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Johann Philipp Förtsch (Composer)

Born: May 14, 1652 - Wertheim am Main (Franken)
Died: December 14, 1732 - Eutin, near Lübeck, Germany

Johann Philipp Förtsch was a German composer, a statesman and a physician.


Johann Philipp Förtsch was son of the mayor of a Wertheim. He studied medicine in Jena and composition in Bayreuth or Halle with Johann Philipp Krieger. Subsequently, he travelled Germany, Holland and France.

In 1678 Johann Philipp Förtsch became tenor singer at Hamburg's Ratskapelle, and singer at the re-opened opera. In Hamburg he wrote numerous opera texts and complete operas, all of which were performed (see list below). In 1680 he became Kapellmeister of Gottorp, as a successor of Johann Theile, but because of political unrests this office lasted only briefly.

In 1681 Johann Philipp Förtsch became Doctor for Medicine at the University of Kiel, and since then was active as a physician apart from his musical activity in Hamburg, Schleswig and Husum. When he became in 1689 court physician in Schleswig, he gave up his musical activities. In 1694 he became a body physician and court advice of August Friedrich of Lübeck, the bishop Eutin. After whose death in 1705, he took over the government for a short time. He continued also his activity as physician and a senior counsel in Eutin and Lübeck.


Croesus (Hamburg, 1684)
Das unmöglichste Ding (Hamburg, 1684)
Alexander in Sidon (Hamburg, 1688)
Die heilige Eugenia (Hamburg, 1688)
Der im Christentum biss in den Tod beständige Märtyrer Polyeuct (Hamburg, 1688)
Xerxes in Abydus (Hamburg, 1689)
Cain und Abel (Hamburg, 1689)
Das betrübte und erfreute Cimbria (Hamburg, 1689)
Die grossmächtige Thalestris, oder Letzte Königin der Amazonen (Hamburg, 1690)
Ancile Romanum, das ist Des Römischen Reichs Glücks-Schild (Hamburg, 1690)
Bajazeth und Tamerlan (Hamburg, 1690)
Der irrende Ritter Don Quixotte de la Mancia (Hamburg, 1690)

Additional Vocal Works:
O adornada Trinitas - concerto for TB, 3 VDGBA and BC
Siehe,um Trost war mir sehr bange - cantata for SSB, 2 Violins and BC
Veni Creator Spiritus - cantata for SB, Violin, VDGBA and BC
82 geistliche Kantaten für Soli, Chor und Instrumente

Instrumental Works:
32 Canones für 2 bis 8 Stimmen über Christ, der du bist der helle Tag (1680)
Canon perpetuus zu vier Stimmen über den gleichen Choral
Allemande zu vier Stimmen
Tripelfuge (zu Lehrzwecken)

Music Theory Works:
Musicalischer Compositions Tractat
Von den dreyfachen Contrapunkten


Source: German Wikipedia Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (May 2006)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (December 2005), Teddy Kaufman (May 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Fragments of a chorale cantata Gelobet seist du Jesu Christ

Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ

Links to other Sites

Johann Philipp Förtsch (Wikipedia) [German]
Johann Philipp Förtsch [German]

Einträge zu Johann Philipp Förtsch (Katalog des Deutschen Musikarchivs) [German]
Noten (Kantoreiarchiv) [German]



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Last update: ýMay 11, 2006 ý12:20:3