Above: The Lake, South Side, Konigsberg, East Prussia, Between 1890 and 1900
Published by Detroit Publishing Company, 1905
Image Source = Library of Congress
Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-00737
HEINRICH ALBERT (JUNE 28, 1604-OCTOBER 6, 1651)
German Lutheran Composer and Poet
Heinrich Albert was born in Lobenstein (in modern western Germany). He studied under his uncle, the composer Heinrich Schutz (1585-1672), at Dresden. But Albert’s parents wanted him to become a lawyer, so he abandoned his passion (music) for his parent’s wish (law), studying at Leipzig. In 1627, despite all his attempts to avoid war, Albert became a prisoner of war of the Swedes during their 1621-1629 war against Poland. He, released in 1628, returned to his usual life. Four years later Albert gave up the legal profession and followed his passion, becoming the Orgainst at the Lutheran Cathedral at Konigsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia).
Thus our saint spent the rest of his life playing and composing music. He wrote eight volumes of arias (1638-1650), his magnum opus. He also composed secular quartets and church music. At least one of his arias supplied a hymn tune.
As for the Cathedral, bombing during World War II left it in ruins. Rebuiding did occur in the 1990s, however. (http://www.sobor-kaliningrad.ru/)
We humans are generally more likely to serve God and enrich the lives of others most effectively when following our interests, directed toward positive ends. I thank God that Heinrich Albert had the opportunity to follow his passions and thereby not only praise God but contribute much beauty to the world.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JUNE 23, 2013 COMMON ERA
PROPER 7–THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C
THE FEAST OF SAINT NICETAS OF REMESIANA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP
THE FEAST OF WIREMU TAMIHANA, MAORI PROPHET AND KINGMAKER
Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:
We bless your name for inspiring Heinrich Albert
and all who with words and music have filled us with desire and love for you;
through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit
lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Chronicles 29:14b-19
2 Corinthians 3:1-3
John 21:15-17, 24-25
–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728