Neidhart von Reuental cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Neidhart von Reuental

German composer

1180   -   1247

country of citizenship: Germany
language of expression: German
occupation: lyricist, composer, poet

Ebooks: on Wikisource

Neidhart (Middle High German Nîthart) c. 1190 – c. 1240 (later often called Neidhart von Reuental) was one of the most famous Minnesänger. With around 1500 documented strophes of his songs surviving, Neidhart has the largest corpus of surviving lyrics of any Minnesänger, suggesting the great popularity of the songs. In addition, and quite unlike any of his contemporaries, many melodies to his songs have been preserved: manuscripts have almost 70 melodies to 55 of his songs.Neidhart's lyrics are highly innovative: into the courtly genre of Minnesang, he introduced peasant characters, who are often shown in conflict with the knightly class. Both classes are sometimes treated as objects of satire. His songs are traditionally divided into summer and winter songs (Sommerlieder, Winterlieder), each group opening with a piece of seasonal description of nature. But there are also songs which fall outside these categories and which in the past were often regarded as the work of later imitators.Neidhart's works continued to enjoy great popularity long after his death. He was transformed into the legendary, peasant-hating "Neidhart Fuchs" in late 15th century comical stories (German Schwänke), and he also had a legacy in the visual arts, with woodcuts, frescos and carved reliefs portraying scenes from his songs.
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