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Franz Joachim Burmeister (Hymn-Writer)

Born: October 29, 1633 - Lüneburg, Germany
Died: April 21, 1672

The church song poet, Franz Joachim Burmeister, was a son of a Kantor.

Since 1570 Burmeister worked as a preacher at St. Michaelis in Lüneburg. He was friend and literary assistant of Johann Rist, who crowned Burmeister as imperial Pfalzgraf with the poet laurel and in "Elbschwanorden". Also with Johann Rudolf Ahle stood for Burmeister in familiar traffic. He supplied his compositions to some of his poems, among them the lament for King Eliasseufzer 1 ‘Es ist genug! So nimm, Herr, meinen Geist zu Zions Geistern hin’. Burmeister wrote the chorale text for 'Es ist genug' first documented in Ahle's use of this text in Ahle's music publication of 1662.

The Burmeister Family

Joachim Burmeister (born c. 1566 in Lüneburg, died May 5, 1629 in Rostock. His father Joachim Burmeister was a pearl stringer and had attained full citizenship in the city of Lüneburg in 1565. The latter probably had 5 sons, the eldest of which was also called Joachim. The second son, Anton was the successor to Christian Praetorius (relative of the famous Michael Praetorius) assuming the position of Cantor of St. Michael’s Church in Lüneburg a position which he still held when he died in 1634. The third son, Georg, was the assistant school principal at the same church-school from 1611-1621 and main principal until his death in 1624. It is assumed that the fourth brother was Johannes, a poet laureate whose work is included in poem in praise of his brother Joachim. This son, Johannes, was a deacon in Lauenburg since 1601, became a pastor in Gülzau in 1603, superintendent (religious overseer for the entire region encompassing Lauenburg and surrounding villages), and then provost in Ülzen. It cannot be determined whether the latter is identical with the Johannes Burmeister who published a genealogy of the family Estorff in Goslar and some Latin documents (“Saturnalium Christianorum Libri VII”, “Terentius Christianus”, and a “Martialis renatus”) and whether this is the same person as the song/chorale text writer/poet Johannes Burmeister. A fifth brother was probably Franz, who was the organist at St. Lamberti in Lüneburg from 1599-1605. Joachim Burmeister began attending the University of Rostock in 1586 where he attained his masters’ degree and became, not long thereafter, teacher and cantor at the Gymnasium “Schoale Rostochiensis Collega Classicus.” Nothing is known about his later life. – Also belonging to the family of musicians and scholars, a family that has until now been insufficiently researched, there is the next generation of Burmeisters, one of which, a son of Anton Burmeister, is known as a poet wrote chorale texts: Franz Joachim Burmeister.


Source: BBKL Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (May 2003); MGG1: article by Friedrich Blume, Bärenreiter, 1986
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2003); Thomas Braatz (November 2005)

Texts of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

BWV 60

Chorale Texts used in Bach’s Vocal Works





Es ist genug



Links to other Sites

BURMEISTER, Franz Joachim (BBKL) [German]




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