The Correspondence of Christian Gottfried Krause: A Music Lover in the Age of Sensibility

1st Edition

Darrell M. Berg

Published March 28, 2009
Reference - 306 Pages
ISBN 9780754664291 - CAT# Y237001


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The fascinating correspondence of the Berlin lawyer and musician Christian Gottfried Krause is an important document reflecting the trends and developments in aesthetics, music theory and music making in the Prussian capital during the reign of Frederick the Great. Krause's letters shed light on the rise of a bourgeois music culture, which during his lifetime gradually replaced the traditional musical institutions at court and in the churches, preparing the urban musical culture which to this day dominates German socio-cultural structures. This volume features Krause's letters to leading literary figures of his time, including Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, Carl Wilhelm Ramler, Ewald Christian von Kleist, and Johann Peter Uz. The letters provide importand information not found in other sources about musical performances, and express Krause's strong opinions about leading German musicians with whom he was acquainted, such as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann, Carl Heinrich Graun, and Johann Friedrich Agricola. The letters provide news about the Berlin opera and gossip about the Prussian court as well as containing Krause's response to the Seven Years' War and his perception of the horrors - and benefits - of war in general. The correspondence vividly portrays the concern of a middle-class Prussian for the health and welfare of his family of six, in the very period when the Prussian middle class was beginning to come into its own. And - particularly in the exchanges with the lonely Gleim - the letters reveal a remarkable sympathy between this family man and a man without a family. They are presented in the original German, with English translations on facing pages. An introduction and abundant annotations help to reveal a picture of a pivotal cultural moment and will be of interest to anyone working on the roots of urban musical culture and the culture of the mid-eighteenth century in general.

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