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Johann Ludwig Krebs

October 12, 1713 - January 1, 1780
born in Buttelstedt, Germany, composed during the Classical period
Johann Ludwig Krebs was a composer whose career spanned the end of the Baroque and beginning of the Classical era. In many respects, it typifies the problems many musicians had in coping with the drastic change of style this implies. Since he was an exceptionally skilled writer of counterpoint, he might have ended up with considerably wider fame if he had been born 20 years earlier.

Johann Ludwig was the son of Johann Tobias Krebs, the organist of Buttelstedt, near Weimar, who had studied with Bach. Father taught son organ, harmony, theory, and counterpoint. The lad was sent to enter the Thomasschule in Leipzig, where Bach was music director. Krebs general studies and lessons in singing, lute, violin, and keyboard. He remained a singer in Bach's choir until 1730.

Krebs attended the University of Leipzig from 1735 to 1737, took part on an as-needed basis in Bach's choir at the Thomaskirche and was the harpsichord player in the university's collegium musicum, which was also directed by Bach. Krebs left Leipzig in 1737 to take a position as organist of the Marienkirche in Zwickau, an ill-paid job playing an equally ill-maintained organ. While there, he met and married Johanna Sophie Nackens, daughter of a civil servant there. Soon, they had the first of their children, Johann Gottfried Krebs (1741 - 1814), an organist who wrote a large number of cantatas in his long-standing tenure as Mittelorganist or Stadtkantor of Altenberg. In 1744, Krebs moved to Zeitz to become organist there for 12 years. He tried unsuccessfully to become Bach's successor. In 1755, he accepted a position as organist to the court of Prince Friedrich of Gotha-Altenberg. The organ was better, the court was more exalted, but the pay was little improvement. Still, he continued to get by and retained the post until death. Family finances were somewhat helped when Johann Gottfried became his assistant organist.

Krebs had a very high reputation among his contemporaries. Bach held him in high regard, punning on both their names ( Krebs [crab or crayfish] and Bach [brook or stream]) by saying "He is the only crayfish in my stream." It is not surprising that many of his works, especially his organ compositions, are very much like those of Bach. His harpsichord music is probably what was best-known of his work in his own time, published extensively, particularly in four volumes of Clavier Ubung. Krebs also wrote significant quantities of orchestral and choral music. His name and music contributed to one of the most delicious inside jokes in movie music history. To echo the on-screen motion of the giant crab in the film Mysterious Island, with its independently moving legs, Bernard Herrmann orchestrated a cancrizan (i.e. crab-motion) fugue by the "crab" composer, Krebs. ~ Joseph Stevenson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Johann Ludwig Krebs: Complete Organ Works

Title: Toccata For Organ In E Major
Title: Fugue For Organ In E Major
Title: Trio For Organ In D Minor
Title: Freu Dich Sehr, O Mein, Chorale Fantasy For Organ
Title: Herr Gott, Dich Loben Alle Wir, Chorale For Organ
Title: Herr Jesu Christ, Du Höchstes Gut, Chorale For Organ
Title: Freu Dich Sehr, O Mein, Chorale Fantasy For Organ
Title: Fantasia For Organ In F Major
Title: Fantasia A 4 In F Major
Title: Preambulum Sopra "Von Gott Will Ich Nicht Lassen", For Organ
Title: Von Gott Will Ich Nicht Lassen, Chorale For Organ
Title: Chorale In Aolian Mode, For Organ
Title: Trio For Organ In E Flat Major
Title: Prelude For Organ In F Minor
Title: Fugue For Organ In C Minor
Title: Preambulum Sopra "Jesu, Mein Zuversicht", For Organ
Title: Jesus, Meine Zuversicht, Chorale For Organ
Title: Chorale In Aolian Mode, For Organ
Title: Trio For Organ In A Minor
Title: Wir Glauben All An Einen Gott, Chorale Prelude For Organ
Title: Wir Glauben All An Einen Gott, Schöpfer (verse 1), For Organ
Title: Wir Glauben Auch An Jesum Christ (verse 2), For Organ
Title: Wir Glauben An Den Heil'gen Geist (verse 3) And Amen, For Organ
x

Track List: Krebs: Complete Organ Works, Vol. 1

Title: Was Gott Tut, Das Ist Wohlgetan, Chorale For Organ
Title: Was Gott Tut, Das Ist Wohlgetan, Chorale For Chamber Organ
Title: Trio For Organ In E Flat Major
Title: Prelude For Organ In F Minor
Title: Fugue For Organ In F Minor
Title: Prelude And Fugue For Organ In C Major
Title: Vom Himmel Hoch, Da Komm Ich Her, Chorale For Organ
Title: Nun Freut Euch, Lieben Christen Gmein, Chorale For Organ (Decorated Cantus Firmus)
Title: Nun Freut Euch, Lieben Christen Gmein, Chorale For Organ (Organo Pleno)
Title: Praeambulum Supra "Ach Gott, Vom Himmel Sieh Darein"
Title: Christ Lag In Todesbanden, Chorale For Organ
Title: Herzlich Lieb Hab Ich Dich, O Herr', Chorale For Organ (Decorated Cantus Firmus)
Title: Herzlich Lieb Hab Ich Dich, O Herr, Chorale For Organ (Organo Pleno)
Title: Ach Herr, Mich Armen, Chorale Prelude For Organ
Title: Fantasia à Gusto Italiano, For Organ In F Major
Title: Trio For Organ In F Major
Title: Trio For Organ In F Major (No. 33)
Title: Ach Gott, Erhör Mein Seuftzen, Chorale Prelude For Organ
Title: Praeambulum Supra "Vater Unser Im Himmelreich"
Title: Sei Lob Und Ehr Dem Höchsten Gut, Chorale For Organ
Title: Fugue For Organ In A Minor
Title: Fugue For Organ In C Minor
Title: Fugue For Organ In F Major

Comments

'The best little crayfish in my brook', is what Bach called him. 'Krebs' means crayfish, 'Bach' means brook. A number of labels have released his entire catalog of organ music and other things, he may have even been the one who actually composed what many thought was Bach's most famous work, the Toccata and Fugue in B Minor.
.....ok, ok, ok........go n n a try and relate...... . . m a y b e the best li'l italian restaurant in northeastern oklahoma is in.......ahe m ........KREB S ? pete's place few miles east of state hwy 69 near mcalester... . . . . b u t seriously, do like these organ offerings!!
If you like J.S. Bach's organ compositions , you're gonna enjoy Johann Ludwig Krebs' music as well.
very nice

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