Commer, Franz (Aloys Theodor)
- Christopher Fifield
(b Cologne, Jan 23, 1813; d Berlin, Aug 17, 1887). German music historian, editor, organist and composer. He was a pupil of Joseph Klein and Carl Leibl and in 1828 became organist of the Carmelite church at Cologne and a member of the cathedral choir. In 1832 he went to Berlin, where he studied with A.W. Bach (organ) and K.F. Rungenhagen (composition) and attended A.B. Marx’s lectures. His interest in old music was stimulated by his friendship with Carl von Winterfeld, whom he met in 1835, and by a commission to set in order the library of the Royal Institute for Church Music, which from 1845 held much of Forkel’s personal library. In 1839 Musica sacra, the first of Commer’s many important editions of early music, began to appear. In 1845 he became regens chori of the Hedwigskirche and singing teacher at the Elisabeth School, and he held several other similar positions. He was much decorated by royalty for his research. In ...