Balthasar Schmid (1705-49) was well-known in the first half of the 18th century as an engraver and printer of highly accurate and aesthetically pleasing prints, as well as a composer of some note. His activities as engraver are first mentioned in 1726, but it was from 1735 until his death that he made his reputation; Mattheson, among others, praised both his organ playing and his engraving (Grundlage einer Ehren-Pforte, 1740). The firm was run by his son Johann Michael Schmidt (1741-93) after his father's death.
Schmid engraved works by almost all of the most important north German figures of the day: Telemann, C.P.E. Bach, Marpurg, Krebs, Sorge, and Nichelmann. His best-known works however, are his engravings of J.S. Bach: the first editions of Clavier-Übung IV and the Canonic Variations on Von Himmel Hoch are the work of Schmid. Notably, he was an innovator in numbering his catalogue, making chronology possible for several of these compositions, which otherwise might have been impossible.
Imprints, Agencies, Addresses
- 1. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie.
- New York and London: Macmillan Publications, 1980.