Karl Lichtwark

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Carl Lichtwark

Karl Ludwig Wilhelm Lichtwark (born September 19, 1859 in Kleinenbremen , † January 3, 1931 in Lübeck ) was a German organist and composer .



Lichtwark was the son of the pedagogue Franz Carl Lichtwark (1828-1906). Alfred Lichtwark was his cousin, the painter Paul Lichtwark his brother. His father was in the 1852 Brotherhood of napping house occurred and served as the house had different educational and care facilities, so since 1856 the poor-agricultural school in Seven hooves in Görlitz and from 1859 the rescue house "God hut" in Kleinenbremen where Charles was born. In 1868 the family moved to Lübeck, where the father became head of the rescue house at the Third Fisherman's Shack on the Wakenitz .


Karl Lichtwark was a pupil in the rescue house, attended the Preparatory Museum and then the Lübeck Teachers' Seminar , learned to play the organ with the Marien organist Hermann Jimmerthal , with Karl Häßler and in Berlin with Carl August Haupt .

At the age of 19, Lichtwark was appointed organist at the Petrikirche in Lübeck. As the successor to Johann Daniel Zacharias Burjam , he not only continued his lively concert activity, but also expanded it.

As the successor to his teacher Hermann Jimmerthal, he was appointed organist at the Marienkirche in 1887 . He was to hold this office until his retirement on April 1, 1929. In 1891 he founded the Association for Church Choral Singing for the vocal part of his concerts. For the year-end church services there, he created a prelude for two organs to Now everyone thanks God . In order to facilitate the accompaniment of the choir and soloists, in 1900 he had the organ on the rood screen of St. Mary's Church extended with a two-manual, pneumatic work by the organ builder Emanuel Kemper , while retaining the facade . After the new Marienwerkhaus had been built, he received a new official apartment on its second floor.

Just as Dieterich Buxtehude's evening music was once famous, so it was in 1916 the late summer organ concerts on Wednesday afternoons. In them Lichtwark, whose cornerstone was based on Bach'sWell-Tempered Clavier ”, spread the entire treasure of church music literature. In recognition of Lichtwark's great services to the maintenance of music in Lübeck, the Lübeck Senate decided in the assembly of September 23, 1916 to award him the title of professor on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Association for Church Choral Singing . In particular, the cultivation of classical church music at the church services and the solemn events taking place in St. Mary's Church, as well as the church concerts that he initiated at that time, which were still supported by a steadily growing participation, justified the decision.

In addition to his work as an organist and choir director, Lichtwark has been a diverse teacher at the teachers' seminar and conservatory, where Jan Bender was one of his students, and he has worked as an expert on numerous organ and bell projects.

He died in 1931 and was buried in the Burgtorfriedhof .


Lichtwark was with Mathilde Christiane Henriette, geb. Rooster married. The couple had four children. One of the daughters married Lichtwark's pupil and later organist at St. Nicolai in Mölln , Rudolf Ude.


  • Methodical preparatory exercises for singing according to notes: prepared for school purposes . - 7, unchanged. Ed. - Hamburg; Leipzig: AJ Benjamin, music publisher 1912
  • The three organs in St. Marien zu Lübeck. Lübeck: Borchers 1925


  • Wilhelm steel: music history of Lübeck. Volume II: Sacred Music. Bärenreiter, Kassel and Basel 1952
  • Arndt Schnoor (Hrsg.): Lübecker Orgelbuch , Volume 1: So far unprinted organ works Lübeck organists from four centuries. Lübeck 2000 (Publications of the Lübeck City Library: Series 3: Musikalien, Vol. 10), in it: Fantasy in B minor op. 15 by Karl Lichtwark.
  • Regina Oehlmann, Arndt Schnoor (Hrsg.): Lübeck Organ Book , Volume 2: So far unprinted works by Lübeck composers: for two organs and organ for four hands and pedal. Lübeck 2003 (Publications of the Lübeck City Library: Series 3: Musikalien, Vol. 26), therein: Prelude for two organs to the chorale "Nun danket alle Gott" by Karl Lichtwark
  • Joachim Walter: "This Heaving Ocean of Tones" - Nineteenth Century Organ Practice at St Marien Lübeck. Dissertation. University of Gothenburg 2000 (Studies from the Department of Musicology, no. 60). ISBN 91-85974-54-4

Web links

Commons : Karl Lichtwark  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Fritz Jung: The music in Lübeck. In: Fritz Endres (ed.): History of the free and Hanseatic city of Lübeck. Lübeck 1926, p. 171 ff. (197f.)
  2. ^ Professor Carl Lichtwark. In: Father-city sheets . Year 1916/17, No. 1, edition from October 1, 1916.
predecessor Office successor
Hermann Jimmerthal Organist at St. Mary's of Lübeck
1887 - 1929
Walter Kraft