Botanists in RISM

Monday, August 9, 2021

The connection between botany and music may not be all that obvious, but in our database you can find over forty botanists, mostly men and one woman. Most of our botanists wrote words that were set to music and they do not have any direct link to the music itself. Two of the “RISM botanists” wrote catalogs of works: Franz Reinecke (born in 1866, date of death unknown) compiled a catalog of the works of his father, Carl Reinecke, and even the author of the most famous catalog of works, Ludwig von Köchel (1800-1877), worked as a botanist.

Another famous botanist is Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), grandfather of Charles Darwin (1809-1882), the originator of the modern theory of evolution. He wrote the poems “Elijah’s prayer for rain” (set to music by Samuel Holyoke (1762-1820) and “No radiant pearl” (set to music by W. Clark. A poem by the botanist Anna Seward (1742-1809) is also devoted to her object of study: “Ah rose thou hast fled from a thorn” was set to music by Venanzio Rauzzini (1746-1810).

Among the composing botanists, Hendrik Charles Focke is certainly the most versatile. Born in Paramaribo, Suriname, he studied in Utrecht and worked as a botanist, lawyer, ethnologist, and linguist. He is in RISM with a Gezang uit Anakreon. The son of Johann Baptist Schiedermayr, Carl Schiedermayr (1818-1895), was also involved with music (he was one of the founding members of the Männergesangverein Linz) but he later became known as a doctor and botanist. In RISM you will find seven masses and other sacred works by him.

Composing botanists in RISM
Aiken, Walter H. (1856-1935)
Focke, Hendrik Charles (1802-1856)
Helm, Rupert (1748-1826)
Natterer, Leopold OSB (1732-1805)
Pöll, Josef (1874-1940)
Ramoux, Gilles-Joseph-Evrard (1750-1826)
Röse, August David Friedrich Karl (1821-1873)
Schiedermayr, Carl (1818-1895) - Son of Johann Baptist Schiedermayr
Sherard, James (1666-1738)
Struve, Jacob Bernhard (1767-1826)

Other botanists in RISM
Aemilius, Georg (1517-1569) - hymn text author
Albertini, Johann Baptist von (1769-1831) - bishop, poet
Batsch, August J. G. K. (1761-1802) - poet
Beck, Abraham Reincke (1833-1928) - copyist, musician
Behr, Hans Hermann (1818-1904) - poet
Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Henri (1737-1814) - writer
Chałubiński, Tytus (1820-1889) - dedicatee, doctor
Darwin, Erasmus (1731-1802) - poet
Favrat, Louis (1827-1893) - poet
Gmelin, Johann Georg (1709-1755) - explorer
Haller, Albrecht von (1708-1777) - poet
Henschel, August Wilhelm Eduard Theodor (1790-1856) - doctor
Hohenwarth, Sigismund von (1745-1825) - bishop
Köchel, Ludwig von (1800-1877) - music historian
Martinovský, Jan Otakar (1903-1980) - poet
Martius, Carl Friedrich Philipp von (1794-1868) - instrument builder, doctor
Mikan, Johann Christian (1769-1844) - poet
Muschler, Reinhold-Conrad (1882-1957) - screenwriter
Müller, Joseph (1802-1872) - poet
Reinecke, Franz (1866*) - author of the catalog of works of his father, Carl Reinecke
Richardson, John (1787-1865) - poet (Beethoven!)
Rupprecht, Johann Baptist (1776-1846) - poet, organist
Sacchèro, Giacomo (1813-1875) - librettist, poet
Schlegel, Paul Marquard (1605-1653) - doctor
Schmidlin, Eduard (1808-1890) - writer, gardner
Seward, Anna (1742-1809) - poet
Strabo, Walafried OSB (808-849) - poet, abbot
Thiel, Hugo (1839-1918) - politician
Trinius, Karl Bernhard von (1778-1844) - poet
Tschudi, Louis-Théodore de (1734-1784) - librettist, poet
Vielguth, Ferdinand Josef (1795-1874) - mayor, actor, chemist
Volckamer, Johann (1576-1660) - councilman, merchant
Yatabe, Ryōkichi (1851-1899) - poet

Image: Albertinia brasiliensis, named after the botanist, bishop, and poet Johann Baptist von Albertini (1769-1831). Wikispecies (CC-BY-2.0).

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