Johann Gottlieb Graun

Last updated

Johann Gottlieb Graun (27 October 1703[ citation needed ] – 28 October 1771) was a German Baroque/Classical era composer and violinist, born in Wahrenbrück. (His brother Carl Heinrich was a singer and also a composer, and is the better known of the two.)


Johann Gottlieb studied with J.G. Pisendel in Dresden and Giuseppe Tartini in Padua. Appointed Konzertmeister in Merseburg in 1726, he taught the violin to J.S. Bach's son Wilhelm Friedemann. He joined the court of the Prussian crown prince (the future Frederick the Great) in 1732. Graun was later made Konzertmeister of the Berlin Opera in 1740. He composed over 50 songs and compositions.

Graun's compositions were highly respected, and continued to be performed after his death: "The concert-master, John Gottlib Graun, brother to the opera-composer, his admirers say, 'was one of the greatest performers on the violin of his time, and most assuredly, a composer of the first rank'," wrote Charles Burney. [1] He was primarily known for his instrumental works, though he also wrote vocal music and operas. [2] He wrote a large number of violin concertos, trio sonatas, and solo sonatas for violin with cembalo, as well as two string quartets — among the earliest attempts in this genre. [3] He also wrote many concertos for viola da gamba, which were very virtuosic, and were played by Ludwig Christian Hesse, considered the leading gambist of the time. [4]

Despite the popularity of his works, Graun was not free from criticism. Burney noted that some critics complained that, "In his concertos and church music ... the length of each movement is more immoderate than Christian patience can endure." [5]

Selected recordings

Related Research Articles

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach German composer (1714–1788)

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, also formerly spelled Karl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, and commonly abbreviated C. P. E. Bach, was a German Classical period musician and composer, the fifth child and second surviving son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach. His second name was in honor of his godfather Georg Philipp Telemann, a friend of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Carl Stamitz 18th century German composer

Carl Philipp Stamitz was a German composer of partial Czech ancestry. He was the most prominent representative of the second generation of the Mannheim School.

Johann Christian Bach German composer, known as the "English Bach" (1735–1782)

Johann Christian Bach was a German composer of the Classical era, the eighteenth child of Johann Sebastian Bach, and the youngest of his eleven sons. After a spell in Italy, Bach moved to London in 1762, where he became known as "the London Bach". He is also sometimes known as "the English Bach", and during his time spent living in the British capital, he came to be known as John Bach. He is noted for playing a role in influencing the concerto styles of Haydn and Mozart. He contributed significantly to the development of the new sonata principle.

Carl Heinrich Graun

Carl Heinrich Graun was a German composer and tenor. Along with Johann Adolph Hasse, he is considered to be the most important German composer of Italian opera of his time.

Francesco Maria Veracini 18th-century Italian composer

Francesco Maria Veracini was an Italian composer and violinist, perhaps best known for his sets of violin sonatas. As a composer, according to Manfred Bukofzer, "His individual, if not subjective, style has no precedent in baroque music and clearly heralds the end of the entire era", while Luigi Torchi maintained that "he rescued the imperiled music of the eighteenth century", His contemporary, Charles Burney, held that "he had certainly a great share of whim and caprice, but he built his freaks on a good foundation, being an excellent contrapuntist". The asteroid 10875 Veracini was named after him.

Empfindsamkeit or Empfindsamer Stil is a style of musical composition and poetry developed in 18th-century Germany, intended to express "true and natural" feelings, and featuring sudden contrasts of mood. It was developed as a contrast to the Baroque Affektenlehre, in which a composition would have the same affect throughout.

Johann Wilhelm Hertel

Johann Wilhelm Hertel was a German composer, harpsichord and violin player.

Johann Georg Pisendel German Baroque violinist and composer (1687–1755)

Johann Georg Pisendel was a German Baroque violinist and composer who, for many years, led the Court Orchestra in Dresden as concertmaster, then the finest instrumental ensemble in Europe. The leading violinist of his time, composers such as Tomaso Albinoni, Georg Philipp Telemann and Antonio Vivaldi all dedicated violin compositions to him.

The year 1703 in music involved some significant events.

Ferdinand David (musician) 19th-century German violinist and composer

Ferdinand Ernst Victor Carl David was a German virtuoso violinist and composer.

Franz Benda

Franz Benda baptised 22 November 1709, Benátky nad Jizerou – 7 March 1786, Potsdam) was a Bohemian violinist and composer, who worked for much of his life at the court of Frederick the Great.

Georg Benda

Georg Anton Benda, was a composer, violinist and Kapellmeister of the classical period from the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Christoph Förster was a German composer of the baroque period.

Thomas Linley the younger

Thomas (Tom) Linley the younger was the eldest son of the composer Thomas Linley the elder and his wife Mary Johnson. He was one of the most precocious composers and performers that have been known in England, and became known as the "English Mozart".

Markus Heinrich Grauel was a German composer and cellist of the classical period.

August Kohn was a German violinist and composer of the late Baroque to Classical transition era.

Johann Adam was a German violist and composer of the Baroque era.

Leopold Friedrich Raab was a German composer and violinist of the baroque to early classical era.


  1. Charles Burney,The present state of music in Germany, the Netherlands, and United Province (1775), volume II, p. 229
  2. J.F. Reichardt, "Briefe eines aufmerksamen Reisenden" (1774), translated in Oliver Strunk, The Classic Era (1965, Norton), p. 125.
  3. Michael O'Loghlin, Frederick the Great and his Musicians (2008, Ashgate Publishing), p. 97.
  4. O'Loghlin (2008), p. 102.
  5. Burney (1775), volume II, p. 230.