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Philipp Mohler (Composer)

Born: November 26, 1908 - Kaiserslautern, Germany
Died: September 11, 1982 - Frankfurt, Germany

Philipp Mohler was a German composer and teacher. After initial musical training in Kaiserslautern, he studied in Munich with Haas and von Walterhausen among others and, from 1933, taught and conducted in Munich, Nuremberg and Landau. In 1940 he succeeded Hugo Distler as instructor in conducting and composition at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Stuttgart, where he was later appointed professor (1943-1959). During this period he also directed the Stuttgart Orchester-Verein and the Stuttgart Lehrergesangverein. In 1958 he was appointed director of the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt, a post he held until his retirement in 1975. Under his directorship, the school expanded and gained an international reputation. He received a number of awards and honours including first-class membership in the Bundesverdienstkreuz (1968), the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1974) and the Goethe Medal of the State of Hessen (1975).

Philipp Mohler referred to Paul Hindemith as the principal influence on his music besides Haas. Choral works, including many short, a cappella pieces, form a significant portion of his output. The importance of his contribution to this repertory has been recognized in the establishment by the Pfälzischer Sängerbund of the Philipp Mohler Medal for the furtherance of choral music.

Works (selective list)

Piano Concerto., op.16 (1937); Fantasiestück, op.17, vc, orchestra (1960); Sinfonisches Vorspiel, op.18 (1939); Sinfonische Fantasie, op.20 (1941); Heitere Ouvertüre, op.27, str (1951); Concertino, op.28, fl, str (1955); Sinfonisches Capriccio, op.40 (1957)

Accompanied Choral:
Leben, op.5 (J. Linberg), male vv, brass, timp (1936); Vergangen ist die Nacht, op.14, female vv, fl, string orchestra (1943); Nachtmusikanten, op.24 (A. a S Clara), T, chorus, orchestra (1943); Viva la musica, op.41, S/T, male vv, orchestra (1961); Laetare (cant., C. Zuckmayer), op.43, S, male/children's vv, orchestra, performed 1968; Spanische Szenen (lyric cant., L. de Vega), op.45, chorus, orchestra (1975)

Unaccompanied Choral:
Ach, wie flüchtig, ach, wie nichtig (J.M. Franck), op.15, male vv (1936); Die Gedanken sind frei, female vv (1950); Trost (H. Leip), op32/1, male vv (1952); Ein freier Mut, female vv (1953); Gesänge aus den Wandersprüchen (J. von Eichendorff), op.33, mixed vv (1960); Das Ewige ist Stille (W. Raabe), op.42/3, male vv (1963)

Solo Vocal:
Rilke-Lieder, op.2, S/T, piano, performed 1932; Geistliche Solokantate, op.10 (J. Langbehn), S, pf qt, performed 1933; Vagabundenlieder, op.36 (H. Hesse), Baritone, piano (1957); Cantata domestica, 1v, 2 vn, vc, unpublished

2 Canzonen, org, performed 1941; Divertimento, op.13, vn, va (1947); 3 Konzertstücke, op.21, piano (1951); 2 Canzonen, organ, performed 1941; Konzertante Sonate, op.31, va, piano

Principal publishers:
Gerig, Hochstein, Müller, Schott, Sikorski

Source: Grove Music Online, © Oxford University Press 2006, acc. 5/24/06 (Author: John Morgan/R)
Contributed by
Thomas Braatz (May 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Unaccompanied chorale: Ach, wie flüchtig, ach, wie nichtig (J.M. Franck), op.15, male voices

Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig


Links to other Sites

Philipp Mohler (Accordion Online) [German]



O. Riemer: Bodenständige Musik, Musica, vi (1952), 104-6
G. Schweizer: Philipp Mohler-Feier in Frankfurt, Musik im Unterricht, iv (1959)
G. Schweizer: Philipp Mohler 60. Jahre, Musik im Unterricht, lix (1968), 451-2

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