Christoph Bernhard


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(b Kolberg, Pomerania [now Kolobrzeg, Poland], 1 Jan. 1628; d Dresden, 14 Nov. 1692). German composer and theorist. In 1649 he became a singer in the court chapel of Dresden under Schütz. Although disappointed at his lack of promotion, because of a strong prejudice in favour of Italians, he stayed in Dresden for most of his life, eventually (when the Italian vogue had passed) becoming Kapellmeister. Schütz asked that Bernhard should compose a funeral motet for him, and this was performed at the ceremony in 1672. Bernhard is most important for his musical treatises, and especially for his classification of the styles of Baroque music according to purpose—church (stylus gravis, the ‘Palestrina style’), chamber (stylus luxurians communis, naming Monteverdi as the founder), and theatre (stylus luxurians theatralis, where language is master of the music).

From The Oxford Companion to Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.

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