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Johann Crüger
Short Name: Johann Crüger
Full Name: Crüger, Johann, 1598-1662
Birth Year: 1598
Death Year: 1662

Johann Crüger (b. Grossbriesen, near Guben, Prussia, Germany, 1598; d. Berlin, Germany, 1662) Crüger attended the Jesuit College at Olmutz and the Poets' School in Regensburg, and later studied theology at the University of Wittenberg. He moved to Berlin in 1615, where he published music for the rest of his life. In 1622 he became the Lutheran cantor at the St. Nicholas Church and a teacher for the Gray Cloister. He wrote music instruction manuals, the best known of which is Synopsis musica (1630), and tirelessly promoted congregational singing. With his tunes he often included elaborate accom­paniment for various instruments. Crüger's hymn collection, Neues vollkomliches Gesangbuch (1640), was one of the first hymnals to include figured bass accompaniment (musical shorthand) with the chorale melody rather than full harmonization written out. It included eighteen of Crüger's tunes. His next publication, Praxis Pietatis Melica (1644), is considered one of the most important collections of German hymnody in the seventeenth century. It was reprinted forty-four times in the following hundred years. Another of his publications, Geistliche Kirchen Melodien (1649), is a collection arranged for four voices, two descanting instruments, and keyboard and bass accompaniment. Crüger also published a complete psalter, Psalmodia sacra (1657), which included the Lobwasser translation set to all the Genevan tunes.

Bert Polman
Crüger, Johann, was born April 9, 1598, at Gross-Breese, near Guben, Brandenburg. After passing through the schools at Guben, Sorau and Breslau, the Jesuit College at Olmütz, and the Poets' school at Regensburg, he made a tour in Austria, and, in 1615, settled at Berlin. There, save for a short residence at the University of Wittenberg, in 1620, he employed himself as a private tutor till 1622. In 1622 he was appointed Cantor of St. Nicholas's Church at Berlin, and also one of the masters of the Greyfriars Gymnasium. He died at Berlin Feb. 23, 1662. Crüger wrote no hymns, although in some American hymnals he appears as "Johann Krüger, 1610,” as the author of the supposed original of C. Wesley's "Hearts of stone relent, relent" (q.v.). He was one of the most distinguished musicians of his time. Of his hymn tunes, which are generally noble and simple in style, some 20 are still in use, the best known probably being that to "Nun danket alle Gott" (q.v.), which is set to No. 379 in Hymns Ancient & Modern, ed. 1875. His claim to notice in this work is as editor and contributor to several of the most important German hymnological works of the 16th century, and these are most conveniently treated of under his name. (The principal authorities on his works are Dr. J. F. Bachmann's Zur Geschichte der Berliner Gesangbücher 1857; his Vortrag on P. Gerhard, 1863; and his edition of Gerhardt's Geistliche Lieder, 1866. Besides these there are the notices in Bode, and in R. Eitner's Monatshefte für Musik-Geschichte, 1873 and 1880). These works are:—

1. Newes vollkömmliches Gesangbuch, Augspur-gischer Confession, &c, Berlin, 1640 [Library of St. Nicholas's Church, Berlin], with 248 hymns, very few being published for the first time.
2. Praxis pietatis melica. Das ist: Ubung der Gottseligkeit in Christlichen und trostreichen Gesängen. The history of this, the most important work of the century, is still obscure. The 1st edition has been variously dated 1640 and 1644, while Crüger, in the preface to No. 3, says that the 3rd edition appeared in 1648. A considerable correspondence with German collectors and librarians has failed to bring to light any of the editions which Koch, iv. 102, 103, quotes as 1644, 1647, 1649, 1650, 1651, 1652, 1653. The imperfect edition noted below as probably that of 1648 is the earliest Berlin edition we have been able to find. The imperfect edition, probably ix. of 1659, formerly in the hands of Dr. Schneider of Schleswig [see Mützell, 1858, No. 264] was inaccessible. The earliest perfect Berlin edition we have found is 1653.
The edition printed at Frankfurt in 1656 by Caspar Röteln was probably a reprint of a Berlin edition, c. 1656. The editions printed at Frankfurt-am-Main by B. C. Wust (of which the 1666 is in the preface described as the 3rd) are in considerable measure independent works.
In the forty-five Berlin and over a dozen Frankfurt editions of this work many of the hymns of P. Gerhardt, J. Franck, P. J. Spener, and others, appear for the first time, and therein also appear many of the best melodies of the period.
3. Geistliche Kirchen-Melodien, &c, Leipzig, 1649 [Library of St. Katherine's Church, Brandenburg]. This contains the first stanzas only of 161 hymns, with music in four vocal and two instrumental parts. It is the earliest source of the first stanzas of various hymns by Gerhardt, Franck, &c.
4. D. M. Luther's und anderer vornehmen geisU reichen und gelehrten Manner Geistliche Lieder und Psalmen, &c, Berlin, 1653 [Hamburg Town Library], with 375 hymns. This was edited by C. Runge, the publisher, and to it Crüger contributed some 37 melodies. It was prepared at the request of Luise Henriette (q.v.), as a book for the joint use of the Lutherans and the Re¬formed, and is the earliest source of the hymns ascribed to her, and of the complete versions of many hymns by Gerhardt and Franck.
5. Psalmodia Sacra, &c, Berlin, 1658 [Royal Library, Berlin]. The first section of this work is in an ed. of A. Lobwasser's German Psalter; the second, with a similar title to No. 4, and the date 1657, is practically a recast of No. 4,146 of those in 1653 being omitted, and the rest of the 319 hymns principally taken from the Praxis of 1656 and the hymn-books of the Bohemian Brethren. New eds. appeared in 1676, 1700, 1704, 1711, and 1736.
[Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

-- Excerpt from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Crüger, Johann, p. 271, ii. Dr. J. Zahn, now of Neuendettelsau, in Bavaria, has recently acquired a copy of the 5th ed., Berlin, 1653, of the Praxis.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)

Wikipedia Biography

Johann Crüger (9 April 1598 – 23 February 1662) was a German composer of well-known hymns. He was also the editor of the most widely used Lutheran hymnal of the 17th century, Praxis pietatis melica.

