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Friedrich Wilhelm Rust (Composer)

Born: July 6, 1739 - Wörlitz, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Died: March 8, 1796 - Wörlitz, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Friedrich Wilhem Rust belonged to a distinguished German musical family. His father was a person of eminence, and he received a first-rate education. He was taught music by his elder brother, Johann Ludwig Anton, who as an amateur had played the violin in J.S. Bach's orchestra in Leipzig; and at 13 he played the whole of the Wohltemperirtes Clavier without book. Composition, organ and clavier he learned from Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and the violin from Höckh and F. Benda; and in 1765, during a journey to Italy, from G. Benda, Tartini and Pugnani.

In 1766 Friedrich Wilhem Rust returned to Dessau, and became the life and soul of the music there. On September 24, 1774, a new theatre was opened through his exertions, to which he was soon after appointed music-director. He married his pupil, Henriette Niedhart, a fine singer, and thenceforward, with a few visits to Berlin, Dresden, etc., his life was confined to Dessau.

Friedrich Wilhem Rust's compositions include a Psalm for solo, ohorus and orchestra; several large church cantatas; duodramas and monodramas; operas; music to plays; prologues and occasional pieces, etc.; odes and songs (2 collections); sonatas and variations for the PF., solo - 4 dozen of the former and many of the latter - concertos, fugues, etc. etc.; and three sonatas for violin solo. That in D minor was often played at the Monday Popular Concerts. His last composition was a violin sonata for the E string, thus anticipating Paganini. A list of his works, with every detail of his life, extending to 6 1/2 large pages, is given in Mendel. A monograph on him, with list of works, etc., was published in 1882 by W. Hofäus, and Dr. E. Prieger published a pamphlet, F.W. Rust, ein Vorgänger Beethovens. His eldest son was drowned; the youngest, Wilhelm Karl, was a famous music teacher.


Source: Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1952 Edition, by Sir George Grove)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Herr Gott dich loben wir a cantata for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra

Herr Gott, dich loben wir [The German Tedeum]

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