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Johann Sebastian Bach

1685 - 1750 Person Name: Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 Harm. based on of "GOTT DER VATER WOHN UNS BEI" in The Beacon Song and Service book Johann Sebastian Bach was born at Eisenach into a musical family and in a town steeped in Reformation history, he received early musical training from his father and older brother, and elementary education in the classical school Luther had earlier attended. Throughout his life he made extraordinary efforts to learn from other musicians. At 15 he walked to Lüneburg to work as a chorister and study at the convent school of St. Michael. From there he walked 30 miles to Hamburg to hear Johann Reinken, and 60 miles to Celle to become familiar with French composition and performance traditions. Once he obtained a month's leave from his job to hear Buxtehude, but stayed nearly four months. He arranged compositions from Vivaldi and other Italian masters. His own compositions spanned almost every musical form then known (Opera was the notable exception). In his own time, Bach was highly regarded as organist and teacher, his compositions being circulated as models of contrapuntal technique. Four of his children achieved careers as composers; Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Chopin are only a few of the best known of the musicians that confessed a major debt to Bach's work in their own musical development. Mendelssohn began re-introducing Bach's music into the concert repertoire, where it has come to attract admiration and even veneration for its own sake. After 20 years of successful work in several posts, Bach became cantor of the Thomas-schule in Leipzig, and remained there for the remaining 27 years of his life, concentrating on church music for the Lutheran service: over 200 cantatas, four passion settings, a Mass, and hundreds of chorale settings, harmonizations, preludes, and arrangements. He edited the tunes for Schemelli's Musicalisches Gesangbuch, contributing 16 original tunes. His choral harmonizations remain a staple for studies of composition and harmony. Additional melodies from his works have been adapted as hymn tunes. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Martin Luther

