Johann Gottfried Walther (18 September 1684 – 23 March 1748) was a German music theorist, organist, composer, and lexicographer of the Baroque era. Walther was born at Erfurt. Not only was his life almost exactly contemporaneous to that of Johann Sebastian Bach, he was the famous composer's cousin.
Walther was most well known as the compiler of the Musicalisches Lexicon (Leipzig, 1732), an enormous dictionary of music and musicians.
Walther was the music teacher of Prince Johann Ernst von Sachsen-Weimar. He wrote a handbook for the young prince with the title Praecepta der musicalischen Composition, 1708. It remained handwritten until Peter Benary's edition (Leipzig, 1955).
As an organ composer, Walther became famous for his organ transcriptions of orchestral concertos by contemporary Italian and German masters. He made 14 transcriptions of concertos by Albinoni, Gentili, Taglietti, Giuseppe Torelli, Vivaldi and Telemann. These works were the models for Bach to write his famous transcriptions of concertos by Vivaldi and others. On the other hand, Walther as a city organist of Weimar wrote exactly 132 organ preludes based on Lutheran chorale melodies. Some free keyboard music also belongs to his legacy.
In this work, the chorale is set in a "sad and serious" imitative manner. The Octaaf 8' of the Hoofdwerk carries the sound alone, and the great church is filled with the mournful sound of this one stop.
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Walther.
New Year's Eve will see my two "sad posts" but I'll put up a joyful fanfare on New Year's Day. :-)
HAPPY NEW YEAR to ALL!!!