Hans Leo Hassler

Biography

Born: August 27, 1562; Nuremberg, Germany   Died: June 8, 1612; Frankfurt, Germany  
Hans Leo Hassler was one of the most significant of the composers who brought Italian styles to Germany in the early seventeenth century. His father, Isaak Hassler, was a stonecutter and musician in Nuremberg; all three Hassler sons had music lessons from their father and became musicians. Like many other composers from north of the Alps, Hassler went to Venice to pursue his education, probably on a municipal stipend, and there met Giovanni Read more Gabrieli and his uncle, Andrea Gabrieli, the organist of St. Mark's cathedral. Hassler became the elder Gabrieli's pupil, remaining in Venice for 18 months. By 1586, he was chamber organist to Octavian Fugger II in Augsburg. The Fuggers also hired Hassler's two brothers, and practically admitted them to the family circle. Hassler composed prolifically, and in 1591 the emperor gave him a patent to copyright his works. Hassler's fame grew so much that Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse, tried unsuccessfully to get Octavian II to "loan" Hassler to him. Meanwhile, Hassler had expanded his business interests, becoming a metals dealer and getting involved in the manufacture of mechanical musical instruments.

In 1600, Octavian II died, leaving Hassler without a job. Augsburg's town council, to keep him, gave him the job of town music director, but he went home to Nuremberg the next year to take a similar position. In 1604 he got a year's leave of absence, went to Ulm, and married the daughter of a highly placed merchant. When the year's leave expired, Hassler cut his ties with Nuremberg, became a citizen of Ulm, and in 1607 was admitted to the Ulm merchants' guild.

In 1608 Elector Christian II of Saxony commissioned Hassler to write a composition for his capital at Dresden, and appointed him as chamber organist. Soon after arriving in Dresden, he was found to have tuberculosis. No compositions are known to have been written by Hassler after 1608, but he does not seem to have cut back on his other work , and, indeed, took over the duties of the Kapellmeister. In 1612 the Electoral court visited Frankfurt am Main for the crowning of Emperor Mathias. While he was there Hassler collapsed and died.

