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Johann Ludwig Krebs

Biography

Born: October 12, 1713; Buttelstedt, Germany   Died: January 1, 1780; Altenburg, Germany  
Johann Ludwig Krebs was a composer whose career spanned the end of the Baroque and beginning of the Classical era. In many respects, it typifies the problems many musicians had in coping with the drastic change of style this implies. Since he was an exceptionally skilled writer of counterpoint, he might have ended up with considerably wider fame if he had been born 20 years earlier.

Johann Ludwig was the son of Johann Tobias Krebs, the
Read more organist of Buttelstedt, near Weimar, who had studied with Bach. Father taught son organ, harmony, theory, and counterpoint. The lad was sent to enter the Thomasschule in Leipzig, where Bach was music director. Krebs general studies and lessons in singing, lute, violin, and keyboard. He remained a singer in Bach's choir until 1730.

Krebs attended the University of Leipzig from 1735 to 1737, took part on an as-needed basis in Bach's choir at the Thomaskirche and was the harpsichord player in the university's collegium musicum, which was also directed by Bach. Krebs left Leipzig in 1737 to take a position as organist of the Marienkirche in Zwickau, an ill-paid job playing an equally ill-maintained organ. While there, he met and married Johanna Sophie Nackens, daughter of a civil servant there. Soon, they had the first of their children, Johann Gottfried Krebs (1741 - 1814), an organist who wrote a large number of cantatas in his long-standing tenure as Mittelorganist or Stadtkantor of Altenberg. In 1744, Krebs moved to Zeitz to become organist there for 12 years. He tried unsuccessfully to become Bach's successor. In 1755, he accepted a position as organist to the court of Prince Friedrich of Gotha-Altenberg. The organ was better, the court was more exalted, but the pay was little improvement. Still, he continued to get by and retained the post until death. Family finances were somewhat helped when Johann Gottfried became his assistant organist.

Krebs had a very high reputation among his contemporaries. Bach held him in high regard, punning on both their names ( Krebs [crab or crayfish] and Bach [brook or stream]) by saying "He is the only crayfish in my stream." It is not surprising that many of his works, especially his organ compositions, are very much like those of Bach. His harpsichord music is probably what was best-known of his work in his own time, published extensively, particularly in four volumes of Clavier Ubung. Krebs also wrote significant quantities of orchestral and choral music. His name and music contributed to one of the most delicious inside jokes in movie music history. To echo the on-screen motion of the giant crab in the film Mysterious Island, with its independently moving legs, Bernard Herrmann orchestrated a cancrizan (i.e. crab-motion) fugue by the "crab" composer, Krebs. Read less
The Organ Encyclopedia - Krebs Vol 1 / Gerhard Gnann
Release Date: 04/11/2000   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553924   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 76-85 of 85 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Label: Priory Records   Catalog: 520 Release Date: 08/25/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Johann Ludwig Krebs,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Graham Barber
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  • 77.
    Organ History - German Classicism / Arturo Sacchetti
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47111 Release Date: 08/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Christian H Rinck,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johann Ludwig Krebs  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Sacchetti
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  • 78.
    Old Swedish Organs Played By Engsö, Jacobson And Fagius
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 123/125 Release Date: 06/18/1996   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Gottfried Walther,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Christian Ritter,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Rune Engsö,  Hans Fagius,  Lena Jacobson
    CD: $65.99
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  • 79.
    The Artistry Of Hans Fagius
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 140/141 Release Date: 04/16/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Heinrich Scheidemann,  Georg Böhm,  Johann Adam Reincken,  Dietrich Buxtehude  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Fagius
    CD: $44.49
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  • 80.
    Historic Organs Of Maine
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 92 Release Date: 02/20/1996   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Théodore Dubois,  John Stanley,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Louis J.A. Lefébure-Wely  ... 
    Performer:  Dr. Frances Nobert,  Lorenz Maycher,  J. Bryan Dyker,  George Bozeman  ... 
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  • 81.
    German Organ Music Vol 2 / Joseph Payne
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550965 Release Date: 11/29/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Murschauser,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Pachelbel  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Payne
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  • 82.
    Sweelinck, Buxtehude, Et Al - Organ Works / Mats Åberg
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 229 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georg F. Kauffmann,  Johann P. Kellner,  Johann Pachelbel,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Pär Sjöberg,  Mats Åberg
    CD: $21.49
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  • 83.
    Music For Lute, Guitar & Mandolin - Vivaldi, Logy, Carulli
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 3022 Release Date: 02/24/1994   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Edith Bauer-Sleis,  Maria Hinterleitner,  Elfriede Kunschak,  Leo Witoszinskyj  ... 
    Conductor:  Vinzenz Hladky,  Willfried Boettcher,  Paul Angerer,  Jörg Faerber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra,  Vienna Festival Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Mandolin and Guitar Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 84.
    Trumpet Voluntary / Maurice André
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 92123 Release Date: 09/07/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Georg Philipp Telemann  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André
    Conductor:  Jörg Faerber,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 85.
    Krebs: Klavierubung / Dominique Ferran
    Label: K 617   Catalog: 617002 Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Ludwig Krebs
    Performer:  Dominique Ferran
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