The New Student's Reference Work/Abt, Franz

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Abt (äpt), Franz, born at Eilenburg, in Saxony, Dec. 22, 1819, As his father, who was a clergyman, designed to educate him for his own profession he was placed in the St. Thomas school and in the University of Leipsic, where he had the advantage of good training in music as well as in the usual academic branches. He finally relinquished his theological studies for the more congenial musical studies. In 1841 he obtained the position of capellmeister at Zurich, and eleven years later obtained the same position at Brunswick. His death occurred at Wiesbaden, March 31, 1885.

Abt is best known as a composer of part-songs for men's voices. His early residence at Zurich, where he conducted male singing societies, developed a facility in this class of composition that resulted in his great popularity. His songs for a single voice have had wide acceptance, notably the one entitled "When the Swallows Homeward Fly." Besides songs he has written pieces for the pianoforte, which are regarded as inferior to his vocal compositions. In all, his works embrace more than four hundred numbers, none of which, however, entitles him to rank with the great German composers.