Tuesday, January 18, 8180

Neidhart [Nithart] von Reuental [Riuwental, Rubental] (c. 1180-1238)

Neidhart von Reuental (Minnesinger) - Sinc Ein Guilden Huon (Recorder and Tabor)

Neidhart (von Reuental) was one of the most famous German minnesingers. He was born in Bavaria and lived in Austria. As a minnesinger he was most active from 1210 to 1240. Neidhart is very well known for being rather sarcastic and comical. More melodies survive by him than from any other minnesinger.

His name Neidhart von Reuental (in Middle High German, Nîthart von Riuwental) is most likely a pseudonym, for its meaning is more or less Grimhart of Lamentvalley. The second part of his name however was "reconstructed" by philologists of the 19th century who took the role of the "speaker" who calls himself "von Reuental" in his poems to literally and thus combined it with the author's name, which was simply "Nithart". All manuscript sources until the 15th century refer to him only as "Nithart". His songs often stand in harsh contrast to the normal minnesinger topic, courtly or romantic love. This style has been referred to as Höfische Dorfpoesie (courtly village-poetry) by philologist Karl Lachmann and was often imitated by composers called pseudo-Neidharts.

Probably his best-known song is Meienzît (May Time) in which Neidhart starts with describing a peaceful spring scenario but quickly comes to insulting his foes (and several friends and allies that betrayed him).

[8182 Thibaut de Blason / 8180 Neidhart / 8170 Tassin]