A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Curschmann, Karl

CURSCHMANN, Karl Friedrich, born at Berlin June 21, 1805. As a child he showed considerable talent for music, and had a beautiful soprano voice, but having been intended for the law it was not till 1824 that he decided to adopt music as a profession. He studied for four years under Spohr and Hauptmann at Cassel, and in 1824 settled in Berlin, making occasional concert tours in Germany, France, and Italy. He died in the prime of life Aug. 24, 1841. Curschmann's fame rests on his 'Lieder.' He was the favourite song-writer before Schubert's songs were known, and when Schumann had scarcely attempted vocal composition. His songs are full of real melody, and if they do not possess the intensity of expression which characterise the creations of Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms, they are far superior to the shallow productions which deluged Germany at that and a later period. The fact that many of them are still sung speaks much for their inherent merit. Curschmann's collected 'Lieder' (2 vols., Berlin, 1871) comprise 83 solos, and 9 songs in 2 and 3 parts. A few of them have Italian words. Among his other works may be mentioned a one-act opera, 'Abdul und Erinnieh,' written and performed at Cassel, and some church music now forgotten. In England he is best known by his song 'In every opening flower' and his trios 'Ti prego' and 'Addio,' the former a general favourite with amateurs.

[ A.M. ]