Andreas Rauch 1592-ben született az alsó-ausztriai Pottendorfban. Apja Wolf, vagy Wolfgang Rauch, Miksa főherceg testőrségében szolgált, a török elleni harcban vesztette életét. Mostohaapja Georg Ludwig Moßbach lett.
Testvérei: Ábrahám, Johannes és Jacob. Ez utóbbi a magyar határőröknél szolgált, katolikus hitre tért és nemességet kapott. Andreas evangelikus hitét soha nem tagadta meg, ezért hazáját el kellett hagynia. Szellemi vezetői között volt Salomon Eg(l)inger, aki Pottendorfban, később Sopronban működött.
Andreas 18 éves korában a hernals-i evangélikus rendek orgonistája lett, mint írja "a mindenható Istentől" kapott tehetsége miatt. Első műveit itt komponálta. Két "újévi jókívánságát" Helmhardt Jörgernek ajánlotta, melyhez Heinrich Ulrich készített rézmetszeteket 1613-19 között.
"Thymiaterium musicale" c. sorozata 25 vegyeskari művet tartalmaz, melyeket német és latin szövegekre komponált, ajánlásuk pedig a hernals-i híres prédikátoroknak: Mülbergernek, Ursinusnak és Steudlinnak szól. (A szövegek részben a bibliából, részben az énekeskönyvből valók, illetve szabad imádságok).
1625-ben Incersdorfba került, ahol "Zwey Christliche Musicalische Gesänglein" c. művét írta Ézsaiás és Luther szövegére. Mindezen vegyeskarok és a háromszólamú "Musicalisches Stammbüchlein" Nürnbergben jelent meg. Ajánlásaik, szövegeik, címeik több mecénás nevét őrzik, akik támogatták Rauchot. Első feleségének nevét: "Regina", szintén innen tudjuk.
Mivel 1627. szeptember 14-ével minden nem katolikus vallás gyakorlását megtiltották Alsó-Ausztriában, Rauch is távozni kényszerült. Új hazára Sopronban lelt, ahol szabad vallásgyakorlatot biztosított Lackner Kristóf polgármester. 1628 márciusában érkezett a városba, ahol szívesen fogadták. A városi tanács 1628. július 10-én fogalmazta meg befogadó határozatát, végleges szerződését pedig 1629. június 1-jén kapta. Két szobát, konyhával, 100 rajnai aranyat, sok bort, gabonát, fát sorol fel a szerződés, melyet június 6-án ratifikáltak. Június 15-én Rauch ezt megköszönte és igéretet tett, hogy szorgalmával és munkájával fogja viszonozni a város által nyújtott támogatást.
Második házasságát Blasius Wagner bécsi kereskedő lányával, Rosinával kötötte, kitől 1632. január 22-én született Matthias nevű fia, ki később Boroszlóban és Strassburgban tanult, majd hazatérve elvette Anna Regina Völcker személyében az egyik legmódosabb Lackner örököst. Andreas Rauch többi gyermeke rövid életet élt (Johann Andreas 1633, Andreas 1634, Jacob 1636-ban született). Rosina gyermekágyi lázban húnyt el 1637-ben.
Rauch szorgalmasan komponált, így Lackner temetésére "Lamentatio"-t írt, majd Dávid 15 zsoltárát zenésítette meg, melyet litánia követett. Ezek a darabok elvesztek.
Fennmaradt viszont a soproni országgyűlésre készült "Concentus votivus" (1634), melyben II. Ferdinánd dicsőségét kellett zengeni. A művet Bécsben ki is nyomtatták. 1635-ben Te Deumát mutatták be a Szt. Mihály templomban (ez a mű is elveszett, csakúgy, mint az újévi zenés jókívánságok, melyekért szép honoráriumot kapott). 1641-ben két énekszólamra és basso continuora írott "Missa Vespera" című sorozata jelent meg Nürnbergben, melynek címlapjáról ismerjük egyetlen fennmaradt arcképét.
