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Desire Thomassin

Desire Thomassin was born on 11 February 1858 in Vienna (Austria). His father was the charge d'affaires of the Duchy of Parma in Vienna, his mother was a German from Regensburg. After the death of the father in 1867 the remaining family moved to Regensburg. There Desire Thomassin finished his school and attended the local lyzeum for two terms till 1878. Then he studied music in Munich under Josef Rheinberger (composition) and Max Hieber (violin).

Desire Thomassin mainly worked as a composer, but was not successful with his early works. For that reason he had to find a second source of income. He was a talented painter and created many pictures, but also had to work for an art dealer in Munich.

Desire Thomassin had to become a 50-year-old composer and it needed the help of conductor Felix Mottl to attract interest in his compositions. But since 1908 his works were performed regularly and successfully in Germany. For example his violin concerto was premiered by renowned violinist Felix Berber in 1912. Or the psychologist Franz Carl Müller-Lyer wrote in his book "Phasen der Liebe" in 1913 about the advance of music that a "Greek from the Age of Pericles - if he would come to a modern concert hall - would have incomprehension with the music of Beethoven, Bruckner, Desire Thomassin." (!, page 73)

In his last years Desire Thomassin focussed again on composing - withdrawing most of his "early works" from 1880 to 1905 and creating many new compositions. So most of his compositions known today date from after 1908.
Desire Thomassin died on 24 March 1933 in Munich (Germany).

Today Desire Thomassin is better known as a painter than a composer which is irony of fate because he considered himself a composer and painting was only for breadwinning. But his paintings are nevertheless of high quality, are still sought-after today and sell regularly at art auctions.


As a composer Desire Thomassin created around 100 works. Among them are two symphonies, a sinfonietta for chamber orchestra, a rhapsody for orchestra, a violin concerto, 3 violin sonatas, a cello sonata, a piano trio, 3 string quartets, "Die Macht des Gesanges" for soli, choir and orchestra, cantatas, masses, church music and songs.


In my possession is the autograph manuscript of the work "Agnus Dei, for tenor, violin, cello and organ" by Desire Thomassin. According to the manuscript the composition was completed on 24 April 1904 and so this composition belongs to his "early work".


Below one can find the full score for free download:

PDF-Dokument [144.5 KB]
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© Tobias Broeker