Friedrich Heinrich Himmel

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Friedrich Heinrich Himmel

Friedrich Heinrich Himmel (November 20, 1765 – June 8, 1814), German composer, was born at Treuenbrietzen in Brandenburg, Prussia, and originally studied theology at Halle before turning to music.

During a temporary stay at Potsdam he had an opportunity of showing his self-acquired skill as a pianist before King Frederick William II, who thereupon made him a yearly allowance to enable him to complete his musical studies. This he did under Johann Gottlieb Naumann, a German composer of the Italian school, and the style of that school Himmel himself adopted in his serious operas.

The first of these, a pastoral opera, Il primo navigatore, was produced at Venice in 1794 with great success. In 1792 he went to Berlin, where his oratorio Isaaco was produced, in consequence of which he was made court Kapellmeister to the king of Prussia, and in that capacity wrote a great deal of official music, including cantatas, and a coronation Te Deum.

His Italian operas, successively composed for Stockholm, St Petersburg and Berlin, were all received with great favor in their day. Of greater importance than these is a Singspiel to words by Kotzebue, called Fanchon. Himmel's gift of writing genuine simple melody is also observable in his Lieder, including An Alexis send ich dich (To Alexis). He died in Berlin.



  • Il primo navigatore, pastorale Venice (1794)
  • La morte di Semiramide, opera seria Naples (1795)
  • Fanchon oder das Leyermädel, Singspiel Berlin (1804)
  • Die Sylphen Zauberoper, Berlin (1806)
  • Der Kobold, komische Oper, Vienna (1813)


  • An Alexis send ich dich
  • Vaterunser
  • Gebet während der Schlacht: „Vater ich rufe dich!“
  • Die Blumen und der Schmetterling, Lieder cycle


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