Ekkor már harmadik házasságát is megkötötte, felesége: Maria, Matthias Einfalt városi kapitány lánya lett. Sorra születtek gyermekeik: Jacob Andreas (1640), Maria (1641), Erardus (1643), Ferdinand (1645). Ezek a gyermekek is rövid életűek voltak, Maria Rauch is elhúnyt 1645-ben.
1648-ban 13 nagyszabású Canzonát ajánlott az addig uralkodott Habsburg császároknak "Currus triumphalis musicus" címmel. Szövegeit főleg Dávid zsoltáraiból vette. Bécsben adták ki a szólamkönyveket.
Rauch negyedik házasságát egy bruck-i vaskereskedő: Caspar David Franck leányával, Eva Rosinával kötötte, kitől 1650-ben született Andreas nevű fia, 1655-ben pedig Helena nevű lánya. Ekkoriban írta végrendeletét az idős és beteg Andreas Rauch is. 1656. május 22-én. 10 gyermekéből csak Matthias és a negyedik házasságából származó Andreas élte túl.
A végrendeletben felsorolt rengeteg bútor, ház, szőlőskert mellett hangszerek is maradtak a szolgálati lakásban, melynek falát ma emléktábla díszíti: "Itt élt és alkotott Sopron városának legnagyobb zeneszerzője."
Születésének 400. évfordulójára Pottendorf és Sopron közösen készült kiállítással, tudományos előadásokkal és hangversenyekkel.
Szeretnénk, ha művei felébrednének csipkerózsika-álmukból és megismerné őket a világ.
Three factors affected the musical scene in Sopron in the first half of the 17th century: although the Turks occupied a large part of Hungary, they never managed to occupy the town, so that the commerce which had begun to flourish by the end of the 15th century could develop unhindered, and so could Sopron's cultural ties with cities of royal (Habsburg) Hungary and western countries. The Peace of Vienna in 1606 ensured the autocracy of the Evengelicals (Lutherans) in Sopron, as it did in most of the cities of northern Hungary too.
Secondly, the choir of the Evangelical grammar scholl which had developed out of the old Latin school in 1606, formed an integral part of the parish choir and orchestra in which the "tower musicians" of the free royal city also performed week after week. Moreover the valuable musical achievements at the Jesuit grammar school, established in 1636 against the will of the Evangelical town council provided competition for the grammar school and the Evangelical ensemble, to the benefit of music in the city as a whole.
The third factor to consider was in fact a deplorable situation, but one that resulted in an enrichment of music in Sopron. The progress made by the Counter-Reformation brought a great many fugitive students, termed exulants, into Sopron from Austria and further afield. Here they might pursue their studies in an atmosphere of calm, and as members of the grammar school and parish choir and orchestra make a valuable contribution to local music. (To mention a single one of these students, Samuel Capricornus, later a composer in Pozsony (now Bratislava) and then in Stuttgart, was a member of the Sopron orchestra in 1640.)
But the greatest asset to arrive was Andreas Rauch, organist of the Evangelical orders of Lower Austria at Hernals and then at Inzersdorf. He fled to Sopron in 1628; in the following year he was appointed organist and 1643 received civil rights. He remainned in Sopron until his death in 1656.
Born in 1592 in Pottendorf, Lower Austria, Andreas Rauch had already made his name before his arrival in Sopron with four major works published in Nuremberg ("Symbolum peccatoris resipiscentis...", 1621, "Thymiaterium musicale...", 1625, "Musicalisches Stammbüchlein..., 1627 and "Zwey Cristliche Musicalische Gesänglein..., 1627). His works are the only sources of our rather sketchy knowledge of his early years. In the advertisement to "Thymiaterium musicale" (1625) he writes from Hernals (now the 17th district of Vienna) that he has served the congregation for 15 years: "weiln ich allbereit die 15 Jahr bey dero Cristlichen Evangelischen Gemein nach vermogen gedienet." In 1627, when he composed the "Musicalisches Stammbüchlein", he was organist at Inzersdorf. He arrived in Sopron in the first half of 1628, and the town council considered the matter of his appointment on July 10 and again on July 25. Although he was active in the meantime as an assistant at St. Michael's Church and received financial support from the citizens of Sopron. He was only appointed organist on June 1, 1629, when at length his predecessor, Silvester Pfarkircher was with good reason dismissed from his post. His letter of appointment speaks of him with confidence and personal appreciation: "Since living here, his respectable conduct and erudite, artistic attainment have gained him popularity and fame..."
