Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/191

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LUTHER.
179
LUTHER'S HYMN

Catherine von Bora, formerly a nun at Nimptsch in Saxony. This marriage proved a most happy connection, and the letters of his friends abound with descriptions of the domestic felicity to which it gave rise. We are told that after supper he used to sing motets and hymns with his children and friends, his favourite composers being Senfl and Josquin des Prés, the works of the latter of whom he particularly admired. Luther possessed a fine deep voice, and played both the flute and lute, the latter so well as to attract the attention of passers-by as he journeyed to Worms. It has been said that he wrote motets himself, but there is no proof of this, and it is probably a mistake arising from the existence, in the Munich Library, of a collection of motets with a preface by the Reformer. In 1538 Luther wrote a short treatise in praise of music; a poem by him on the same subject (entitled 'Frau Musika') also exists, and may be found in the Leipziger Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung for 1811. The latter years of Luther's life were principally spent at Wittenburg, but he died at Eisleben, on the 18th February, 1546. He was buried in the Schloss-Kirche at Wittenberg; his greatest hymn, 'Ein feste Burg,' being sung over his grave.

The following is a list of Hymns, the words of which were written or arranged by Luther, together with their dates, so far as it has been possible to ascertain them.

I. Translations and Arrangements of Latin Hymns.

  1. 'Jesus Christus unser Heiland,' 1524. From John Huss's hymn 'Jesus Christus nostra salus.'
  2. 'Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich.' 1529. From 'Da pacem Domine,' an antiphon of the 6th or 7th century.
  3. 'Christum wir sollen loben,' 1524. From a Christmas hymn by Cœlius Sedulius (5th cent.), 'A solis ortus.'
  4. 'Der du bist drei,' 1543. From 'O Lux beata,' an Epiphany hymn of the 5th century.
  5. 'Herr Gott, dich loben wir,' 1529. From the 'Te Deum.'
  6. 'Komm, Gott, Schöpfer,' 1524. From the 'Veni Creator.'
  7. 'Komm, heiliger Geist,' 1524. From the 'Veni sancte Spiritus' attributed to King Robert of France, 997.
  8. 'Nun komm der Heiden Heiland,' 1524. From a Christmas hymn by St. Ambrose, 'Veni Redemptor.'
  9. 'Was fürcht'st du Feind.' Dec. 12, 1541. From 'Hostis Herodes impie,' an Epiphany hymn by Cœlius Sedulius.
  10. 'Wir glauben all' an Einen Gott,' 1524. From the creed 'Patrem credimus.'

II. Amplifications of early German translations of Latin Hymns.

  1. 'Gelobet seyst du,' 1524. Six verses added to a 15th-century translation of the Christmas Sequence of Gregory the Great, 'Orates nunc omnes.'
  2. 'Mitten wir im Leben sind,' 1524. Two verses added to a 15th-century Funeral hymn on Notker's Antiphon 'Media vita in morte sumus.'

III. Corrections or Arrangements of early German Hymns.

  1. 'Christ lag in Todesbanden,' 1524. From the 12th-century hymn 'Christ ist uferstanden.'
  2. 'Gott der Vater, wohn uns bei,' 1524. From a 15th-century Litany.
  3. 'Gott sei gelobet und gebenedeiet,' 1524. From a sacramental hymn of the 16th century.
  4. 'Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist,' 1524. From a 13th-century Whitsuntide hymn.

IV. Hymns based upon Latin Psalms.

  1. 'Ach Gott vom Himmel,' 1523. Ps. xii. 'Salvum me fac.'
  2. a. 'Aus tiefer Noth,' 1523. First version, containing four verses. Ps. cxxx. 'De profundis.'
    b. Do., 1524. Second version, containing five verses.
  3. 'Ein feste Burg,' 1529. Ps. xlvi. 'Deus noster refugium.'
  4. 'Es spricht der Unweisen,' 1524. Ps. xlv. 'Dixit insipiens.'
  5. 'Es wollt uns Gott,' 1524. Ps. lxvli. 'Deus misereatur.'
  6. 'War Gott nicht mit uns,' 1524. Ps. cxxiv. 'Nisi qui Dominus.'
  7. 'Wohl dem, der in Gottesfürchte,' 1524. Ps. cxxvlii. 'Beati omnes.'

V. Hymns based upon passages of the Bible.

  1. 'Christ unser Herr,' 1641. The Baptism of Christ.
  2. 'Diess sind die heiligen zehn Gebot,' 1524. The Decalogue.
  3. 'Jesaia, dem Propheten,' 1526. The Vision of Isaiah.
  4. 'Mensch, willst du leben,' 1524. Abbreviated version of the Decalogue.
  5. 'Mit Fried und Freud,' 1524. The 'Nunc Dimittis.'
  6. 'Sie ist mir lieb,' 1635. The Christian Church (Rev. xii.).
  7. 'Vater unser,' 1539. The Lord's Prayer.
  8. 'Vom Himmel hoch,' 1535. The Nativity (a children's hymn).

