Written by: Trevor Nelson
Louise Reichardt was the daughter of J. F. Reichardt and his wife, Juliane. Decidedly middle class, Louise received some informal education from her father and family friends but was primarily self-taught. Many prominent figures in the German Romanticism movement, such as the Grimm brothers, Joseph von Eichendorff, and Ludwig von Arnim, were frequent guests at the Reichardt home and were known to have admired Louise’s song settings and singing ability. In 1809, she settled in Hamburg, where she made a living as a singing teacher; she also organized and directed a women’s chorus. She played a significant role in the formation of the German choral movement, a driving force in nineteenth-century musical nationalism. She composed more than 75 songs and choral pieces, running the gamut of styles. Many of them evoke folk characteristics, with their lyrical melodies and simple piano accompaniments.
- Matthew Head. Sovereign Feminine: Music and Gender in Eighteenth-Century Germany. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013.
- Diane P. Jezic. Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found. New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1988.
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