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Joseph Rheinberger

March 17, 1839 - November 25, 1901
born in Vaduz, Lichtenstein, composed during the Romantic period
Joseph Rheinberger, influential German composer, organist, conductor, and teacher, was the son of the Prince of Liechtenstein's treasurer Johann Peter Rheinberger. His exceptional musical gifts astounded his first teacher, Sebastian Pohli, who instructed him from the age of five. As a child, Rheinberger progressed so rapidly that by the time he was just seven, he was already an organist in his hometown of Vaduz. By 1848, he had a complete mastery of harmony and had graduated to the piano and organ classes of Philipp Schmutzer, who introduced him to the works of J.S. Bach and the Viennese classicists. Rheinberger's father, who initially resisted his pursuing a musical career, finally submitted to persuasion from the composer Nagiller to permit the boy to study in Munich. He was allowed to settle there in 1851 and the city became his permanent home thereafter.

Rheinberger studied theory with J.H. Maier, organ with J.G. Herzog, and piano with J.E. Leonhard at the Munich Conservatory. By 1853, he was employed as organist at several city churches and supplementing his income offering private tuition. He dedicated every free moment to composition, and during the next few years wrote well over 100 apprentice works; none met with his approval, and they were never published. Rheinberger's four piano pieces, Op. 1, finally appeared in 1859, the same year he joined the staff of the conservatory to teach piano and music theory. In 1864, he also became the conductor of the Munich Oratorienverein, holding the post until 1877.

Rheinberger worked for a while as a coach at the court opera, witnessing Wagner's premiere of Tristan und Isolde. In 1867, he was appointed professor at the conservatory -- a position he would hold until his death. During the same year, he married a former pupil, Franziska von Hoffnaass. Rheinberger was increasingly prone to poor health, but continued to work, almost without interruption. 1877 saw his appointment as hofkapellmeister and in 1894 he was ennobled, receiving the title of privy councillor.

Rheinberger died in 1901, shortly after his retirement. His grave in Munich was destroyed during World War II and his remains were transferred in 1950 to his birthplace. Hans von Bülow, a great conductor and tireless advocate of Rheinberger's music, called him "a truly ideal teacher of composition, unrivalled in the whole of Germany and beyond in skill, refinement, and devotion to his subject; in short, one of the worthiest musicians and human beings in the world." ~ Michael Jameson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Rheinberger: Complete Organ Concertos

Title: Organ Concerto No. 2 In G Minor, Op. 177

1. Organ Concerto No. 2 In G Minor, Op. 177: Grave

2. Organ Concerto No. 2 In G Minor, Op. 177: Andante

3. Organ Concerto No. 2 In G Minor, Op. 177: Con Moto

Title: Pieces (6) For Violin & Organ, Op. 150

4. Pieces (6) For Violin & Organ, Op. 150: Abendlied

5. Pieces (6) For Violin & Organ, Op. 150: Pastorale

6. Pieces (6) For Violin & Organ, Op. 150: Elegie

Title: Organ Concerto No. 1 In F Major, Op. 137

7. Organ Concerto No. 1 In F Major, Op. 137: Maestoso

8. Organ Concerto No. 1 In F Major, Op. 137: Andante

9. Organ Concerto No. 1 In F Major, Op. 137: Con Moto

x

Track List: Rheinberger: Organ Works, Vol. 5

Title: Sonata For Organ No. 12 In D Flat Major, Op. 154

1. Sonata For Organ No. 12 In D Flat Major, Op. 154: Fantasia. Maestoso Lento - Allegro Agitato

2. Sonata For Organ No. 12 In D Flat Major, Op. 154: Pastoral. Andante

3. Sonata For Organ No. 12 In D Flat Major, Op. 154: Introduction And Fugue. Lento - Con Moto - Lento

Title: Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189

4. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: VI. Allegretto

5. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: VII. Moderato

6. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: VIII. Alla Breve

7. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: IX. Con Moto

8. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: X. Andantino

9. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: XI. Adagio

10. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: XII. Andantino

Title: Sonata For Organ No. 13 In E Flat Major, Op. 161

11. Sonata For Organ No. 13 In E Flat Major, Op. 161: Fantasia. Maestoso - Adagio - Tempo I - Adagio Molto

12. Sonata For Organ No. 13 In E Flat Major, Op. 161: Canzone. Allegretto

13. Sonata For Organ No. 13 In E Flat Major, Op. 161: Intermezzo. Largo

14. Sonata For Organ No. 13 In E Flat Major, Op. 161: Fugue. Alla Breve

x

Track List: Rheinberger: Organ Works, Vol. 6 (Sonatas Nos. 14-16)

Title: Sonata For Organ No. 14 In C Major, Op. 165

1. Sonata For Organ No. 14 In C Major, Op. 165: Praeludium: Maestoso - Poco Più Mosso - Tempo 1

2. Sonata For Organ No. 14 In C Major, Op. 165: Idyll: Andantino - Moderato - Tempo 1

3. Sonata For Organ No. 14 In C Major, Op. 165: Toccata: (Allegro Moderato) - Maestoso - A Tempo

Title: Sonata For Organ No. 15 In D Major, Op. 168

4. Sonata For Organ No. 15 In D Major, Op. 168: Fantasia: Andante Amabile - Agitato - A Tempo

5. Sonata For Organ No. 15 In D Major, Op. 168: Adagio

6. Sonata For Organ No. 15 In D Major, Op. 168: Introduction And Ricercare: Maestoso - Con Moto - Intermezzo - Ricercare - Andante Molto

