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Esaias Reusner (Composer)

Born: April 29, 1636 - Löwenberg [now Lwówek Šląski], Silesia, Germany [now Poland]
Died: May 1, 1679 - Berlin, Germany

The German composer and lutenist, Esaias Reusner, was taught the lute by his father Esaias (d 1660-1680), composer and lutenist of the Prince of Bernstadt. He was a child prodigy and together with his father he traveled and performed at various courts. Later he studied with an unknown French lutenist.

In the years from 1655 to 1672, Esaias Reusner was in the service of a Silesian duke. Thereafter, he worked for a short time as a flute and lute teacher at the University of Leipzig. Finally in 1674, he was appointed chamber lutenist at the court of Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg in Berlin, where he remained until his death.

Esaias Reusner is considered to be one of the best lute virtuosos of his time and one of the first great masters of the lute suites in Germany. He wrote mainly instrumental music. His two collections of suites for the - Deliciae testudinis (1667) and Neue Lauten-früchte. (1676) - are regarded as important because they show the first application of French lute style by a German composer and they are also early documents in the development of the instrumental suite. They contain a total of 28 suites, varying in number of movements from four to nine. Each suite is unified by a major or minor tonality. They all include the basic structure of later dance suites, allemande–courante–sarabande–gigue. Most of the longer suites begin with another dance, such as a paduana or ballo, or the characteristically French improvisatory prelude, and many conclude with a dance other than the gigue. Reusner’s influence was widely felt in Germany in the 17th century, and the style of his music established a precedent evident in the works of subsequent lutenists such as Silvius Leopold Weiss.


Hundert geistliche Melodien evangelischer Lieder (One hundred spiritual melodies from evangelical songs) (for lute, 1676 or 1678)
Various lute and orchestral suites


Source: George L. Buelow: ‘Reusner [Reussner] Esaisas (ii)’, Grove Music OnLine ed Macy, L. (Accessed: July 25, 2007); Wikipedia Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2009)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Vater unser im Himmelreich, Setting for lute

Vater unser im Himmelreich

1676 or 1678

Links to other Sites

Esaias Reusner (Guitar Loot)
Esaias Reusner (Wikipedia)

Esaias Reusner (



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