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Michael Praetorius (Composer)

Born: February 15, 1571 - Kreuzberg, Thuringia, Germany
Died: February 15, 1621 - Wolfenbüttel, Germany

Michael Praetorius was the son of Michael Schultze (Praetorius being a Latinization of the name). At an early age Praetorius attended the University of Frankfurt a. O., his brother supporting him.

When his brother died, Praetorius became organist at Frankfurt and later held the same post at Lüneburg. In this latter town Prätorius began his career as Kapellmeieter. In 1604 he entered the service of the Duke of Brunswick at Wolfenbüttel, first as organist, later as “kapellmeister” and secretary. He was appointed honorary prior of the Ringelheim Monastery near Goslar, but without compulsion to reside there.

Praetorius had become famous as composer of church music, among which should be mentioned the mammoth edition of over twelve hundred songs. He began to write a complete encyclopedia of the art and practice of music, of which he finished three volumes with the title Syntagma Musicum. The second volume of this work is the most elaborate and valuable of all treatises on instruments and instrumental music in the 16th century. It is considered one of the most remarkable examples of musical scholarship in existance. Among his other titles were Musae Sioniae published in nine parts and Hymnodia Sionae. He ranks high as a writer and also as a composer of church melodies.

Source: ELHHB Website [Dahle, Library of Christian Hymns; Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal]
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2003)

Tunes used in Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

BWV 349

Chorale Melodies used in Bach’s Vocal Works

Title

Year

EKG

Zahn

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works

Title

Chorale Melody

Year

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr a 12 (Musae Sioniae II), motet

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr

1607

Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, 4-pt. setting

Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ

1609

Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam, Chorale Ricercare for Organ

Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam

Christum wir sollen loben schon, 4-pt. setting

Christum wir sollen loben schon

Puer natus in Bethlehem, 4-pt. setting

Ein Kind geborn zu Bethlehem (Puer natus in Bethlehem)

1609

Motet for male chorus Erhalt uns Herr bei deinem Wort a 17 (Polyhymnia caduceatrix, 1619)

Erhalt uns, Herr bei deinem Wort

1618

O Jesu, meines Lebens Licht, 4-pt. setting of a completely different melody (the text is slightly different as well)

Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht

In his Polyhymnia Panegyrica there is an item # 32 which is Gelobet seystu Jesu Christ and is listed for performance with 2, 3, 4, or 5 ‘chori’ [which means instrumental groups] and set for 8, 9, and up to 20 voices/vocal parts]
In his Polyhymnia Exercitatrix, there is a listing of a Gelobet Jesu Christ in 3 parts for 2, 4, and 6 voices. Praetorius explains that these compositions are particularly suitable for boys (‘and other musicians’) and are set according to the current Italian manner/style (Gabrieli, etc.). In his Polyhymnia X containing almost exclusively Latin motets, there is one composition with 8 vocal parts and 2 chori entitled: Gelobet seystu Jesu Christ
In his Syntagma musicum Volume III, p. 181, Praetorius writes regarding Gelobet seystu Jesu Christ and a few other chorales can also be sung without Ornament-Instrumenta [‘obbligato instruments’] using only the Concertat-Stimmen [‘solo voices’] with an organ or other Fundament-Instrumenten [‘instruments in the basso continuo group’] very distinctly and gracefully/delicately [“zierlich”] as it is appropriate and with a ‘pure’ [‘clean intonation’ and/or ‘without the use of embellishments’] voice. On p. 186, Praetorius suggests the Gelobet seistu Jesu Christ can be performed as follows: Have the singers and/or choirs (including the instrumentalist choirs) sing and/or play the first line of the verse Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, after which an instrumental ritornello is played. Then the entire musical group begins, once again, from the beginning to continue through the entire verse. Or, the ritornello can be inserted between the lines Das hat er alles uns gethan and the continuation of it in seine grosse Lieb zu zeigen an.

Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ

Ich Steh an deiner Krippen hier, setting for choir

Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier

Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn, 4-pt. vocal setting in Musae Sioniae VII

Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn

4-pt. setting of Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich

Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich

1609

Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, 4-pt setting

Meine Seele erhebet den Herren [The German Magnificat]

1607

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, 4-pt. chorale setting

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, for 4 voices (from Musae Sioniae 5)

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

1607

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, for 6 voices (from Musae Sioniae 5)

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

1607

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, a 3

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (from the Polyhymnia caduceatrix)

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

Vater unser im Himmelreich, for organ

Vater unser im Himmelreich

Vater unser im Himmelreich, for double-choir from "Urania" Nr. X

Vater unser im Himmelreich

1613

Links to other Sites

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary Handbook - Biographies and Sources (ELHHB)

 

Bibliography

 

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Last update: ýJuly 28, 2014 ý08:33:52