The Intersection of Personal Faith and Compositional Craft in Selected Choral Works of Michael Praetorius (1571-1621)
AuthorGrimes, Anne Catherine
AdvisorBrobeck, John T.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBiographical and musical evidence drawn from the life and works of Michael Praetorius strongly suggests that he not only was a religious man, but also possessed a deep personal Christian faith. Praetorius desired and worked to promote the worship of God with his intellect, musical craft and skills. His ideas about heaven and heavenly worship are portrayed in his literary writings, in the artistic depictions on the covers of his musical works, and in his musical compositions. He incorporated alternatim and echo techniques in his musical works to imitate angelic worship.To Praetorius, the worship of God in the Lutheran services was preparation for eternal heavenly worship. In his Syntagma Musicum I and other writings and prayers, Praetorius put forth his theology of music, expressing the importance and purpose of musical worship in the Christian church. His self-authored hymn texts reveal the depth and strength of his personal relationship with God, and his dependence upon Jesus Christ. Analysis of three of his musical works gives evidence of his faith. Das ist mir Lieb, his setting of Psalm 116, enhances and depicts the sacred text through text painting, text repetition, and instrumental sinfonias which invite contemplation. He imitated heavenly worship through his use of the alternatim style in his setting of a Martin Luther chorale, Jesajah dem Propheten (#33), which appears in Polyhymnia Caduceatrix et Panegyrica (1619). In O Lamm Gottes unschuldig (#18) from the same collection, Praetorius emphasizes Christ’s innocence as well as his suffering as the lamb who was “slaughtered” for mankind’s sin. He sets the chorale for four solo boys’ voices, suggesting the vulnerability of a lamb. Praetorius’s musical settings, writings, and cover titles all strongly evince a deep faith in God.
Degree ProgramGraduate College