|Birth: ||Mar. 6, 1793|
|Death: ||Sep. 9, 1832|
Composer, Conductor, Teacher. One of the last of the German classicists, noted for his religious music. Klein was born in Cologne, Germany. He received piano lessons in his youth and studied briefly at the Paris Conservatory (1812 to 1813), though in the essentials of composition he was self-taught. Returning to Cologne from France, he was allowed to conduct amateur concerts at the Cathedral and rose to become its music director, making influential friends in the process. In 1819 Klein was summoned to Berlin by Carl Friedrich Zelter to study his educational methods; he remained there until his death at 39, teaching singing at the Institute for Church Music and at the University. He visited Italy in 1823, where he examined compositions by Renaissance and Baroque masters. Apart from some sonatas and variations for keyboard, Klein's output was devoted to the voice. He was nicknamed "The German Palestrina" but his conservative style was more strongly influenced by Handel. Among his works are the operas "Dido" (1823) and "Ariadne" (1824), the oratorios "Job" (1822), "Jephtha" (1828), "David" (1830), and "Athalia" (c. 1831), three Masses, a Stabat Mater, a Magnificat, and a Pater Noster. His sacred motets for male chorus (two sets, 1828) were especially popular and are still in print. He also wrote over 100 lieder to poets ranging from Goethe and Müller (two songs from "Die schöne Müllerin") to his friend Rellstab. Robert Schumann later criticized the songs for their lack of sophistication but they were well-received in their time. In a frequently cited letter to Klein, Müller declared that his poetry "lived only half a life" without music and that Klein had "penetrated" his verse better than any composer. Müller never knew of Schubert's contemporaneous settings of "Die schöne Müllerin" and "Die Winterreise", and Klein probably didn't either.
(bio by: Bobb Edwards)
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Alter Domfriedhof St. Hedwig
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Mar 22, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87223872
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