Walther von der Vogelweide

Songs of courtly love and political poetry

Michael Dollendorf with Romanesque harp - Photo: André Wagenzik

Walther is the most famous of all medieval German poets. Like no other he put his own life into verse.

Who was this 'professional traveling poet', who around the middle of his life ceased to compose courtly songs and engaged in political poetry with the same passion.
 

Michael Dollendorf received his musical training at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has since performed with many well-known ensembles: Les Arts Florissants in Paris, the Smithsonian Chamber Players in Washington, D. C., and with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco.

At the University of Bonn, Germany, he read old languages at the German and the English department with Manfred Kaempfert, Christoph Cormeau, Monika Unzeitig and Karl Reichl. He has done extensive research on oral poetry and traditions of storytelling. His programs are in Old High German, Middle High German, Gothic, Old Saxon, Old English, Middle English and Provençal.

German heroic poems, songs of French Troubadours, and the German Minnesinger repertoire of Walther von der Vogelweide, Neidhart von Reuental and Oswald von Wolkenstein form the basis of his work.

He accompanies himself on harps, psaltery, lyre, fiddle and various types of hurdy-gurdy.