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Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Volume 6 (2000) No. 2

Christian Flor (1626–1697), Johann Abraham Peter Schulz (1747–1800): Texte und Dokumente zur Musikgeschichte Lüneburgs. Edited by Friedrich Jekutsch, Joachim Kremer, and Arndt Schnoor. Veröffentlichungen der Ratsbücherei Lüneburg, 6; Musik der frühen Neuzeit, 2. Hamburg: von Bockel Verlag, 1997. [263 pp. ISBN 3-932696-04-2. DM 30 ($20).]

Reviewed by Dianne M. McMullen*

1. Introduction

2. Essays about Christian Flor

3. Essays about Johann Abraham Peter Schulz

4. General Evaluation


1. Introduction

1.1 The year 1997 marked important anniversaries of two men with ties to Lüneburg: the 300th anniversary of the death of Christian Flor and the 250th of the birth of Johann Abraham Peter Schulz. This volume of essays was produced by a team of several scholars, with the support of the city of Lüneburg’s Ratsbücherei. In the same year the city mounted an exhibition about Flor and Schulz, to which some references are made in the book.

1.2 Christian Flor’s connection with the city was long-standing. Born in Neukirchen in Holstein in 1626, he moved to Lüneburg in 1654 at the latest and remained there until he died 43 years later. Schulz was born and received his earliest musical education in Lüneburg, but he moved away at the age of 18. He maintained some contact with his birthplace in later years. The volume is weighted toward Flor, with five original essays about him and only one new essay about Schulz. A second lengthy essay about Schulz is a reprint.

2. Essays about Christian Flor

2.1 Christian Flor, immediate predecessor to Georg Böhm as organist at Lüneburg’s St. Johannis church, composed one of the earliest oratorio Passions. He is probably best known as the composer of music for two volumes of poetry by Johann Rist (1607–1667), a well-known theologian and poet. Flor’s keyboard music is becoming better known through editions and facsimiles.

2.2 Arndt Schnoor’s essay, “Christian Flor und das Lüneburger Musikleben seiner Zeit,” offers details about the gradual rise in the quality of the city’s musical life from 1650 through the end of the century. The reader learns almost as much about Flor’s Lüneburg colleagues, including Michael Jacobi, Christian Görtner, Friedrich Funke, and Johann Jacob Löwe, as he does about Flor. In addition, Schnoor provides archival documents, such as Flor’s 1689 evaluation of the glockenspiel at the Lüneburg Rathaus. Schnoor’s “Christian Flors Werke für Tasteninstrumente” is a brief study which points out general stylistic traits. Appended to the essay is a modern edition of Flor’s E-major suite.

2.3 The longest essay about Flor in the volume is Joachim Kremer’s “Der ‘kunstbemühte Meister’: Christian Flor als Liedkomponist Johann Rists.” Kremer is also author of a book on the north German Kantorat in Hamburg.1 Johann Rist collaborated with a number of composers in his quest for the perfect sacred music, engaging Flor for two of his last three collections of sacred poems. The two collections, both entitled Neues Musikalisches Seelenparadies, were published in Lüneburg in 1660 and 1662. In the face of criticism that his melodies were too florid, Flor demonstrated that they could be reduced to simple chorale melodies. Nevertheless, the melodies as published remained beyond the reach of congregational singers. To criticism from Rist that Flor’s melodies did not suit the affect of all stanzas, Flor replied that Rist always sent him just the first strophe. Kremer documents the controversy over Flor’s music well, including several musical examples. In the latter part of the essay Kremer discusses Rist’s and Flor’s connections to Pietism. Kremer’s “ ‘ ...tanzet, springet in die Wette...’: Über Christian Flors Vokalkompositionen” focuses on Flor’s music for special occasions, such as weddings and funerals. Kremer analyzes and provides the music for the 1659 wedding composition, Auf, hört ihr meine Sinnen. He also analyzes and gives musical examples from the funeral composition, Es ist g’nug.

2.4 In his “Zum Nachwirken Christian Flors,” Schnoor concludes that not enough of Flor’s works are extant to make a proper judgment about Flor’s influence. It is noteworthy, as he points out, that some of Flor’s works are to be found in the Uppsala Düben Collection. Also significant is the fact that both J.G. Walther and J. Mattheson include Flor in their lexicons. Hilde Szwerinski’s “Verzeichnis der erhaltenen und nachweisbaren Werke Christian Flors sowie der von ihm aufgezeichneten Kompositionen” is a useful catalogue, including information about extant copies and modern editions of Flor’s music. Bruce Gustafson’s facsimile edition of Lüneburg, Ratsbücherei, Mus. ant. pract. 1198 makes Flor’s music more widely available than it previously was.2

2.5 Friedrich Jekutsch’s “Ausstellungskatalog Christian Flor” lists the items of the 1997 exhibition. Altogether there are 47 items organized under six categories: Early Years, Musical Life in Lüneburg in the 17th Century, Organist at St. Lamberti and St. Johannis, Flor’s Compositions, Flor as Adjudicator of Organs, and Death and Influence. Among the most interesting items displayed were those from the Lüneburg Stadtarchiv in Flor’s hand. These included his 1663 application for the cantor’s position at St. Johannis and his 1676 application for the organist’s position at the same church. It also included a document which Flor, together with organists from two other churches, wrote to the Lüneburg city council complaining of the their poor salaries.

