German Choral Books from the 19th century by Jan R. Luth

by Jan R. Luth | Het ORGEL | Year 99 | (2003) | Issue 4

Jan R. Luth German Choral Books from the 19th century
Het ORGEL 99 (2003), nr. 4, 16-21 [summary]

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Dutch ecclesiastical music was influenced strongly by German composers and musicians. Many organists were immigrated Germans; Dutch organists, like Johannes Gijsbertus Bastiaans en Johannes Albertus van Eijken, were educated in Germany. 
Consequently, German Chorale Books are important sources for the history of Dutch ecclesiastical music. Three such books are discussed here: the books of Johann Adam Hiller of 1793; Johann Gottlob Werner of 1815; and Carl Ferdinand Becker of 1847. Hiller represented the traditional style. Werner belonged to a transitional phase, which was characterised by the new idea that 16th- and 17th-century models might be valuable. Becker was one of the main advocates of this later style. This is illustrated by their ideas about interludes between the lines of a chorale: Hiller wrote that these should not reflect the text of the choral, whereas Werner thought they must. Werner’s hesitation about the use of interludes led to Becker’s rejection of them.
The ideas of Becker in particular shaped the Chorale Books that were published by Bastiaans and Van Eijken.