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Leonard Sailer (Composer)

Born: November 4, 1656 - Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Died: after 1694 - Basle (?)

Leonhard Sailer [Seyler] was a German composer and organist. He may have studied with the Ulm Cathedral organist S.A. Scherer. He became composer and organist to Margrave Friedrich Magnus of Baden-Durlach. In 1689 he accompanied the margrave into exile at Basle where he also became involved with the collegium musicum.

Leonhard Sailer's only printed collection of music is Cantiones sacrae (Basle, 1696), which contains 16 motets and cantatas for one to four voices with organ and either two violins or, in five pieces, viols. Most begin with a sinfonia or sonata, no.2 has a ritornello used twice, no.6 has echo effects, and in no.13, Das neugeborne Kindelein - the only one to a German text - the chorale melody Vom Himmel hoch is used and a violin motif in the sinfonia reappears in the first three verses. The pieces are not unlike certain works by Dietrich Buxtehude. There are three other comparable works by Sailer in the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin: Vertere in luctum cithara, for tenor, three obbligato instruments and organ (the end of which is marked ppp), Jesu, liebster Schatz, for four voices, four instruments and organ, and O benignissime Jesu, for bass solo, two violins and organ: two others (in D-W and GB-Och respectively) are doubtful.


Source: Grove Music Online © Oxford University Press 2006 acc. 5/30/06 (Authos: Horace Fishback)
Contributed by
Thomas Braatz (May 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Cantata: Das neugeborne Kindelein, for voices (4?) and 2 violins and organ (continuo)

Das neugeborne Kindelein

Links to other Sites



K. Nef: ‘Die Musik in Basel von den Anfängen im 9. bis zur Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts’, SIMG, x (1908–9), 532-63
H.P. Schanzlin: ‘Die Cantiones sacrae von Leonhard Sailer’, Musik und Gottesdienst, ix (1955), 109
F. Baser: Musikheimat Baden-Württemberg (Freiburg, 1963)

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