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Andreas Kneller (Composer)

Born: April 23, 1649 - Lübeck, Germany
Died: August 24, 1724 - Hamburg, Germany

Andreas Kneller [Kniller, Knöller, Knüller] was a German composer and organist. Younger brother of the famous portrait painter Sir Godfrey Kneller, he became organist of the Jacobi- und Georgikirche, Hannover, in 1667. In 1685 he became organist of the Petrikirche, Hamburg, where he got to know Johann Adam Reincken and married his only daughter, Margaretha. He was often asked to test new organs and organists, and was among those who examined candidates for the position of organist at the Jacobikirche, Hamburg, in 1720, a post in which J.S. Bach had initially shown an interest. From 1723 he received a pension.

As a composer Andreas Kneller is known by a handful of organ pieces (ed. K. Beckmann, Wiesbaden, 1987). There are three preludes and fugues in a tablature at the church at Mylau, Saxony (one ed. M. Seiffert in Organum, iv/7, Leipzig, 1925, another in Shannon, ii), showing features typical of toccatas at the time. Two further works, a prelude and fugue and a praeludium (D-Bsb, both incomplete), signed ‘A. Kn.’ and ‘A. K.’ respectively, are probably by him. The same source contains a set of eight variations by him on Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, the fourth and fifth of which appear twice in another manuscript (also in D-Bsb; they are in Karl Straube: Choralvorspiele alter Meister, Leipzig, 1907, where Kneller’s first name is erroneously given as ‘Anton’); the chorale melody is subjected to pleasantly varied treatment. An organ Te Deum in another source (D-Lr) has sometimes been ascribed to Kneller, but the manuscript was compiled between 1657 and 1663 and is thus almost certainly too early to be by him. It is attributed to ‘A. Kniller’, and Apel believed it to be the only known work by one Anton Kniller.


Source: Grove Music Online, © Oxford University Press 2006, acc. 5/26/06 (Authors: Horace Fishback/Ulf Grapenthin)
Contributed by
Thomas Braatz (May 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Preambulatory Tedeum Versettes for Organ on Herr Gott dich loben wir

Herr Gott, dich loben wir [The German Tedeum]

5 Verses or Chorale Preludes for organ on Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

Partita No 4 on Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland for organ

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

Links to other Sites

Andreas Kneller (
Andreas Kneller (Wikipedia) [German]

Biographie de Andreas Kneller (Musicanet) [French]


ApelG | EitnerQ | FrotscherG | WaltherML
M. Seiffert: ‘Das Mylauer Tabulaturbuch von 1750’, AMw, i (1918–19), 607-32
L. Krüger: Die hamburgische Musikorganisation im 17. Jahrhundert (Strasbourg, 1930), 170-71
F.W. Riedel: Quellenkundliche Beiträge zur Geschichte der Musik für Tasteninstrumente in der zweiten Hälfte des 17. Jahrhunderts (
Kassel, 1960, 2/1990)
J.R. Shannon: The Mylauer Tabulaturbuch: a Study of the Preludial and Fugal Forms in the Hands of Bach’s Middle-German Precursors (diss., U. of North Carolina, 1961)
A. Edler: Der nordelbische Organist (
Kassel, 1982)
K. Beckmann: ‘Echtheitsprobleme im Repertoire des hanseatischen Orgelbarocks’, Ars Organi, xxxvii/3 (1989), 15-62

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