Friedrich Heinrich Himmel (1765 – 1814) was a German
composer. He 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
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.
Although originally composed for or 2 Sopranos & Piano,
I created this Interpretation of the "Christnacht"
(Christmas Night) for String Ensemble (2 Violins, 2
Violas & Cello).