A rare find in a german antiquarian bookshop.

Last summer I visited Dresden and as always I looked forward to visiting some antiquarian bookshops; especialy the “Dresdener Antiquariat”, because it has a lot of out-of-print books and musical scores. This time I was very lucky; not only did I find (at last!) a piano score of Lortzing’s “Der Wildschütz” (The Poacher), that is unacceptably expensive in The Netherlands (where I live), but my best catch was the little booklet “Der deutschen Jugend gilt mein Lied” for only € 4!

That is why I keep lugging antiquarian bookshops: despite the internet, abebooks and e-readers there are still some very rare gems that nobody else would buy, but that are valuable to me!
As was printed on the front page:

Über Leben und Wirken von Albert Lortzing.
Material zur Gestaltung von Heimabenden in den Gruppen der Freien Deutschen Jugend.
Zusammengestellt und geschrieben von Manfred Jordan.
Herausgegeven vom Zentralrat der Freien Deutschen Jugend – Abteilung Kultur.

It is not “just” a Lortzing biography. And, by the way: on the risk of blowing my own horn, you won’t find anything on Lortzing that isn’t already mentioned on this website. It was written to be used during the meetings of the Free German Youth, also known as the FDJ (German: Freie Deutsche Jugend), the official communist youth movement of the German Democratic Republic and the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.
What’s in it? “Einleitung des Gruppenleiters”, “Sprecher”, “Wir erzählen”, “Überleitung”, “Wir lesen vor”; it reminded me of my youth, when my parents bought me a children’s prayer book for the catholic mass, to be able to follow the – latin – mass as a child. Also: “Wir spielen oder lesen mit verteilten Rollen” (role-playing avant-la-lettre) and – best of all – concerted music making and singing of Lortzing’s music – isn’t that what’s still happening in church? (well…the congregational singing, they’re not singing music by Lortzing in church, of course)
Except that there are some pieces of music in this booklet that you’ll find nowhere else: on page 43 the “Neues Osterlied” and on page 56 the “Deutsches Studentenlied”, respectively LOWV 80 nrs 2 and 1. “Vier Chöre” for male choir, written during the revolution of March 1848 in Vienna. It has been printed in July 1848, but then it fell into oblivion. Okay, the orchestral parts are still missing (you can always look for them at the Library of the Lortzing archive in Detmold). Furthermore, on page 63, “Der deutschen Jugend gilt mein Lied” (LOWV 95,4), although deliberately renamed as “Es geht der Weg durch Nacht zum Licht” and in a lower key than the original.
It is really a collector’s item and I’m proud to possess it. However, for all of you interested in Lortzing (or probably in the history of socialism/communism in the German Democratic Republic) I offer you a pdf of the booklet; you can download it here.

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