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Carl Ernst Naumann (15 August 1832 – 15 December 1910) was a German organist, composer, conductor, editor, arranger and musicologist. He is best known now as an arranger and editor of the music of J.S. Bach, Mozart and Mendelssohn. He was a friend of Schumann and Brahms, and conducted the first performance of the latter's Alto Rhapsody in 1870.
Ernst Naumann studied the organ with Johann Gottlob Schneider junior [de] (1789-1864) and composition with Moritz Hauptmann and Ernst Richter. He published a treatise, Über die verschiedenen Bestimmungen der Tonverhältnisse und die Bedeutung des pythagoräischen oder reinen Quinten-Systems für unsere heutige Musik (The Various Definitions of Pitch Proportions and the Meaning of the Pythagorean Perfect Fifths System for Music Today) (Leipzig, 1858).
From 1860 until his death 50 years later he was organist and kapellmeister in Jena; from 1877 professor.
He made arrangements of the music of Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Schumann, and published editions of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi. He prepared six volumes of Bach's cantatas and keyboard pieces for publication as well as a nine-volume edition of his organ works. He did not complete his edition of Haydn's string quartets.
Naumann was friendly with Brahms and Schumann. The similarity of Brahms's music to that of late Beethoven was first noted in a letter from Albert Dietrich to Ernst Naumann on 5 November 1853. Naumann was one of the people Dietrich wrote to in March 1854, following Schumann's suicide attempt in late February.
On 3 March 1870, with the Akademischer Gesangverein of Jena, Naumann conducted the first public performance of Brahms's Alto Rhapsody, with Pauline Viardot as soloist.