Schultz, Johann Abraham Peter


b Lüneburg, N Germany 1747, d Schwedt, Germany 1800. (His birthplace also features in the lives of Ebeling and J S Bach). His father, a baker, hoped he would train for ordination, but so committed was he to music that he left home at the age of 15 and set out virtually penniless for Berlin. Here the noted music teacher Kirnberger accepted him as a pupil, as he hoped; he became proficient on violin, flute and keyboard. At the age of 19 his travels began again, studying music as he crossed Germany and visited France and Italy, meeting F J Haydn among others. On returning to Berlin he engaged in writing as well as music, editing his former tutor’s Treatise on Pure Composition and assisting both him and Sulzer with other work. His most influential collection of songs was his Lieder im Volkston published in 3 vols, 1782–1790. From 1776 to 1780 he played in and then directed the orchestra of the French Theatre, and next became Kapellmeister at Rheinsburg, to Prince Henry of Prussia, 1780–87. In a similar royal post at Copenhagen (1787–95) he was able to influence the development of Danish music; his choruses and other compositions often embodied his political ideals. But when fire broke out at the royal palace and rapidly destroyed it, in his efforts to save precious musical mss and other papers from the library Schultz permanently damaged his health. After further suffering when his ship to Lisbon was wrecked, he remained in Berlin from 1796 but never returned to a normal life. His writing included operas and instrumental works as well as church music and other songs; whether in sacred or secular work, his strong conviction was that the musical setting should both reflect and enhance the meaning of the text. See also the notes in Grove. No.919

Tunes and arrangements by Schultz, Johann Abraham Peter

Tune Name
Wir Pflügen