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date: 05 December 2019

Anna Amalia [Amalie] (ii), Duchess of Saxe-Weimarlocked

  • Anna Amalie Abert

Extract

(b Wolfenbüttel, Oct 24, 1739; d Weimar, April 10, 1807). German amateur musician and patron. She was the daughter of Duke Karl I of Brunswick and a niece of Frederick the Great. As a child she was given a good musical education. At the age of 16 she married the 18-year-old Duke Ernst August Konstantin of Saxe-Weimar; after his death two years later until the accession of her eldest son Duke Karl August on 3 September 1775 she conducted the regency. Despite her heavy official responsibilities she cultivated intellectual interests, especially music. She continued to take lessons in composition and keyboard playing from the leading musician in Weimar at that time, Ernst Wilhelm Wolf (later the court Kapellmeister), and gathered round her a group of scholars, poets and musicians, professional and amateur, which was a lively centre of discussion and music-making. In this ‘court of the muses’, as Wilhelm Bode called it, whose members included Wieland, Herder and eventually Goethe, Anna Amalia herself played a significant part in bringing together the poetry of ‘Weimar Classicism’ and the music of the time. J.A. Hiller's most successful Singspiel, ...

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