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Distler, Hugo (1908-1942): The Complete Music Autographs in the BSB

Hugo Distler, born in Nuremberg in 1908, died in Berlin in 1942, is one of the few really great composers of choral music and protestant church music of the 20th century. After a difficult childhood and youth in Nuremberg, Distler studied at the Leipzig Conservatory from 1927-1930, among others with Hermann Grabner and Günter Ramin. From 1930-1937 he spent formative years as organist of the St. Jakobi Church in Lübeck, from 1937 he taught at the Stuttgart and from 1940 at the Berlin Academy of Music. In 1942, the 34-year-old Distler put an end to his life himself. Distler is regarded as the most important representative of the renewal movement in Protestant church music after 1920. His instrumental music is dominated by works for piano and especially for organ. However, Distler's sacred and secular choral works have been the most widespread and popular to this day. Examples of these are 'Der Jahrkreis' op. 5 (1933), consisting of 52 motets, 'Die Weihnachtsgeschichte' for four-part choir op. 10 (1933) and the three-part 'Mörike-Chorliederbuch' op. 19 (1939). The autograph music manuscripts from Distler's bequest, which has been in the possession of the Bavarian State Library since 2010, represent all facets and genres of his oeuvre. In addition to fair copies of numerous works, sketches and galley proofs of printed editions are also included.