Franz Xaver Gruber

GRUBER, Franz Xaver. b. Unterweizburg, near Hochburg, 25 Nov 1787; d. Hallein, 7 Jun 1863. The son of a weaver, Gruber became a typical Austrian cantor/schoolmaster, holding teaching and church positions in villages near Salzburg, including Arnsdorf from 1807, Oberndorf from 1816 and Hallein from 1835, where he remained until his death. His extensive output (church music and some recreational secular music, some now lost) has mostly remained unpublished and almost entirely unknown, with the exception of the Weihnachtslied, or Christmas carol, ‘Stille Nacht! heilige Nacht!’*. This celebrated piece was written, according to his own account, at Oberndorf on Christmas Eve 1818, and performed at...

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