VI. Original Hymns.

  1. 'Ein neues Lied,' 1523. A hymn to the memory of two Lutheran martyrs, H. Voes and J. Esch, who were burnt at Brussels July 1, 1523.
  2. 'Erhalt uns, Herr,' 1541. A children's hymn against the two arch-enemies of Christ, the Pope and the Turk.
  3. 'Jesus Christus, unser Heiland,' 1524. An Easter hymn.
  4. 'Nun freut euch,' 1523. A hymn of thanksgiving.
  5. 'Vom Himmel kam,' 1443. A Christmas hymn.


The following are the hymn-tunes which were probably composed by Luther.

  1. 'Jesaia dem Propheten das geschah.' Appeared in the place of the Sanctus in Luther's 'Eine Weiss, Christlich Mess zu halten,' 1526.
  2. 'Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott.' First appeared in 'Geistliche Lieder, auffs new gebessert zu Wittenberg. Dr. Mart. Luther, 1529.' This book was printed by Joseph Klug.
    The following arrangements of this hymn appeared during Luther's life:—
    1. For 3 voices, with the melody in the Tenor, in 'News Gesang, mit dreyen stimmen den Kirchen und Schulen zu nutz, neulich in Preussen durch Joannem Kugelmann gesetzt' (Augsburg, 1540). Hans Kugelmann was Kapellmeister to Duke Albert of Brandenburg.
    2. For 4 voices, with the melody in the Bass, in G. Rhaw's 'Newe deutsche gelstliche Gesenge cxxiii' (Wittenberg 1544).
    3. For 5 voices, with the melody in the Tenor, by Stephen Mahu, in G. Rhaw's Hymn-book.
    4. For 4 voices, with the melody in the Bass, by M. Agricola, in G. Rhaw's Hymn-book.
    5. For 4 voices, with the melody in the Bass, by L. Hellinck, in G. Rhaw's Hymn-book.
  3. 'Aus tiefer Noth ruf ich zu dir.' First appeared in the 'Geistliche Gesangbüchleyn. Tenor.' (Wittenberg 1524.)
  4. 'Ein neues Lied wir heben an.' First appeared in 'Enchiridion, Oder eyn Handtbüchlein eynem yetzlichen Christen fast nutzlich bey sich zu haben zur stetter vbung unnd trachtung Geystlicher gesenge vnd Psalmen, Rechtschaffen vnd kunstlich vertheutscht. 1524.' Printed at Erfurt.
  5. 'Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl.' Appeared in the 'Gesangbüchleyn,' 1524.
  6. 'Mensch, willst du leben seliglich.' From the 'Gesangbüchleyn,' 1524.
  7. 'Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin.' From the 'Gesangbüchleyn,' 1524.
  8. 'Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her.' Appeared in Lotther's Magdeburg Gesangbuch, 1540.
  9. 'Jesus Christus unser Heiland.' From the 'Enchiridion,' 1524.
  10. 'Nun freut euch, liebe Christen g'mein.' From the so-called Achtliederbuch,'1524. In Adam Dyson's Hymn-book (Breslau 1525) it is set to the tune of 'Es ist das Heil,' which was probably composed by Speratus.
  11. 'Nun freut euch, liebe Christen g'mein.' From Klug's 'Geistliche Lieder' (Wittenberg 1529).
  12. 'Vater unser im Himmelreich.' In Köphyl's Strasburg Gesangbuch (1537) and in Lotther's Magdeburg Hymn-book (1540).
  13. 'Wohl dem, der in Gottesfürchte steht.' In the 'Getstliche Gesangbüchleyn,' 1524.

Of the above tunes, Nos. 1 and 2 are almost without doubt by Luther; Nos. 3 to 8 are very probably by him; and Nos. 9 to 13 are ascribed to him with less certainty. The following works contain much information as to Luther as a musician, and have been carefully consulted in the compilation of this article.

Forkel's Musikallscher Almanach for 1784.
The Leipziger Allgemeine musik. Zeitung for 1804 and 1810.
'Ueber Luther's Verdienst um den Kirchengesang.' Rambach (Hamburg 1813).
'Luther's geistllche Lieder nebst dessen Gedanken über die Musica.' Groll (Berlin 1817).
'Luther's Gedanken über die Musik.' Beck (Berlin 1825).
'Dr. Martin Luther's deutsche geistliche Lieder, etc.,' v. Winterfeld (Leipzig 1840).
'Luther's geistliche Lieder.' Wackernagel (Stuttgart 1848).
'Geschichte der biblisch-kirchlichen Dicht- und Tonkunst und ihrer Werke.' Schauer (Jena 1850).
'Choralkunde.' G. Döring (Dantzig, 1865).
'Geschichte des Kirchenlieds, etc.' Koch (Stuttgart, 1866–77).
'Luther musicien'; Revue et Gazette musicale, July 13, 1879.

[ W. B. S. ]

LUTHER'S HYMN, a popular name among the last generation for a hymn beginning 'Great God, what do I see and hear?' set to an old German tune 'Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit,' and formerly much in vogue at musical festivals and sacred concerts. It was sung by Brahain, and Harper used to accompany it with very effective fanfares on the trumpet between the lines. The author of neither words (German nor English) nor tune is exactly known. There is a tradition that Luther made the words to the tune