1483 - 1546 Author of "Gott, der Vater, wohn uns bei" Luther, Martin, born at Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483; entered the University of Erfurt, 1501 (B.A. 1502, M.A.. 1503); became an Augustinian monk, 1505; ordained priest, 1507; appointed Professor at the University of Wittenberg, 1508, and in 1512 D.D.; published his 95 Theses, 1517; and burnt the Papal Bull which had condemned them, 1520; attended the Diet of Worms, 1521; translated the Bible into German, 1521-34; and died at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546. The details of his life and of his work as a reformer are accessible to English readers in a great variety of forms. Luther had a huge influence on German hymnody. i. Hymn Books. 1. Ellich cristlich lider Lobgesang un Psalm. Wittenberg, 1524. [Hamburg Library.] This contains 8 German hymns, of which 4 are by Luther. 2. Eyn Enchiridion oder Handbuchlein. Erfurt, 1524 [Goslar Library], with 25 German hymns, of which 18 are by Luther. 3. Geystliche Gesangk Buchleyn. Wittenberg, 1524 [Munich Library], with 32 German hymns, of which 24 are by Luther. 4. Geistliche Lieder auffs new gebessert. Wittenberg. J. Klug, 1529. No copy of this book is now known, but there was one in 1788 in the possession of G. E. Waldau, pastor at Nürnberg, and from his description it is evident that the first part of the Rostock Gesang-Buch, 1531, is a reprint of it. The Rostock Gesang-Buch, 1531, was reprinted by C. M. Wiechmann-Kadow at Schwerin in 1858. The 1529 evidently contained 50 German hymns, of which 29 (including the Litany) were by Luther. 5. Geistliche Lieder auffs new gebessert. Erfurt. A. Rauscher, 1531 [Helmstädt, now Wolfenbüttel Library], a reprint of No. 4. 6. Geistliche Lieder. Wittenberg. J. Klug, 1535 [Munich Library. Titlepage lost], with 52 German hymns, of which 29 are by Luther. 7. Geistliche Lieder auffs new gebessert. Leipzig. V. Schumann, 1539 [Wernigerode Library], with 68 German hymns, of which 29 are by Luther. 8. Geistliche Lieder. Wittenberg. J. Klug, 1543 [Hamburg Library], with 61 German hymns, of which 35 are by Luther. 9. Geystliche Lieder. Leipzig. V. Babst, 1545 [Gottingen Library]. This contains Luther's finally revised text, but adds no new hymns by himself. In pt. i. are 61 German hymns, in pt. ii. 40, of which 35 in all are by Luther. For these books Luther wrote three prefaces, first published respectively in Nos. 3, 4, 9. A fourth is found in his Christliche Geseng, Lateinisch und Deudsch, zum Begrebnis, Wittenberg, J. Klug, 1542. These four prefaces are reprinted in Wackernagel’s Bibliographie, 1855, pp. 543-583, and in the various editions of Luther's Hymns. Among modern editions of Luther's Geistliche Lieder may be mentioned the following:— Carl von Winterfeld, 1840; Dr. C. E. P. Wackernagel, 1848; Q. C. H. Stip, 1854; Wilhelm Schircks, 1854; Dr. Danneil, 1883; Dr. Karl Gerok, 1883; Dr. A. F. W. Fischer, 1883; A. Frommel, 1883; Karl Goedeke, 1883, &c. In The Hymns of Martin Luther. Set to their original melodies. With an English version. New York, 1883, ed. by Dr. Leonard Woolsey Bacon and Nathan H. Allen, there are the four prefaces, and English versions of all Luther's hymns, principally taken more or less altered, from the versions by A. T. Russell, R. Massie and Miss Winkworth [repub. in London, 1884]. Complete translations of Luther's hymns have been published by Dr. John Anderson, 1846 (2nd ed. 1847), Dr. John Hunt, 1853, Richard Massie, 1854, and Dr. G. Macdonald in the Sunday Magazine, 1867, and his Exotics, 1876. The other versions are given in detail in the notes on the individual hymns. ii. Classified List of Luther's Hymns. Of Luther's hymns no classification can be quite perfect, e.g. No. 3 (see below) takes hardly anything from the Latin, and No. 18 hardly anything from the Psalm. No. 29 is partly based on earlier hymns (see p. 225, i.). No. 30 is partly based on St. Mark i. 9-11, and xvi., 15, 16 (see p. 226, ii.). No. 35 is partly based on St. Luke ii. 10-16. The following arrangement, however, will answer all practical purposes. A. Translations from the Latin. i. From Latin Hymns: 1. Christum wir sollen loben schon. A solis ortus cardine 2. Der du bist drei in Einigkeit. O Lux beata Trinitas. 3. Jesus Christus unser Heiland, Der von. Jesus Christus nostra salus 4. Komm Gott Schopfer, heiliger Geist. Veni Creator Spiritus, Mentes. 5. Nun komm der Beidenheiland. Veni Redemptor gentium 6. Was flirchst du Feind Herodes sehr. A solis ortus cardine ii. From Latin Antiphons, &c.: 7. Herr Gott dich loben wir. Te Deum laudamus. 8. Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich. Dapacem, Domine 9. Wir glauben all an einen Gott. iii. Partly from the Latin, the translated stanzas being adopted from Pre-Reformation Versions: 10. Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott. 11. Mitten wir im Leben sind. Media vita in morte sumus. B. Hymns revised and enlarged from Pre-Reformation popular hymns. 12. Gelobet seist du Jesus Christ. 13. Gott der Vater wohn uns bei. 14. Gott sei gelobet und gebenedeiet. 15. Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist. C. Psalm versions. 16. Ach Gott vom Himmel, sieh darein. 17. Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir. 18. Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott. 19. Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl. 20. Es wollt uns Gott genädig sein. 21. War Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit. 22. Wohl dem, der in Gotten Furcht steht. D. Paraphrases of other portions of Holy Scripture. 23. Diess sind die heilgen zehn Gebot. 24. Jesaia dem Propheten das geschah. 25. Mensch willt du leben seliglich. 26. Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin. 27. Sie ist mir lieb die werthe Magd. 28. Vater unser im Himmelreich. E. Hymns mainly Original. 29. Christ lag in Todesbanden. 30. Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam. 31. Ein neues Lied wir heben an. 32. Erhalt uns Herr bei deinem Wort. 33. Jesus Christus unser Heiland, Der den, 34. Nun freut euch lieben Christengemein. 35. Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her. 36. Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schaar. In addition to these — 37. Fur alien Freuden auf Erden. 38. Kyrie eleison. In the Blätter fur Hymnologie, 1883, Dr. Daniel arranges Luther's hymns according to what he thinks their adaptation to modern German common use as follows:— i. Hymns which ought to be included in every good Evangelical hymn-book: Nos. 7-18, 20, 22, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 35, 36, 38. ii. Hymns the reception of which into a hymn-book might be contested: Nos. 2, 3, 4, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 33. iii. Hymns not suited for a hymn-book: Nos. 1, 5, 6, 27, 31, 37. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.] --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Person Name: Unknown Author of "God, the Father, Be Our Stay" in The Lutheran Hymnal In some hymnals, the editors noted that a hymn's author is unknown to them, and so this artificial "person" entry is used to reflect that fact. Obviously, the hymns attributed to "Author Unknown" "Unknown" or "Anonymous" could have been written by many people over a span of many centuries.