That fame he later vindicated with a whole range of new works. The town archives include mentions of many works whose scores have not been discovered. Mayor Kristof Lackner, who became the promoter of classical culture in 1604 when he founded the Society of Sopron Noble Scholars, died in 1631. At the council's request, a funeral composition of Rauch's entitled "Lamentation" was played at the funeral on January 4, 1632. On October 6, 1632, he offered the council a new work: "I too have set the 15th Psalm of David, and the customary litanies as well. But I have complemented them with some beautiful and appropriate cadences and poems, and even with some heartfelt topical invocations...". Nothing is know of what happened to this work, but we do possess his composition "Concertus votivus", which the title page asserts was commissioned by the town council for the opening of Sopron Diet (on December 18, 1634) and published in 1635.
From his years Hernals date two works, each entitled "Gratulatio", which Rauch had offered to the council there at New Year. This custom he revived in Sopron. and there are brief notices of similar offers in the town archives in January 1637, 1639, 1640, 1641, 1642, 1645, 1646 and 1655. In 1639 the minutes mention symphonia, in 1642 some minor works, in 1645 a beautifully composed work, in 1646 an orchestrated German "Kyrie", and in 1655 a piece of his own composition. On Seotember 23, 1641, he offered the town that was his patron a few cantatas ("Geistliche concerte"), while on August 17, 1648, he presented 13 motets which he dedicated to the Emperor. The former has been identified with the cycle "Missa", "Vesperae et alii sacri concentus", published in Nuremberg, and the latter with "Currus triumphalis", published in Vienna and offered in honour of Treaty of Westphalia. But the town records make no mention of his "Newes Thymiaterium", published in Vienna and Lucerne, in 1651, unless it can be identified with the cantatas already mentioned, which he offered on September 23, 1641, for the term "Geistliche concerte" does feature in the title as printed.
Scarcely had Rauch taken up his new post in 1629 before he had to bid farewell to his closest fellow-musician, the cantor Valentin Wigeleb, renowned Sopron musician who died in October. The surviving inventory of Wigeleb's music library contains some 70 scores, and it is an important record of the 17th century musical scenes in sopron. Alongside works by Lassus, Praetorius, Viadana, Gallus (Handl), Marenzio, Regnart, Hassler, Aichinger and Vecchi, there are indications of contemporary musical tastes in the town by presence of Gastoldi's madrigals. From our point of view that is all the more significant since scarcely any scores of Rauch's day have survived, and even the inventory of Rauch's own scores has been lost. Only from account books of the time and bill of the italian publisher, Alessandro Gardano do we know that Rauch's own repertoire included, apart from his own compositions, works by Stadlmayr, Melchior Franck, Hammerschmidt, Cifra, Gabrieli, Massaini, Lazari, Saveta, Ganbari, Perone, Nembri and others.
Among the applicants for Wigeleb's post was Andreas Mayer, previous musical colleague of Rauch's, who as he himself wrote was deputy leader and cantor of the parish choirs of Hernals and Inzersdorf. But he was not actually appointed as a cantor. Instead the post went to the composer Wofgang Holzhauser, who came originally from Pürbach in Lower Austria, although he arrived in Sopron from Kőszeg. With one short break he worked alongside Rauch until 1638, when he succeeded by Samuel Wirsing, a private music teacher in the town. Rauch's last cantor colleague, who also played at his funeral, was the Ruszt-born Johannes Kusser, father of the noted composer Johannes Sigismund Kusser (Cousser). He took up the post in 1655 but held it for only two years: in 1657 he was granted permission by the Sopron council to go to Pozsony to take over the post of Samuel Capricornus.
