Hassler: Hans Leo: Bapt.26 Oct 1564 – 8 June 1612

By | January 8, 2021


Black and White drawing of Hans Leo Hassler

Hans Leo Hassler was born in Nuremburg in Germany in 1564.

He was one of the first German composers to travel to Italy and introduce Italian styles to Germany.

He was born into a musical family. His father was organist Isaac Hassler who gave Hans his first lessons. His brothers Jakob Hassler and Kasper Hassler were also notable composers.

Life & Career

In 1584 Hessler went to Venice to continue his studies and remained there for eighteen months. During this time he met Giovanni Gabrieli and they both studied under his uncle, Andrea Gabrieli who was the organist at St Mark’s Cathedral.

On the death of Gabrieli in 1585, Hassler became chamber organist to Octavian Fugger II in Augsburg, who consequently hired his two brothers. He was thought of very highly. During this time Hassler diversified and also become a metals dealer and involved in the manufacture of mechanical musical instruments and later an organ builder.

Despite being a Protestant he wrote many masses and directed Catholic masses. Hassler’s compositions displayed a gifted blend of both religions.

In 1600 Octavian II died, Hassler was given a position by the town council as music director but returned to Nuremburg the following year taking a similar position. Then he took the position of Kaiserlicher Hofdiener in the court of Rudolf II. Whilst there he took some leave and went to Ulm where he got married. Four years later he went to Dresden, during which time he held the position of Kapellmeister. Sadly, he started to display signs of Tuberculosis which took his life at the age of just forty seven in 1612.

Further Reading & Musical Downloads

Why not take a look at sheet music from Hassler on music-scores.com. Hassler Angelus ad pastores ait and Dixit Maria Sheet Music.

For further information take a look at Wikipedia and Britannica.

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