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Karl Riedel (Composer, Arranger)

Born: October 6, 1827 - Kronenberg, Rhine provinces, Germany
Died: June 3, 1888 - Leipzig, Germany

The German composer, Karl [Carl] Riedel [Riedl], though always musically inclined he was educated for trade, and was at Lyons in the silk business until 1848, when he determined to devote himself to music as a profession. He returned home and at once began serious study under the direction of Carl Wilhelm, then an obscure musician at Crefeld, but destined to be widely known as the author of Die Wacht am Rhein. Late in 1849 Riedel entered the Leipzig Conservatorium, where he made great progress under Moscheles, Moritz Hauptmann, Becker and Plaidy.

Karl Riedel practised and performed in a private society at Leipzig Astorga's Stabat, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's lmproperia and Leo's Miserere, and this led him to found a singing society of his own, which began on May 17, 1854, with a simple quartet of male voices, and was the foundation of the famous Association which, under the name of the 'Riedelsche Verein,' became celebrated in Leipzig. The first public concert was held in November 1855, and its first great achievement was a performance of J.S. Bach's B minor Mass (BWV 232) on April 10, 1859. In the list of the works performed by the Verein we find L.v. Beethoven's Mass in D, Kiel's Christus, Berlioz's Messe des morts, and Franz Liszt's Graner Messe and St. Elizabeth. Riedel was one of the founders of the 'Beethovenstiftung,' and an earnest supporter of the Wagner performances at Bayreuth in 1876.

Karl Riedel's own compositions are chiefly part-songs for men's voices, but he edited several important ancient works by Praetorius, Franck, Johann Eccard and other old German writers, especially a Passion by Heinrich Schütz, for which he selected the best portions of four Passions by that master - a proceeding certainly deserving all that can be said against it. G.

Source: Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1952 Edition; Author: Sir George Grove)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2007)

Bach-Riedel: Karl Riedel | PT - Works | PT - Recordings

Links to other Sites

Karl Riedel (Wikipedia) [German]




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