Title: Organ Sonata No. 16 In G Sharp Minor, Op. 175

7. Organ Sonata No. 16 In G Sharp Minor, Op. 175: Allegro Moderato

8. Organ Sonata No. 16 In G Sharp Minor, Op. 175: Skandinavisch (Scandinavian): Andantino

9. Organ Sonata No. 16 In G Sharp Minor, Op. 175: Introduction And Fugue: Adagio - Con Moto - Maestoso

x

Track List: Rheinberger: Six Pieces for Violin and Organ, Op. 150; Suite for Violin and Organ, Op. 166

Title: Pieces (6) For Violin & Organ, Op. 150

1. Pieces (6) For Violin & Organ, Op. 150: Overture

2. Pieces (6) For Violin & Organ, Op. 150: Pastorale

3. Pieces (6) For Violin & Organ, Op. 150: Gigue

4. Pieces (6) For Violin & Organ, Op. 150: Elegie

5. Pieces (6) For Violin & Organ, Op. 150: Abendlied

6. Pieces (6) For Violin & Organ, Op. 150: Theme And Variations

Title: Suite For Violin & Organ In C Major, Op. 166

7. Suite For Violin & Organ In C Major, Op. 166: Praeludium

8. Suite For Violin & Organ In C Major, Op. 166: Canzone

9. Suite For Violin & Organ In C Major, Op. 166: Allemande

10. Suite For Violin & Organ In C Major, Op. 166: Moto Perpetuo

x

Track List: Rheinberger: Works for Organ, Vol. 4

Title: Sonata For Organ No. 10 In B Major, Op. 146

1. Sonata For Organ No. 10 In B Major, Op. 146: Fuge: Molto Moderato - Fuge

2. Sonata For Organ No. 10 In B Major, Op. 146: Thema Mit Veränderungen: Andante

3. Sonata For Organ No. 10 In B Major, Op. 146: Fantasie Und Finale: Quasi Adagio - Allegro Non Troppo

Title: Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189

4. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: I. Andantino Amabile In D Flat Major

5. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: II. Moderato In B Flat Minor

6. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: III. Allegretto In E Flat Major

7. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: IV. Quasi Adagio In C Major

8. Trios (12) For Solo Organ, Op. 189: V. Moderato In E Major

Title: Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 11 In D Minor, Op. 148 ("Cantilène")

9. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 11 In D Minor, Op. 148 ("Cantilène"): Agitato: Allegro

10. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 11 In D Minor, Op. 148 ("Cantilène"): Cantilène: Adagio

11. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 11 In D Minor, Op. 148 ("Cantilène"): Intermezzo: Moderato

12. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 11 In D Minor, Op. 148 ("Cantilène"): Fuge: Con Moto

x

Track List: Rheinberger: Works for Organ, Vol.2

Title: Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 5 In F Sharp Major, Op. 111

1. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 5 In F Sharp Major, Op. 111: Movement 1

2. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 5 In F Sharp Major, Op. 111: Movement 2

3. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 5 In F Sharp Major, Op. 111: Movement 3

Title: Sonata For Organ No. 6 In E Flat Major, Op. 119

4. Sonata For Organ No. 6 In E Flat Major, Op. 119: Preludio

5. Sonata For Organ No. 6 In E Flat Major, Op. 119: Intermezzo

6. Sonata For Organ No. 6 In E Flat Major, Op. 119: Marcia Religiosa

7. Sonata For Organ No. 6 In E Flat Major, Op. 119: Fuga

Title: Sonata For Organ No. 7 In F Major, Op. 127

8. Sonata For Organ No. 7 In F Major, Op. 127: I. Praeludium. Allegro Non Troppo

9. Sonata For Organ No. 7 In F Major, Op. 127: II. Andante

10. Sonata For Organ No. 7 In F Major, Op. 127: III. Finale. Cadenza-fuga. Moderato

x

Track List: Rheinberger:Works for Organ, Vol. 1

Title: Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 1 In C Major, Op. 27

1. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 1 In C Major, Op. 27: Movement 1

2. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 1 In C Major, Op. 27: Movement 2

3. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 1 In C Major, Op. 27: Movement 3

Title: Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 2 In A Flat Major, Op. 65

4. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 2 In A Flat Major, Op. 65: Movement 1

5. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 2 In A Flat Major, Op. 65: Movement 2

6. Sonatas (20) For Organ, No 2 In A Flat Major, Op. 65: Movement 3

Title: Sonata For Organ No. 3 In G Major, Op. 88

7. Sonata For Organ No. 3 In G Major, Op. 88: Movement 1

8. Sonata For Organ No. 3 In G Major, Op. 88: Movement 2

9. Sonata For Organ No. 3 In G Major, Op. 88: Movement 3

Title: Sonata For Organ No. 4 In A Major, Op. 98

10. Sonata For Organ No. 4 In A Major, Op. 98: Movement 1

11. Sonata For Organ No. 4 In A Major, Op. 98: Movement 2

12. Sonata For Organ No. 4 In A Major, Op. 98: Movement 3

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Violin and organ is a lovely combination. I love Rheinberger. I performed his organ trios on a beautiful pipe organ in Las Vegas.
Report as inappropriate
Dear Wolfgang, (Rubsam)
I remember meeting you as we were both teens, @ the time, (you, a bit older, perhaps in your 20's), in Germany while I was on tour playing the cathedral concert circuit! I know that you, surely, do not recall our meeting where you played a Bach trio sonata for me & my teacher, Mr. William Fawk of Salem, Oregon (now deceased) but I have, also, played the organ @ the Lutheran Church here in Eugene, Oregon, USA. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!
Yours, Gordon Zeller zeller@live. com

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