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Christoph Peter (Composer)

Born: 1626 - Weida, Vogtland, Thuringia, Germany
Died: December 4, 1669 - Guben

Christoph Peter [Petraeus] was a German composer and music editor. His first appointment was as schoolmaster and Kantor at Grossenhain, Saxony. He moved in 1655 to Guben, where he was Kantor until his death. He worked closely there with the poet and civic official Johann Franck. 40 melodies in the latter’s Geistliches Sion (1672), the first part of his Teutsche Gedichte, are by Peter, and he referred to Peter’s skills in the second part, Irdischer Helicon (1674). Peter’s Andachts-Zymbeln is an anthology of chorales by various composers which also contains preliminary instructional matter, a letter of 1524 from Martin Luther to Spalatin, and testimonials to Peter from Franck and others. It may well be significant that he inscribed it to the mayor and corporation of Guben in the year in which he arrived at Guben and that he received rights of citizenship there early the following year. Precationis thuribulum (RISM 16691) consists of masses by Saxon composers based on familiar chorales and set for various combinations of voices and instruments with continuo. The Geistliche Arien includes settings of poems by, among others, Johann Franck, Johann Rist and Paul Gerhardt, and Peter explained that they are for solo voice (with instruments) ‘so that the words can be better understood’.


Andachts-Zymbeln oder andächtige … Lider und … Arien, 4, 5vv (Freiburg, 1655); 19 ed. in ZahnM
Letzte Segens-Wort … durch Johann Francken auffgesetzet, 5vv (Frankfurt an der Oder, 1655)
Brautlied aus dem 1. Capitel des hohen Liedes Salomonis, 8vv (Frankfurt an der Oder, 1661)
Geistliche Arien … auf die hohen Jahres Feste und Psalmen Davids, 1v, 5 viols/other insts, bc (Guben, 1667); 2 ed. in WinterfeldEK; 4 ed. in ZahnM
40 lieder in
Johann Franck: Geistliches Sion (Guben, 1672); 1 ed. in WinterfeldEK; 13 ed. in ZahnM

Source: Phono Archive Website (from Grove, Author: Percy M. Young)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2008)

Chorale Melodies used in Bach’s Vocal Works





Ihr Gestirn, ihr hohen Lüfte



Links to other Sites

Peter [Petraeus],Christoph (Phono Archive)



K. Ameln, C. Mahrenholz and W. Thomas, eds.: Handbuch der deutschen evangelischen Kirchenmusik, iii/1 (Göttingen, 1936)
J. Grimm: ‘Die Andachts-Zymbeln des Christoph Peter (1655)’, Jb für Liturgik und Hymnologie, xiv (1970), 152–79

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