From Schütz to Orff: Germany is the land of composers

Between 1943 and 1947 the author Thomas Mann wrote a novel about the German psyche. The profession of his main character? A composer. Germany has been a focal point of music composition since the baroque period. The three Bs – Bach, Beethoven, Brahms – are just the tip of the iceberg.

For many people, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was the greatest composer of all time. The St. Matthew Passion, the Brandenburg Concertos and The Well-Tempered Clavier: these and many other Bach works still provide musicians and composers with inspiration, even today.

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Weill's most famous work is The Threepenny Opera, which he wrote in 1928 – whilst only trying to compose 'falsely' in an artificial manner. By 1932 it had been performed in 18 languages.

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Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) has a reputation as the angry Titan of the Classical music period. But Bonn's most famous son, writer of the momentous Fifth Symphony, also composed the touching piano piece Für Elise. His Ode to Joy has been the European anthem since 1972.

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You just have to love him! Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (1756-1791), the composer of The Magic Flute and Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Mozart took Viennese Classicism to its height and wrote some of the most delightful melodies in the history of music.

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During the 1920s Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) symbolised everything that was progressive in German music. He explored the potential of radio, electronic music and jazz, and he was feted at the Donaueschingen Festival.

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The Saxony composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) is one of the most influential high Romantic composers. He is still remembered around the world as a genius who created monumental music dramas.

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Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was a master of modern instrumentation and innovative tone colours. He earned international recognition with operas such as Salome and Elektra, as well as symphonic poems such as An Alpine Symphony and Also sprach Zarathustra.

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