The visiting dates have changed! We invite you to see the February and March schedule. Tours
Fryderyk Chopin w Willi Lentza. Dzieła wszystkie. Recital Ewy Pobłockiej. Report
Międzynarodowy Dzień Przewodnika. Zapowiedź wydarzenia
Szymanowski w Willi Lentza. Dwóchgłos. Zapowiedź koncertu
Dzień Kobiet w Willi Lentza. Zapowiedź wydarzenia
Wartości w kulturze. Inspiracja i umiar. Zapowiedź wydarzenia
Jazz w Willi. Ikony Kultury. Grzegorz Ciechowski. Koncert Radosława Bolewskiego i Macieja Tubisa. Details
Zapraszamy do udziału w konkursie SAXandVILLAS 2024. Details
Kochamy Książki 2.0. Edycja III oraz koncert Martyny Jakubowicz. Report
Maria de Buenos Aires. Willa Argentyna. Report
Feuilletons | Monika Gapińska

Did Loewe know Lentz?

Some say that it is only a legend, others that it is absolutely true. Apparently, during his stay in Szczecin in 1831, Fryderyk Chopin himself visited the famous art salon of Mrs Tilebein. He came here to meet the singer Konstancja Gładkowska. Could the paths of the wealthy factory owner August Lentz and the outstanding musician and composer Carl Loewe cross in this then small German city? This question came to my mind with the announcement of a concert at the Lentz Villa entitled "Music from the times of August Lentz". It will be the music of Carl Loewe sounding here. So let's check if the meeting of these gentlemen was even possible.
In late autumn 1820, 24-year-old Carl Loewe, a fresh graduate of theology at the University of Halle, studying music and composing at the same time, came to Szczecin. Initially, he was appointed organist in the church of St. Jakub and a singing teacher at St Mary's Gymnasium; and a singing, organ, piano and violin teacher at the teachers' seminary in Szczecin. In the following year, he also became the city's musical director, significantly enlivening the local concert life in the following years.

August Lentz was over thirty years younger than Loewe because he was born in 1830. Thus, when the composer from Szczecin was already very successful in music and education, the future owner of this magnificent villa in the Westend district was only a few-year-old boy and later a teenager. Little is known about Lentz's youth. Is it possible that while still working as a mechanic in the factory of the Szczecin entrepreneur A. H. Zander, Lentz attended Carl Loewe's concerts? If so, then maybe at those organised in churches, which then, due to the lack of suitable concert halls, became, in a way, cultural centres – of course in the modern sense. Although it is not known whether a busy mechanic with ambitions, dreaming of a high professional and social status, had time for such exclusive entertainment as chamber concerts. But…

Festivities on national or church holidays, which are currently, unfortunately, ruled by disco polo music, often reigns, are not an "invention" of the 20th or 21st century. Ludic games have always been popular. And here, leaving mechanic Lentz alone for a moment, I will return to Loewe. As the city's music director, he was responsible for the musical setting of festivities related to celebrating important national and church holidays and various anniversaries. It is, therefore, possible that Lentz has appeared at such concert fairs organised by Loewe. Especially since Szczecin was then a relatively small German city, there probably wasn't much to choose from. However, the paths of a hard-working mechanic and an artist who frequented art salons, such as the aforementioned Mrs Tilebein (who spoke of Carl as her "court bandmaster in Żelechów"), did not cross at the time – despite the fact that August Lentz quickly climbed the career ladder: from a mechanic in the Zander plant to a shareholder and factory director. So, probably at some point in his life, he also became a regular at the salon.

But when in 1871 Zander and Lentz bought the prospering Factory of Fireclay Products in Podjuchy, which developed into a thriving concern within a dozen or so years, Carl Loewe was already dead. He left Szczecin in the 1860s and died in Kiel in April 1869. However, he left behind almost several hundred vocal and instrumental pieces, including ballads and songs and about 20 oratorios, several cantatas, and operas. He is considered the greatest composer of a vocal ballad in music history, next to Franz Schubert.

Although it could be more often, Loewe's music is present in Szczecin. So we enjoy concerts such as the one on the last Saturday of February at the Lentz Villa: "Music from the times of August Lentz". Then the music of Carl Loewe will sound, and finally, the paths of two gentlemen from Szczecin (or rather Stettin) will cross for sure – the legacy that they left behind as well: an architectural gem that we can admire at Wojska Polskiego Avenue and several hundred excellent musical works.
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