Ahrens, Joseph - Ave Maria

copyrightedfor {voicing} and {Instrumentation}

year of composition / 1st publication: s.a.

Ahrens, Jospeh 

Composer: Joseph Ahrens (1904-1997)
aliases, aka: Joseph Johannes Clemens Ahrens
Country of origin / activity: Germany
Text author: traditional
Arranger / Editor: N/A 

PDFMIDIMP3VIDFirst nameLast nameBirthDeathcompID #TitleVoicingInstrumentation
0000JosephAhrens190419971950 Ave MariaNV 
0000JosephAhrens19041997  Ave Maria, Du Ros' ohn alle Dorn  
0000JosephAhrens190419971956 Ave Maria zart  

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph Ahrens (April 17, 1904, Sommersell – December 21, 1997, Berlin) was a German composer and organist.

Ahrens received early training in organ and choral music, and studied at the Berlin Staatlich Akademie für Kirchen- und Schulmusik from 1925 to 1928 under Alfred Sittard, Max Seiffert, and Wilhelm Middelschulte. In 1928 he became a docent at the school. Between 1931 and 1940 Ahrens was the organist for the Berliner Philharmoniker, simultaneously serving as the organist for the Cathedral of St. Hedwig after 1934. From 1945 to 1957 he was organist at the Salvatorkirche in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. Taking a professorship in church music at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik in 1945, he remained there until 1969, serving as deputy director from 1954 to 1958.

Ahrens was a noted organ improviser. His compositions often combined elements of prior liturgical music styles (such as Gregorian chant) with modern techniques like dodecaphony. A large portion of his output is written for the Catholic Church.
His daughter is the organist Sieglinde Ahrens.
Joseph Ahrens, born in Sommersell in 1904 and died in Berlin in 1997, is one of the important German organ and church music composers of the 20th century.
After studying church music in Münster (with Werner Göhr and Fritz Volbach), he moved to Berlin in 1925 where he undertook further studies with Alfred Sittard and Max Seiffert at the Academy of Church and School Music and attended Wilhelm Middelschulte's organ master classes. In addition, he studied Gregorian chant at the Benedictine abbeys of Gerleve and Beuron. From 1928 he worked as a lecturer at the Berlin Academy of School and Church Music where he was appointed professor in 1936. From 1945 to 1969 he was professor of church music at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik and, in addition, assistant director from 1954 to 1958.
For nine years (1931-1940) he had been organist of the Berlin Philharmonic and from 1934 organist at the St. Hedwig's Cathedral in Berlin until the latter was destroyed in 1943. Two years later he began to work as a choir director and organist at the St. Salvator Church in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. In 1955 Ahrens received the Berlin Arts Award and in 1963 was elected member of the Berlin Academy of the Arts.

Joseph Ahrens (Composer)
Born: April 17, 1904 - Sommersell [now Nieheim], Westphalia, Germany
Died: December 21, 1997 - Berlin, Germany
Joseph (Johannes Clemens) Ahrens was a German composer and organist. After studying with Wilhelm Schnippering at the Lehrerseminar (Büren), he studied church music in Münster with Werner Göhr and Fritz Volbach (1924-1925). In 1925 he went to Berlin where he pursued further study with Alfred Sittard and Max Seiffert at the Akademie für Kirchen- und Schulmusik and attended Wilhelm Middelschulte’s organ master-classes. He also studied Gregorian chant at the Benedictine abbeys of Gerleve and Beuron.

In 1928 Joseph Ahrens became a lecturer at the Berlin Akademie, where in 1936 he was promoted to professor. After the war he was appointed to the post of ordinarius for Catholic church music at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, where, for a time, he was also deputy director. He served as the organist at St Hedwig’ s cathedral in Berlin from 1934 until its destruction in 1943, was choirmaster and organist at the Salvatorkirche in Berlin-Schmargendorf from 1945 to 1957, and was nominated Orgelsachverstنndiger des Bistums Berlin. His numerous honours include the Arts Prize of the City of Berlin (1955), knighthood in the Gregorian Order (1965) and the silver pontifical medal (1968). He was elected to the Berlin Akademie der Künste in 1963. His daughter is the organist and composer Sieglinde Ahrens (b 1936).

Joseph Ahrens’ compositional style is characterized by a focus on linear relationships. Inspired by plainsong and intervallic contours derived from the church modes, his compositions also feature an extended major-minor tonality. Later works extend these compositional materials to an intervallic-motivic dodecaphony.

Page last modified: November 16, 2013