Fugue: pour le piano à quatre mains: composée et dediée à Madame Kamińska née Kochanowska; par F. Lessel; Varsovie : l'abbé I. Cybulski (1812) / public domain; source: Biblioteka Narodowa (Polona)

Franciszek Lessel

(around 1780 – 26 December 1838) composer and pianist, born in Warsaw, died in Piotrków Trybunalski. Having taken his first lessons of music with his father, Wincenty Ferdynand Lessel, composer, pianist and pedagogue of Czech descent, Lessel left for Vienna in late 1799 to study composition under Joseph Haydn, and remained a student of Haydn's until Haydn's death in 1809.

It was before leaving for Vienna that Lessel started giving concerts, first in a chamber string ensemble in Lvov (with, among others, Karol Kurpiński and Karol Lipiński at Count's Łączyński), then also as a pianist. While a student in Vienna, he would come to Poland a number of times, working as a court musician at the Lubomirskis in Lancut. Upon his return to Poland in 1809, he started giving piano concerts of his own works, appearing, among other places, in Cracow and at the Warsaw National Theatre. He also played on the glass harmonica, an instrument which was hugely popular at the time, gave music lessons and, for a while, was director of the Warsaw Amateur Music Society.

For the rest of his life he did jobs which were not related to music; he did not give up composing, however. In 1812 he became an estate administrator in Gzików near Kalisz, from 1823 was the plenipotentiary of Maria Wirtemberska's property in Pilica, and in the 1830s managed the Poplawskis' estate in Pecice. In 1836 he took the position of administrator at the Marymont Institute of Farming, and the following year was appointed inspector of the regional Gymnasium in Piotrków Trybunalski, a tenure he was to hold until his death.


Sourcewww.culture.pl, Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Center, October 2006.

Chamber works

  • Adagio and fugue in D minor for 4 hands, Op. 11, 1812 or earlier Download

  • Adagio et rondeau à la polonaise for violin and piano, Op. 9, 1807


    first instrumentation for piano and orchestra

  • Concert duo [No.1] for 2 flutes, Op. 1, 1802 or earlier Borrow

  • Concert duo [No.2] for 2 flutes, Op. 1, 1802 or earlier Borrow

  • Concert duo [No.3] for 2 flutes, Op. 1, 1802 or earlier Borrow

  • Duo for 2 clarinets

  • Duo pour deux flûtes et Variations sur un thème de l’opéra "Faniska" de Cherubini, Op. 7, 1805 or earlier Buy

  • Faintaisie caractéristique for piano, violin, viola and cello, Op. 31, 1822

  • Fantasy for string quartet Buy

  • Fugue for piano four hands Download

  • Grand trio for piano, clarinet and horn, Op. 4, 1806 or earlier Buy

  • Partita [No. 2] for 2 clarinets, 2 horns and 2 bassoons Buy

  • Partita [No. 3] for 2 clarinets, 2 horns and 2 bassoons Borrow

  • Partita [No.1] for 2 clarinets, 2 horns and 2 bassoons Borrow

  • Piano quintet in F minor


    work lost

  • Quartet for flute, violin, viola and cello, Op. 3, 1806 or earlier Buy

  • String quartet in A major, 1800


    only excerpts remained

  • String quartet in B flat major, Op. 19, 1824 Download



  • String quartet in D major


    only the viola part remained

  • Trio for 2 clarinet and bassoon

  • Trio in E major for piano, violin and cello, Op. 5 Download

  • Variations for flute and piano


    first instrumentation for flute and orchestra

Piano works

  • Fantaisie in C major, Op. 8, ca. 1810 or earlier Buy

  • Fantaisie in E minor, Op. 13, 1813 or earlier Buy

  • Polonaise nouvelle in D major, 1821 or earlier Download

  • Sonata in A major, Op. 2, ca. 1800 or earlier Borrow

  • Sonata in C major, Op. 2, ca. 1800 or earlier Borrow

  • Sonata in F major, Op. 2, ca. 1800 or earlier Borrow

  • Variations, Op. 15 No. 1, 1817 or earlier Buy

  • Variations, Op. 15 No. 2 Borrow

Works for piano and orchestra

  • Concert in C major for piano and orchestra, Op. 14 Buy