Johann Theile

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Johann Theile
Johannes Voorhout : Domestic music scene, 1674; the viol player on the left was long mistaken for Johann Theile
Opera am Gänsemarkt, detail from Paul Heinecken's view of the city in 1726

Johann Theile (born July 29, 1646 in Naumburg (Saale) ; † June 22, 1724 there ) was a German composer and conductor . Part's compositional works include singspiele , operas , masses , psalms , passions , arias and canzonets , sonatas and motets . In addition, he wrote music theory writings, especially on counterpoint .


After studying law in Leipzig and Halle , he took composition lessons in Weißenfels . His teacher here was Heinrich Schütz ; Theile is considered to be one of his last students. His St. Matthew Passion was written in Lübeck in 1673. In 2008 a portrait of Theile was discovered in the Lübeck city library .

He was employed as an organist in Stettin and Lübeck . He also had an outstanding reputation as a music educator and teacher. Theile himself, as Johann Mattheson reports , regarded Dieterich Buxtehude (who, however, was nine years older and died well before Theile) as his most important pupil.

In the years 1673 to 1678 he held the position of court conductor to Duke Christian Albrecht of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf . In 1677 operas were performed in the refectory of Hamburg Cathedral . One year later, the opera on Gänsemarkt in Hamburg - the first bourgeois opera house in Germany - opened with his Singspiel Adam and Eva .

Between 1685 and 1689 he held the position of Kapellmeister in Wolfenbüttel ; here he succeeded Johann Rosenmüller . Further stations of his work were at the opera in Naumburg and with Christian I (Sachsen-Merseburg) . After Berlin - he also worked as a music teacher here - he returned to his hometown in 1694 as musical advisor to the Duke of Zeitz , Moritz Wilhelm (Sachsen-Zeitz) .


  • St. Matthew Passion - Lüneburg 1673 (rec.Harmonia Mundi 1984, London Baroque, dir. Charles Medlam)
  • Adam and Eve - The created, fallen and raised again man. Hamburg 1678 (sacred opera)
  • Orontes, the lost and found Royal Prince of Candia, in a singing game. Hamburg 1678
  • David's and Jonathan's Faithful Love Confirmation , 1685 (attributed)
  • The Birth of Christ ( Christmas History )
  • Christian Reuter's Passion Thoughts on the history of the bitter suffering and death of our Lord. Berlin 1708 (Passion Oratorio; only the text preserved)
  • Beatus vir qui timetable Dominum (psalm motet)
  • Domine ne in furore tuo (psalm)
  • Cum invocarem (psalm)
  • The soul of Christ sanctify me (cantata for soprano, violin, 2 violas da gamba and basso continuo)
  • Musical art book , sonatas.


  • Robert Eitner:  Theile, Johann . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 37, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1894, pp. 670-672.
  • Willy Maxton: Johann Theile. Tübingen, Univ., Diss., 1926 (Reprint: Wolfenbüttel: Dr. Josef Floßdorf, 2004 [Extent: XIV, 154 pages])
  • Stephen Rose: A Lübeck music auction, 1695. In: Schütz-Jahrbuch 30 (2008), 171–190
  • Kerala J. Snyder: Dieterich Buxtehude: organist in Lübeck. Schirmer Books, New York 1987, 1993. 551 pp. ISBN 0-02-873080-1 (pp. 110 ff. On parts)

Individual evidence

  1. Hans-Hennig Grote (2005) Wolfenbüttel Castle. Residence of the Dukes of Braunschweig and Lüneburg, p. 181. ISBN 3-937664-32-7
  3. Hans-Hennig Grote (2005) Wolfenbüttel Castle. Residence of the Dukes of Braunschweig and Lüneburg, p. 181. ISBN 3-937664-32-7

Web links

Commons : Johann Theile  - Collection of images, videos and audio files