Hans Chemin-Petit

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Hans Helmuth Chemin-Petit (born July 24, 1902 in Potsdam ; † April 12, 1981 in Berlin ) was a German composer , conductor and music teacher .


The son of Hans Chemin-Petit d. Ä. and a concert singer studied violoncello with Hugo Becker and composition with Paul Juon at the Musikhochschule Berlin from 1920 to 1926 . He began his musical career as a cellist. In 1929 he was able to celebrate his first national compositional successes with the chamber opera Der gefangene Vogel at the Duisburg Opera Festival and in 1933 with the world premiere of his 1st Symphony in Dresden under Fritz Busch . In addition to Busch, Wilhelm Furtwängler , Siegmund von Hausegger and Hans Joachim Moser were among his sponsors. From 1929 he taught at the Academy for Church and School Music in Berlin.

After the " seizure of power " by the National Socialists , Chemin-Petit was part of the NS-Altherrenbund, which from 1938 called itself the NS-Altherrenbund der Deutschen Studenten. He also became a member of the NSV and the National Socialist Company Cell Organization (NSBO), to which he no longer belonged in 1938. He was appointed a member of the German composers' work examination committee. On October 7, 1934, he was able to perform excerpts from the music for Shakespeare's Midsummer Night 's Dream by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic . In 1936 he was appointed professor at the Berlin Conservatory . On May 24, 1938, Chemin-Petit's cantata An die Liebe was performed as part of the Reichsmusiktage . In 1939 he took over the management of the Reblingschen Gesangsverein and the cathedral choir in Magdeburg , in 1943 of the Berlin Philharmonic Choir . In the final phase of World War II , he was briefly a member of the Volkssturm from December 6, 1944 .

In 1945 he was hired again at the Berlin Conservatory and was also head of the Potsdam Municipal Choir. He gave lessons in music theory, composition and choral conducting. In 1945 he founded the Collegium musicum in Potsdam. In 1965 he was given the post of deputy director of the Hochschule für Musik, which he held until his retirement in 1969. In 1963 he was appointed a member of the Akademie der Künste , where in 1968 he took over the directorate of the music department.

Hans Chemin-Petit was considered one of the most important choir conductors of his time and made a special contribution to the Berlin Philharmonic Choir, which he directed from 1943 to 1981. In addition to standard works from the Baroque , Classical and Romantic periods , contemporary music was an important cornerstone of his repertoire. He has directed numerous world premieres of works by composers such as Paul Hindemith , Johann Nepomuk David , Boris Blacher , Rudolf Wagner-Régeny , Günter Bialas and Harald Genzmer , as well as his own compositions.

He was buried in the Luisenstadt cemetery in Berlin.


Audio language

Chemin-Petit's main works can be found in the field of choral symphonic vocal music. Particularly noteworthy here are his cantatas and psalm settings . He also wrote orchestral works, operas , chamber music and numerous smaller pieces for choir a cappella. He was a conservative composer whose works are kept tonal throughout . What is striking about many of his compositions is a great predilection for contrapuntal forms such as canon , fugue and passacaglia , which he was able to create with sovereign craftsmanship right down to the most complex forms. The Chemin-Petits style combines various influences from Heinrich Schütz and Johann Sebastian Bach to Anton Bruckner and Max Reger to Paul Hindemith and can be characterized overall as neoclassicism rooted in the tradition of German late Romanticism , in which archaic and modern elements come together.

Works (selection)


  • "Der Gefangene Vogel" , lyrical play for people or puppets (Libretto: Karla Höcker; 1927, premiered Berlin 1927)
  • "King Nicolo" , opera in 7 pictures (Libretto: Hans Chemin-Petit after Frank Wedekind ; 1959, WP Aachen 1962)
  • "Die Komödiantin" , cheerful opera in 3 pictures (Libretto: Hans Chemin-Petit after Heinz Coubier; 1965, premiered in Coburg 1970)
  • "Die Rivalinnen" , cheerful chamber opera (Libretto: Hans Chemin-Petit and Wolfgang Poch after Gian Francesco Loredano; 1969, premiered in Berlin 1984)
  • "Kassandra" , drama in 2 pictures with preface and epilogue (Libretto: Hans Chemin-Petit after Aeschylus ; 1980, premier Berlin 1982)

