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J.A.P. Schulz


Johann Abraham Peter Schulz was originally a baker’s son from Lüneburg south east of Hamburg. He had first drawn attention to himself as a boy soprano and then with an early-developed talent for composing and playing on both organ and harpsichord. He was later to become quite far-travelled. His career included an almost ten-year stretch from 1787 as court conductor in Copenhagen; and before that, in the period between 1768 and 1772, when he was in the service of the Polish Princess Joanna Sapieha, he visited among other cities Danzig, Vienna, Paris, Milan and Venice. After advanced tuberculosis had forced him to give up his duties in Copenhagen in 1795, he tried to reconvalesce in Portugal, but was shipwrecked on the voyage home and had to spend the winter in Arendal on the south coast of Norway. He spent his last enfeebled years back home in Germany, where he died on 10th June 1800 in the small town of Schwerdt an der Oder.

Schulz is first and foremost remembered today for his simple songs, including Sig månen langsomt hæver (The moon is slowly rising), which were to become models for Carl Nielsen’s Danish songs, and for his 'Singspiele' or ballad operas, some of which were written in Denmark.

In Schulz' rare and almost forgotten instrumental works the Six diverses pièces pour le Clavecin ou le Piano Forte are his masterpiece, which is recorded on CD for Dacapo by Lars Ulrik Mortensen