Hermann Grabner

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Hermann Grabner (born May 12, 1886 in Graz , † July 3, 1969 in Bozen ) was a German - Austrian music theorist , composer and music teacher .


During his law studies, which he completed in 1909 with a doctorate to become Dr. jur. graduated, he also studied music with the main subjects violin and viola with Leopold Suchsland in Graz until 1910 and played part-time as a violist in the theater orchestra. Then studied Grabner from the autumn of 1910 at the Conservatory of Leipzig with Max Reger and Hans Sitt music. In 1912 he worked as Max Reger's assistant in Meiningen , and in 1913 he became a theory teacher at the Strasbourg Conservatory . After participating in the war in the Austrian army, he taught theory and composition at the Mannheim University of Music and the Heidelberg Music Academy from 1919 to 1924 ( Wilhelm Maler was one of his students here). He then taught composition at the Leipzig Conservatory, where Hugo Distler , Artur Immisch , Werner Neumann and the film music composer Miklós Rózsa were among his students. From 1930 he was also the university music director . In 1932 he was appointed professor in Leipzig.

Grabner belonged to the ethnically -minded, anti-Semitic Kampfbund for German culture founded in 1928 . After the seizure of power of the Nazis Grabner had since 1934 a member of the National Socialist Teachers' Association and was advisory board of the Reich Music Chamber . During the Nazi era he composed numerous pieces that conformed to the system, such as the 1933 Fackelträger-Lieder , dedicated to my SA comrades, or the 1935 confession song Stand around the standard based on a text by Baldur von Schirach . Other compositions followed, which are missing in the catalog raisonné compiled by Wolfgang Suppan for the Styrian Music Lexicon or which have been replaced by other titles. From 1938 to 1946 Grabner taught as the successor to Paul Hindemith at the Berlin Music Academy . In addition, he worked in the main editing of music at the Rosenberg Office .

After his discharge from college in the summer of 1946, Grabner initially lived as a freelance composer and taught at the Berlin-Zehlendorf Adult Education Center . After being denazified on March 16, 1950, he taught at the City Conservatory of Berlin (West) from 1950 to 1951 before he retired. He died during one of his numerous holiday stays in Tyrol in Bolzano.

In addition to an opera , Grabner composed numerous large orchestral works, chamber music, choral works, songs , two motets and several organ works. Of particular importance are his numerous textbooks, some of which have been reissued over and over again, such as general music theory .

Selection of works

Works for wind orchestra

  • Perkeo-Suite , op.15 (1925)
  • Guardian song for male choir, wind orchestra, timpani and harp, op.26
  • Castle Music , op.44 (1937)
  • Firlefei Variations , op.46 (1937)
  • I am a soldier, valera , op. 54, variations for wind orchestra
  • Sword saying for male choir and wind orchestra, op.55
  • Concerto grosso , op.57

Other works (selection)

  • The Judge Opera based on a text by CF Meyer (1930)
  • Trio for violin, viola and violoncello o.Op. (Examination piece in 1912)
  • Old Style Concert for three violins op.1
  • On post for baritone and orchestra op.4 (manuscript)
  • The 103rd Psalm for alto, mixed choir and orchestra, op.6
  • Prelude and Fugue for String Quartet op.11 (manuscript)
  • Dialogue for alto, viola and organ op.16
  • Media vita in morte sumus , antiphon arrangement for organ op.24
  • Fantasy on the liturgical pater noster for organ op.26
  • Lichtwanderer for male choir and orchestra op.30
  • Hymnus Christ is now available for organ op.32
  • Alpine Suite for Orchestra op.34
  • God of all things origin motet for mixed choir op.42
  • Symphonic Dances for Large Orchestra, Op. 43b
  • Christmas motets for mixed choir op.45
  • Five songs for mixed choir op.51
  • Toccata in F major for organ op.53
  • Divertimento for small symphony orchestra op.56
  • Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 59
  • "Fackelträger", songs of the new empire, composed for male choir based on poems by Heinrich Anacker , Kistner & Siegel Verlag, Leipzig 1934
  • Organ chorale books for various Evangelical Lutheran regional churches (after 1946)

Most of Grabner's compositions have been published by Kistner & Siegel.


  • Manual of functional harmony theory , ISBN 3-7649-2112-9
  • General music theory , ISBN 3-7618-0061-4
  • The art of organ building , Max Hesses Verlag, Berlin, 1958.
  • Musical work review , Kistner & Siegel & Co, Lippstadt, 1957.


  • Philipp Pelster: Hermann Grabner: pedagogue, music theorist and composer , Cologne: Dohr, 2015, ISBN 978-3-86846-127-5

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Archive of the University of Music "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig: Graduation certificate
  2. a b c 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. 194.
  3. Fred K. Prieberg : Handbook of German Musicians 1933–1945 , CD-Rom-Lexikon, Kiel 2004, p. 2.463.
  4. Fred K. Prieberg: Handbook of German Musicians 1933–1945 , p. 2.466.
  5. Fred K. Prieberg: Handbook of German Musicians 1933–1945 , p. 2,471, further examples p. 2,463–2,471.
  6. ^ Philipp Pelster: Hermann Grabner (1886-1969) and his first composition for organ "Media vita in morte sumus" , master's thesis in musicology (unprinted), Karlsruhe 2010.
  7. Title based on Wolfgang Suppan, original line-up of the printed edition approx. 1943: for Air Force Orchestra