PASSION CHORALE (Hassler)

Composer: Hans Leo Hassler

Johann Leonard Hassler; b. 1564, Nuernberg; d. 1612, Dresden Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, 1908 Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: Hans Leo Hassler (1601)
Meter: 7.6.7.6 D
Incipit: 51765 45233 2121
Key: a minor/C Major
Source: Secular Origin

Notes

The tune HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN has been associated with Gerhardt's text ["O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden"] since they were first published together in 1656. The tune's first association with a sacred text was its attachment in 1913 [sic: should read 1613] to Christoph Knoll's funeral text "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" (hence the tune name). It was originally a court song by the great Renaissance composer Hans Leo Hassler (b. Nuremberg, Germany, 1564; d. Frankfurt, Germany, 1612), published in his Lustgarten neuer teutscher Gesäng (1601). Hassler came from a family of famous musicians. He received his early education from his father in Nuremberg, then studied in Venice with Andrea Gabrieli and became friends with Giovanni Gabrieli. In Venice he learned the polychoral style, for which the Gabrielis were justly famous, and brought this practice back with him to Germany. Hassler served as organist and composer for Octavian Fugger, the princely art patron of Augsburg (1585-1601), as director of town music and organist in the Frauenkirche in Nuremberg (1601-1608), and finally as court musician for the Elector of Saxony in Dresden (1608-1612). A Lutheran, Hassler composed for both the Roman Catholic liturgy and for Lutheran churches. Among his many works are two volumes of motets (1591, 1601), a famous collection of court songs, Lustgarten neuer Deutscher Gesang (1601), chorale motets, Psalmen und christliche Gesänge (1607), and a volume of simpler hymn settings, Kirchengesänge, Psalmen und geistliche Lieder (1608). The isorhythmic (all equal rhythms) setting was adapted from one of the harmonizations composed by Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) for his St. Matthew Passion (1729). Many composers have written organ music based on this tune; various melodic and rhythmic versions exist. HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN (also known as ACH HERR, MICH ARMEN SUNDER; or PASSION CHORALE) is a bar form tune (AAB) with a glorious melody whose beauty has done much to fit the private devotional text onto the lips of congregations. Sing stanzas 1 and 3 in unison and stanza 2 in harmony (possibly unaccompanied with a confident congregation or choir). Keep a subdued registration on the organ and always accompany at a sustained pace. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook 1998

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