Johann Daniel Müller (musician)

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Johann Daniel Müller (born February 10, 1716 in Wissenbach , Nassau (today part of Eschenburg ); † not before 1786 probably in Riga ), also: Daniel Müller , Daniel, Elias, Elias Artista, Messias, DS, S. was a violinist , Violist and concert director , then radical pietist author and “ prophet ” of the Unification Church “Revelation of Christ”.


In 1726 he came to the Nassau court in Dillenburg , where he learned to play the violin. At the Wittgenstein court in Berleburg (from 1733) he got to know the radical Pietist literature.

Around 1735 he met Johann Sebastian Bach in Leipzig, who recommended him to the court conductor Johann Theodor Roemhildt in Merseburg . From 1737 to 1739 he was the violinist and violist court musician in Darmstadt ; then he devoted himself to reading a. a. Jakob Boehmes . In 1744 he was appointed court musician, cantor and school clerk in Hachenburg and married Maria Ursula, widowed Schott, née Windecker (1705–1759), a relative of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's mother, Catharina Elisabeth Goethe , née. Textor.

In 1746 he moved to Frankfurt am Main . As concert director (since 1747) he published the complete Hessen-Hanauische Choral- Buch (2 parts, 1754) there. Johann Daniel Müller has been mentioned as the first violinist of the Frankfurt Chapel since 1755.

The young Goethe may have met him during performances in the Sankt-Katharinen-Kirche in Frankfurt , where Goethe's family had their pews. Müller's book Elias with the Alcoran of Mahomeds, which is open to the Koran . In the revelation of Jesus Christ. […] (1772) was in the library of Goethe's father, the Imperial Councilor Johann Caspar Goethe ; Goethe's orientalist advisor Heinrich Friedrich von Diez owned two copies.

After the death of his wife (1759) of the visionary enlightened Mueller, who felt called to recurring Prophet Elias (Elias Artista) and Paganism left ( paganism ), Judaism, Christianity and Islam uniting church "revelation of Christ" founded, Frankfurt am Main traveled through northern and eastern Germany, Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Russia.

After Müller's visit to Dillenburg, attested to in 1786 - the judicial councilor Karl von Knoblauch zu Hatzbach mentions him in a letter to Georg Christoph Lichtenberg - his trace is lost. He is said to have died in the vicinity of Russian late rose cruisers in Riga.


His at least 27 books, some of them very extensive, ensured him, who had deferred his high musical virtuosity in favor of his religious vocation, international reputation. Of the theosophically oriented Illuminati in Avignon , a conservative, Swedenborg-friendly secret society around Abbé de Brumore ( Philibert Guyton de Morveau ) and Dom Antoine-Joseph Pernety, to be distinguished from the radical Enlightenment "Illuminati" around Johann Adam Weishaupt , Müller became a critical one Sympathizer Emanuel Swedenborgs , revered as "Élie Artiste" (Elias Artista). Reinhard Breymayer first pointed out the identity of this mysterious "Élie Artiste" with Johann Daniel Müller in research in 1981.

Müller pleaded for a dogma-critical universalism, but claimed for himself the authority to interpret the documents of revelation Bible , Talmud and Koran . Although he himself often proceeds allegorically and rejects the exegesis of Lutheran clergymen such as Friedrich Christoph Oetinger , who are committed to the letter, - in the writing Elias with the teaching of the Talmud and the rabbis in their true sense and understanding (1772), he describes Oetinger as "the priest of Satan “- he also remains intolerant of free spirits like Hermann Samuel Reimarus , because they completely reject the scriptural basis. With Reimarus, whose "fragments" leading to the fragments dispute had been edited by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing , he equates Lessing with ease. For him, Moses Mendelssohn is “a runaway from the synagogue of the fathers”.


  • Elias Artista With the Philosopher's Stone . 1770.
  • The Crowned Philosopher in Occident, or Anonimi's Notes on the Phedon of Mosis Mendelson [Moses Mendelssohn]. 1771.
  • The victory of the truth of God's word over the lies of Wolfenbüttel's Bibliothecarii, [Gotthold] Ephraim Lessing, and his fragment writer [ie Hermann Samuel Reimarus] in their blasphemy against Jesus Christ, his disciples, apostles, and the whole Bible. 1780.

German translation, anonymously edited by Johann Daniel Müller , of a book going back to Bachja ben Josef ibn Pakuda (Bahja [Ben-Jusuf] ibn Paqûda):

  • Rabbi Bechai [ben Joseph]:

The Book of Duties of the Heart / From Rabbi Bechai, our great and holy teacher, the son Joseph, judge in Spain. Written in Arabic and translated into our Hebrew language by the wise Rabbi Juda, the son of Chabun [ or rather of Tibbon] , with an explanation [of] Elias [that is, Johann Daniel Müller] . [ Kitāb al-Hidāya ilā Farā'iḍ al-Qulūb ; probably written around 1080 in Saragossa . Translated from Arabic into Hebrew by Rabbi Jehuda ben Saul ibn Tibbon in 1161 under the title Chôbôt hal-Lebabôt . Translated from Hebrew into German possibly by David Friedrich Megerlin, with a “previous memory” and notes by Elias, ie Johann Daniel Müller.] The memory of the righteous be in a blessing. First part. [supra] 1774. -695, [I] p. 8 °.

