Stamp of the Month: November 2019

Hans Sachs

The Nuremberg shoemaker, poet and master singer Hans Sachs was born on 5 November 1494 in Nuremberg. He died on January 19, 1576 in his native city. In November 2019 we commemorate his 525th birthday.
Hans Sachs made a shoemaker apprenticeship after attending a Latin school. During his five-year journeyman journey, he served temporarily at the court of Emperor Maximilian I in Innsbruck, where he decided to study the Masters’ Song. He took lessons from Master Lienhard in Munich and settled in Nuremberg in 1516. In 1520 he became a master shoemaker and active guild member of the Meistersinger.
Hans Sachs soon sided with the Reformation and spread the teachings of Martin Luther in his poems. With these popular representations, he achieved first fame. As a result, Hans Sachs wrote more than 6,000 works, many of them in doggerel. Already during his lifetime Hans Sachs was a well-read author and became one of the most famous poets of the 16th century.

Germany 13.10.1994
Of the compositions of Hans Sachs only a few remained. Above all, the “Silberweise” is known, which has also found its way into the Lutheran chorales “Awake, the voice is calling us” and “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”. The strict rules and the almost artisanal production of poetry in the master song did not find much favor with later generations.
That Hans Sachs today is the best known Meistersinger, he owes partly to the work of Richard Wagner, who set him a memorial in the “Meistersinger of Nuremberg”.

The video shows the finale of the opera “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”. James Morris sings the role of Hans Sachs in a 2001 performance of the Metropolitan Opera New York.