Tunes by Johann Crüger (50)sort descendingAsInstancesIncipit
DIES EST LAETITIAEJohann Crüger (Composer)111234 21226 71111
AUF, AUF, MEIN HERZJohann Crüger (Composer)1451543 21576 17675
NUN LASST UNS GOTTJohann Crüger (Composer)311761 21112 7517
BEDFORD (Wheal)J. Crüger (Composer (melody))153165 43251 76653
BROŃŻE, PANIE, NAS NA WIEKIJohann Crüger (Composer)2
[Christus ist unser Friede]Johann Crüger (Composer)233321 22444 32336
[Come descend O Holy Spirit]J. Cruger (Composer)213565 17655 56543
CRÜGERJohann Crüger, 1598-1662 (Composer)5156543 23311 25356
DU, O SCHÖNES WELTGEBÄUDEJ. Crüger, 1598-1662 (Composer)515112 76535 43221
ERMUNTRE DICHJohann Crüger (Alterer)111234 55453 43232
FRÖHLICH SOLL (Crüger 11212)Johann Crüger, 1598-1662 (Composer)211212 34434 564
FRÖHLICH SOLL MEIN HERZE SPRINGENJ. Crüger, 1598-1662 (Composer)1912354 32143 23454
GENEVAN 42Johann Crüger, 1598-1662 (Harmonizer)912321 76512 34321
[Gott fähret auf gen Himmel]Johann Crüger (Composer)256543 22343 23156
HEBRON (Crüger)Crüger (Composer)212321 27551 43221
HEILIGER GEISTJohann Crüger (Composer)1113234 32345 65435
HENLLAN (Crüger)Cruger (Composer)213243 17345 65545
HERR, ICH HABE MISGEHANDELT (Crüger)Johann Crüger (Composer)3217123 42132 12345
HERZLIEBSTER JESUJohann Crüger (Composer)14111175 12334 22345
HOREB (Crüger)Cruger (Composer)211712 32132 12354
JESU, MEINE FREUDE (Crüger)Johann Crüger (Composer)7455432 11556 7171
JESUS CHRISTUS UNSER HEILAND (Crüger)Johann Crüger (Composer)211712 17571 2171
LOBET DEN HERRENJohann Crüger (Composer)2051765 34554 35671
LOB SEI DEM ALLMÄCHTIGEN GOTT (Crüger)Johann Crüger (Composer)3411235 43251 76554
MACHT HOCH DIE THÜR (Stobaeus)Joh. Crüger (Composer)135432 34534 56455
MAIDSTONEWalter B. Gilbert, Mus Doc. (Composer)156712 34323 54323
MORRISTOWNJohann Crüger (Composer)154356 15354 33212
NEIFIONCruger (Composer)211323 43223 45654
NUN DANKETJohann Crüger (Composer)38755566 53432 32155
NUN DANKET ALL (Crüger 16512)Johann Crüger (Composer)16416512 33235 43215
NUN DANKET ALL UND BRINGET EHR (Störl)Johann Crüger, 1598-1662 (Composer)253565 42351 76655
O EWIGKEITJohann Crüger (1598-1662) (Composer)813455 67113 45543
O WIE SELIG SEID IHR DOCHJ. Crüger (Composer)751756 54343 57671
O JESU CHRIST, DEIN KRIPPLEIN ISTJ. Crüger, 1598-1662 (Composer)1131123 44356 53235
O JESU CHRIST, DU HÖCHSTES GUTJohann Crüger, 1598-1662 (Composer)616512 34253 14321
RATISBONJ. Crüger (Composer)455671 17615 34213
JESUS, MEINE ZUVERSICHT (Crüger)Johann Crüger (Composer)10654367 11767 15434
REGENSBURGJohann Crüger (Composer)717123 32132 12345
WERDE MUNTERJohann Crüger (Adapter)234554 32234 54321
SCHMÜCKE DICHJohann Crüger (Composer)10732123 54353 43213
SCHWING DICH AUF ZU DEINEM GOTT (Crüger)Joh. Crüger, 1598-1662 (Composer)455171 23234 53215
GOTT SEI DANKCrüger (Composer)213556 71725 76655
ES IST DAS HEILJohann Crüger, 1598-1667 (Composer)155557 65453 13456
ST. SIMONJohann Crüger (From)913455 44343 1221
FLEMMINGJohn Crüger (Composer)111122 31121 73333
SUPPLICATION (Crüger)J. Crüger, 1598-1662 (Composer)313254 32345 6443
SWABIA (Spiess)Johann Cruger (Composer)953422 12345 54556
WIE SOLL ICH DICH EMPFANGENJohann Crüger (Composer)2313455 43431 22113
ZEUCH EINJohann Crüger (Composer)931543 21321 71231
ZION KLAGTJohann Crüger (Composer)152243 21723 43221

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