Rheinberger, Josef Gabriel (1839–1901)

Joseph Rheinberger, in full Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger, (born March 17, 1839, Vaduz, Liechtenstein—died Nov. 25, 1901, Munich, Ger.), German composer and teacher whose organ sonatas are among the finest 19th-century works for that instrument.

Rheinberger studied organ at Vaduz and became organist at the parish church when he was only seven years old. He later studied at Feldkirch and Munich and in 1867 became professor of organ and composition at the Munich Conservatory. Among his pupils were Engelbert Humperdinck, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Wilhelm Furtwängler, and the American composers George W. Chadwick and Horatio Parker. Besides 20 organ sonatas, he wrote four operas and much church and chamber music. He received a title of nobility in 1894.


In 1877 Rheinberger obtained the rank of court conductor, a position that gave him responsibility for the music in the royal chapel. He was later awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. A distinguished teacher, he numbered many Americans among his pupils, including Horatio Parker, William Berwald, George Whitefield Chadwick, Bruno Klein, and Henry Holden Huss. When the present Conservatorium was founded in Munich, Rheinberger was appointed its professor of organ and composition, a post he held until his death. He was also given the title "Royal Professor".

Rheinberger was a prolific composer. His religious works include twelve masses (one for double chorus, three for four voices a cappella, three for women's voices and organ, two for men's voices and one with orchestra), a requiem, and a Stabat Mater. His other works include several operas, symphonies, chamber music, and choral works. Today he is remembered almost exclusively for his elaborate and challenging organ compositions; these include two concertos, 20 sonatas, 22 trios, 12 Meditations, 24 fughettos, and 36 solo pieces. His organ sonatas were once declared to be undoubtedly the most valuable addition to organ music since the time of Mendelssohn. They are characterized by a happy blending of the modern romantic spirit with masterly counterpoint and dignified organ style.

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Stabat Mater Op. 138

Stabat Mater Op. 138 | more info
Duration 14'00'' 45 pages

Choir SATB / Strings / Organ



47.48 €