Author: Sandy Date: Nov 28, 2006 20:45
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by Will and Ariel Durant
Germany was blessed and excited with music beyond any other nation
but Italy. A family without musical instruments was an abnormality.
Schools taught music almost on a par with religion and reading. Church
music was in decline because science and philosophy, cities and
industry, were secularizing minds; the great Lutheran hymns still
resounded, but song was passing from church choirs to lieder,
'Singspiele', and opera. Johann Peter Schulz opened a new era in song
with his 'Lieder im Volkston' (1782); henceforth Germany enjoyed an
unquestioned leadership in this application of music to lyric poetry.
The mechanical improvement of the piano stimulated the spread of
concerts and the rise of instrumental virtuosi. Performers like Johann
Schobert, Abt Vogler, and Johann Hummel conquered a...