Heinrich Marschner

Heinrich August Marschner (16 August 1795 – 14 December 1861) was the most important composer of German opera between Weber and Wagner.[1][2]

Heinrich Marschner 1
Heinrich Marschner, lithograph after a drawing by F. A. Jung, c. 1830


Marschner was born in Zittau and was originally intended for a legal career. After a meeting with Beethoven around 1815–16, he decided to devote himself to music and became a private music teacher in Bratislava. From 1821 he worked as a stage composer and conductor at the municipal theatres in Dresden (from 1821), Leipzig (from 1827), and the Court Theatre at Hanover (from 1830), where the opera Hans Heiling (1833) established his name among the leading German opera composers of the time.[3] He died in Hanover.


Marschner was widely regarded as one of the most important composers in Europe from about 1830 until the end of the 19th century.[1] He was a rival of Weber and friend of Beethoven and Mendelssohn. His operas often contain thematic material based on folksong, and this folk-influenced genre had begun with Weber's Der Freischütz (1821). The last of his operas, Austin, was first staged in 1852. It was not very well received, and later the increasingly renowned Wagner overshadowed him.

Robert Schumann praised Marschner's piano trios lavishly.[4] Marschner did not just toss off these works as an afterthought, but clearly devoted considerable time and effort to writing them. He gave the title "Grand Trio" to each of his works for piano, violin and cello, indicative of the importance he attached to them. In these pieces, one finds all of the emotions prevalent in the Romantic movement during the mid-19th century.

To the extent that Marschner is still remembered, it is largely for his operas Hans Heiling (1833), Der Vampyr (1828) and Der Templer und die Jüdin (1829), extremely popular in his lifetime. Marschner's ability to depict supernatural horror by musical means is especially evident in the first two operas as well as in some of his ballads, such as "Die Monduhr" (c. 1839).

Next to his operas, Marschner's most significant musical contribution is to the Lied. The best of his works in this form are comparable with those by Carl Loewe. He also wrote a considerable amount of chamber music, including seven piano trios, as well as unaccompanied male choruses that were very popular in the nineteenth century. While Marschner's operas strongly influenced Wagner, his chamber music, songs, and his cantata Klänge aus Osten (1842) were admired by Schumann, whose cantata Paradise and the Peri (1843) shows the older composer's influence. Marschner's Bagatelles for guitar (1814) have been taken up lately by some guitarists, and some of his chamber music is still very occasionally played. Among his operas, Hans Heiling and especially Der Vampyr have been adapted and revived in recent years with considerable success.

Selected works

Incidental music (Music to plays)

Chamber music

  • Piano trio No. 1 in A minor, Op. 29
  • Piano trio No. 2 in G minor, Op. 111
  • Piano trio No. 3 in F minor, Op. 121
  • Piano trio No. 4 in D major, Op. 135
  • Piano trio No. 5 in D minor, Op. 138
  • Piano trio No. 6 in C minor, Op. 148
  • Piano trio No. 7 in F major, Op. 167
  • Piano quartet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 36
  • Piano quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 158

