Composer of the Day!

Today's Composer of the Day is Johann Gottlieb Graun!

(?1702-3 - 1771)

Graun is little-known (and a new one on me!). His music straddles the classical and baroque eras (much like C.P.E. Bach). He was well-regarded during his lifetime as an instrumental composer and orchestral musician. His admirers included J.S. Bach. In fact, Graun was Bach's eldest son's (Wilhelm Friedman's) violin teacher.

Graun was employed by the Prussian court. His brothers, August Friedrich Graun and Carl Heinrich Graun, were also noted composers. He wrote music for Fredrick the Great, who was also an amateur composer and excellent flautist.

His in-between-eras music is interesting. Classical periodicity is still influenced by baroque-style dance forms and imitative counterpoint. He also, apparently, liked powdered wigs. He was a pupil of Tartini!

Not much, biographically or musically, is available about Graun. However, I found this corrente for you to listen to. The pianist's hands are also fun to look at.

You should listen to his music, if you can find it.


Anonymous said...

Great video...is that Thing at the piano? Two disembodied hands are always fun to look at it.

Though, the corrente isn't really my favorite baroque form, I'm more of an allemande person.

If only you had that video of disembodied hands playing a Graun allemande, that'd be sweet.

--Whatever, I do what I want.

Empiricus said...

I heard that his brother, C. H. Graun, really liked pickles. He had so many pickles...

How many pickles did he have?

He had so many pickles that JG Graun's music is not very well-known.

Sator Arepo said...

Gustav: It's weirder than that. If you surf Youtube for the pianist's other videos, he shows up in a white mask with sunglasses. Bizarre.

E: Pickles? What? Gottlieb? Heinrich? Graun?

Anonymous said...

For further reading, see the following:

"Carl Heinrich Graun als Opernkomponist" by Albert Mayer-Reinach, Sammelbaende der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft, 1. Jarg., H. 3., (May 1900), pp. 445 - 529.

(now published and available from Franz Steiner Verlag!)

God damn, I so wish I were a musicologist... ummm...

Sator Arepo said...

Dude: wrong Graun!

Anonymous said...

... exactly why I'm not a musicologist.

Johann, Carl, Heinrich, blah blah blah.

Johann Gottlieb was the evil twin.

Empiricus said...

Did you hear the one about Johann Gottlieb Graun?

He is less famous than other dead composers.

Aaron said...

I don't think Johann was the evil twin. For one thing, no goatee.

Anonymous said...

Have heard Graun's vocal works at the Bach Vesper's service at Holy trinity Lutheran Church in New York City. Worth checking out for fine performances of Bach's contemporaries (as well of course as Bach) and family members.