Reinhard Keiser


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(b Teuchern, 1674; d Hamburg, 1739).

Ger. composer. At court of Brunswick 1694 where he succeeded Kusser. Moved to Hamburg 1695, achieving success with opera Mahumet II. In next 40 years comp. over 100 operas for Hamburg, becoming cond. of the opera 1696–1702 and orch. 1703–7. Regarded at one time as greatest orig. genius Ger. had prod. His operas contain magnificent florid arias and instrumentation which was emulated by Handel, who was violinist and harpsichordist for Keiser at Hamburg. Keiser's operas incl. Der hochmütige, gestürtzte und wieder erhabene Croesus (1710, rev. 1730, modern edn. 1912, rev. 1958); Die Römische Unruhe (1705); Die verdammte Staat‐Sucht (1705); Fredegunda (1715); and Der Lächerliche Prinz Jodelet (1726). Keiser also wrote dramatic and striking oratorios, and settings of the Passions.

Subjects: Music.

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