2.6 Hilde Szwerinski’s “Auswahlbibliographie” is divided into three parts: (1) lexicons, catalogues, and handbooks; (2) secondary literature; and (3) music editions. The only noteworthy omission I found is Gustav Fock’s book on the organists of the Johannis church.3 Those with an interest in Lüneburg’s musical life in the Baroque period might also turn to Harald Müller’s Ulrich Johann Voigt, 1669–1732: Stadtmusikus zu Celle und Lüneburg.4

3. Essays about Johann Abraham Peter Schulz

3.1 The leader of the so-called Second Berlin Song School, J.A.P. Schulz was not just a composer, but also a writer about music. A student of Johann Philipp Kirnberger, Schulz played a major role in the writing of Kirnberger’s Allgemeine Theorie der schönen Künste (1771–1774) and Die wahren Grundsätze zum Gebrauch der Harmonie (1773). Schulz’s most influential work as a composer was Lieder im Volkston (1782, 1785–1790), a work in which he sought simultaneously to heighten the meaning of the text and to create folk-like melodies. Schulz also composed music for the stage.

3.2 Heinz Gottwaldt is known to scholars in the field as the editor of Schulz’s music for Racine’s Athalie.5 His contribution about Schulz in the present volume, published here as two essays, first appeared in three parts in Lüneburger Blätter (vol. 6, 1955 and vol. 11/12, 1961). It is entitled “Johann Abraham Peter Schulz: autobiographische Skizze.” The original copy of Schulz’s autobiography is now lost, but later copies survive. In extensive commentaries following passages from the autobiography, Gottwaldt provides relevant historical and sociological information. He also corrects inaccuracies in Schulz’s text. Arndt Schnoor, in a new essay entitled “Johann Abraham Peter Schulz: Weltbürger und ‘musicus politicus’,” follows up on the Gottwaldt essay. Schnoor describes well the changing role of the church in the musical life of Germany in the late eighteenth century. One understands why Schulz was not content to follow a path similar to Flor. Schnoor culls materials from late twentieth-century German and Danish scholarship in his sketch of Schulz’s relationships with his employers and other political figures.

3.3 Friedrich Jekutsch’s “Ausstellungskatalog Johann Abraham Peter Schulz” contains a record of the 42 items displayed in the 1997 Lüneburg exhibition. They are divided into six categories: Places Important in Schulz’s Life, Vocal Compositions, Instrumental Compositions, Theoretical Writings, Compositions Based on Melodies by Schulz, and Works about Johann Abraham Peter Schulz.

3.4 There is no separate bibliography for Schulz, as there is for Flor. Schnoor’s article on Schulz contains a selected bibliography at the end which serves the purposes of that article. Among other articles about Schulz are the following: Wilhelm Schulte, “J.A.P. Schulz, a Protagonist of the Musical Enlightenment: Lieder im Volkston,”6 Jürgen Mainka, “Berlin (1774) - Rheinsberg (1784) - Copenhagen (1790). Hofzeremoniell und Musikstruktur,”7 Bathia Churgin, “The Symphony as Described by J.A.P. Schulz (1774): A Commentary and Translation,”8 Joan O. Falconer, “The Second Berlin Song School in America,”9 and Jürgen Mainka, “J.A.P. Schulz’ Athalia - Ein Beitrag zur Untersuchung der Beziehungen des ‘Sturm und Drang’ zum Klassizismus.”10

4. General Evaluation

4.1 The volume is free of significant misprints. On page 179, at the start of the editor’s note, “Hans Gottwaldt” should read “Heinz Gottwaldt.”

4.2 The essays in this book bring together two figures who lived in Lüneburg about a century apart. Comparisons between the two eras are not made. On the other hand, these essays go far beyond the boundaries of Lüneburg. For example, Schnoor’s and Gottwaldt’s essays describe all of Schulz’s life, much of which was spent in Berlin, Rheinsberg, and Copenhagen. Because of the depth and wide-ranging nature of these essays, the authors have given a significant historical view of the city.


*Dianne M. McMullen (mcmulled@union.edu) is Assistant Professor of Music and College Organist at Union College in Schenectady, NY. Her current research focuses on Renaissance dance music and on the German Lutheran chorale at the time of J.S. Bach. Return to beginning


1. Joachim Kremer, Das norddeutsche Kantorat im 18. Jahrhundert: Untersuchungen am Beispiel Hamburgs (Kassel: Börenreiter, 1995). Return to text

2. Lüneburg, Ratsbücherei, Mus. ant. pract. 1198. Introduction by Bruce Gustafson. 17th-Century Keyboard Music 22 (New York: Garland, 1987). Return to text

3. Gustav Fock, Die Organisten der Lüneburger Johanniskirche 1593–1921 (Hamburg-Blankenese, 1940). See especially pp. 6–9. Return to text

4. Harald Müller, Ulrich Johann Voigt, 1669–1732: Stadtmusikus zu Celle und Lüneburg, Schriftenreihe des Bomann-Museums und des Stadtarchivs Celle, 12 (Celle: Stadt Celle, 1985). Return to text

5. Musik zu Racine’s Athalie, ed. Heinz Gottwaldt. Das Erbe deutscher Musik 71 (Mainz: Schott, 1977). Return to text

6. Wilhelm Schulte, “J.A.P. Schulz, a Protagonist of the Musical Enlightenment: Lieder im Volkston,” Music Research Forum 3 (1988): 23–34. Return to text

7. Jürgen Mainka, “Berlin (1774) - Rheinsberg (1784) - Kopenhagen (1790). Hofzeremoniell und Musikstruktur,” Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft 23 (1981): 212–43. Return to text

8. Bathia Churgin, “The Symphony as Described by J.A.P. Schulz (1774): A Commentary and Translation,” Current Musicology 29 (1980): 6–16. Return to text

9. Joan O. Falconer, “The Second Berlin Song School in America,” The Musical Quarterly 19 (1973): 411–40. Return to text

10. Jürgen Mainka, “J.A.P. Schulz’ Athalia - Ein Beitrag zur Untersuchung der Beziehungen des ‘Sturm und Drang’ zum Klassizismus,” Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft 13 (1971): 273–320. Return to text

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