Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Still love those Germans

In one of my earliest posts, I wrote about the contribution of German composer to Christian liturgy, in addition to that of Martin Luther and his “Mighty Fortress” hymn.

In his blog “Thinking out loud,” LCMS pastor Rick Stuckwisch lists his favorite 120 German hymns, most of which have been published in the most recent LCMS hymnal, the Lutheran Service Book. The most common names are Martin Luther and his successor Paul Gerhardt. I was surprised that Philipp Nicolai only appears twice, and by listing the author and not composer, Stuckwisch does not directly identify the contributions of the great Johann Crüger.

To me, 120 German hymns seems excessive — but then 120 COE hymns would not. Clearly some of them are ones that I forgot were of German origin, notably “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light,” written by Johann Rist and composed by Johann Schop. What I do recall is the Bach harmonization of Schop’s tune, printed as a Christmas hymn in Hymnal 1940 (#25) and even Hymnal 1982 (#91).

1 comment:

Amberg said...

John Crueger is incredible. I don't know of a better composer.

Nicolai only has two hymns that I know of. Do you know of any besides what we call the "King" and "Queen?"