Happy birthday, Franz

Thank you, Bluebird of Bitterness for finding the best music on the planet.

bluebird of bitterness

It’s the birthday of German composer Franz Xaver Biebl (1906-2001). He was born in Pursruck, studied music in Munich, and became a church musician and a teacher of choral music. He was drafted into the German army in 1943 and captured in Italy the following year, and spent the remainder of the war as a POW at Fort Custer in Michigan — a time he seems rather to have enjoyed. “It was a good time,” Biebl recalled. “We got enough to eat, good food, just like the American soldiers had. I was allowed to arrange a choir and songs for it. The Americans helped me to arrange concerts with choir, soloists and chamber music.”

After the war’s end, Biebl returned to his home and his life as a musician, composer, choir director, and teacher. In 1959 he became director of choral music at the Bavarian State Radio Broadcasting Company. While…

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