Albert, Heinrich


Is called the "Father of German Lied." Composer, organist and poet. At the age of eighteen he went to Dresden to study music, under his uncle, Heinrich Schütz, a famous composer, but was soon sent to Leipsic by his parents, who wished him to study law. In 1626 he started for Konigsberg, where Stobaus was chapel master, but he was taken prisoner on the way and did not reach that city until 1628. Here he studied with Stobaus and became organist of the Cathedral and here he died, in 1651. He wrote and published many collections of sacred and secular songs. In 1644, he composed a musical comedy, which was never published and which has been lost. He was one of the forerunners of German Opera. He wrote the words as well as the music for most of his songs. Beside eight books of arias, he wrote chorals, songs and part-songs and a great many hymns, some of which are still sung. His hymns and songs were published in eight collections, some of them running into several editions. The prefaces of these collections were very valuable, as they contained a statement of the principles of the art of music, which was at that time passing through a reformation.