(b Berlin, 15 Dec 1898; dHeidelberg, 22 Dec 1977). German conductor, organist and composer. Born into a family of musicians, he studied the piano, the organ and music history with, among others, Wolfgang Reimann and Fritz Heitmann in Berlin. From 1932 to 1935 he studied composition with Georg Schumann at the Akademie der Künste and received the Mendelssohn Award in 1935. Between 1936 and 1940 he was director of music at the Nikolaikirche, Potsdam. During the German occupation he acted as musical director of French broadcasting in Paris. After the war Werner moved to Heilbronn, where he became organist and founded the Heinrich-Schütz-Chor in 1947. He made over 50 recordings with the choir, including pioneering recordings of many Bach cantatas which are still widely admired for their strength and directness. His compositions are firmly rooted in the tonal tradition and include orchestral, chamber and choral music.
O.Riemer: ‘…auch auf Saiten und Pfeifen: zum instrumentalen Schaffen von Fritz Werner’, Musica [Kassel], xix (1969), 79–80
Werner, Gregor Joseph
(b Ybbs an der Donau, 28 Jan 1693; d Eisenstadt, Burgenland, 3 March 1766). Austrian composer. From 1715 to 1716 (or possibly 1721) he was organist at Melk Abbey. He married in Vienna (where he may have been a pupil of J.J. Fux) on 27 January 1727, and moved from Vienna to Eisenstadt to take up an appointment as Kapellmeister at the Esterházy court on 10 May 1728. As successor to the post of Wenzel Zivilhofer he received a salary of 400 gulden in addition to 28 gulden lodging money per year, increased in 1738 and, on his son’s joining the establishment as alto singer, in 1740. Werner also taught some musicians in Eisenstadt, including Johann Novotný and S.T. Kolbel.
According to a decree issued by 1 May 1761, Haydn took over the princely musical establishment which Werner had brought to a high standard. However, Werner remained as Oberhofkapellmeister and was entrusted with the sacred music, which had always been of primary interest to him. Predictably, strained relations arose between Werner and the much younger Haydn. In a petition of October 1765 to Prince Nikolaus von Esterházy, Werner complained of negligence in the castle Kapelle and the decayed state of the once strong musical establishment, blaming this on Haydn’s indolence; Werner made known that because of his great age he was unable to take matters into his own hands but had to rely on the intervention of others. He also pleaded for additional supplies of wood to enable him to survive the winter. Clearly he thought his death was imminent, and in fact he died at the end of that winter. This bitter letter shows the depth of his resentment towards Haydn, whom he is said to have called a Gsanglmacher (‘little song-maker’). Haydn was called to order by the princely administrator; the accusations of laziness caused him to keep his own thematic catalogue from then on. In his old age Haydn left a memorial to his former Oberhofkapellmeister with his edition (1804) of six introductions and fugues for string quartet, taken from Werner’s oratorios.
Werner’s music reflects several different tendencies. In church music, which occupied him until his last years, he composed a cappella masses in a strict contrapuntal style but also works with string and wind accompaniments markedly influenced by the Neapolitan tradition. He was, however, a capable contrapuntist and a composer who thought naturally in contrapuntal terms. Although his melodic style was sometimes angular, in a manner reminiscent of Zelenka’s, he could also produce, as in his secular cantatas and his Christmas pieces (which include pastorals for organ with strings and oboes), themes of a simple, folksong-like character. His symphonies and trio sonatas follow the conventional three- and four-movement patterns of his time; but he also composed works, notably the Musicalischer Instrumental-Calender, using representational effects.