Vocal music

  • "From the vanity of the world" , cantata based on Andreas Gryphius for baritone and chamber orchestra (1935)
  • "We are the workers" , cantata based on Rainer Maria Rilke for soprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra (1944)
  • "Psalm Triptych" , 1962 subsequently summarized from:
    • "The 90th Psalm" for baritone, mixed choir and orchestra (1953)
    • "The 150th Psalm" for mixed choir and orchestra (1954)
    • "The 98th Psalm" for mixed choir and orchestra (1962)
  • "Prooemion" after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe for mixed choir and organ (1960) or wind instruments and percussion (1961)
  • "Summa vitae" , cantata based on Kurt Ihlenfeld and Psalm 130, 1 for mixed choir and chamber orchestra (1964)
  • "Symphonic cantata" based on the words of the preacher Solomon for alto, mixed choir and orchestra (1966)
  • "Introit and Hymn" based on Psalm 148 for mixed choir, organ, wind instruments, harp and percussion (1969)
  • numerous motets, hymns, songs and madrigals for a cappella choir

Orchestral music

  • Concerto for violoncello and orchestra (1931)
  • Symphony No. 1 in A minor (1932)
  • Orchestra prologue (1939)
  • Orchestra Concerto in D major (1944)
  • Symphony No. 2 in C major (1949)
  • Intrada e Passacaglia (1963)
  • Concerto for organ, string orchestra and timpani (1963)
  • Music for orchestra 1968 (1968)
  • Concerto for violin and orchestra (1971)
  • Concerto for recorder (f ') and harpsichord with string orchestra and percussion (1973)
  • Concerto symphonico for orchestra (1976)
  • Serene Suite for Orchestra (1980)

Chamber music

  • 2 string quartets, in E minor (1925) and G minor (1926)
  • Small suite for 9 solo instruments based on the music for the puppet show Dr. Johannes Faust (1938)
  • Old Style Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon (1943)
  • 2 solo sonatas for recorder (f '), in F (1956) and in d (1960)
  • Quintet for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon (1948)
  • Sonata in d for recorder (f ') and organ in d minor (1964)


  • Marianne Buder, Dorette Gonschorek (eds.): Hans Chemin-Petit. Consideration of a lifetime achievement. for his 75th birthday on July 24, 1977. Stapp, Berlin 1977, ISBN 3-8777-6519-X .
  • Marianne Buder, Dorette Gonschorek (eds.): "Tradition without Schlendrian". 100 Years of the Berlin Philharmonic Choir, 1882 to 1982. Stapp, Berlin 1982, ISBN 3-87776-509-2 , pp. 146–217, 275–278.
  • Barbara Fischer: Hans Chemin-Petit - An artist in the field of tension of politics , Verlag Dohr, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-86846-144-2
  • Vera Grützner: Hans Chemin-Petit, 1902–1981. Documents on life and work. Henschel, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-89487-212-8 .
  • Roland Thimme: Black Moon Night . Authentic diaries report 1933–1953. Hentrich & Hentrich, Berlin / Teetz 2009, ISBN 978-3-938485-96-5 , therein: “Hans Chemin-Petit. A musician with integrity in the political arena , p. 293ff.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h Fred K. Prieberg : Handbook of German Musicians 1933–1945 , CD-Rom-Lexikon, Kiel 2004, p. 882.
  2. ^ Roland Thimme: "Black Moon Night ".
  3. Vera Grützner: "Hans Chemin-Petit", p. 138.
  4. ^ Roland Thimme: "Schwarzmondnacht", p. 303.
  5. ^ Roland Thimme: "Schwarzmondnacht", p. 306f.
  6. ^ Roland Thimme: "Schwarzmondnacht", p. 318.
  7. ^ Ernst Klee : The culture lexicon for the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-10-039326-5 , p. 97.
  8. ^ Roland Thimme: "Schwarzmondnacht", p. 302.
  9. Information from the Office of the Federal President