Johann Walter

1496 - 1570 Person Name: J. Walther, 1496-1570 Composer of "GOTT DER VATER WOHN UNS BEI" in Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary Johann Walther (b. Kahla, Thuringia, Germany, 1496: d. Torgau, Germany, 1570) was one of the great early influences in Lutheran church music. At first he seemed destined to be primarily a court musician. A singer in the choir of the Elector of Saxony in the Torgau court in 1521, he became the court's music director in 1525. After the court orchestra was disbanded in 1530 and reconstituted by the town, Walther became cantor at the local school in 1534 and directed the music in several churches. He served the Elector of Saxony at the Dresden court from 1548 to 1554 and then retired in Torgau. Walther met Martin Luther in 1525 and lived with him for three weeks to help in the preparation of Luther's German Mass. In 1524 Walther published the first edition of a collection of German hymns, Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn. This collection and several later hymnals compiled by Walther went through many later editions and made a permanent impact on Lutheran hymnody. Bert Polman ================ Walther, Johann, was born in 1496 at a village near Cola (perhaps Kahla, or else Colleda, near Sachsenburg) in Thuringia. In 1524 we find him at Torgau, as bassist at the court of Friedrich the Wise, Elector of Saxony. The Elector Johann of Saxony made him "Sengermeister" (choirmaster) in 1526. When the Electoral orchestra (Kapelle) at Torgau was disbanded in 1530, it was reconstituted by the town, and in 1534 Walther was also appointed cantor (singing-master) to the school at Torgau. On the accession of the Elector Moritz of Saxony, in 1548, Walther went with him to Dresden as his Kapellmeister. He was pensioned by decree of Aug. 7, 1554, and soon after returned to Torgau, still retaining the title of "Sengermeister." He died at Torgau, perhaps on March 25, or at least before April 24, 1570. (Monatshefte für Musikgeschichte, 1871, p. 8, and 1878, p. 85; Archiv für Litteraturgeschichte, vol. xii., 1884, p. 185; Dr. Otto Taubert's Pflege der Musilz in Torgau, 1868, and his Gymnasial Singe-Chor zu Torgau, n.d., 1870, &c.) Walther was more distinguished as a musician than as a hymnwriter. In 1524 he spent three weeks in Luther's house at Wittenberg, helping to adapt the old church music to the Lutheran services, and harmonising the tunes in five parts for the Geystliche gesangk Bucklyn, published at Wittenberg in 1524. He was also present in the Stadtkirche at Wittenberg, when, on Oct. 29, 1525, the service for the Holy Communion, as rearranged by Luther and himself, was first used in German. His hymns appeared mostly in his Das christlich Kinderlied D. Martini Lutheri, Erhalt uns Herr, &c. Auffs new in sechs Stimmen gesetzt, und rait etlichen schönen Christlichen Texten, Lateinischen und Teutschen Gesengen gemehrt, &c, Wittenberg. Those of Walther's hymns which have passed into English are:— i. Herzlich Lieb hab ich dich, mein Gott. Trinity Sunday. First published in 1566 as above, and thence in Wackernage, iii. p. 204, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines. Translated as:— 0 God, my Rock! my heart on Thee. This is a good translation of stanza i., iii., iv., by A. T. Russell, as No. 133 in his Psalms & Hymns, 1851. ii. Herzlich thut mich erfreuen. Eternal Life. First published separately, in 33 stanzas, at Wittenberg, in 1552, entitled "A beautiful spiritual and Christian new miner's song, of the Last Day and Eternal Life" [Konigsberg Library]. Thence in Wackernagel, iii. p. 187, in 34 stanzas, stanza 33 being added from the Dresden reprint of 1557. It is set to the melody of a popular song on the Joys of Summer. It is a fresh and beautiful hymn, but is only partially available on account of its length. Translated as:— 1. Now fain my joyous heart would sing. This is a translation of stanza 1, 4, 5, 17, 33, 34, by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Germanica 2nd Ser., 1858, p. 223. Her translations of stanzas 1, 4, 5, were included in the English Presbyterian Psalms & Hymns, 1867, No. 325. 2. Soon will the heavenly Bridegroom come. This is by Dr. Kennedy, in his Hymn. Christanza, 1863, No. 1009, and follows the text of the Geistliche Lieder omitting stanza 16, 18, 13. It is repeated in the Laudes Domini, N. Y., 1884, &c. 3. The Bridegroom soon will call us. By Dr. M. Loy, from the Geistliche Lieder, but omitting stanzas 18, 13, as No. 24 in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A. ] --Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

W. G. Tarrant

1853 - 1928 Person Name: William G. Tarrant, 1853-1928 Author of "Marching with the heroes" in The Beacon Song and Service book Tarrant, William George, B.A., b. 1853. Since 1883 Minister of the Wandsworth Unitarian Christian Church. Editor of The Inquirer, 1888-97. One of the editors of the Essex Hall Hymnal. 1890, and of the Revised ed., 1902. 1. Come, let us Join with faithful souls. The Faithful. 2. Draw nigh to God; He will draw nigh to you. The Divine Helper. 3. Long ago the lilies faded. The Constant Presence. 4. The Light along the ages. Easter. 5. With happy voices ringing. Children's Praise. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)

Richard Massie

1800 - 1887 Person Name: R. Massie, 1800-87 Translator of "God the Father, Be Our Stay" in Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary Massie, Richard, eldest son of the Rev. R. Massie, of Goddington, Cheshire, and Rector of Eccleston, was born at Chester, June 18, 1800, and resides at Pulford Hall, Coddington. Mr. Massie published a translation of Martin Luther’s Spiritual Songs, London, 1854. His Lyra Domestica, 1st series, London, 1860, contains translations of the 1st Series of Spitta's Psalter und Harfe. In 1864 he published vol. ii., containing translations of Spitta's 2nd Series, together with an Appendix of translations of German hymns by various authors. He also contributed many translations of German hymns to Mercer's Church Psalter & Hymn Book; to Reid's British Herald; to the Day of Rest, &c. He died Mar. 11,1887. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

John Walther

Person Name: Johann Walther, 1496-1566 Composer of "GOTT DER VATER WOHN UNS BEI" in Hymnal and Order of Service

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