“Dann bricht der Freiheit Morgen an” – Lortzing as a political composer.

A new book on Lortzing has been published last month:
Eva Marie Schnelle: “Dann bricht der Freiheit Morgen an”. Die Opern Albert Lortzings in ihrem verfassungsgeschichtlichen Kontext.
Schriftenreihe der Albert-Lortzing-Gesellschaft, Band 1
Leipziger Universitätsverlag
ISBN 978-3-86583-812-4

It is about Lortzing as a political composer. Which is not a new perspective: although we know Lortzing mainly as a composer of biedermeier “Singspiele”, it has always been known that Lortzing also had strong opinions on politics, like his friend Robert Blum. But, of course, due to the political climate of his days, he had to be very careful how he expressed his ideas.

Is it a coincidence that the title of this little book is almost the same as Jürgen Lodemann’s Essay „Nun kommt der Freiheit großer Morgen“?. No, because it is a quote from “Andreas Hofer” ánd from the final scene of “Regina”, both Lortzing’s most politically engaged operas, when I exclude “Der Pole und sein Kind” for now.

And, is it a coincidence that the latest issue of the “Nestroyana“, the journal of the international Nestroy-Gesellschaft, also has some articles about censorship in the pre-March era? It must be in the air, or the Zeitgeist, to rehabilitate the Biedermeier period, which was not a dull, narrow-minded era at all, but showed that people were striving for as much freedom as they could get in an age of censorship and political oppression! And, you can find that out by “close-reading” the works of Lortzing (and his Viennese counterpart, Nestroy), who after all, was his own librettist.

So, I can only recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Lortzing and of course to anyone who wants to know more about politics in the Vormärz.

But most of all I recommend this book strongly to those of you who still think of Lortzing as a minor composer (why are you still reading this website? – you must be looking for something!), just aiming for ingratiating himself with his audience.

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