Heinrich Frauenlob

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Meister Frauenlob in the Codex Manesse

Heinrich Frauenlob (between 1250-1260 – 29 November 1318), sometimes known as Henry of Meissen (Heinrich von Meißen), was a Middle High German poet and minnesinger. The nickname Frauenlob (Middle High German Frouwenlop) means "praise of women" or "praise of Our Lady".[1]


Frauenlob was born in Meissen. He had great musical talents, and held court positions in Prague. After several years wandering as a minstrel, he established the first school of the meistersingers at Mainz.

The women of Mainz are said to have carried his bier to the cathedral in appreciation of his lifelong, chivalrous devotion to their sex. His tomb was restored in 1783 by women during the "Werther" period of German literature, and the women of Mainz erected a monument to his memory near his tomb in 1842. In 1892 German composer Reinhold Becker (1842-1924) wrote an opera about an episode in the poet's life.[2]


Around 1290 Frauenlob wrote the Frauenleich (also known as the Marienleich or Cantica Canticorum), a poem about the Celestial Woman of the Apocalypse, Mary, and the beloved woman of the Song of Songs. Barbara Newman translated this complex poem in 2006 in a facing-page edition; the book also includes a CD of a performance of the text by Sequentia.[3] He also wrote Alle Freude verlässt mich, which was later adopted by Záviš von Zap. Ettmüller published an edition of his poems in 1843.


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Heinrich von Meissen". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  2. ^ Reinhold Beckers Leben. Seine Werke. Verzeichnis der Werke (Dresden, 1932)
  3. ^ Rozenski, Steven (2008), "Review of Frauenlob's Song of Songs: A Medieval German Poet and his Masterpiece", Mystics Quarterly, 34, JSTOR 20716571 


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