The early musical life of this German mason and composer finds him listening to the Potsdam orchestra while seated in the orchestra pit and taking clandestine trips to study with a city musician. He learned the violin and the piano while recovering from a bout with smallpox. Eventually he worked his way into playing with a group of amateur musicians and the orchestra of the Doebbelin Theater. Realizing that he lacked certain skills in composition, Zelter went to Carl Fasch, a musician in the Prussian court. Zelter quickly became Fasch's assistant and by the 1790s chose to pursue music completely. The Singakademie, which Fasch began, continued with Zelter, including performances of the music of J.S. Bach. A performance of the St. Matthew Passion, on its on one hundredth anniversary, with Mendelssohn conducting and Devrient singing the part of Christ, stimulated a fiery and concerted interest in Bach's music. Zelter began setting music to Goethe's poetry and a long and lasting friendship developed. They wrote to each other on numerous occasions and Zelter made lengthy trips to Weimar to visit with his friend. Eventually he joined the faculty of the Royal Academy of the Arts of Berlin in 1806 and a became the professor of music at the University of Berlin in 1809 when it was founded. The important compositions of Zelter's production were his vocal and sacred compositions including a cantata written when Frederick the Great died in 1786. Lieder, approximately two hundred works, were scored with variations on strophes, through composition and harmonies. His accompaniments for the works approached Schumann's ability to capture and set a mood. Zelter paved the way for the great development of the lied in the nineteenth century. ~ Keith Johnson, Rovi

Carl Friedrich Zelter - Viola Concerto in E-flat major
Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1832) - Cantata 'Johanna Sebus' (1810)
Carl Friedrich Zelter - Sonata in F Major (Veneta Neynska, piano)
Carl Fridrich Zelter: Erlk├Ânig
Karl Fridrich Zelter Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, 1st movement
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1832)
Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1832) - Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in E flat Major
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