April 3, 1682

Hans Valentin Rathgeber was born in Oberelsbach. He was the 6th child of the schoolmaster, cantor and organist Valentin Rathgeber and his wife Anna. On the same day he was baptized Hans Valentin. Most probably he received his first musical education in playing organ and violin from his father.

Februray 2, 1701

Rathgeber registered at the university of Wuerzburg as a Logicus which includes rhetoric, mathematics and jurisprudence. Soon he also studied theology.

July 1, 1704

Rathgeber, then a student of theology, was appointed as schoolmaster for the orphanage school of the Juliusspital after the probationary period of four weeks. Probably Valentin Rathgeber previously belonged to the Musaeum Julianum, an academic college affiliated with the Juliusspital. Rathgeber's appointment was possibly supported by the canonicus Johannes Kiesner - as well a native of Oberelsbach.

October 4, 1704 Permanent appointment was granted. Especially his music abilities were referred to, and his young age was not an obstacle: "since now he has behaved without complaints in spite of his youth, as well as he is appropriate for the Spital concerning music".

March 16, 1707

Again Rathgeber is reminded that he will be dismissed out of the orphanage school because „he is not respectable for the Spital due to his youth and other reasons". But he was permitted to live at the Julius-Spital until Easter (April 24). Due to his musical abilities Rathgeber soon became valet of the abbot Kilian Duering of the monastery of Banz.

November 26, 1707

He joined the monastic life by becoming a novice either due to tendency or due to further provisioning.

December 6, 1708

After a year Rathgeber celebrated his profess at the monastery of Banz.

September 21, 1709

Rathgeber was consecrated to the subdiocanate in the cathedral of Wuerzburg.

September 20, 1710

Rathgeber was consecrated to the diaconate in the cathedral of Wuerzburg.

September 19, 1711

Again in Wuerzburg, Rathgeber was ordained.

October 18, 1711

Rathgeber celebrated his ordination to the priesthood in his convent. His second name Valentin became also his monastic name.


Rathgeber published his Opus I including 8 missae breves for 4 voices and the church trio (2 violins and continuo). These masses are characterized by suaveness, facility and brevity. In the year 1728 there was a reprint of this debut feature enlarged by 2 requiems.


Rathgeber's Opus II contains 6 vespers in pompous concerto style which are either festive or short compositions. These vesper cycles have got 5 psalms each and Magnificat.


Rathgeber's Opus III is a cycle of 9 missae solemnes. After a year there was a second edition of this work which shows that Rathgeber's sacred compositions have made their way due to their popular simplicity.


Rathgeber released Opus IV, a collection of instrumental offertories.


Opus V meets the liturgical demands of Marian antiphonies throughout the ecclesiastical year.


Rathgeber released his first secular work Opus VI which is a collection of instrumental concertos. Since Rathgeber was criticized by music experts due to his new style, he decided to campaign for his music with a public relation tour. In that respect he could present his compositions to the public and could answer the requests of the music market.

October 22, 1729

Rathgeber left - allegedly without permission by the abbot- the monastery for a public relation tour lasting 9 years.


Most probably Rathgeber went via Wuerzburg and Mainz to the Rhineland and sojourned at the Benedictine monastery St. Maximin in Trier. There, Rathgeber released Opus VII „Decas Mariano-Musica", a collection of 10 missae solemnes for all feasts of Mary, mother of God. This compilation is dedicated to the abbot Nikolaus Paccius.


Rathgeber published Opus VIII, a collection of 6 Requiem and 2 Libera me. Most probably this opus was written while Rathgeber experienced the cachexia and death of his patron. Rathgeber left Trier and came probably via Stuttgart to Lake Constance.

September 9, 1731

Rathgeber sojourned in Muri abbey, Aargau canton/Switzerland, and dedicated a mass to prince abbot Gerold Haimb on occasion of his abbatial anniversary. This mass was rediscovered a short while ago. Most probably he also played the famous organs of the abbey church.

November 29, 1731

Rathgeber visited the Music College of the German School in Zuerich, Switzerland, and presented some of his works.


