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date: 15 September 2019

Sophie Elisabeth, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburglocked

  • Horst Walter

Extract

(b Güstrow, Aug 20, 1613; d Lüchow, July 12, 1676). German composer and poet. She received a musical training at the court of her father, Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, where the orchestra was noted at the time for its employment of outstanding English instrumentalists, among them William Brade. In 1628 she was obliged to flee from the Thirty Years War, and for some years she lived at the Kassel court, a lively centre of music. In July 1635 she married Duke August the Younger of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the learned founder of the Wolfenbüttel library. The court orchestra, established for their Brunswick residence in 1638, twice required reorganization, in 1644 after the move to the ancestral castle at Wolfenbüttel and again in 1655; on each occasion Sophie Elisabeth was responsible for it. Heinrich Schütz, who was connected with the court for almost 30 years and was a frequent guest at Brunswick and Wolfenbüttel, was her musical adviser. Chrysander described the correspondence between them. Sophie Elisabeth was responsible for Schütz’s initial engagement as ...

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