10 Most influential German Composers of all times
Are you looking for some fresh or classic music to listen to while working from home? Do you need some calming classical music? You’re covered by German Composers.
Germany has promoted the growth of top-tier musical ability for the past 500 years and is home to some of the world’s most well-known and extraordinarily brilliant classical composers. These composers changed the course of history with their works.
Opera and classical music in general developed significantly in Germany thanks to important composers. Oswald von Wolkenstein, a revolutionary composer, popularized classical music in Germany in the 15th century.
The composers of the 16th century produced baroque music, which is characterized by protracted melody lines and ornamental elements like trills. A new generation of European musicians was inspired by the Baroque composers, ushering in the romantic era.
However, Germany experienced a quick transformation in musical styles after the 19th century, and during the 20th century, the nation’s musical preferences expanded to embrace more contemporary genres including jazz, blues, electronica, and rock. German composers of contemporary classical music frequently combine contemporary techniques with historical aspects from the Baroque and Romantic eras to produce fresh interpretations of the genre.
Here are the 10 Most influential German Composers of all times
1.Ludwig van Beethoven(1770 – 1827)
In Bonn, Beethoven was born. From an early age, his musical talent was apparent. At first, his father, Johann van Beethoven, educated him sternly and rigorously. After receiving instruction from composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe, Beethoven went on to publish his first piece, a collection of keyboard variations, in 1783.
He relocated to Vienna at the age of 21 and made that city his home while studying composition under Haydn. The three piano trios that makeup Opus 1, the first works to which Beethoven assigned an opus number, were composed in 1795 as a result of Beethoven’s growing reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Karl Alois, Prince Lichnowsky quickly hired Beethoven as a composer.
His first string quartet collection was released in 1801, and his First Symphony debuted in 1800. Despite the fact that his hearing got worse during this time, he kept conducting, giving the world premieres of his Third and Fifth Symphonies in 1804 and 1808, respectively. In 1806, he published his Violin concert. The Emperor, his final piano concerto, debuted in 1811 without Beethoven as the soloist and was dedicated to his ardent supporter, Archduke Rudolf of Austria. By 1814, he had become almost entirely deaf, and he stopped giving performances and going on public appearances.
Beethoven is still regarded as one of the most revered musicians in Western music. His compositions are among the most often performed in the classical music repertoire and mark the change from the Classical to the Romantic periods. Traditionally, his career has been broken down into early, middle, and late phases.
Learn more about the Top 15 Facts about Ludwig Beethoven
2.Johann Sebastian Bach(1685-1750)
Often considered the greatest Baroque composer ever, Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most well-known composers in history. Bach was related to more than 50 other musicians and composers, making him a member of a sizable musical family.
His works include the Brandenburg Concertos for orchestra, the Cello Suites for instruments, the Goldberg Variations for keyboard and The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Schubler Chorales for organ, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, and the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor for vocal music. He has been acknowledged as one of the finest composers in Western music history since the 19th-century Bach renaissance.
Learn more about the Top 10 Amazing Facts about Johann Sebastian Bach
3.Johannes Brahms(1833 – 1897)
Brahms is another well-known composer from Hamburg. Johannes was regarded as one of the “Three Bs” of classical music together with Bach and Beethoven. Moreover, one of the most well-known musicians of Germany’s Romantic era. His compositions were simultaneously conventional and avant-garde.
Both his contemporaries and later commentators have viewed Brahms as a traditionalist and an innovator. His creative methods and musical structure were influenced by the Classical masters.
Brahms wrote music for chorus, violin, voice, piano, organ, symphony orchestra, and chamber groups. He performed several of his own compositions as a master pianist. Many of his compositions have become standard pieces in the contemporary concert repertoire.
Learn more about the Top 10 Interesting Facts about Johannes Brahms
4.Robert Schumann(1810 –1856)
Unquestionably, Robert Schumann was one of Germany’s best Romantic-era composers. Initially planning to study law, Schumann decided to concentrate on composing music instead and pursue a career as a piano virtuoso.
His German piano teacher Friedrich Wieck had informed him that he could one day be the best pianist in all of Europe. However, a hand injury put an end to this dream. Then, Schumann concentrated all of his musical efforts on writing.
Schumann only composed piano music up until 1840. Later, he wrote several Lieder as well as piano and symphonic compositions (songs for voice and piano). In addition to numerous orchestral, choral, and chamber works, he wrote four symphonies, one opera, and other pieces. The Fantasie in C, Kreisleriana, Carnaval, Symphonic Studies and Kinderszenen are some of his best-known compositions.
Learn more about the Top 10 Facts about Robert Schumann
5.Richard Wagner(1813 – 1883)
Richard was a German opera composer, theater director, polemicist, and conductor. He was also a conductor. Wagner created both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works, which is unusual for opera composers.
