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Jacob Schuback (Composer)

Born: February 8, 1726 - Hamburg, Germany
Died: May 15, 1784 - Hamburg, Germany

Jacob [Jakob] Schuback was a German lawyer and musician. The son of Hamburgís mayor, he attended the Johanneum Lateinschule, where Georg Philipp Telemann was Kantor, and from 1743 to 1747 the classical school, obtaining at the same time a thorough training in music. He studied law in Göttingen and took up the legal profession on his return to Hamburg in 1750, becoming secretary-archivist of the senate within two years. By 1760 he was trustee of the senate, and from 1771 acted as representative of the Hanseatic Republic to the Reichstag in Regensburg.

Schubackís interest in music certainly exceeded the usual scope of musical amateurism. He composed several large-scale works, some of them to his own texts, and collaborated on an inauguration cantata with Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, whom he befriended. His choral works are admirable for their text-declamation, while reflecting the conservative taste of their composer; his songs are sensitive and folklike but his symphonies more mediocre. His importance to music, however, lay primarily in his participation in Hamburgís musical life: he was a skilled choral conductor, directed one of the earliest performances in Hamburg of Handelís Messiah, organized public concerts and established a programme of choral music in a local charity school. He also played the keyboard, corresponded with Metastasio on the subject of text-setting, and published anonymously a treatise on musical declamation that gained some currency.


MSS mainly in Berlin and Schwerin

Die Grossmuth des Scipio (drama, D. Schiebeler)

Oratorios (performed in Hamburg):
Der für die Sünde der Welt sterbende Jesus (Passion oratorio, B.H. Brockes) (c1750)
La passione di Gesù Cristo (after P. Metastasio, translated by Schuback) (1763), D-Bsb, Rou
Betulia liberata (after Metastasio, translated by Schuback) (1773), Bsb
Gioas, ré di Giuda (after Metastasio, translated by Schuback) (1777, lost), formerly DS
Die Jünger zu Emaus (Schuback) (
Hamburg, 1778-1779)

Other vocal:
Vierstimmige gesetzte Kirchenchoräle, biblische Sprüche, geistliche und moralische Lieder für die Rumbaumsche Armenschule (Hamburg, 1779-1781)
Versuch in Melodien, songs, 1v, kbd (
Hamburg, 1779)
c12 sacred cantatas., solo vv, chorus, orchestra
2 secular Italian cantatas (Metastasio)
Inauguration cantata, 1771, collaboration with
C.P.E. Bach, Bsb
Other ceremonial music
2 arias
2 canons

3 symphonies

Von der musikalischen Declamation (Göttingen,1775); excerpts in J.N. Forkel: Musikalisch-kritische Bibliothek, iii (1779/R)
Nachricht von dem Singe-Institut bey der Rumbaumschen Armen-Schule (
Hamburg, 1780)


Source: Music Encyclopedia Website (Author: Eugene Helm)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2010)

Links to other Sites

Schubach, Thomas (Music Encyclopedia)



ADB([O.] Beneke)
C.F. Cramer, ed.: Magazin der Musik, ii (1784/R)
H. Schroeder and A.H. Kellinghusen, eds.: Lexikon der hamburgischen Schriftsteller, iii (
Hamburg, 1879)
Alfred Sittard: Geschichte des Musik- und Concertwesens in Hamburg (Altona and Leipzig, 1890/ R)
K. Stephenson: Hundert Jahre Philharmonische Gesellschaft in Hamburg (
Hamburg, 1928)
S. Voss: ĎDie Metastasio-Vertonungen des Hamburger Syndikus Jacob Schuback: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Oratoriums im Hamburg des 18. Jahrhundertsí, HJb 1999, 173-85

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