Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lutheran Public Radio network podcast on Johann Walther -- with an interesting aside on Christian contemporary music of the 1520s -- and a link to a master's thesis on Walther

Radio show on the kantor who put together Martin Luther's first hymnals. Family tradition is that he was an ancestor of the Walthers in my paternal grandmother's (farmor's) family in Norway.

Hat tip to my cousin John, who writes, "I think I mentioned finding several weeks ago - a website with lots of good church music that plays continuously, 24 hours per day. A high school classmate told me that her son, a LC-MS [pastor?], spoke on the talk side of the website. While scrolling through to find him, I found a talk on page 5, titled Issues, Etc. Encore: 16th Century Lutheran Kantor Johann Walter – Dr. Paul Grime, 4/24/15."

Toward the end of the podcast, Grime, of Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Ind., makes the point that by the standards of his day, Luther was writing "Christian contemporary" music.

I knew my father's middle name was Walther -- Birger Walther Ellertsen -- and both of his sisters had it as their middle name. But I didn't know till a family gathering in 2014 of the connection with Luther's arranger. From a blog post to Hogfiddle on our 2014 cousins' reunion in upstate New York Music seems to run in the family -- Bestefar's father and perhaps his grandfather were cantors in Bergen, and at Koinonia I learned that Bestemor's family, from an industrial town called Sarpsborg in southeastern Norway, claims descent from the Johann Walther who edited Martin Luther's early congregational music.

In fact, later on that weekend we celebrated the family tradition by singing some of Walther's arrangements, including Christ lag in Todesbanden ("Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands"). ... <.blockquote>

Solomon, Emily Marie, "Tunes, Textures, and Trends: The Transformation of Johann Walther’s Geistliches Gesangbüchlein (1524, 1525, 1537, 1544, 1551)" (2014). Master's Theses. Paper 480. Western Michigan University.

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