Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Biographies of Poets & Composers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Bach & Other Composers

Joseph Ahrens (Composer)

Born: April 17, 1904 - Sommersell [now Nieheim], Westphalia, Germany
Died: December 21, 1997 - Berlin, Germany

Joseph (Johannes Clemens) Ahrens was a German composer and organist. After studying with Wilhelm Schnippering at the Lehrerseminar (Büren), he studied church music in Münster with Werner Göhr and Fritz Volbach (1924-1925). In 1925 he went to Berlin where he pursued further study with Alfred Sittard and Max Seiffert at the Akademie für Kirchen- und Schulmusik and attended Wilhelm Middelschulte’s organ master-classes. He also studied Gregorian chant at the Benedictine abbeys of Gerleve and Beuron.

In 1928 Joseph Ahrens became a lecturer at the Berlin Akademie, where in 1936 he was promoted to professor. After the war he was appointed to the post of ordinarius for Catholic church music at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, where, for a time, he was also deputy director. He served as the organist at St Hedwig’ s cathedral in Berlin from 1934 until its destruction in 1943, was choirmaster and organist at the Salvatorkirche in Berlin-Schmargendorf from 1945 to 1957, and was nominated Orgelsachverstنndiger des Bistums Berlin. His numerous honours include the Arts Prize of the City of Berlin (1955), knighthood in the Gregorian Order (1965) and the silver pontifical medal (1968). He was elected to the Berlin Akademie der Künste in 1963. His daughter is the organist and composer Sieglinde Ahrens (b 1936).

Joseph Ahrens’ compositional style is characterized by a focus on linear relationships. Inspired by plainsong and intervallic contours derived from the church modes, his compositions also feature an extended major-minor tonality. Later works extend these compositional materials to an intervallic-motivic dodecaphony.

Works

Organ
Partita ‘Zu Bethlehem geboren’, 1929; Toccata eroica, 1932; Ricercare, a, 1934; Partita Christ ist erstanden, 1935; Partita ‘Pange lingua’, 1935; Partita ‘Regina coeli’, 1937; Partita ‘Jesu, meine Freude’, 1942; Toccata and Fugue, e, 1942; Orgelmesse, 1945; ‘Veni creator Spiritus’, 1947; Partita ‘Lobe den Herren’, 1947; Partita ‘Verleih uns Frieden’, 1947; Das heilige Jahr, 3 vols., 1948–50; Triptychon über BACH, 1949; Cantiones gregorianae, 3 vols., 1957; Trilogia sacra, 1959–60; Die Verwandlungen, 3 vols., 1963–5; Fantasie und Ricercare über ein Thema von Joannis Cabanilles, 1967; 5 Leisen, 1969; Canticum organi, I–III, 1972; Trilogia dodekaphonica, 1979; Passacaglia dodekaphonica, 1980

Choral
Missa gotica, 1948; Missa hymnica, 1948; Matthäus-Passion, 4–8vv, 1950; Das Weihnachtsevangelium nach Lukas ‘Sei uns willkommen, Herre Christ’, 4– 12vv, 1952; Johannes-Passion, 1961; Missa dodekaphonica, 1966; Missa pro unitate fidei, 1975; 14 motets

Principal publishers
Bärenreiter, Böhm, Schott, Schwann, Willy Müller

Writings
Die Formprinzipien des Gregorianischen Chorals und mein Orgelstil (Heidelberg, 1978)
Von den Modi zur Dodekaphonie (Heidelberg, 1979)

Source: Grove Music Online © Oxford University Press 2006 (Author: Klemens Schnorr)
Contributed by
Thomas Braatz (February 2006)

Joseph Ahrens: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works

Title

Chorale Melody

Year

Christ ist erstanden, Organ Partita

Christ ist erstanden

1935

Jesu, meine Freude, Partita for Organ

Jesu, meine Freude

1942

Links to other Sites

Ahrens, Joseph (*1904), Komponist (Composer) [German]

 

Bibliography

W. David : ‘Das Orgelschaffen von Joseph Ahrens’, Musik und Altar, i (1948–9), no.2, pp59–63; no.4, pp.54–5
R. Walter: ‘Joseph Ahrens: der Sch
ِpfer eines neuen Orgelstils’, Musik und Altar , i (1948–9), no.2, pp.63–8
K. Dobrovolskis: ‘ Das heilige Jahr. Chor- und Orgelmusik von Joseph Ahrens’, Musica sacra , xcv (1975), 4–8
J. Dahlberg: ‘ Zu Gottes Ruhm: Joseph Ahrens 80 Jahre’, Musica sacra , civ (1984, 100–110
J. Schell: ‘ Das Orgelwerk von Joseph Ahrens. Ein entwicklungsgeschichtlicher berblick’, Musica sacra , cix (1989), 489–99
M. Heinemann: ‘ Heilige Jahre. Zur Orgelmusik von Joseph Ahrens (17.4.1904)’, Ars organi , xxxxii (1994), 63–8
J. Dahlberg: ‘Joseph Ahrens – Das Sp
نtwerk fr Orgel’, Musica sacra , cxiv–cxv (1994–5), 390–402, 480–90, 10–19
G. Berger: ‘Reflexionen ber eine ausgestorbene Lehrerspezies: Hommage à Joseph Ahrens’, Musica sacra , cxviii (1998), 66–78

Biographies of Poets & Composers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Bach & Other Composers

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: ýAugust 11, 2011 ý09:48:00