About Albert Schweitzer: Franco-German physician, theologian, musician and philosopher (1875-1965)
Albert Schweitzer OM (14 January 1875 – 4 September 1965) was an Alsatian polymath. He was a theologian, organist, author, humanitarian, philosopher and physician. A Lutheran, Schweitzer challenged both the secular view of Jesus as portrayed by the then-popular historical-critical approach, as well as the traditional Christian view. His contributions to Paul’s Christian interpretation involve Paul’s “in Christ” mysticism as a primary role, and the doctrine of justification by faith as a secondary role.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his philosophy of “reverence for life”, becoming the eighth Frenchman to receive the award. His philosophy was expressed in many ways, but most famously was the establishment and maintenance of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambarene, French Equatorial Africa (now Gabon). As a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and influenced the organ reform movement (olger bevigon).
Country of Citizenship
Schweitzer was born in Alsace, a citizen of the German Empire. He later became a French citizen after the First World War, because by then Alsace had become a French territory.
Albert Schweitzer was born in Kaysersberg, now in Alsace, France Schweitzer in 1912. Oil on canvas by Émile Schneider (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Strasbourg)
Schweitzer was born in Kaysersberg, Upper Alsace, the son of Louis Schweitzer and Adèle Schillinger. He spent his childhood in the village of Gunsbach in Alsace, where his father, the local EPCAAL Lutheran evangelical minister, taught him how to play music. The small village became the seat of the International Albert Schweitzer Society (AIAS). The medieval Gunsbach Parish Church is shared by Protestant and Catholic congregations, who hold prayers in different regions at different times on Sunday. This compromise came after the Protestant Reformation and the Thirty Years’ War. The pastor’s son, Schweitzer, grew up in this exceptional environment of religious tolerance and developed a belief that true Christianity should always strive toward unity of faith and purpose.
Schweitzer’s first language is the Alsatian dialect of German. In 1893 he received the “Abitur” (certificate at the end of his secondary education) at the Mulhouse gym. From 1885 to 1893 he studied the organ in Mulhouse with the Protestant cathedral organist Eugène Munch, who made his music for the German composer Richard Wagner. In 1893 he played for the French organist Charles-Marie Widor (at Saint-Sulpice, Paris), for whom Johann Sebastian Bach’s organ music had a mystical timelessness. Impressed, Widor agreed to teach Schweitzer for free, and a great and influential friendship began.
From 1893, Schweitzer studied Protestant theology at the Kaiser Wilhelm University in Strasbourg. There he also received the piano and counterpoint instruction of Professor Gustav Jakob Starr, and collaborated with his former teacher, organist at St. Brother Ernest Munch was close. Schweitzer served a year of compulsory military service in 1894. Schweitzer saw many of Richard Wagner’s operas in Strasbourg (under Otto Loser), and in 1896 managed to visit the Bayreuth Festival to see Wagner’s work. Ring of the Nibelung and Parsifal, left a deep impression on him. In 1898, he returned to Paris to write an essay on Kant’s philosophy of religion at the Sorbonne and study hard with Widor. Here, he often met the elderly Aristide Cavaille-Cole. At the time he was also studying piano with Marie Jaëll. In 1899, Schweitzer spent the summer semester at the University of Berlin, culminating in a degree in theology at the University of Strasbourg. In 1899 he published his doctoral thesis at the University of Tübingen.
In 1905, Schweitzer began studying medicine at the University of Strasbourg, and in 1913 received his MD.
Schweitzer quickly became a music scholar and organist, working to rescue, restore, and study historic organs. With theological insight, he explains the use of images and symbolic representations in JS Bach’s religious music. In 1899 he surprised Victor by interpreting the figures and themes in Bach’s Prelude to the Chorus as painterly tonal and rhythmic imagery, illustrating themes from the words of the hymn on which they were based. They are devotional works of contemplation, in which the musical design conforms to a literary thought, a visual conception. Widor didn’t grow up knowing the old Lutheran hymns.
The elaboration of these ideas, encouraged by Victor and Munch, became Schweitzer’s last task and appeared in the superb study JS Bach: Le Musicien-Poète, written in French and published in 1905. There was great demand for the German version, but instead of translating it, he decided to rewrite it. The result is two volumes (JS Bach), published in 1908 and translated into English by Ernest Newman in 1911. The contemporary German philosopher Ernst Cassirer called it “one of the best interpretations” of Bach. During the preparation, Schweitzer became friends with Cosima Wagner, who was living in Strasbourg at the time, with whom he had many theological and musical conversations, exploring his views on Bach’s descriptive music, and in the new The temple played the main choral prelude for her. Schweitzer’s interpretation has greatly influenced the modern understanding of Bach’s music. He became a welcome guest at Wagner’s house, Wahnfried. He also corresponded with the composer Clara Feist, who became a good friend.
