Valentin Rathgeber

Mixed chorus
String ensemble
Religious music
Funeral music
Sacred hymns
by popularity
Alma redemptoris Mater in D major, R 300/7Chelys Sonora, Op.6Cithara Davidis Poenitentis, Op.13Octava musica clavium octo musicarum, R 295Pastorellen für die Weihnachtszeit, R 322Requiem in E-flat major, R 297/9Von der edlen Musik, R 319/9Vox Sonora Decantans, Op.10
Johann Valentin Rathgeber (3 April 1682 – 2 June 1750) was a German composer, organist and choirmaster of the Baroque Era.
Rathgeber was born in Oberelsbach. His father, an organist, gave him his first music lessons. At the beginning of the 18th century, he began studying at the University of Würzburg, initially studying rhetoric, mathematics and law; later he changed direction and continued his studies in theology.
His first position was as a teacher at the Julius Hospital in Würzburg. In 1707 he took up the post of chamber musician and servant of the abbot of the Banz Abbey, Kilian Düring. A short time later he joined the Benedictine Order, and in 1711 entered the priesthood. Thereafter, he was organist, choirmaster and preacher at the abbey.
Between 1729 and 1738 he went on a study trip. It is an open question whether he did that with permission from his abbot or not. Documented stops on this trip were Mainz, Bonn, Cologne, Trier, Stuttgart, Regensburg, Germany, Switzerland, Vienna and Styria. Compositions from this period were primarily dedicated to his respective hosts. In 1738 he returned to the abbey, where he then lived in seclusion for a while. A short time later, he was allowed to regain his former office. He lived in the Banz Abbey until his death there, at the age of 68, which was attributed to gout.
Rathgeber was a very versatile and productive composer and was one of the most popular and respected composers in southern Germany. He composed both secular and sacred works, the majority of his output being sacred vocal works. He wrote several hundred works, mainly masses (43), hymns, arias, litanies, requiems, magnificats, offertories (164), Marian antiphons (44) and also instrumental concertos (24) and songs. His Augsburger Tafel-Confect, short for Ohren-vergnügendes und Gemüth-ergötzendes Tafel-Confect (Augsburg Table Confectionery, short for Table Confectionery, Pleasuring the Ears and Delightful to the Soul) is a collection of songs meant to be performed for dessert, whereas a Tafelmusik was performed during a main course. He published three editions of his work in 1733, 1737 and 1739, Johann Caspar Seyfert adding a fourth in 1746.