Johann Gottlieb Graun

Graun studied the violin at the Kreuzschule and possibly at the University of Leipzig. He was enabled to study with the great Tartini when he came to Prague for the coronation festivities associated with Charles VI's ascension; Tartini remained in Prague until 1725. Graun became the Konzertmeister at Merseburg in 1726 or '27 and J.S. Bach visited in 1726. He had his own son, Wilhelm Friedemann study with Graun. During the next few years, Johann Gottlieb made connections with the court in Berlin and by 1732 was a part of the musical enterprise started by Crown Prince Frederick (Frederick The Great). Moving from Ruppin to Rheinsberg, Frederick attracted the Graun brothers and the Bendas to his court. Graun became the Konzertmeister of the opera house in Berlin and remained in service to Frederick until Graun's death. The compositions by Johann G.G. were dense in the contrapuntul style which may have disuaded the solicitation of his music; it was out of style. He was, however, one of the forerunners of the German instrumental music of the Classical era. The genres of his scores included symphonies, sonatas, concertos, concerto grossi, trio sonatas, et cetera. Forms were clearly delineated as was his lucidity in being able to develop a theme. Historically and transitionally, the concertos composed by Graun can be understood as a bridge between the works of Bach and Mozart. ~ Keith Johnson

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