performed in Eisenstadt
Fasciculus myrrhae dilectus, oder das geliebte Mhyrrenbüschel, 1729, A-Wgm; Die betrübte Tochter Zion, oder die unter dem Kreuz nach Ruhe verlangende Seele, 1732, Wgm; Mater dolorum, das ist Die schmerzhafte Mutter, 1733, Wgm; Der so eyffrig in sein Schäflein verliebte … gute Hirt, 28 March 1739, H-Bn; Die von dem stoltzen Holoferne bis zum Todt gebreste … Stadt Bethulia, 1742, Bn; Der so treu- als heyllos wider seinen sanfftmüthigen Vatter David rebellierende Sohn Absolon, 13 April 1743, Bn; Der keusche Joseph, 1744, A-Wgm; Die allgemeine Auferstehung, 16 April 1745, H-Bn; Die glück-seeligst vermählte und bis zum höchsten Gipfel der ehren erhobene Durchläuchtige Braut Esther, 8 April 1746, Bn
Der von der Gerechtigkeit abgeschreckte … verlohrene Sohn, 31 March 1747, Bn; Der jammer-volle, so gedultig als unschuldigleydende Hussiten Fürst Job, 12 April 1748, Bn; Adam, 1749, Bn; Die durch des Neides Trieb auf das grimmigst gehaste Tugend, oder der … bis zum Tod verfolgte David, 27 March 1750, Bn; Daniel, 1752, Bn; Judas Makkabeus, 1757, Bn; Der Tod des heiligen Johann von Nepomuk, 1757, A-Wgm; Tobias, 1759, Wgm; Debora (A. Tauffer), 4 April 1760, H-Bn, A-Wgm; Schmerzhafter Wiederhall des Davidischen Thränenliedes, n.d., Wgm
[principal sources A-Ee, Ek, Wgm, Wn, H-Bn; see also Hárich and Dopf]
17 masses, vv, str, wind, some with timp; Missa festivalis e brevis (1759), ed. D. Révész (Zürich and Budapest, 1971)
Mass, vv, 2 vn, va, bc
3 requiem masses; 1 in g, 4vv, choir, str, org, ed. I. Sulyok (Vienna, 1969)
Weihnachtslied, cant., solo vv, vv, str, org, ed. Z. Falvy (London, 1969)
Various pastorals, arias and cantilenas, mostly for Christmas and Advent
2 neue und extra lustige musicalische Tafel-Stücke: Der Wiennerische Tändlermarckt, Die Bauren-Richters-Wahl, secular cants., 4–5vv, 2 vn, bc (Augsburg, n.d.); ed. in Diletto musicale, lxxxi (Vienna, 1961), clxxi (Vienna, 1968)
Symphoniae 6 senaeque sonatae, 2 vn, bc (Augsburg, 1735); ed. in Diletto musicale, cdi-cdvi (Vienna, 1971, 1976)
Neuer und sehr curios- Musicalischer Instrumental-Calender, 2 vn, b (Augsburg, 1748); ed. in EDM, xxxi (1956)
6 Fugen in Quartetten, str qt, ed. J. Haydn (Vienna, 1804) [taken from Werner’s orats]; ed. E.F. Schmid (Landsberg am Lech, 1955–7); ed. W. Höckner (Wilhelmshaven, 1963)
6 oratorio preludes, ed. in Musica rinata, xii–xiii (Budapest, 1968)
Other works, principal sources A-Ee, Wgm, B-Bc, incl.: c20 trio sonatas, 2 vn, vc, bc, 7 ed. in Diletto musicale, ccclxxxix–cccxcv (Vienna, 1970); Concs., org, obs, str, 1 ed. in Musica rinata, v (Budapest, 1964); 2 concs., a 3–4, ed. in Diletto musicale, cccxcviii–cccxcix (Vienna, 1971); Conc., Bb, org, ed. in Diletto musicale, cccxcvii (Vienna, 1975); Symphonia da chiesa, ed. in Diletto musicale, cccxv (Vienna, 1969)
J.Hárich: Thematisches Verzeichnis der Werke G.J. Werners in den Beständen des Esterházy-Archivs (MS, H-Bn)
H.Dopf: Die Messenkompositionen Gregor Josef Werners (diss., U. of Innsbruck, 1956)
F.Stein: ‘Der musikalische Instrumentalkalender: zu Leben und Wirken von Gregorius Josephus Werner’, Musica, xi (1957), 390–96; also in Hausmusik, xxii (1958), 86–90
R.Moder: ‘Gregor Joseph Werner, ein Meister des ausgehenden musikalischen Barock in Eisenstadt’, Burgenländische Heimatblätter [Eisenstadt], xxi (1959), 140–56
L.Somfai: ‘Haydns Tribut an seinen Vorgänger Werner’, Haydn Yearbook 1963–4, ii, 75–80
C.J.Warner: A Study of Selected Works of Gregor Josef Werner (diss., Catholic U. of America, 1965)
O.Pausch: Die Herkunft Gregor Joseph Werners, mit einer Studie über musiktheoretische Lehrbücher aus dem Besitz des Meisters (Vienna, 1975)
R.Moder: ‘Gregor Joseph Werner, ein echt österreichisches Komponistenschicksal’, Singende Kirche, xxxii (1985), 159–61
Z.Farkas: ‘Imitacio es ellenporit Gregor Joseph Werner oratorium-araiban’, Zenetudomanyi folyoirat, xxxv (1994), 118–60