This partial edition from 1774 is interesting as the German translation of the Jewish adaptation of a Sufi Islamic work written in Arabic, provided with a “previous memory” and explanatory notes and published by a radical pietist . The edition contains the first four of the ten “gates” (“Scha'arim”), i. H. Chapter, the Hebrew original.


  • Reinhard Breymayer : An unknown opponent of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. The former Frankfurt concert director Johann Daniel Müller from Wissenbach / Nassau (1716 to after 1785), alchemist in the vicinity of [Johann Wolfgang] Goethe, Kabbalist , separatist chiliast , friend of the Illuminati of Avignon ("Elias / Elias Artista"). In: Dietrich Meyer (ed.): Pietism - Herrnhutertum - Awakening Movement. Festschrift for Erich Beyreuther . Köln [Pulheim-Brauweiler] and Bonn 1982 ( Series of the Association of Rhenish Church History , Volume 70), p 109-145 [to S. 108: " silhouette of [Johann] Daniel Müller"].
  • Reinhard Breymayer: A radical pietist around the young Goethe. The Frankfurt concert director Johann Daniel Müller alias Elias / Elias Artista (1716 to after 1786). In: Pietism and Modern Times , Volume 9 (1983). Göttingen (1984), pp. 180-237.
  • Reinhard Breymayer: Elie Artiste: Johann Daniel Müller de Wissenbach / Nassau (1716 jusqu'après 1785). Un aventurier entre le Piétisme radical et l'Illuminisme. In: Université de Pise. Istituto di Lingua e Letteratura francese / Université d'Angers. Center de Recherches sur l'Europe du XVIIIe siècle; Université de Clermont II. Center de Recherches Révolutionnaires et Romantiques: Actes du Colloque International 'Lumières et Illuminisme'. Textes réunis by Mario Matucci . Pisa 1985 ( Critica e Storia Letteraria , Volume 9), pp. 65-84.
  • Reinhard Breymayer: Elias Artista: Johann Daniel Müller from Wissenbach / Nassau (1716 to after 1785), an autodidact from the lower class as a reader and author of religious writings. In: Hans Erich Bödeker, Gérald Chaix, Patrice Veit (eds.): Le livre religieux et ses pratiques. Etudes sur l'histoire du livre religieux en Allemagne et en France à l'Époque modern. Dealing with the religious book . Studies on the history of the religious book in Germany and France in the early modern period . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1991 ( publications by the Max Planck Institute for History , Volume 101), pp. 45–72.
  • Reinhard Breymayer: 'Elias Artista': Johann Daniel Müller from Wissenbach / Nassau, a critical friend of [Emanuel] Swedenborg , and his effect on the Swabian Pietists F [riedrich] C [hristoph] Oetinger and P [hilipp] M [atthäus] Hahn . In: Literature and Culture in the German Southwest between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. New studies, dedicated to W [alter] E [rnst] Schäfer on the occasion of his 65th birthday . Edited by Wilhelm Kühlmann. Rodopi, Amsterdam; Atlanta, G [eorgi] a 1995 ( Chloe. Beihefte zum Daphnis , Vol. 22), pp. 329-371.
  • Reinhard Breymayer:  Müller, Johann Daniel. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 18, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-428-00199-0 , p. 351 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Reinhard Breymayer: A dillenburger with Johann Sebastian Bach. Johann Daniel Müller from Wissenbach / Nassau (born 1716). In: Bachwoche Dillenburg e. V. (ed.), Wolfgang Schult, Henrik Verkerk (editor): Bach & Handel. Yearbook of the Bach Week Dillenburg , Volume 2. Katzbichler, Frasdorf, Munich, Salzburg 1997, pp. 9-10.
  • Reinhard Breymayer: An unknown Koran explanation in the library of Goethe's father: "Elias with the Alcoran Mahomeds ". About the rediscovered work of the radical pietist Johann Daniel Müller from Wissenbach (Nassau). A find report. Heck, Tübingen 2004, ISBN 3-924249-43-1 . - See the review by Roland Edighoffer in: Aries. (Brill, Leiden / Boston), Volume 5, 2005, No. 1, pp. 134-136.
  • Reinhard Breymayer:  Johann Daniel Müller (musician). In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 6, Bautz, Herzberg 1993, ISBN 3-88309-044-1 , Sp. 255-267.
  • Reinhard Breymayer: Müller, (Johann) Daniel, also: Daniel, Elias (Artista), Messias. In: [Walther] Killy. Literary dictionary. Authors and works from the German-speaking cultural area. 2nd Edition. Edited by Wilhelm Kühlmann, Volume 8. Berlin, New York 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-022046-9 , pp. 382-383.

Individual evidence

  1. Reinhard Breymayer suspects “Daniel Salvator” or “Daniel Seligmacher” as meaning for these acronyms, since Müller saw himself as the savior of the world. According to him, one should also think of meanings such as “Daniel Sapiens / Daniel Sagax / Daniel Sciens”, “the wise / sharp-looking, clever / knowing Daniel”; this could also resonate with Müller's birthplace, Wissenbach. The term “seer” would also be appropriate for Müller's self-portrayal as a prophet.
  2. "Les Illuminés d'Avignon", see. fr: Illuminés d'Avignon
  3. Cf. fr: Antoine-Joseph Pernety