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Christian Liebe (Composer)

Born: November 5, 1654 - Freiberg, Saxony
Died: September 3, 1708 - Zschopau, Saxony

Christian Liebe [Lieben, Lieber] was a German composer and organist. He received his earliest musical training at Freiberg, where Christoph Frölich was cathedral Kantor and schoolmaster; he also acquired a wide knowledge of ancient languages.

In 1676 Christian Liebe became a theology student at the University of Leipzig. At Leipzig he was probably encouraged to compose church music by Johann Schelle, who was appointed Kantor at the Thomaskirche early in 1677. From 1679 Liebe was employed as music master in an aristocratic household at Dresden. His reputation as a keyboard player led in 1684 to his appointment as organist at Frauenstein, Erzgebirge, where he also became Rektor of the school. From 1690 until his death he was Rektor of the school at Zschopau, where in addition to his teaching duties he devoted himself to music and the musical life of the town, as composer, organist and organizer of church musical events. His sacred works were known about 1700 as far afield as Gottorf, Stettin and Strasbourg, as well as more locally at Freyburg, Grimma and Leipzig; he may have had direct connections with some of these towns.

The majority of Christian Liebe’s surviving works are cantatas, some with accompaniments for up to nine instruments, including rich wind scoring. The concerto-aria cantatas contain aria sections with several verses, or, in place of a straightforward sequence of arias, chorale verses and short concertato passages with or without simple concluding chorales. Of the 22 compositions by Liebe at Strasbourg, 16 form a sequence from the liturgical year. According to Johann Mattheson the funeral aria Es ist nun aus mit meinem Leben was still widely known and used towards the mid-18th century.


at D-Bsb.: Ich habe einen guten Kampf gekämpfet, 5vv, 2 vn, 2 viols, bn, org, also F-Ssp; Komm heiliger Geist, vv, 2 vn, 2 shawms, bc; Meine Schafe hören meine Stimme, B, 5 inst, bc; Und du Bethlehem, 4vv, 5 insts, bc
at Dlb: Ach, liebster Jesu komm herein, 5vv, 2 vn, 2 viols, bn, bc; Als der Tag der Pfingsten erfüllet war, 4 vv, 3 ob, bn, 2 vn, bc; Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, 4vv, 2 vn, 2 viols, bn, bc; Das neugeborne Kindelein, 5vv, 2 clarini, timp, 2 vn, 2 viols, bn, bc; Der Herr ist Gott, 4vv, 2 clarini, 2 vn, bn, bc; Ihr wisset die Gnade unsers Herrn, 4vv, 4 ob, vn, 2 viols, violone, 4 hp, bc; Komm an, du sanftes Brausen, 5vv, vn, 4 viols, bn, bc; Machet die Tore weit, 4vv, 2 clarini, 2 vn, bn, bc; O heiland aller Welt, 4vv, 2 vn, bc
at F-Ssp: Alle Bitterkeit und Grumm und Zorn, 4vv, vn, 2 viols, bc; Darum seid barmherzig, 4vv, 2 vn, 2 viols, bc; Der Engel des Herrn, 4vv, 2 clarini, 2 vn, 2 viols, bn, bc; Der Mensch vom Weibe geboren, 4vv, 3 ob, bn, 2 vn, bc; Es ist unsonst, daβ ihr früh aufsteht, 4 vv, 2 vn, 2 viols, bn, bc; Gnade! Gnade! Jesu, Gnade, 5vv, 2 vn, 2 viols, bn, org; Herr, höre und sei mir gnädig, 4vv, 2 vn, 2 viols, bc; Ich bleib, o Jesu, ganz der deine, 4vv, insts, bc; Ich danke dir, Gott, 4vv, vn, 3 viols, bc; Liebet eure Feinde, 4vv, clarino, 2 vn, va/trbn, bc; Machet euch Freund, 4vv, 3 ob, bn, 2 vn, bc; Mein Freund, ich tue dir nicht unrecht, 4vv, 3 ob, bn, bc; Meine Seele erhebet den Herrn, 4vv, clarino, timp, 2 vn, va, bc; Sehet euch für den falschen Propheten, 4vv, 3 ob, bn, 2 vn, bc; Sei nun wieder zufrieden (Ps cxvi.7–9), 5vv, 2 vn, 2 shawms, 4 cornetts, bn, org, bc; Siehe, des Herrn Auge siehet auf die, 4vv, 2 vn, 2 viols, bn, bc; Trachet am ersten nach dem Reich Gottes, 4vv, vn, 2 viols, bn, bc; Und du, Kindlein, 4vv, 3 ob, bn, bc; Wenn du es wüβtest, 4vv, 3 ob, bn, 2 vn, bc; Wohl dem, dem ein tugendsam Weib beschert ist, 4vv, 2 vn, 2 viols, bn, org
Doubtful: Das Verlangen der Elenden hörest du, Herr, 4vv, vn, 2 viols, bc, MÜG

at Bsb: Alleluja, ach mein herzliebes Jesulein, 8vv, bc; Selig ist der Mann, 8vv, bc
Waschet euch, reiniget euch, 8vv, bc, Bsb
at Dlb: Das Wort ward Fleisch, 5vv, bc; Fürchtet euch nicht, 5vv, bc; Ich halte es dafür, 5vv, bc
Es ist nun aus mit meinem Leben, funeral aria, mentioned in Mattheson

Other Sacred:
Missa brevis, A, 5vv, 4 inst, F-Ssp
, C, 6vv, 2 clarini, timp, 2 vn, 3 viols, vle, bc, D-Bsb
(Ger.), 4vv, tpts, timp, F-Ssp


Source: Grove Music Online © Oxford University Press 2006 acc. 5/30/06 (Author: Karl-Ernst Bergunder)
Contributed by
Thomas Braatz (May 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Cantata: Das neugeborne Kindelein, for 5 voices, 2 clarini, timpani, 2 violins, 2 viols, bassoon, and bc

Das neugeborne Kindelein

Links to other Sites



EitnerQ | GerberL | MatthesonGEP
|A. Schering: ‘Die alte Chorbibliothek der Thomasschule in
Leipzig’, AMw, i (1918–19), 275-88
W. Braun: ‘Die alten Musikbibliotheken der Stadt Freyburg (Unstrut)’, Mf, xv (1962), 123–45, esp. 125, 130, 139
F. Krummacher: ‘Zur Sammlung Jacobi der ehemaligen Fürstenschule Grimma’, Mf, xvi (1963), 324-47, esp. 340, 346
F. Krummacher: Die Überlieferung der Choralbearbeitungen in der frühen evangelischen Kantate (Berlin, 1965), 292ff
D. Parr Walker and P. Walker: German Sacred Polyphonic Vocal Music between Schütz and Bach (Ann Arbor, 1992)

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