Unusually, for a composer of his distinction, Karl von Ordonez was not a full-time professional musician. Most of his working life was spent in the employment of the Lower Austrian Regional Court and his musical activities, both as a performer and composer, were pursued in his spare time. Ordonez's choice of career was probably dictated by his social rank. As a member of the nobility, albeit of the lowest rank, a professional musical career was closed to him. For a part-time composer Ordonez was a surprisingly prolific. In addition to his two operatic works - a marionette opera, Musica della Parodie d'Alceste and a Singspiel, Diesmal hat der Mann den Willen - Ordonez is known to have composed a a significant amount of church music (now lost), a secular cantata, 73 symphonies, a violin concerto and a large corpus of chamber music of which the 27 authenticated string quartets are of particular importance. His symphonies were widely disseminated in manuscript copies and Abbé Stadler noted that they "received great applause".

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