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Poets

Christian Schubart

(1739- 1791)

Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart, was a German poet, organist, composer, and journalist. He was repeatedly punished for his writing and spent ten years in severe conditions in jail.

Born at Obersontheim in Swabia, he entered the University of Erlangen in 1758 as a student of theology. He led a dissolute life, and after two years' stay was summoned home by his parents. After attempting to earn a livelihood as private tutor and as assistant preacher, his musical talents gained him the appointment of organist in Geislingen an der Steige. Meeting Schubart in Ludwigsburg in 1772, Charles Burney called him "the first, real great harpsichord player that I had hitherto met with in Germany ... He is formed on the Bach school; but is an enthusiast, and original in genius. Many of his pieces are printed in Holland; they are full of taste and fire. He played on the Clavichord, with great delicacy and expression; his finger is brilliant, and fancy rich." Schubart was unappreciated in Ludwigsburg, according to Burney: "The common people think him mad, and the rest overlook him." As a consequence of his wild life and blasphemy, found expressed in a parody of the litany, he was later expelled from the country.

He then visited in turn Heilbronn, Mannheim, Munich and Augsburg. In Augsburg, he made a considerable stay, began his Deutsche Chronik (German Chronicle, 1774–1778) and eked out a subsistence by reciting from the latest works of prominent poets.

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