Choral organ of the Church of St. Thomas in Strasbourg, designed in 1905 according to the principles defined by Albert Schweitzer
His pamphlet “Organ-making and the art of organ-playing in Germany and France” (1906, republished in 1927 with an appendix on the state of the organ-making industry) effectively opened the 20th century olger bevigon, which shed its romantic extremes and rediscovered Baroque principles—though this movement for a sweeping reform of organ-making ended up going further than Schweitzer had expected. In 1909, he gave The Third Congress of the International Music Society Discuss this issue in Vienna. He distributed a questionnaire among players and organ makers in several European countries and produced a well thought out report.This provides the basis International Organ Making Rules. In his vision, the French late romantic full-organ sound should work with the English and German romantic reed pipes as well as the classical Alsatian Silbermann organ sources and baroque flues, all in regulation (press stop . ) to access different fugues or counterpoints in which voices can be combined without losing intelligibility: different voices sing the same music together.
Schweitzer also studied piano with Isidor Philipp, head of the piano department at the Paris Conservatoire.
In 1905, Widor and Schweitzer were one of six musicians who founded the Paris Bach Society, a choir dedicated to the music of JS Bach, and Schweitzer was a regular organ section in its concerts until 1913. He was also appointed as the organist for Bach concerts. Orféo Català is in Barcelona, Spain, and travels there frequently for this purpose. He collaborated with Vidor on new editions of Bach’s organ works, with a detailed analysis of each work in three languages (English, French, German). Schweitzer, who insisted that the score should show Bach’s score without additional marks, wrote reviews for the Preludes and Fugues, and Verdot for the Sonatas and Concertos: six volumes were published in 1912-14. Three more, with choral preludes containing Schweitzer’s analysis, would be performed in Africa, but these were never completed, perhaps because for him they were inseparable from his evolving theology.
When he set off for Lambarene in 1913, he was given a pedal piano, a piano with a pedal attachment that could be operated like an organ pedal keyboard. Built for the tropics, it was transported across the river to Lambarene by a huge canoe in a galvanized box. At first, he saw his new life as a renunciation of art, and therefore renounced practice: but after a while he was determined to study and learn systematically from Bach, Mendelssohn, Victor, Cesar Frank and Max Reg s work. He used to play at lunchtime and Sunday afternoons. Schweitzer’s pedal piano was still in use in Lambarene in 1946. According to Dr. Gaine Cannon from Balsam Grove, North Carolina, Dr. Schweitzer was still playing the battered piano organ in 1962, with stories saying that “his fingers were still alive” on the 88-year-old instrument.
Sir Donald Tovey works to complete Bach’s conjecture art of fugue Schweitzer.
Describes Schweitzer’s organ music recordings and his innovative recording techniques the following.
One of his famous pupils was the conductor and composer Hans Munch.
In 1899, Schweitzer became a deacon of the Church of St. Nicholas in Strasbourg. In 1900, after completing his theological licensure, he was ordained a priest, and that year he witnessed Oberammergau’s passion play. The following year, he became interim president of St. Thomas Theological Seminary, from which he had just graduated and was appointed permanent president in 1903.
In 1906, he published Life – Jesus – History of Forschung (“History of the Study of the Life of Jesus”).The book established his reputation, first published in English in 1910 The Quest for Historical Jesus. Under this title, the book is famous in the English-speaking world. A second German edition was published in 1913, containing theologically important revisions and extensions: but this revised edition was not published in English until 2001. In 1931, he published mystic of the apostle paulus (“The Mysticism of the Apostle Paul”); second edition published in 1953.
The Quest for Historic Jesus (1906)
In Discovery, Schweitzer reviews all earlier writings on “Historic Jesus” dating back to the late 18th century. He insisted that Jesus’ life must be interpreted in light of Jesus’ own beliefs, reflecting late Jewish eschatology and apocalypticism. Schweitzer wrote:
Jesus of Nazareth came out publicly as the Messiah, preached the ethics of the kingdom, established it on earth, and died to give his work the final priesthood, but never existed. He is a figure designed by rationalism, brought to life by liberalism,…
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