Solo music

  • Douze Bagatelles pour la Guitarre, Op. 4


  1. ^ a b "Marschner's Hans Heiling From Vienna", WQXR, 26 November 2015
  2. ^ "Heinrich Marschner" by John Mucci and John Lanigan-O'Keeffe, OperaGlass, Stanford University
  3. ^ Stanley Sadie (ed.): The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music (London: Macmillan, 1988), p. 466.
  4. ^ "Piano Trio No. 5 in D minor, Op. 138", Edition Silvertrust
  • Some of the information on this page appears on the website of Edition Silvertrust but permission has been granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
  • Heinrich Marschner Biography; list of operas and singspiels.
  • Hughes, Derek (July 1998). "Wie die Hans Heilings: Weber, Marschner, and Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus". Cambridge Opera Journal. 10 (2): 179–204. doi:10.1017/S0954586700004924.
  • Meyer, Stephen (July 2000). "Marschner's Villains, Monomania, and the Fantasy of Deviance". Cambridge Opera Journal. 12 (2): 109–34. doi:10.1017/S0954586700001099.
  • Münzer, Georg (1901). Heinrich Marschner. Berühmte Musiker (vol. 12) (in German). Berlin: Harmonie, Verlagsgesellschaft für Literatur und Kunst.
  • Palmer, Allen Dean: Heinrich August Marschner, 1795–1861. His life and stage works. Ann Arbor 1980
  • Weber, Brigitta: Heinrich Marschner. Königlicher Hofkapellmeister in Hannover. Hannover: Niedersächsische Staatstheater 1995. (Prinzenstraße. 5) ISBN 3-931266-01-X
  • Von der Lucretia zum Vampyr. Neue Quellen zu Marschner. Dokumente zur Entstehung und Rezeption der Lucretia. Vollständige Edition des Reise-Tagebuchs von 1826 bis 1828. Anmerkungen zu Marschners journalistischem Wirken. Hrsg. und kommentiert von Till Gerrit Waidelich. Tutzing: Schneider 1996. ISBN 3-7952-0837-8
  • Heinrich August Marschner. Bericht über das Zittauer Marschner-Symposium. Ein Symposium des Instituts für Kulturelle Infrastruktur Sachsen. Hrsg. von Allmuth Behrendt und Matthias Theodor Vogt. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag 1998. (Kulturelle Infrastruktur. Bd. 5) ISBN 3-931922-22-7
  • Reclams Opernführer. Reclam-Verlag 1994, ISBN 3-15-010406-8

External links

1828 in music

This article is about music-related events in 1828.

1833 in music

This article is about music-related events in 1833.

Adolf Eduard Marschner

Adolf Eduard Marschner (Grünberg, Schlesien, 5 March 1819 – Leipzig, 9 September 1853), was a Romantic German composer.

Marschner was related to the well known Heinrich Marschner. He studied music from the age of 10 and then studied at the University of Leipzig where he also later became a music teacher.

In the field of vocal music he has composed app. 30 pieces for voice and piano accompaniment and several songs for men’s choir. The most popular among those are Und hörst du das mächtige Klingen, Das Königslied and Gute Nacht.

Together with Ludwig Richter in 1844-47 he published two song collections named Alte und neue Studenten-Lieder (Old and new Student Songs), and Alte und neue Volks-Lieder (Old and new Folk Songs).

Der Bäbu

Der Bäbu (The Baboo) is a Comic opera in three acts by Heinrich Marschner. The German libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück (Marschner's brother-in-law) is based on the book The Baboo and Other Tales Descriptive of Society in India. Smith, Elder, and Co., London 1834 by Augustus Prinsep. The first performance took place on 19 February 1838 in Hanover.

Der König in Thule

"Der König in Thule" ("The King in Thule") is a German poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, written in 1774.

Goethe wrote the poem "Geistesgruß" as a precursor of "Der König in Thule", while he was travelling to Lahneck Castle on the river Lahn in July 1774. Under Herder's influence, the setting was changed to the mythical island kingdom Thule, which was thought to be the northernmost place Greek seafarers ventured in antiquity.

Goethe used it later in his tragedy Faust (part I, lines 2759–82) as Gretchen's (Margaret) introduction. It has been set to music by a number of composers, notably Franz Schubert.

Der Templer und die Jüdin

Der Templer und die Jüdin (The Templar and the Jewess) is an opera (designated as a grosse romantische Oper) in three acts by Heinrich Marschner. The German libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück was based on a number of intermediate works based in turn on Walter Scott's Ivanhoe.

Der Vampyr

Der Vampyr (The Vampire) is a Romantic opera in two acts by Heinrich Marschner. The German libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück (Marschner's brother-in-law) is based on the play Der Vampir oder die Totenbraut (1821) by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter, which itself was based on the short story The Vampyre (1819) by John Polidori. The first performance took place on 29 March 1828 in Leipzig, where it was a hit.The opera is still occasionally performed, and, in 1992, an updated adaptation, entitled The Vampyr: A Soap Opera, with new lyrics by Charles Hart, starring Omar Ebrahim and produced by Janet Street-Porter, was serialised on BBC television.

