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Georg Caspar Wecker (Composer)

Born: March/April 1632 (baptised: April 2, 1632) - Nuremberg, Germany
Died: April 20, 1695 - Nuremberg, Germany

Georg Caspar [Kaspar] Wecker was a German organist, composer and teacher. After lessons with his father, Johann, a ‘gold spinner’, he developed so successfully under Johann Erasmus Kindermann that ‘at the age of 16 he was allowed to play the clavier in the churches’ (Doppelmayr). He was employed throughout his career as an organist in Nuremberg: from the age of 19 at St Walpurg, from three years later (1654) at the Frauenkirche, from 1658 to 1686 at Egidienkirche and from 1686 until his death at the parish church, St Sebaldus, where his successor was Johann Pachelbel.

Georg Caspar Wecker and the somewhat older Heinrich Schwemmer are important in the 17th-century teacher–pupil tradition of the Nuremberg school, stemming from Johann Staden through his pupil Kindermann to Schwemmer and Wecker and on to their pupils of the fourth generation, Nikolaus Deinl, J.B. Schütz, Maximilian Zeidler, Johann Krieger and Pachelbel. From Schwemmer they learnt singing and the rudiments of music, after which Wecker taught them keyboard instruments and composition. Other pupils of Wecker were Johann Löhner, the printer W.M. Endter, C.F. Witt and Nicolaus Vetter. Wecker clearly earned a measure of fame as an organist, for Printz (1696 edn, 225) wrote that he travelled from Vienna to Nuremberg, ‘where I heard the distinguished organist Georg Caspar Wecker’.

Of Wecker’s few extant works, the most important are the five cantatas – the three manuscript ones and the two that survive from the print of 1695. The only other works are a keyboard fugue and one secular and 37 sacred strophic songs. Although Endter wrote in 1719 that Wecker ‘was always thinking about the improvement of music’ (Mattheson, 392), the extant works contain no innovations. Like most Nuremberg composers, he made little and unimaginative use of musical-rhetorical figures, was a master of concertato technique, showed a gift for writing solo songs and used neither recitative nor unprepared dissonance.

Works

printed works published in Nuremberg unless otherwise stated

Vocal:
XVIII Geistliche Concerten, 2–4vv, 5 insts ad lib (1695), lost; 2 cants., 4vv, 4 str, bc, ed. in DTB, x, Jg.vi/1 (1905/R); 18 Arien aus den … Concerten, 1v, bc (1695), lost, cited in GöhlerV, no.1649
Fürst Augustus, dessen gleichen, wir in unserm teutschen Kreiss, 1v, 6 str, bc (1622) [New Year greeting for Duke August of Brunswick-Lüneburg]
Funeral songs: Gute Nacht! es ist vollendt, 4vv (Sulzbach, 1670); Nebel, Schatten, Dampf und Rauch, 1v, 4 str, bc (1672)
1 work, 16476
Lieder, 1v, bc: 4 in J.C. Arnschwanger: Neue geistliche Lieder (1659); 2 in J. Saubert: Nürnbergisches Gesang-Buch (1676), ed. in ZahnM, i, iv, 1 ed. in WinterfeldEK, ii; 22 in 16801, 1 ed. in ZahnM, i; 7 in H. Müller: Der geistlichen Erquick-Stunden (2/1691), 1 ed. in ZahnM, ii
Allein Gott in der Höh sey Ehr, 6vv, 4 str, 2 tpt, 2 trbn, bn, bc, D-Bsb; ed. in DTB, x, Jg.vi/1 (1905/R)
Laetatus sum, 5vv, 4 str, bc, Bsb
O Herr hilf, 4vv, 4 str, bc, 1702, Bsb (score)

Instrumental:
Fuga, kbd, lost; ed. in A.G. Ritter: Zur Geschichte des Orgelspiels, ii (Leipzig, 1884), 120, and P. Rubardt, ed.: Sechs Fugen des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts (Halle, 1951)
8 other sacred works, 1–5vv, 3–7 insts, cited in inventories
2 lieder: Es ist eine grosse Gnad; 1 other in S. von Birken: Heiliger Sonntags-Handel (1681) by G. Walch, wrongly attrib. Wecker by Eitner

 

Source: Grove Music Online, © Oxford University Press 2006, acc. 3/5-06 (Author: Harold E. Samuel)
Contributed by
Thomas Braatz (April 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works

Title

Chorale Melody

Year

Cantata Allein Gott in der Höh sey Ehr for 6 voices, 4 strings, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, bassoon, bc

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr

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Bibliography

EitnerQ | MatthesonGEP | ZahnM
W.C. Printz: Phrynis Mitilenaeus, oder Satyrischer Componist (
Dresden and Leipzig, 1696); also pubd separately in 3 vols.: i–ii (Quedlinburg, 1676–7), iii (1679)
J.G. Doppelmayr: Historische Nachricht von den nürnbergischen Mathematicis und Künstlern (Nuremberg, 1730)
M. Seiffert: Introduction to DTB, x, Jg.vi/1 (l905/R)
H.E. Samuel: The Cantata in Nuremberg during the Seventeenth Century (Ann Arbor, 1982)

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Last update: ýMay 1, 2006 ý21:16:58