Georg Christian Lehms

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Georg Christian Lehms, copper engraving c. 1713

Georg Christian Lehms (German: [leːms]; 1684 – 15 May 1717) was a German poet and novelist who sometimes used the pen-name Pallidor. He published poetry, novels, libretti for operas, and the texts of cantatas.

Life[edit]

Born in Liegnitz (now in Poland) in 1684, Lehms attended the Gymnasium (high school) in Görlitz and later studied at the University of Leipzig.[1]

Lehms's "gallant" novels (a term referring to fiction aimed at readers of both sexes) were among the earliest of such productions in German literature and began to appear early in his career under the pen-name of Pallidor. The first of these was Die unglückselige Princessin Michal und der verfolgte David ('The hapless Princess Michal and David pursued'), published in Hanover in 1707, followed in 1710 by Des israelitischen Printzens Absolons und seiner Prinzcessin Schwester Thamar Staats- Lebens- und Helden-Geschichte ('The Heroic Life and History of the Israelite Prince Absolom and his Princess Sister Tamar'), published by Zieger in Nuremberg; in 1712 the series continued with Der weise König Salomo ('Wise King Solomon').[2]

After spending some time at the court of Johann Georg, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels, at the end of 1710 Lehms gained a position as court librarian and poet in Darmstadt, capital of the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt, where by 1713 he had been appointed to the Prince's council.[1]

In addition to his novels and the collection Teutschlands Galante Poetinnen (Germany's Gallant Poetesses), which made his name, Lehms wrote libretti for operas and several cantatas for the religious life of the Darmstadt court. Some of his cantata texts were set to music by Johann Sebastian Bach and the Capellmeisters Christoph Graupner and Gottfried Grünewald.[3]

Teutschlands Galante Poetinnen, title page

The title page of Teutschlands Galante Poetinnen sums up the work thus:

Germany's Gallant Poetesses / with Ingenious and Pleasant Samples therefrom; together with an Appendix of those Ladies of Foreign Lands / who likewise made Themselves known to the Interest of the World by the Beauty of their Poetry, and a Preface. Demonstrating that the Female Gender has no less Skill for Studying / than the Male / Performed by Georg Christian Lehms, Franckfurt am Mayn / To be had from Samuel Tobias Hocker. Printed by Anton Heinscheidt. Anno 1715.[4]

Lehms died of tuberculosis on 15 May 1717, aged about thirty-three.[1][2]

Selected works[edit]

  • Die unglückselige Princessin Michal und der verfolgte David (The hapless Princess Michal and David pursued) (Hanover: Nicolaus Förster, 1707)[2]
  • Des israelitischen Printzens Absolons und seiner Prinzcessin Schwester Thamar Staats- Lebens- und Helden-Geschichte (The Heroic Life and History of the Israelite Prince Absolom and of his Princess Sister Tamar)(Nuremberg: Zieger, 1710)[2]
  • Der weise König Salomo, in einer Staats- und Helden-Geschichte (The Royal and Heroic History of Wise King Solomon) (Hamburg & Leipzig: Johann von Wiering, 1712)[2]
  • Das singende Lob Gottes, in einem Jahrgang andächtiger und Gottgefälliger Kirch-Music (The Hymning of God, in an Annual Volume of devotional Church Music pleasing to God) (Darmstadt: Johann Georg John, 1712)
  • Teutschlands Galante Poetinnen (Germany's Gallant Poetesses), in two parts, (Frankfurt am Main: Samuel Tobias Hocker, 1714–15; new editions at Darmstadt, Josef Gotthard Blaschke Verlag, 1966, and Leipzig, 1973)

Bach cantatas based on texts by Lehms[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Georg Christian Lehms (Librettist) at bach-cantatas.com, accessed 1 January 2012
  2. ^ a b c d e Germanic Notes and Reviews, vols. 26–28 (1995), p. 18
  3. ^ Alfred Dürr, Richard D. P. Jones, The Cantatas of J. S. Bach: with their librettos in German-English (2006), p. 16
  4. ^ See title page (in German) at File:Galante Poetinnen 0002 (Wikimedia Commons)

Sources[edit]

  • E. Noack, 'Georg Christian Lehms, ein Textdichter Johann Sebastian Bachs', in BJ 1970, pp. 7–18
  • Liselotte Brögelmann: Studien zum Erzählstil im idealistischen Roman (Studies on the narrative style in the idealistic novel), Dissertation, University of Göttingen 1953 (typescript)
  • Christiane Brokmann-Noorens: Weibliche Bildung im 18. Jahrhundert (The Education of Women in the 18th century), Dissertation, University of Oldenburg, 1992, ISBN 3-8142-0429-8
  • Alfred Dürr: Die Kantaten von Johann Sebastian Bach (The cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach), 6th Edition, Munich / Bärenreiter, Cassel, 1995
  • Christoph Wolff (ed.): Die Welt der Bach-Kantaten (The World of the Bach cantatas), special edition in 3 vols., Metzler, Stuttgart / Bärenreiter, Cassel 2006, ISBN 3-476-02127-0 Metzler, Stuttgart / Bärenreiter, Kassel 2006, ISBN 3-476-02127-0
  • Gerhard Dünnhaupt: "Georg Christian Lehms", in Personalbibliographien zu den Drucken des Barock, vol. 4., Stuttgart: Hiersemann 1991, pp. 2576–88. ISBN 3-7772-9122-6

External links[edit]

Works online[edit]