kassler, member of a family responsible for important work on English music […] has now made another encyclopedic contribution, with a name-index itself of over 20 pages. The thoroughness speaks for many years' patient research, and it is a pleasure to see so much gathered together. …Kassler can pack an enormous amount of detail into a few dozen pages. …Over a third of this generous book is a welcome facsimile reprint of Kollmann's shortlived journal The Quarterly Musical Register (1812)…’ Musical Times
‘Kassler's new book on Kollmann is of interest and importance because it fills significant gaps in the area of music theory and Bach reception in the transitional period at the dawn of the nineteenth century. …[Kassler's] remarkably thorough biographical research sheds light on an important figure in nineteenth-century English music, and adds texture and colour to this small part of music history.’ British Institute of Organ Studies Journal
‘This review is only able to give a sample of the plethora of details in Kassler's book and its value to music historians and historians of music theory. The readership will also include general cultural historians, scholars of women studies, historians of eighteenth-century industry and machinery, and scholars of Australian music history. … that the book also includes an annotated edition of the first musical journal published in England, and a detailed list of sources related to Kollmann gives cause for recommending it as reading for every music historian…’ Musicology Australia
Contents: Preface; Part I Introduction to Kollmann's Life and Works: Kollmann in Germany (1756-1782); The personal union of Great Britain and Hannover; The German Chapel at St James's Palace; Kollmann's work for the German Chapel; Marriage (1783); First publication; Kollmann and the New Musical Fund; Collaboration with Johann Wilhelm HÃ¤ÃŸler (1791-1792); An Introduction to the Art of Preluding (1792); An Essay on Musical Harmony (1796); 3 theoretico-practical Works (1796-1798); An Essay on Practical Musical Composition (1799); The proposed edition of Bach's '48'; Meeting with Johann Anton André (1800); The first Practical Guide to Thorough-Bass (1801); Changes at the German Chapel; Public performances by Kollmann's children (1804-1806); Development and publication of A New Theory (1803-1806); Kollmann and La Belle Assemblée (1806-1807); A Second Practical Guide to Thorough-Bass (1807-1808); Theoretico-practical works illustrating A New Theory (1809-1810); George Kollmann's published compositions (1808-1812); Years after The Quarterly Musical Register (1812-1823); The American edition of An Essay on Musical Harmony (1817); Controversy with John Bernard Logier (1821-1824); George Kollmann's piano patent (1825); Kollmann's last years (1823-1829); Activities of Kollmann's children (1829-1840); Downfall of George and Joanna (1840-1849); The sale of Kollmann's library (1877). Part II The Quarterly Musical Register: The purpose of The Quarterly Musical Register; The first number (1 January 1812); The second number (1 April 1812); The projected third number; Notes to the text of The Quarterly Musical Register. Part III Source Documents: Kollmann's c1823 autobiography; Literary, musical and artistic works by A.F.C. Kollmann; Literary and musical works by George Kollmann; Calendar of correspondence of the Kollmann family; Index of persons.