Bischoff, Ludwig Friedrich Christian
- Robert Curtis
(b Dessau, Nov 27, 1794; d Cologne, Feb 24, 1867). German music critic, writer and teacher. After participating in the Napoleonic Wars, he studied philology in Berlin, had a notable career as teacher and school director that included 26 years in Wesel, and moved in 1850 to Cologne to become music critic of the Kölnische Zeitung and to found the Rheinische (later Niederrheinische) Musikzeitung, which he edited and to which he contributed until his death. His writings, distinguished by their musical acuity and vivid expressiveness, strove to raise the public's musical standards and served as a voice for the lower Rhineland.
Bischoff venerated certain values in the music of the past as representing the highest in musical art. His writings reflect the then growing enthusiasm for Handel and Bach, while his aesthetic ideals were realized in the music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. He held an ambivalent position towards Romantic music, admiring its expressive qualities but decrying a perceived decline in the accessibility, formal integrity and universality that he most valued. While he supported contemporary composers active in Cologne (e.g. Ferdinand Hiller, Carl Reinecke, Eduard Franck, Reinthaler, Bargiel and Bruch), his encounter with the progressive New German School of Liszt and Wagner, supported by a dedicated band of critics and essayists, impelled him to become one of its first and most outspoken opponents....