Luise Gottsched: Lute-playing heroine of her Age

Crawford, Tim. 2022. Luise Gottsched: Lute-playing heroine of her Age. In: Andreas Schlegel, ed. ... in der verlorene Paradies: Festschrift in memoriam Annette Otterstedt. Menziken, Switzerland: The Lute Corner, pp. 224-279. ISBN 9783952323243 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Luise Adelgunde Victoria Gottsched (1713–1762; fig. 1) is most famous today for her literary achievements as poet, playwright and translator. She was also a highly accomplished musician, a player of the lute and the harpsichord, winning the respect of a wide circle of musical acquaintances, both amateur and professional. This contribution examines a central aspect of the life of this extraordinary woman, her devotion to her favourite instrument, the lute. She collected music for the instrument wherever she could find it, and seems to have thus uniquely preserved a great part of the repertory from the mid-18th century that has come down to us today. Shortly after her marriage in 1735, her husband, Johann Christoph Gottsched, arranged for her to take composition lessons from one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s favourite pupils, the organist and lute-player Johann Ludwig Krebs, whose two surviving lute concertos almost certainly come from her collection. Among the several music manuscripts that can be shown to be written in Luise’s hand is one that opens with late copies (?1735–1738) of eight early pieces by Silvius Leopold Weiss (from c.1710–1714), followed by over 50 unascribed chorale-settings for the lute in various styles, including eleven by Adam Falckenhagen, which appeared in print in 1746. The especially intimate genre of the lute chorale has been little studied, but, to judge from the number of examples in sources that can be associated with Leipzig, it formed a significant element of the domestic musical scene in the city. Luise’s chorale book closes with an anonymous chorale- setting for lute of an apparently unique type, which may be ascribed with a high degree of certainty to Krebs, who otherwise seems to have devoted himself to his duties as organist in Zwickau from 1737.

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Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Computing > Intelligent Sound and Music Systems (ISMS)



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Date Deposited:

02 Feb 2023 17:04

Last Modified:

02 Feb 2023 17:04


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