(b Copenhagen, 15 April 1898; d Hellerup, 30 Sept 1981). Danish composer and organist. He studied the organ and theory with Gustav Helsted at the Copenhagen Conservatory (1916–20) and then went to Leipzig, where he studied with Straube (organ) and Graener (theory and composition), graduating from the Hochschule für Musik in 1923. After his return to Denmark he was organist at the Annakirke in Copenhagen (1929–68) and also worked as a music critic (for Dagens nyheder, 1953–61, and Politiken from 1964). He also served in a great number of honorary administrative offices, contributing significantly to Danish musical life: for example, he was a board member, assistant chairman and then chairman (1942–56) of Det Unge Tonekunstnerselskab, a member of the Musikråd (until 1971), chairman of the Dansk Komponistforening (1967–71) and chairman for the Samfund til Udgivelse af Dansk Musik.
Although Weis’s first compositions were marked by his stay in Leipzig, he soon freed himself from that derivative late Romantic style, retaining his respect for Bach’s polyphony and combining it with his admiration for Nielsen’s diatonic and linear modernism. This is clear in his vocal music (choral arrangements as well as songs) and chamber works, which, especially those of the 1930s and 1940s, are characterized by interwar Danish neo-classicism (as in the Serenade ‘Uden reelle hensigter’). His two symphonies reveal his ability to compose on a large scale, with a starting-point in Nielsen’s experimental symphonic writings from the 1920s. He also contributed to the development of a serially influenced Danish modernism (as in the Femdelt Form series).
Præludium og intermezzo, ob, orch, 1931; Concertino, cl, str, 1935; Symfonisk ouverture, 1938; Introduzione grave, str, pf, 1939; Sym. no.1, 1942; Musikantisk ouverture, str, 1945; In temporis vernalis, 1947; Sym. no.2, 1949; Concertino, str, 1960; Femdelt Form III, small orch, 1962; Sine nomine, small orch, 1972; Chaconne, 1974
Choral, orch: Det forjættede land (M.J. Nissen), 1948; Sinfonia proverbiorum, 1958
(b Göttingen, 3 May 1744; d Rotenburg an der Fulda, 26 July 1826). German physician and composer. He took his medical degree at Göttingen, where he established a practice and also lectured in botany at the university. Bürger and the members of the Göttinger Hainbund admired his musical talents and often asked him to set their poetry to music. He published three collections of Lieder mit Melodien (Lübeck and Leipzig, 1775–9), a further 16 lieder in the Göttinger Musenalmanach (1773–85), 11 in Voss’s Musenalmanach (1776–8) and others in various anthologies. Strophic form predominates in these works, and several have attractive melodies, though there are frequent inept progressions in the accompaniments. Weis also published two volumes of Charakteristische englische Tänze (Lübeck, 1777–8). In 1786 he was appointed privy councillor and physician in ordinary to the Count of Hessen-Rotenburg, after which his interest in music seems to have ceased.
A.Strodtmann, ed.: Briefe von und an G.A. Bürger (Berlin, 1874/R)
M.Friedlaender: Das deutsche Lied im 18. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart and Berlin, 1902/R)
E.Ebstein: ‘Bürgers Gedichte in der Musik’, Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, vii (1903–4), 177–98 [incl. list of lieder]
H.Grantzow: Geschichte des Göttinger und des Vossischen Musenalmanachs (Berlin, 1909/R)
P.Graf: G.A. Bürgers Romanzen und Balladen in den Kompositionen seiner Zeitgenossen (diss., U. of Bonn, 1925)
H.Gottwaldt and G.Hahne, eds.: Briefwechsel zwischen Johann Abraham Peter Schulz und Johann Heinrich Voss (Kassel, 1960)
D.C.Ossenkop: The Earliest Settings of German Ballads for Voice and Clavier (diss., Columbia U., 1968)