JOHANN CASPAR KERLL (1627 - 1693)
The composer and organist Johann Caspar Kerll, born at Adorf in Vogtland into a Lutheran family, moved to Vienna to study with the court Kapellmeister Valentini, became a Catholic, and studied in Rome with Carissimi. He became chamber musician to the Emperor’s brother, Leopold Wilhelm, in Brussels, and from 1655 a member, later Kapellmeister, at the court in Munich until in 1673 Italian intrigues forced him to leave. He was later court organist, with activity from 1683 in Munich, where he died in 1693.
Kerll wrote a number of Mass settings for voices and instruments, reflecting his period of study with Carissimi. He also composed motets and music for Jesuit dramas, this last a token of his collaboration with the Jesuits in Munich.
Kerll’s organ music includes canzoni, fugues, partitas and toccatas, comparable in style and form to the works of Frescobaldi and Froberger.