Franz Gruber

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Gruber, Franz Xaver

Gruber, Franz Xaver, Austrian composer, great-great- grandfather of H(einz) K(arl) Gruber; b. Unterweizburg, near Hochburg, Nov. 25, 1787; d. Hallein, near Salzburg, June 7, 1863. He was born into an impoverished family but managed to study organ. In 1807 he became a teacher at the Nebenschule in Arnsdorf. He was also cantor and organist at St. Nicolas’s in Oberndorf (1816-29). After teaching in Berndorf (1829-33), he served as regens chori in Hallein. While in Oberndorf, an asst. priest, Josef Mohr (1792-1848), brought him a Christmas poem to be set to music for Christmas Eve of 1818. Gruber’s result was the celebrated Christmas carol Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (Silent Night, Holy Night), which was publ. in 1838.

Bibliography

K. Weinmann, Stille nacht, Heilige Nacht (Regensburg, 1918); J. Miihlmann, F.X. G. (Salzburg, 1966); A. Schmaus and L. Kriss-Rettenbeck, Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (Innsbruck, 1967).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Gruber, Franz Xaver (b Unterweizburg, 1787; d Hallein, nr. Salzburg, 1863). Austrian composer, great-great-grandfather of H. K. Gruber. Although a manual labourer, studied org. and, at 28, became org. at Oberndorf. On Christmas Eve 1818, the curate brought him a poem to be set to mus. The result was the carol Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Silent Night, Holy Night).