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JOHANN GOTTFRIED WALTHER  

(1684 - 1748)

Johann Gottfried Walther was part of the Bach 'empire', being the cousin of Johann Sebastian Bach. He was well educated, and worked in the various roles of organist, composer, theorist and lexicographer. He was to publish the first comprehensive dictionary of music and musicians, and among his other writings was an extensive publication on the tuition of organists. As an organist he held the important post at the church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Weimar. He was for some time under Royal patronage, being the teacher of the young Prince Johann Ernst. As a composer he wrote extensively in the field of sacred choral and keyboard works, much of which has probably been lost. That he was an organist of distinction is obvious from contemporary reports, but he grew disillusioned as he was continually passed over for important posts, including the position he thought was his by right, as successor to J.S.Bach at the Royal Court in Weimar. However, his music was judged to be comparable with that of his famous cousin, and his technique of composing to be unsurpassed.

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