Anders von Düben d.y. (1673−1738)


Anders (von) Düben (the younger) was born in Stockholm in 1673 and died there in 1738. He was employed as a musician by the Swedish Royal Court Orchestra and in 1698 became its chief conductor. Anders Düben's extant compositions consist mainly of arias and instrumental works for special occasions at the royal court. In Stockholm the largest scale work of his output was performed in 1701, which was the vocal music for the ballet commemorating the Swedish triumph over Russia at the battle of Narva, Estonia in 1700 – The Narva Ballet.


Anders Düben was the youngest son of Gustav Düben (the elder, 1628/29−1690), hovkapellmästare (chief conductor of the Royal Court Orchestra) and organist in the German Church in Stockholm, and Emerentia Standaert (died 1679). Anders Düben was employed in 1686 at the Hovkapellet (the Royal Court Orchestra) at the age of 13. During the years 1692 and 1694 he took a study tour of Europe in order to educate himself in music and to collect music manuscripts. His travels led him to Paris and it is also likely that he studied in Lübeck with the renowned composer Dieterich Buxtehude. In 1698, Anders Düben was appointed hovkapellmästare replacing his older brother Gustav Düben, (the younger, 1660−1726) who left the position for a career in the hovförvaltning (the Office of the Treasurer of the Court).

During the Great Northern War (1700−1721) Anders Düben accompanied King Charles XII on military campaigns − in Saxon Altranstädt and in Bender, Moldova − and in 1710, with the King in Constantinople. In 1711 Düben was appointed chamberlain. Upon his return to Sweden in 1713 he resigned from his post as hovkapellmästare and was instead appointed as ‘directeur of music’. He left this position in 1726 being replaced by Carl Franc (1693−1740) after an unsuccessful attempt to keep the post as manager of the Hovkapellet within the family by promoting his nephew, Carl Gustav von Düben (1700−1758). Anders Düben had earlier in 1721 been appointed as hovmarsalk (Marshal of the Royal Court), a post he retained until his death in 1738. Anders Düben was raised to nobility in 1707 and in 1719 he was appointed baron, like his older siblings, Gustav (the younger), Joachim (the elder, 1671−1715) and Emerentia (1669−1743).

Anders Düben was married for the first time in 1700 with Ulrica Friedreich (1684−1715), the second time in 1715 with Hedvig Ulrika Fleming of Liebelitz (1694−1717) and the third time in 1718 with Christina Sparfvenfeldt (1695−1780). His children had successful careers at the royal court and his son Joachim von Düben (the younger, 1708−1786) was appointed as riksråd (a member of the Council of the Realm).

In 1732 Anders Düben’s family donated a large collection of music − known as the Düben Collection − to the library at Uppsala University. This collection embodies one of the largest and best-preserved collections of music dating from the 17th century in the whole of Europe.


During Anders Düben’s time as music leader, French repertoire dominated the court in Stockholm. During the years 1699−1706 royal court musicians worked with a French theatre troupe that had been engaged by the Swedish court under the directions of Claude Guilmois de Rosidor (1660−1718). One example of this collaboration was created for the extensive events during the spring of 1701 celebrating Sweden’s triumph at Narva, Estonia, in the Great Northern War. The musicians and the French troupe set up a performance of song and dance that, today, is usually referred to as Narvabaletten (The Narva Ballet). Anders Düben composed all the solo vocal pieces for this occasion. These were written in a distinctly French style; several have been shown to be composed from existing models found in the music from operas by Jean-Baptiste Lully. The production’s instrumental pieces were, according to northern European courtly practices of the time, the ballet master’s responsibility and in this case were borrowed from an already existing work: Le désespoir de Tirsis by the relatively unknown composer Jean Desfontaines (ca 1658−before 1752).  The choruses were also taken from this work.

Beside the music for Narvabaletten, Anders Düben’s extant compositions include minor instrumental dance music as well as strophic solo arias accompanied by one or two violin parts. This music was often composed for specific occasions at the royal court, such as royal birthdays and New Year’s tributes.

