chapter  12
Upgrading from Consorts to Orchestra at the Württemberg Court
BySamantha Owens
Pages 14

In 1718 the Wurttemberg Instrument Verwalter, Sigmund Castenbauer, completed an inventory of the musical instruments owned by the court. The fact that the Wurttemberg court owned virtually an entire roomful of obsolete instruments which had not yet been thrown away is a striking sign of the rapidly changing times. Seen through modern eyes the inventory is a telling piece of evidence which shows that the transition from consort to orchestra had been accomplished. In 1683 three French musicians had been appointed to the Wurttemberg court, but these were a trumpeter, a vocalist, and a player of the basse de violon. A number of Wurttemberg court musicians who had begun their careers as oboe band members were able to retain their dignity to some extent by securing positions as civic music directors. In many respects the Wurttemberg situation is not particularly instructive since the musical establishment was essentially imitative rather than innovative.