Rathgeber published Opus IX, a compilation of Vespers, dedicated to Ernst, Earl of Montfort who resided in the castles of Tettnang and Langenargen. In the same year Rathgeber published Opus X, a collection of 8 latin and german arias, and Opus XI consisting of 36 hymns. The Baroque text of the arias probably stems from Rathgeber himself. According to the dedications one can conclude that Rathgeber visited the Cistercian monastery of Wettingen, Aargau canton, and the Benedictine monastery of Pfaefers, St.Gallen canton, while travelling through the northern part of Switzerland.


The next work of Rathgeber is released in two parts. The first volume of Opus XII is dedicated to Dr. Melchior Sauter, parish priest of Wasserburg. It consists of 6 missae rurales, intended for country districts where choirs as well as musicians were limited. This work was also very popular and it was followed in 1743 by a second edition. The second volume is dedicated to Dr. Anton Cajetan von Unertl, provost of Habach. Contrary to the first part, Rathgeber wrote 6 missae civiles, more festive and especially for use in towns. He also published anonymously the first part of his Tafelconfect.


In that year Rathgeber released Opus XIII, a collection of 6 Miserere and Tantum Ergo dedicated to Maximilian Rest, Benedictine abbot of Scheyern. Most probably Rathgeber also visited his publisher Johann Jakob Lotter in Augsburg. Afterwards Rathgeber went to the east. Still in the same year, Rathgeber published the first two parts of his threefold Opus XIV, a cycle of offertories for all feasts of Christ and the saints. The first part is dedicated to Anselm Godin, prince abbot of the Reichs-Abbey of St. Emmeram in Regensburg whereas the second part was dedicated to Joscio Hamberger, Benedictine abbot of Niederaltaich.


Also in this year Rathgeber was very prolific. Thus, he published the third part of Opus XIV dedicated either to Berthold Dietmayr, Benedictine abbot of Melk, or to Robert Leeb, Cistertian abbot of Heiligenkreuz near Vienna. Maybe he received funding by both abbots although they did not know about each other. Perhaps one of these abbots consented in financing this opus.

October 2-14, 1735

Rathgeber sojourned in the Bendictine monastery of Pannonhalma/Hungary and dedicated Opus XV, a collection of 50 offertories for the usual Sundays, to arch abbot Benedek Sajghó. These offertories are written in "stylo antico" and can be performed with choir and organ alone. However, after being kicked out of the monastery rather unfriendly, Rathgeber dedicated the same Opus to Carl Fetzer, abbot of the Scottish monastery in Vienna.


Rathgeber released Opus XVI, a compilation of 24 antiphones, dedicated again to two sponsors: Kilian Werlein, Benedictine abbot of St. Lambrecht, or Franz Molindes, head of the Austrian Jesuit province. In the same year Rathgeber also published Opus XVII, a rural compilation of vespers, dedicated to Ernst Baron of Girardi, the Benedictine superior of the place of pilgrimage in Mariazell. Moreover, Rathgeber presented Opus XVIII, a collection of 6 Lauretanian Litanies, without a sponsor so far.


Anonymously again another part of the Tafelconfect is published.

September 2, 1738

After nearly 9 years of journeying, Rathgeber returned to the monastery of Banz. Allegedly, he was imprisoned in the jail of the convent. Most probably Rathgeber was isolated from his brother monks when counselling about his case.

September 19, 1738

After a general confession and renewal of his profession Rathgeber was revived in the monastic convent. In the same year Rathgeber published Opus XIX, a collection of 4 missae solennes each with a concert, dedicated to his new abbot Gregor Stumm, such as he had previously dedicated his first Opus to his abbot Benedikt Lurz in 1721.


In contrast to his announcement that he wouldn't publish further compositions Rathgeber presented Opus XX, a compilation of 30 easily practicable offertories. Probably in the same year the third part of the Tafelconfect is published - again anonymously (see the catalogues of the publisher).


In that year, Rathgeber published his last sacred work. So far, not one copy has been discovered.


Rathgeber published his last work Opusculum XXII, a collection of 60 easy arias for the keyboard instruments. Due to their great popularity they had to be reprinted in the year 1750. In his last years, Rathgeber wrote many essays, handwritten compositions and a autobiography. Unfortunately, none of his latest works has been preserved.

July 16,1744 Rathgeber was patient at the health resort of Kissingen

June 2, 1750

After severe illness (either articular gout or an apoplectic stroke), Rathgeber who was one of the most famous and influential composers of Southern Germany during his life time, died.

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