Yet, Walther’s poems give us the picture not only of a great artistic genius, but of a strenuous, passionate, very human and very lovable character. His talents and strong views became required by German society, when empire and papacy started their struggle in 1197. Walther took side with German independence and unity which gave him a place of significance in history. Till the end of his days, Walther remained a faithful Catholic, which is confirmed by religious poems. Nevertheless, he was fervently opposing the extreme claims of the Roman popes, whom he attacked with bitterness, expressing his deep patriotic feelings.
Walther never switched sides and a highly intelligent new emperor Frederick II held in high esteem poet’s genius and zeal. Thus, Walther received desired recognition and even a small fief in Franconia, that gave him a home and fixed position. Yet, he was complaining that this fief had little value. There is some evidence, that Frederick made Walther the tutor of his son, but this evidence based on one of his lyrics is disputed by modern researchers.
Walther von der Vogelweide did not stay immediately at his new fief long, he traveled for a while and only then settled at his new place. From there he was urging German princes to take part in the Sixth Crusade in 1228 but, did not participate in it himself, or at least did not go further than Tirol. In a beautiful poem he paints the change that had come over the scenes of his childhood and made his life seem a thing dreamed. When he was dying in 1230, he put in his will the request to feed the birds at his tomb every day.
In my blog entries about famous composers, I describe mostly outstanding creative people who had God given talents in spite of the harsh times that they were living. Luckily, not everybody is born a genius. There were other composers. I would not call them minor talents or diminish their creativity in any way. They also deserve the utmost respect and gratitude of the following generations. One of these dedicated and gifted people was Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia. I found out about her when I was doing my regular research for web analytics company. Thanks to her, we know today about giants of music like J.S. Bach and others ...
Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia was one of eight children of Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia. She was a younger sister of the famous Frederick II, King of Prussia and she was born in 1723 in Berlin. Among her other famous close relatives were Wilhelmine, Margravine of Bayreuth, Louise Ulrika, Queen of Sweden and Augustus William, Prince of Prussia. Anna was eleven years younger than her brother Frederick, and would have been seven years old when he made his attempt to run away from home, after being humiliated by his father. Both children were musically inclined, but for Anna formal musical instruction was only possible after the death of her father, who hated music with all his heart.