Albert Methfessel

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Albert Methfessel

Johann Albrecht Gottlieb Methfessel (born October 6, 1785 in Stadtilm , † March 23, 1869 in Heckenbeck ) was a German composer and conductor .


Albert Methfessel was born as the 13th child of a cantor and organist in Stadtilm, Thuringia (Christian name: Johann Albrecht Gottlieb ).

From 1801 he attended high school in Rudolstadt , studied theology and classical literature in Leipzig from 1807 to 1810 . Since he saw his real destiny in music, he began vocal training in Dresden with the financial support of the regent of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt , Karoline von Hessen-Homburg . From 1810 to 1811 he worked as a chamber singer at the court theater in Rudolstadt and as a singing and instrument teacher. He was acquainted with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and taught singing to Friedrich Schiller's daughter Emilie.

Albert Methfessel, 1864.

When in 1813 patriots in Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt called for a fight against the Napoleonic occupation, Methfessel did not want to stand aside. He dedicated the song Out into the Distance to the volunteer corps set up there . He lived in Rudolstadt until 1816. In 1818 he published the General Commers and Songbook . From 1823 Methfessel was a music teacher and conductor in Hamburg , where he founded the Hamburger Liedertafel on April 19, 1823 . During this time he composed the Hamburg hymn Hammonia , which was performed publicly for the first time on April 19, 1828 for the 5th anniversary of the Hamburg Liedertafel. From 1832 he was the successor of Gottlob Wiedebein's court conductor at the opera house in Braunschweig . A hearing problem led to his early retirement in 1841 and ended his professional career. In 1865 he received an honorary doctorate from the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Jena .

Methfessel relief in Braunschweig
Methfessel relief in the obelisk in Stadtilm

Albert Methfessel died on March 23, 1869 in Heckenbeck .

He was married to the opera singer Louise Methfessel nee Lehmann (1818-1854).


While Methfessel left nothing permanent in the fields of opera and oratorio , his role in choral and songwriting was groundbreaking. With a new form of popular and student singing, he was considered a role model for his contemporaries.


The melody of the sweet dream in silent night was of Kleo Pleyer for the composition of the Nazi fight song We are the army of the swastika used.


Music festival

His hometown Stadtilm organized a music festival for his 150th birthday.

Memorial stones

There are memorial stones on the market square and on the Heckenbeck cemetery.


A plaque on the house in Braunschweig reminds of his stay.


In his last place of residence, Heckenbeck , the main street was named after him. There are also streets in Berlin-Kreuzberg , Hamburg , Braunschweig , Rudolstadt , Würzburg, Munich, Bad Gandersheim and Stadtilm that bear his name.


  • Thuringian Open Air Museum Hohenfelden (Ed.): On the way in the Ilm valley. Interesting facts and information for tourists and locals . MFB-Verlagsgesellschaft, Eisenach 1998, ISBN 3-931431-10-X , Johann Albert (Albrecht) Gottlieb Methfessel, p. 103 .
  • Friedhelm Brusniak:  Methfessel, Albert. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 17, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-428-00198-2 , p. 230 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Josef Sittard:  Methfessel, Albert Gottlieb . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 21, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1885, pp. 511-514.
  • Alfred Baumgartner: Propylaea World of Music - The Composers - A lexicon in five volumes . Propylaen Verlag, Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-549-07830-7 , pp. 32/33, volume 4 .
  • Friedrich Hofmann: Memories of the oldest Thuringian nightingale from: The gazebo . Ernst Keil, Leipzig 1869, p. 373/376, issue 24 .

Web links

Commons : Albert Methfessel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The family had settled in Stadtilm since around 1500 and originally came from Breisgau , and numerous musicians also emerged from this branch of the family.
  2. a b c Thuringian Open Air Museum Hohenfelden (ed.): On the way in the Ilm valley . 1998, ISBN 3-931431-10-X , pp. 103 .
  3. Karl-Josef Kutsch , Leo Riemens : Large singer lexicon . Unchanged edition. KG Saur, Bern, 1993, second volume M – Z, Sp. 1957, ISBN 3-907820-70-3