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Friedrich Wilhelm Berner (Composer)

Born: May 16, 1780 - Breslau, Silesia, Germany
Died: May 9, 1827 - Breslau, Silesia, Germany

The German composer, Friedrich Wilhelm Berner, was pupil of his father, the organist of the Elisabeth Church in Breslau, under whose tuition he made such rapid progress as to be appointed his assistant at thirteen years of age. Counterpoint and composition he learnt from Gehirnie, director of the choir at the Matthäus-Kirche, and at the same time from Reichardt the violoncello, horn, bassoon and clarinet, which last instrument he played in the orchestra of the theatre.

The arrival of Carl Maria von Weber in Breslau to take the post of Kapellmeister roused Friedrich Wilhelm Berner to fresh exertions. Weber valued him as an excellent pianoforte and clarinet player. In 1811 he and Schnabel were summoned to Berlin by Zelter to master the system of the Singakademie, with the view of establishing similar institutions in Breslau and the rest of Silesia, such being the wish of the Prussian Government. Berner was also entrusted with the task of cataloguing the musical treasures of the suppressed monasteries. More details of his life will be found in the Hausfreund for 1827, No. 15. Among his numerous pupils, Adolph Hesse was one of the most remarkable.

Friedrich Wilhelm Berner left many compositions both for voices and instruments, but his didactic writings are more valuable - Grundregeln des Gesanges (1815), Theorie der Ohoralzwischenspiel (1819), Lehre van der musikalischen Interpunktion (1821). Some of his songs were very popular, e.g. Deutsches Herz verzage nicht.

Source: Source: Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1952 Edition; Author: Dr. Franz Gehring); NYPL Digital Library (Pictures)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Chorale Prelude for Organ on Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten contained in 8 Choralzwischenspiele

Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten

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