Johann Crüger article published in Serbska protyka 2018

An article about the great hymn-tune composer and hymnal editor Johann Crüger which I co-authored with David Zersen has been published in the 2018 Serbska protyka (Sorbian Almanac), a general cultural review of and for the Sorbian (Wendish) people, culture, and language. Crüger – whose German name translates as John Taverner (!) – hailed from the historically Sorbian region of Lower Lusatia and may well have been of Sorbian ancestry.

Crüger wrote motets and Magnificats as well as three substantial educational treatises, but he is best known today for his seventy hymn-tunes (many setting beloved hymns of Johann Franck and especially Paul Gerhardt) and the hymn collections he compiled and published, above all Praxis pietatis melica. Both his compositions and compilations drew upon the best of the interrelated sixteenth-century Lutheran, Calvinist, and Bohemian repertories, but the style of some of his tunes, and the formats in which he published (either in four parts with the melody in the highest voice, or with melody and figured bass), demonstrate that he was working at the time when tonal harmony was developing and suggest domestic performance with instruments.

I can’t vouch for the translation, but it’s interesting to see what I wrote look like this: