Justin Heinrich Knecht

Justin Heinrich Knecht (* September 30 1752 in Biberach an der Riss, † December 1, 1817 ) was a German composer, organist, conductor, music teacher and music theoretician.


Already in his early youth servant was in his hometown of lessons in piano, violin and vocals. After attending grammar school in Biberach an der Riss, he went to Esslingen am Neckar, where he attended the Collegiate. Here he studied under the guidance of the local music director Schmidt and his friend Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart with composition and playing the organ. 1771 he was with only 19 years of music director in Biberach - this function included the work as organist and music teacher as well as the organization of performances and concerts. Alongside he composed primarily musical comedies and operas and made the development of musical life in Biberach deserves.

1806 Knecht was appointed music director at the court of Stuttgart, this activity ended but only two years later. So he returned to Biberach, where he died in 1817.

Knecht wrote both secular and sacred music. His compositional work consists mainly of symphonies, operas, musical plays, Psalms, as well as numerous works for chorus and organ. Much of his work is considered, however, lost. The surviving compositions comprise, among others influences of composer Johann Adam Hiller and Georg Joseph Vogler. As a church musician, he made ​​himself as the author of " chorale book for seasoning " a name. In addition, he wrote more music education and music- theoretical writings.

Works (selection)


  • Dixit Dominus, psalm setting for chorus, soloists and orchestra
  • Magnificat, sacred work for choir, soloists and orchestra
  • Te Deum, sacred work for choir, soloists and orchestra
  • The sixth Psalm of David
  • Religious songs
  • Singing of the Holy Trinity
  • Joshua ( Musical Drama )
  • Cain and Abel ( Singspiel )
  • The loyal Köhler ( operetta )
  • The harvest wreath (Opera)
  • The lame Husar (Opera)
  • The Aeolian Harp or The Triumph of Music and Love ( opera )
  • Le portrait musical de la nature, ou Grande simphonie [ Pastoral Symphony ] ( Speyer, 1785), for orchestra, ed. from Heinz W. Höhnen in The Symphony 1720-1840, Series C, XIII (New York, 1984)
  • The by a thunderstorm unterbrochne shepherds delight (Darmstadt, 1794), ed. from Heinz W. Höhnen ( Wiesbaden, 1982) ( organ)
  • Three Easy Duets for Flute
  • Four Sonatinas for Piano, Op 6


  • Elementarwerk of harmony
  • Organ school for beginners and Skilful
  • Proven Methods book for the first piano lessons
  • Theoretical- practical school for basso


  • Complete collection partly brand new componirter, partly improved, four-part chorale melodies for the new Wirtembergische Country Hymns. For Orgenspielen and audition in all patriotic churches and schools exclusively, enacted graciously. In addition to a suitable introduction; turned them into some toes headings register; and a closely associated with this work the Appendix. Edited by [ Johann Friedrich ] Christmann and [ Justin Heinrich ] servant. With a sovereign, graciously ertheilten Privilegio. Stuttgart, Mäntler'schen in Brothers Publishers, 1799.
  • Full Württembergisches chorale book, which is exclusive, graciously prescribed in all patriotic churches and schools. By Justin Heinrich Knecht, Royal Württembergischem music director. Second Part. Containing: A practical and theoretical to the applied practice, division; ( composed of more than 130 main and sub - divisions consisting, ) which of their connection to, from the first part, ( the chorale melodies ) are inseparable and indispensable as a guide to its eigentlichem use. With the well- made ​​portrait and biography of the author of the Lord; (the former court engraver of Mr. d'Argent ) adorned. With country Herrlich graciously ertheiltem Privilegio. Stuttgart, in the publishing of the Royal Court and Canzlei book printer Mäntler Brothers, 1816.
  • Cecilia [, ] a periodical work [, ] which contains small and large easy to play organ pieces of various kinds for aspiring and more experienced organ players. Second delivery [, ] containing XXIV intonations from all major and minor keys, and XVI Preludes by the most common major and minor keys [! ] Bound in the style of Justin Heinrich Knecht. Freiburg im Breisgau in Herder's Bookstore ..