Joseph Reichenberg, Ancient Hebrew Melodies

For pianoforte, Hobart 1845.
Edited by Richard Divall
Australian Music Series – MDA019
ISBN 978-0-9923957-8-0 / ISMN 979-0-9009643-8-0


 MDA019 Reichenberg_0007 MDA019 pic1

Joseph Reichenberg (or Richenbergh in the Regimental records), was the bandmaster of the 40th Regiment of Foot, which was stationed in Australia from 1824 to 1829. Apparently he was born in Sicily around 1789-1792, possibly a member of one of the numerous German families who settled there assisting the Austrian Bourbon Kings of Naples and the Two Sicilies. It is said that he had military experience in the Chasseurs Brittanique, English forces based in Messina during the Napoleonic Wars. Reichenberg arrived in Sydney with his Regiment and announced that his Australian Quadrilles would be issued, but no copy has survived. He later moved to Hobart where the majority of the Regiment were stationed, and like many of the enlisted men, elected to stay in Australia. For some years he taught music in Hobart, conducted the first known full concert there in 1826, and died toward the end of January 1851.

MDA019 pic2The Hobart Synagogue was consecrated in some spectacle on 4 July 1845. Though a Catholic, Reichenberg was delegated to be in charge of the music, and a detailed report of the entire ceremony was printed in the Hobart Town Courier of 9 July. The vocal and instrumental performers included the French violinist and composer, Joseph Gautrot, who had a prolific career in music in Hobart and later in Sydney, before dying there in 1854.