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JOHANN WALTER  

(1496 - 1570)

The German composer and poet Johann Walter was a member of the Hofkapelle of the Elector of Saxony. After the Elector's death in 1525 he settled in Torgau as choirmaster, encouraged by the support of Martin Luther, before assuming, in 1548, the position of Kapellmeister of the Dresden Hofkapelle, a position he held until 1554. He played an important part in the organization of Lutheran church music in Saxony, notably through his hymn-book, the Geystliches gesangk Buchleyn of 1524, to which Luther contributed a preface, and which was revised and enlarged in later editions. Walter also provided polyphonic repertoire, including Magnificat settings and motets.

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