Wagner revolutionized opera with his notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk (“whole work of art”). This aimed to combine the dramatic, musical, visual, and lyrical arts, with music serving as the second component of the drama.
His works stand out for their intricate use of leitmotifs, musical themes connected to certain individuals, locations, concepts, or plot points, complex textures, rich harmonies, and orchestration, especially in those from his later time. His creative innovations, such as strong chromaticism and swiftly shifting tonal centers, had a significant impact on the evolution of classical music. Interestingly, Some people claim that Tristan und Isolde was the first piece of modern music.
Learn more about the Top 10 Facts about Richard Wagner
6.Richard Strauss(1864 – 1949)
In his compositions, Strauss reflected the complexity of musical taste developing in the 20th century as his work spanned the late Romantic and early Modern musical eras. From the time he was six years old until the time of his death in his 80s, Strauss was able to create because of his musical talent.
Although Strauss produced works in almost every classical compositional style, tone poems and operas were where he found the most success. Don Juan was his first piece of this genre to receive widespread recognition, and other highly regarded pieces of this genre include Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Don Quixote, Ein Heldenleben, Symphonia Domestica, and An Alpine Symphony. His first opera to achieve international fame was Salome.
Learn more about the Top 11 Remarkable Facts about Richard Georg Strauss
7.Heinrich Schütz(1585 – 1672)
The most significant German composer prior to Johann Sebastian Bach and one of the most significant composers of the 17th century was Heinrich Schütz. He was a German early Baroque composer and organist.
He is credited with introducing the Italian aesthetic to Germany and carrying it into the Early Baroque period. The majority of his surviving compositions were composed for the Lutheran church, notably for the Dresden Electoral Chapel. He created Dafne, commonly regarded as the first German opera, which was presented in Torgau in 1627.
His most well-known sacred compositions include Cappella choral music as well as solo voice with instrumental accompaniment. His Psalmen Davids (Psalms of David, Opus 2), Cantiones sacrae (Opus 4), three Symphoniae sacrae books, Die Sieben Worte Jesu Christi am Kreuz (The seven words of Jesus Christ on the Cross), three Passion settings, and the Christmas Story are some of his most notable compositions.
One of the last musicians to write in the modal style was Schütz. Instead of any sense of “harmonic motion,” his harmonies frequently occurred from the contrapuntal alignment of voices. Yet, most of his music had a strong tonal pull when approaching cadences.
8.Karlheinz Stockhausen ( 1928 – 2007 )
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer who was widely regarded by critics as one of the most significant but also divisive composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. He is renowned for his innovative work in electronic music, for incorporating controlled chance (aleatory techniques) into serial composition, and for musical spatialization.
His works and theories had a significant impact on many composers of art music as well as jazz and popular music, and they continue to do so. His works, which were created over a period of almost sixty years, avoid conventional forms. In addition to electronic music, they include works for solo instruments, songs, chamber music, choral and orchestral music, as well as a cycle of seven full-length operas.
His notable works include a collection of nineteen piano pieces called Klavierstücke, Kontra-Punkte for ten instruments, Gesang der Jünglinge, Gruppen for three orchestras, the percussion solo Zyklus, Kontakte, the cantata Momente, the live-electronic Mikrophonie I, Hymnen, Stimmung for six vocalists, and the electronic/music-concrète Gesang der Jünglinge. Inori for soloists and orchestra, Tierkreis, Aus den Sieben Tagen, Mantra for two pianos, and electronics, and the expansive opera cycle Licht.
9.Felix Mendelssohn(1809- 1847)
Felix Mendelssohn was the stage name for Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. He belonged to the early Romantic era and was a German composer, pianist, organist, and conductor. Mendelssohn wrote symphonies, concertos, piano music, organ music, and chamber music, among other genres. The Italian Symphony, the Scottish Symphony, the oratorios St. Paul and Elijah, the overture The Hebrides, the mature Violin Concerto, and the String Octet were some of his best-known compositions. They also include his “Wedding March” from the incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s dream. He was also the composer of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” a Christmas carol. The most well-known solo piano works by Mendelssohn were Songs Without Words.
learn more about the Top 10 Unbelievable Facts about Felix Mendelssohn
10. George Frideric Handel( 1685 – 1759)
German-British composer George Frideric is well-known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, concerti Grossi, and organ concertos. He is consistently recognized as one of the greatest composers of his age.
Before settling in London in 1712, where he would spend the majority of his career, Handel received his musical training in Halle and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy. In 1727, he was granted British nationality. Both the Italian Baroque composers and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition had a significant impact on him.
His orchestral pieces like Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks are still very well-liked today. Zadok the Priest, one of his four coronation songs, has been sung at each British coronation since 1727.
Learn more about the Top 10 Sensational Facts about George Frideric Handel