Like the cantors, the school rectors were distinguished musicians, such as Cristoph Schwanshofer of Regensburg, and from 1639 Lukas Valla, who helped Rauch in his work and ensured the standard of the intensive musical education characteristic of 17th century Evangelical grammar schools.
The Sopron archives contain many applications to the council for aid from exulant students. Their contents provide a glimpse into the world of Rauch's ensemble. Almost without exception the students support their reguests by asserting they are diligent members of the choir and orchestra. Some petitioners had found refuge in Sopron when they were already adults and in that way became members of the ensemble. These include the assistant teachers Thomas Soczovin and Johann Theodor Nikolaj, who fled from Austria and then applied for the post held by the cantor Holzhauser, who was intending to leave at the time. The exulant Johann Spet was also living in Sopron with his family when he asked in 1635 for teaching post in the city. He must have been an old acquaintance of Rauch's, as Piece XXIII in the "Musicialisches Stammbüchlein" refers to his wedding (Herrn Johannis Spethen Hochzeitsgesänglein), and on this occasion he obtained a post at the grammar school through Rauch's good offices. Sadly he could only be a member of Rauch's ensemble for three years, as he died in October 1638.
We have already referred to samuel Capricornus, who with his unknown friend Johann Scopius, told of their exile in the plea they wrote in 1640 as students of ten years old. Both their pleas were supported by the rector Lukas Valla, who considered them valuable members of orchestra. Unfortunately we have no information as to how long Capricornus was able to learn as a member of Rauch's ensemble. Lukas Psyllus from Deutschbrod had been a member of the Sopron grammar school and orchestra for ten years when the city awarded him a scholarchip to study abroad in 1648. In 1649 he was back in opron as a teacher at the grammar school and a member of the orchestra. He must have been a close friend of Rauch's, whom he actually succeeded on his death. Of the long series of pleas, let us just mention one more: that of Johannes Kalinka in 1655. He came from Besztercebánya, studied in Sopron and became a private teacher. He was given excellent references by his teachers after his studies at the Academy. Kalinka succeeded Johannes Kusser as cantor.
During Rauch's time the churches of St. George and St. Michael were both rebuilt to meet the requirements of the Evangelicals. New organs were also installed. At St. George's it was presumably built by the Viennese Johann Woeckerl in 1633. It has been essentially preserved in its original state despite the reconstructions of 1730 and 1957, making it one of the oldest organ in the country today. At St. Michael's the new 12-registers organ was consecrated "to the accompaniment of lovely music" on December 3, 1651. This excellent instrument built by an unknown master remained in use for 164 years. It was replaced by the Catholics between 1815 and 1818 with a new, 22-registers organ.
The Sopron register of births, marriages and deaths has not survived, and so we do not know when Rauch married Maria Rosina Wagner. Their four children were born between 1632 and 1636. After being widowed Rauch married Maria Ainfalt of Sopron on March 3, 1639, and had another four children between 1640 and 1645. His second wife died in 1646, but on February 22, 1650, Rauch married for the third time to Eva Rosina Franck from Bruck and der Mur. Two further children were born between 1650 and 1655. Early in 1656 Rauch lost that wife too, and of his children, only Mathias and Andreas survived their father. In 1651 and 1652 Rauch applied to Sopron town council on his son Mathias'behalf, and he was granted a scholarship to study law at Strassbourg University. From these petitions we are familiar with Rauch's handwriting.
A memorial plaque on the wall of the house at Templom utca 2, which belonged in the 17th century to the town Sopron, later became a palace of the Esterházy family and is now the Miner's Museum, testifies that Sopron's greatest musician and composer lived here. Indeed his residence there from 1631 to 1643 has been proved from the town accounts by Ferenc Dávid.
(Károly Mollay, on the other hand, refering to the tax roll, considers that Rauch lived from 1631 to 1645 at Fő tér 4, which is the neighbouring house.) He presumably spent the last years of his life in what is called the Ainfalt house, which he inherited from his wife, and which in the 17th century stood on the site of the county hall at Fő tér 5.
For more detail see:
Kornél BÁRDOS: Sopron zenéje a 16-18. században. (Music in Sopron in the 16-18th Centuries), Budapest