Maria Schildt © 2015
Trans. Jill Ann Johnson


Axelsson, Per: Från fransk pastoral till svensk segerbalett. Om sambandet mellan Jean Desfontaines 'La Desespoir de Tirsis' och Anders Dübens 'Ballet meslé de chants heroïques', Uppsala University, 2001.
De la Gorce, Jérôme : 'Un spectacle d’inspiration française donné en 1701 à la Cour de Suède: Le «Ballet mis en musique» par Andreas Düben', Französische Musik im Europäischen Kontext: Basler Jahrbuch für historische musikpraxis, Basel, 2004.
Forsstrand, Carl: Från Slottsbacken till Ladugårdslandet: Släkt- och ungdomsminnen, 2nd vol., Stockholm: Geber, 1921.
Jeanson, Gunnar: 'Vår första opera och den Rosidorska teatertruppen i Sverige', Svensk Tidskrift för Musikforskning, vol. 1, 1919/1920, pp. 4−39.
Kjellberg, Erik: 'Kungliga musiker i Sverige under stormaktstiden: studier kring deras organisation, verksamheter och status ca 1620 − ca 1720', vol. 1−2, diss., Uppsala University, 1979.
−−−: 'Baletten', in: Signums svenska kulturhistoria. Stormaktstiden, Jakob Christensson (ed.), Lund: Signum, 2005, pp. 531−562.
−−−: 'Stormaktstidens hovmusik', in: Musiken i Sverige 1. Från forntid till stormaktstidens slut, Leif Jonsson, Ann-Marie Nilsson och Greger Andersson (eds), Stockholm: Fischer, 1994, pp. 311−358.
−−−: 'Anders Düben', Sohlmans musiklexikon, vol. 2, Stockholm: Sohlman, 1975, pp. 374.
Kyhlberg, Bengt: 'När föddes Gustav Düben dy? Anteckningar kring några oklara punkter i familjen Dübens biografi', Svensk Tidskrift för Musikforskning, vol. 55, 1974, pp. 7−18.
Moberg, Carl-Allan: 'Anders Düben', Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, vol. 11, Stockholm: Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, 1945, pp. 635−636. [Including list of works.]
Norlind, Tobias: 'Familjen Düben', Svensk Tidskrift för Musikforskning, vol. 24, 1942, pp. 5−46.
Weman Ericsson, Lena: 'Andreas Düben och Anders von Düben: två kompositörer från den svenska stormaktstiden', thesos, Uppsala University, 1990. [Including list of works.]


Uppsala universitetsbibliotek, Kungliga Biblioteket Stockholm, Musik- och teaterbiblioteket, Skara stifts- och landsbibiliotek, Kalmar läns museum, Kalmar: Stagneliusskolan

Summary list of works

Ballet music (The Narva Ballet), instrumental music (minuets), vocal music (solo songs and ensembles).

Collected works

Printed music
Ballet réprésenté par ordre de sa majesté La Reine Doüairiere sur le Theatre du Palais Royal à Stockholm le 6 Fevrier 1701. Mis en musique par M:r Andrées Düben Maitre de la Musique Du Roy, Stockholm. Imprimé dans l’Imprimerie de Michel. Laurelio le 10 Avril 1701. Stockholm, 1701.

Music in handwritten manuscripts (preserved in the Düben collection if nothing else is stated)
Vokal music
Av underdånig nit (Nyårsönskan ). S., 2 vl./fl., b.c.
Alla med en mun och röst. För Ulrika Eleonoras födelsedag 1714. S., 2 fl., 2 vl, b.c.
Gottes Güte sei gepriesen. S., vl., b.c.
Huru kort och ont är dock vårt liv. S., 2 vl, 2 vla d’amore, 2 vla, 2 fl., b.c.
Högsta himmel vi dig sjunga (för Hedvig Sofias födelsedag). S., 2 vl./fl., b.c.
Leve väl i långa tider (Nyårsönskan 1704). S., 2 vl./fl., b.c.
Ende Svea arvprinsessa (Nyårsönskan 1715). S., vl., b.c.
Le destin des poissons (för Hertigen av Holsteins födelsedag 1706). S., b.c. I UUB, Nordin 1135.
Nu bör oss prisa Gud (Nyårsönskan), alt. text: Statt upp o Svea land. S., 2 vl., b.c.
Vi kunna ej nogsamt betyga vår fägnad vid början av året (Nyårsönskan). S., 2 vl., b.c.
Vi önskom vår monark (Nyårsönskan 1702, J.G. Werwing). S., 2 vl., b.c.

Instrumental music
Minuet, 1705.
Minuet, 1705.
Minuet, 1707.
Minuet, 1727.
Minuet, 1719.
Marche de Narva/Marche pour les Suédois. Stockholm, KB; Kalmar läns museum.
Minuet La Combatt. Stockholm, Kungliga Biblioteket.
Seven minuets. Kalmar, Stagneliusskolan.

Works by Anders von Düben d.y.

There are no works by the composer registered