Johann Abraham Peter Schulz

Johann Abraham Peter Schulz

Composer

• 1747 1800

Biography

Schulz studied with Kirnberger in Berlin followed by extensive travels as an accompanist and teacher. He became the director of the French theater in Berlin after returning from his trek and helping Kirnberger write theoretical works. After coming into disfavor in Berlin, 1787, Schulz went to Copenhagen where he became the center of musical life. As court Kapellmeister and director of the Royal Theater he was able to stage works that reflected social problems contending with land reform; he was even instrumental in setting up a fund for the widows of musicians. The greatest contribution he made to music was his lied. In an attempt to use all of the leading poets in these settings Schulz was quite successful, not simply because he succeeded but he succeeded with such eloquence. His aesthetics, discussed in his theoretical works, were such that music and poetry should be one rather than split with one artistic medium dominating the other. Music should enhance and help to bring out the content of the text without forsaking the idiom. Schulz was able to accomplish this with the simple, melodic lines he afforded to his lied. Schulz also composed twelve operas, as well as oratorios, cantatas and other sacred works.

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