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Ann Willison Lemke

[Bettine, Elisabeth]

(b Frankfurt, April 4, 1785; d Berlin, Jan 20, 1859). German writer, editor, publisher, composer, singer, visual artist and patron of young artists. Although known today primarily for her writing and her illustrious associates, Bettine was also a talented musician. She composed songs in a simple folk style, choosing texts by poets she knew and loved, including Goethe, Achim von Armin, and her brother, Clemens Brentano. She helped gather songs for Armin and Brentano’s influential collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn (1806–8) and decades later published a fourth volume based on their notes (ed. Ludwig Erk, 1854). From 1808 to 1809 she studied singing and composition with Peter von Winter and the piano with Sebastian Bopp in Munich. Her first two songs appeared under the pseudonym ‘Beans Beor’ (‘blessing I am blessed’) with Arnim’s literary works. After her crucial meeting with Beethoven in Vienna (May, 1810), she mediated between him and Goethe....

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(b Munich, July 18, 1724; d Dresden, April 23, 1780). German princess, composer, singer and patron. The eldest daughter of the Elector Karl Albert of Bavaria (later Emperor Karl VII) and of Archduchess Maria Amalia of Austria, she received her first musical training in Munich from Giovanni Ferrandini and Giovanni Porta. After her marriage in 1747 to Friedrich Christian, later Elector of Saxony, she continued her studies in Dresden with Nicola Porpora and J.A. Hasse. With the Seven Years War and the death of the elector in 1763 the cultural life at the Dresden court declined. Her lively exchange of letters with Frederick the Great of Prussia from 1763 to 1779 bears witness to her increasing sense of personal and artistic isolation; the musical ideals she had grown up with as a pupil and devotee of Hasse and a correspondent of Pietro Metastasio lost their validity, and new music, in particular the new Neapolitan operatic style, found no favour with her....