Hassler was highly influenced by the two Gabrielis and by Orlando di Lassus. He wrote for both the Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches, although he himself was a Protestant. As a composer he was conservative, hewing to the highly polyphonic idiom that had been in its heyday a half century earlier. Hassler never wrote with a basso continuo, the hallmark of the new Baroque style. He used the cantus firmus technique as the basis of his polyphony; often all parts treat motives derived from the cantus firmus. He also wrote a large quantity of secular music, including Italian madrigals in five or six voices, instrumental works (also very contrapuntal), and dance songs that are highly rhythmic and homophonic. One of his best known songs was the romantic G'mut ist mir verwirret ("My Head is Spinning"), whose theme Johann Sebastian Bach combined with the words of Gerhardt, "O Haput voll Blut und Wunde" (O, Head all Bloody and Wounded), in his St. Matthew Passion to describe the sufferings of Christ on the Cross. Another popular song he wrote, All Lust und Freud (All Pleasure and Joy), a galliard, was adapted by Schütz in his Psalmen Davids and in that form is still used in Protestant services. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 95 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Claviermusik Aus Nurnberg
    Label: Tyx Art   Catalog: 13037 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Leo Hassler,  Johann Erasmus Kindermann,  Johann Staden,  Paul Hainlein  ... 
    Performer:  Ralf Waldner
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  • 2.
    The Historic Organ Of The Basilica Of St. Andrew In Olkusz
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 969 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Leo Hassler,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Johann Jacob Froberger,  Tablature, Anonymous, W.  ... 
    Performer:  Marek Kudlicki
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  • 3.
    In Dulci Jubilo: German Christmas Songs From Five
    Label: Coviello Classics   Catalog: 41310 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Thiel,  Michael Praetorius,  Johannes Crüger,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Halsey
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  • 4.
    Pieces From The Daniel Croner Tablature (1681)
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 911 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Daniel Croner,  Christian Michel,  Hans Leo Hassler,  Jan Podbielski
    Performer:  Andrzej Bialko
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  • 5.
    Canticum Sacrum
    Label: Querstand   Catalog: 1301 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Gabrieli,  Cesario Gussago,  Josquin Des Préz,  Hans Leo Hassler  ... 
    Performer:  Denny Wilke
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Posaunenquartett Opus 4
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  • 6.
    Christmas Brass Festival / Ernst, Schweriner Blechblaser Collegium
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98019 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Michael Praetorius,  Giovanni Gabrieli,  Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Ernst
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  • 7.
    Die Helle Sonn Leuchtet: Deutsche Kirchenlieder (German Hymns)
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777792 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kaspar Ulenberg,  Nikolaus Decius,  Traditional,  Michael Praetorius  ... 
    Performer:  Christoph [Renaissance Guitar] Eglhuber,  Arno Jochem De La Rosee,  Michael Eberth,  Arno Paduch
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  • 8.
    Hassler: In Dulci Jubilo - Choral Music For Advent And Christmas / Penalosa Ensemble
    Label: Carus   Catalog: 83396 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Leo Hassler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Penalosa Ensemble
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  • 9.
    Organum Antiquum: Fruheste Orgelmusik Bis J. S. Bach
    Label: Syrius   Catalog: 141459 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Robertsbridge Anonymous,  Hugh Aston,  Hans Neusidler  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Schauerte
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  • 10.
    Essential Choral
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 234422 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Heather Harper,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Robert Tear,  Peter Barley  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir David Willcocks,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
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  • 11.
    Gallus, Hassler, Schein / Thios Omilos
    Label: Rondeau Productions   Catalog: 6041 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Hermann Schein,  Hans Leo Hassler,  Jacob Handl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Thios Omilos
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  • 12.
    Pater Noster - A Choral Reflection on The Lord's Prayer / King’s Singers
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572987 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Heinrich Schütz,  Mikolaj Zielenski,  Josquin Des Préz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
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  • 13.
    Weynacht Gesaenge / Stimmwerck
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 77364 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Scheidt,  Anonymous,  Hans Leo Hassler,  Esaias Reusner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stimmwerck
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  • 14.
    On The Shoulders Of Giants / Cantus
    Label: Cantus Recordings   Catalog: 5638019872 Release Date: 10/23/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Tallis,  Hans Leo Hassler,  Claudio Monteverdi,  Paul Hewson  ... 
    Performer:  Aaron Humble,  Adam Reinwald,  David Walton,  Paul Rudoi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantus
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  • 15.
    In Paradisum - Spiritual Classical Music
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94412 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  César Franck,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Brown,  Angharad Gruffydd Jones,  Lawrence Zazzo,  Pamela Heuvelmans  ... 
    Conductor:  Pieter-Jan Leusink,  Christopher Robinson,  Timothy Brown,  Nicol Matt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Boys Choir,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir,  Cambridge Bach Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 16.
    Kein Schoner' Land: Deutsche Volkslieder
    Label: Rondeau Productions   Catalog: 1008 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Leo Hassler,  Anton Wilhelm Florentin v,  Traditional,  Karl SchauB  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 17.
    Nun Lasst Uns Frohlich Sein / Ratzinger, Regensburger Domspatzen
    Label: Ars Musici   Catalog: 23355 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Leo Hassler,  Orlando de Lassus,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 18.
    Liturgical Music From San Marco / Nova Cantica
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802129 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Gabrieli,  Giovanni Croce,  Hans Leo Hassler,  Antonino Biffi  ... 
    Conductor:  Paolo Cammozzo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Complesso Vocale e Strumentale Antonio Lotti
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  • 19.
    A New Venetian Coronation 1595 / Mccreesh, Gabrieli Consort
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 287 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Leo Hassler,  Cesare Bendinelli,  Giovanni Gabrieli,  Andrea Gabrieli  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
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  • 20.
    Heinrich Scheidemann: Organ Works / Doeselaar
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 9061746 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Leo Hassler,  Heinrich Scheidemann
    Performer:  Leo van Doeselaar
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  • 21.
    Geistliche Musik Fur Ein Ganzes Jahr (Sacred Music For The Entire Year) / Kreile, Dresdner Kreuzchor
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300332 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz,  Johann Caspar Horn,  Sethus Calvisius,  Samuel Seidel  ... 
    Performer:  Fritz Herrmann,  Georg Guldner,  Franz Lindner,  Felix Morgner  ... 
    Conductor:  Roderich Kreile
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Sagittariana
    CD: $48.99
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  • 22.
    Ack, Libertas!
    Label: Footprint Records   Catalog: 66 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Andreas Hammerschmidt,  Thomas Kingo,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Bagge,  Mikael Paulsson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Mare Balticum
    CD: $17.99
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  • 23.
    Vespers For The End Of The Church Year / Kreile, Dresdner Kreuzchor
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300062 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Leo Hassler,  Johann Walter,  Heinrich Schütz,  Louis Spohr  ... 
    Conductor:  Roderich Kreile
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Kreuz Choir
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  • 24.
    Choral Classics - Choral Classics From Cambridge
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9234 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina,  Gregorio Allegri,  Robert Ramsey,  Thomas Weelkes  ... 
    Performer:  Jennifer Ward-Clarke,  Jonathan Brown,  Elizabeth Kenny,  Robert Howes  ... 
    Conductor:  Timothy Brown,  Stephen Cleobury,  Christopher Robinson,  Matthew Best
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir,  Baroque Brass of London,  Cambridge King's College Choir  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 25.
    Time Piece
    Label: Ars Musici   Catalog: 233415 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Orlando de Lassus,  Josquin Des Préz,  Ludwig Senfl,  Alexander Utendal  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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