Karl (Carl) Heinrich Graun (1704-1759) was a German
composer and tenor singer. Along with Johann Adolph
Hasse, he is considered to be the most important German
composer of Italian opera of his time.
Graun was born in Wahrenbrück in Brandenburg. In 1714,
he followed his brother, Johann Gottlieb Graun, to the
school of the Kreuzkirche, Dresden, and sang in the
Dresdner Kreuzchor and the chorus of the Dresden Opera.
He studied singing with Christian Petzold and
composition with Johann Christoph Schmidt. In 1724,
Graun moved to Braunschweig, singing at the opera house
and writing six operas for the company. In 1735, Graun
moved to Rheinsberg in Brandenburg, after he had
written the opera Lo specchio della fedeltà for the
marriage of the then crown prince Frederick (the Great)
and Elisabeth Christine in Schloss Salzdahlum in 1733.
He was Kapellmeister to Frederick the Great from his
ascension to the throne in 1740 until Graun's death
nineteen years later in Berlin.
Graun memorial in WahrenbrückGraun wrote a number of
operas. His opera Cesare e Cleopatra inaugurated the
opening of the Berlin State Opera (Königliche Hofoper)
in 1742. Montezuma (1755) was written to a libretto by
King Frederick. His works are rarely played today,
though his passion cantata Der Tod Jesu (The Death of
Jesus, 1755) was frequently performed in Germany for
many years after his death. His other works include
concertos and trio sonatas.
Although originally written for Flutes (2) and Basso
Continuo, I created this arrangement for Violin, Viola
& Concert (Pedal) Harp.