In June 2014, OperaHub in Boston premiered a new English-language of the adaptation of Der Vampyr by John J King that spoofs more modern vampire stories such as Twilight, Dracula, the Vampire Chronicles, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Hans Heiling

Hans Heiling is a German Romantic opera in 3 acts with prologue by Heinrich Marschner with a libretto by Eduard Devrient, who also sang the title role at the première at the Königliche Hofoper (now Berlin State Opera), Berlin, on 24 May 1833, and went on to become Marschner's most successful opera. The opera brought the composer a considerable reputation, although this did not materially affect his position in Hanover, where he was music director of the Court Theatre. Like Marschner's other great success, Der Vampyr, the plot of Hans Heiling makes great use of supernatural elements. As with several of his operas, Hans Heiling is based on a folk legend.

List of operas by Heinrich Marschner

This is a complete list of the operas of the German composer Heinrich Marschner (1795–1861).

Markus Werba

Markus Werba (born 14 November 1973) is an Austrian baritone opera singer.


The Marschnerstraße, named after the composer Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861), is a street founded in 1897, in the Munich district of Pasing and Obermenzing.

Romantische Oper

Romantische Oper (German for "romantic opera") was a genre of early nineteenth-century German opera, developed not from the German Singspiel of the eighteenth-century but from the opéras comiques of the French Revolution. It offered opportunities for an increasingly important role for the orchestra, and greater dramatic possibilities for reminiscence motifs – phrases that are identified with a place, person or idea and which, when re-used in a work, remind the listener of the place, person or idea in question.

Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz (1821) inaugurated the genre, which increasingly became associated with a distinctively German national style, as exemplified by composers such as Heinrich Marschner (e.g. Der Vampyr and Hans Heiling), Albert Lortzing (e.g. Undine) and Louis Spohr. Themes explored included nature, the supernatural, the Middle Ages and popular culture, specifically folklore. Musically, German folk music also served as an inspiration. Spoken dialogue continued to be used between musical numbers.

The genre reached its apogee in the early works of Richard Wagner, specifically Die Feen, Das Liebesverbot, The Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser, although these differed from their predecessors in not using spoken dialogue. His later operas developed the reminiscence motif into the more protean Leitmotif and gradually abandoned many of the themes of romantische Oper, while still largely focused on myths, legends and nature.

Sodom and Gomorrah (1922 film)

Sodom und Gomorrha: Die Legende von Sünde und Strafe ("Sodom and Gomorrah: The Legend of Sin and Punishment"; released in English as Sodom and Gomorrah or Queen of Sin and the Spectacle of Sodom and Gomorrha) is an Austrian silent epic film from 1922. It was shot on the Laaer Berg, Vienna, as the enormous backdrops specially designed and constructed for the film were too big for the Sievering Studios of the production company, Sascha-Film, in Sievering. The film is distinguished, not so much by the strands of its often opaque plot, as by its status as the largest and most expensive film production in Austrian film history. In the creation of the film between 3,000 and 14,000 performers, extras and crew were employed.

Staatsoper Hannover

Staatsoper Hannover is a German opera house and opera company in Hanover. Its season runs from September to June.

The home base of Staatsoper Hannover is a theater built in classical style between 1845 and 1852 based on a plan drawn by Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves. The building was badly damaged in World War II and rebuilt in 1948. In 1985, the acoustics were improved, and between 1996 and 1998 the stage facilities were renovated.

The current Intendant (superintendent) of the company is Michael Klügl. Since 2011, conductor Karen Kamensek has served as Generalmusikdirektorin (General Music Director, GMD) of the company, the first American and the first woman to hold the post. In March 2014, the company announced the scheduled conclusion of Kamensek's GMD tenure after the 2015-2016 season. In September 2014, the company announced the appointment of Ivan Repušić as its next GMD, effective with the 2016-2017 season.

Symphonic Studies (Schumann)

The Symphonic Etudes (French: Études Symphoniques), Op. 13, is a set of études for solo piano by Robert Schumann. It began in 1834 as a theme and sixteen variations on a theme by Baron von Fricken, plus a further variation on an entirely different theme by Heinrich Marschner.

The Vampyre

"The Vampyre" is a short work of prose fiction written in 1816 by John William Polidori as part of a contest between Polidori, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, and Percy Shelley. The same contest produced the novel Frankenstein. The Vampyre is often viewed as the progenitor of the romantic vampire genre of fantasy fiction. The work is described by Christopher Frayling as "the first story successfully to fuse the disparate elements of vampirism into a coherent literary genre."

Theologians and
Visual artists
Related topics

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.