Ein Feste Burg 5 Settings C. 1540 - 4 Scores
ATTB voices or ATTB instruments
Composed by Various. Miscellaneous Music. Early Music Library. Choral or Vocal Music. 4 Scores. Published by London Pro Musica (MM.EML0325).
Item Number: MM.EML0325
These settings of Martin Luther's classic hymnEin feste Burg come from Georg Rhaw'sNewe Deudsche Geistlichen Gesenge fur die gemeinen Schulen, an important anthology of Lutheran choral settings in (mostly) four parts, published in Wittenberg in 1544. The setting by Johann Walther (1496-1570), however, comes from his Geistliches gesangk Buchleyn. Ein feste Burg was first printed in 1535, and become one of the cornerstones of the Lutheran repertoire. Over time the rhythm of the melody become simplified somewhat: many later Baroque settings have it in predominantly equal notes. The strongly affirmative nature of the hymn stems from the fact that it starts with its highest note, thus contradicting the generally arch-like nature of 16th-century melodies. It is a melody that fits naturally in a tenor part, and four of the five settings here have the tune in that voice: the remaining piece, (no. 2) has the tune in the bass. The setting by Lupus Hellinck is more expansive than the others, with more imitation based on phrases from the melody. English translations included.