Heinrich Albert

INFORMATION

Heinrich Albert (also Heinrich Alberti) (28 June 1604 – 6 October 1651) was a German composer and poet of the 17th century. He was a member of the Königsberg Poetic Society (Königsberger Dichterkreis). As a song composer, he was strongly influenced by Heinrich Schütz.

Albert Heinich (was born in Lobenstein, Principality of Reuss in Thuringia. He attended grammar school in Gera from 1619 to 1621 and studied music in 1622 with his cousin Heinrich Schütz in Dresden. Schütz introduced him to the basics of composition. Complying with his parents wishes, Albert enrolled in law at the University of Leipzig in 1623. There, he also continued his studies in music, probably with Johann Hermann Schein, a friend of Schütz, who worked as Thomaskantor in Leipzig.

University of Königsberg

In 1626, Albert tried to dodge the Thirty Years’ War, going to Königsberg. In the following year, he traveled from Königsberg to Warsaw as a member of a Dutch parley delegation, but was taken captive by Swedish troops. He was released in 1628 and returned to Königsberg where he took up studies in defensive fortification. By 1630 he had returned to being a musician in Königsberg, and was appointed organist of the cathedral, where he served from 1 April 1631, until his premature death at the age of 47. His funeral was organized by the university, and the Latin obituary has so far been the principal source of information about his biography.

Albert was a member of the Königsberg Poetic Society together with Simon Dach, Robert Roberthin, Georg Mylius, Martin Opitz, et al. The poets would convene at the Kürbishütte, an arbor in Albert’s garden, where the Linde dyke flows into the river Pregel. The council of Kneiphof had given the garden as a present to the organist in 1630. In his garden, Albert grew pumpkins and gourds, and the friends would carve their bucolic noms de plume into the gourds. It was here that Martin Opitz visited his friend Simon Dach in 1638.[1] The garden and the arbor, however, fell prey to then urban management that provided for housing on the Weidendamm area.

A memorial stone to Albert has been erected in a copse in Bad Lobenstein.

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