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Published on Jun 20, 2009
CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER (1683 - 1760)
Suite for viola d'amore strings, and basso continuo in D minor GWV 426
Performed by L'Ensemble des Idees heureuses Featuring Helene Plouffe, viola d'amore Directed by Genevieve Soly
*Christoph Graupner was a German harpsichordist and composer of high Baroque music who lived and worked at the same time as Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann and George Frideric Handel.
Born in Hartmannsdorf near Kirchberg in Saxony, Graupner received his first musical instruction from his uncle, an organist named Nicolaus Kuester. Graupner went to the University of Leipzig where he studied law (as did many composers of the time), and then completed his musical studies with Johann Kuhnau, the cantor of the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church).
In 1705 Graupner left Leipzig to play the harpsichord in the orchestra of the Hamburg Opera under the direction of Reinhard Keiser, alongside a young violinist named Handel. In addition to playing the harpsichord, Graupner composed three operas in Hamburg in collaboration with Keiser, a popular composer of operas in Germany.
In 1709 Graupner accepted a post at the court of Hesse-Darmstadt and in 1711 became the court orchestras Hofkapellmeister (court chapel master). Graupner spent the rest of his career at the court in Hesse-Darmstadt, where his primary responsibilities were to provide music for the court chapel. He wrote music for nearly half a century, from 1709 to 1754, when he became blind. He died six years later.