- Nancy B. Reich
(b Berlin, April 11, 1779; d Hamburg, Nov 17, 1826). German composer and singing teacher. The daughter of J.F. Reichardt and his first wife, Juliane (née Benda), Louise Reichardt was virtually self-taught. She acquired an informal education from her father and the philosophers and poets who frequented her home in Giebichenstein (near Halle). Such literary figures of the German Romantic era as the Grimm brothers, Ludwig Tieck, Novalis (F.L. von Hardenberg), Joseph von Eichendorff, Clemens Brentano and Ludwig von Arnim were family friends and admired her singing and song settings. In 1809 she settled in Hamburg, where she supported herself as a singing teacher and composer. She also organized and directed a women’s chorus which became the nucleus of the Hamburg Singverein. Reichardt was known for her untiring efforts in the production of Handel choral works; she translated the texts and prepared the choruses for performances conducted by her male colleagues. She composed more than 75 songs and choruses, both sacred and secular, which were popular throughout the 19th century and appear in many anthologies; a number have achieved the status of folksongs. Reichardt’s German songs have unusually graceful and lyrical vocal lines with deliberately unobtrusive piano accompaniments. Among her best – and best-known – songs are ...