Of all the myths that surround the story of Martin Luther, the one that he nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg is the most pervasive.  There is no record of the story of the nailing until after Luther’s death.  What really happened on Halloween in 1517 is he sent a copy of this text to his superior.  Other stories about Luther deal with his music.  It is safe to say that his hymn “A Mighty Fortress” is the most famous hymn to have come out of Germany from the time of the Reformation.  The account of its creation was forcefully recorded by the author Heinrich Heine, who converted to Lutheranism as a young man, when he wrote
"A battle hymn was this defiant song, with which he and his comrades entered Worms [April 16, 1521]. The old cathedral trembled at these new notes, and the ravens were startled in their hidden nests in the towers. This hymn, the Marseillaise Hymn of the Reformation, has preserved its potent spell even to our days, and we may yet soon use again in similar conflicts the old mailed words.

Heine was wrong.  It was not written at the time of the Diet of Worms in 1521, but 8 or 9 years later.  We will now perform Luther’s original version of the hymn, based on his own manuscript, which has been reproduced on the cover of your program.  The printed English translation is by the British author Thomas Carlyle, and dates from the beginning of the 19th century.
In 1539, Miles Coverdale published a collection of hymns called “Ghostly Psalms and Spiritual Songs.”  This book contained the first translation into English of Luther’s Ein’ Feste Burg.  However, due to the government’s attempts to stifle Lutheran ideas, only one copy of this book has survived.  It is now in a library at Oxford University, and we are grateful that they provided a copy of the hymn, so we could perform it.     
Ein Feste Burg……………......................................................Martin Luther
*Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott,                        *A safe stronghold our God is still,
ein gute Wehr und Waffen.                             A trusty shield and weapon;
Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not,                          He’ll keep us clear from all the ill
die uns jetzt hat betroffen.                              That hat us now o’ertaken.
Der alt böse Feind                                           The ancient prince of hell
mit Ernst er’s jetzt meint,                                Hath risen with purpose fell;
groß Macht und viel List                                 Strong mail of craft and power
sein grausam Rüstung ist,                              He weareth in this hour;
auf Erd ist nicht seinsgleichen.                       On earth is not his fellow.
*Mit unsrer Macht ist nichts getan,                 *With force of arms we nothing can,
wir sind gar bald verloren;                               Full soon were we down-ridden;
es streit’ für uns der rechte Mann,                  But for us fights the proper Man
den Gott hat selbst erkoren.                           Whom God himself hat bidden.
Fragst du, wer der ist?                                    Ask you who is this same?
Er heißt Jesus Christ,                                     Christ Jesus is his name,
der Herr Zebaoth,                                           The Lord Sabaoth’s Son;
und ist kein andrer Gott,                                 He, and no other one,
das Feld muss er behalten.                             Shall conquer in the battle.
*Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär               *And were this world all devils o’er;
und wollt uns gar verschlingen,                      All watching to devour us,
so fürchten wir uns nicht so sehr,                   We lay it not to heart so sore;
es soll uns doch gelingen.                               They cannot overpower us.
Der Fürst dieser Welt,                                     And let the prince of ill
wie sau’r er sich stellt,                                     Look grim as e’er he will,
tut er uns doch nicht;                                      He harms us not a whit;
das macht, er ist gericht’:                                For why? His doom is writ;
ein Wörtlein kann ihn fällen.                            A word shall swiftly slay him.
*Das Wort sie sollen lassen stahn                   8God’s word, for all their craft and force,
und kein’ Dank dazu haben;                           One moment will not linger,
er ist bei uns wohl auf dem Plan                     But, spite of hell, shall haves its course;
mit seinem Geist und Gaben.                         ‘Tis written by his finger.
Nehmen sie den Leib,                                     And though they take our life,
Gut, Ehr, Kind und Weib:                                Goods, honour, children, wife,
lass fahren dahin,                                            Yet is their profit small;
sie haben’s kein’ Gewinn,                               These things shall vanish all:
das Reich muss uns doch bleiben.                 The city of God remaineth.

Music by Conrad Rein

       This is a recording of several works by Conrad Rein, an almost-unknown but incredibly talented composer, who began his career as a Roman priest in Nuremberg, where one of his students was Hans Sachs, and, after his conversion to Lutheranism, ended up as a singer in the court of the King of Denmark.  Only around 20 works by Rein have survived, all of them with Latin texts.
    Crucifixus……………………….………….……………………………….Conrad Rein
Crucifíxus étiam pro nobis: sub Póntio Piláto             He was crucified for us under Pontius
passus, et sepúltus est.                                               Pilate; suffered and was buried.
Benedicta sit Sancta Trinitas………………………………………….Conrad Rein
Benedicta sit Sancta Trinitas atque indivisa Unitas,   Blessed be the holy and undivided Trinity,
Confitebimur ei quia fecit nobiscum,                          Thanks to him because he made us,
Miseracordiam suum.  Benedicamus patrem            Of his own mercy.  Blessed be the Father
et filium cum sancto spiritu.                                        and the Son with the Holy Spirit.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto                          Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc et semper                   the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is
Et in saecula saeculorum.  Amen                               Now and ever shall be, through all ages. 
Agnus Dei……………………………………………………………………Conrad Rein
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccáta mundi:                           Lamb of God, who takes away the
miserére nobis.  Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccáta.           world’s sin,  have mercy on us
mundi: dona nobis pacem.                                         Lamb of God…grant us peace.    

1  Ecce carissimi…………………………………………………………….John Taverner
Ecce mater nostra Hierusalem cum                          Behold our mother Jerusalem with
magno affect clamat ad nos et dicet,                         great compassion cries out to us and says
“Venite, filii mei dilectissimi,                                        “Come, my most beloved sons,
Venite ad me.”                                                            Come to me.”

T   The first piece is  a rare work by John Taverner, one of the most gifted of English composers from any time period.  He was arrested early in his career for his association with Lutherans, but was let go because he was only a musician.  This is a processional in two parts, intended to be sung as priests entered the church.
 O Lord God, the Heathen are Come into Thine Inheritance…William Child
O Lord God, the heathen come into thine inheritance: Thy holy temple have they defiled, and made Jerusalem an heap of stones.  We are become an open shame to our enemies: a very scorn and derision unto them that are round about us.  Lord, how long wilt thou be angry: shall thy jealousy burn like fire forever?  O remember not, our old sins, but have mercy upon us;
For thou art the Lord our God, and thou, O Lord, will we praise for evermore

2    As the Reformation progressed in England, the puritan fact labored to take over both the church and the government.  This they accomplished in 1642 and began to eliminate all choral singing and organ playing in churches throughout Great Britain.  The composer William Child set these words from Psalm 79 to be performed at the final choral service at Windsor Castle in 1644, not knowing if he would ever again write music for the church.  As it turns out, Child lived to be 91 and lasted most of the 17th century and went on to compose music for future coronations.

For a shoemaker, the 16th century Meistersinger Hans Sachs is notable for two reasons—he wrote an extremely large number of works—poems, songs, plays, tracts, etc.—estimated by some to be around 6000.  He also had two operas written about him.  Albert Lortzing composed his opera, simply called Hans Sachs, in 1840, and, of course, Sachs is the central Meistersinger in Wagner’s opera celebrating that artistic movement, which dates from 1868.  Not too many of his melodies have survived, but this one was copied down by one of his students, and is so preserved.   It is based on the 94th Psalm.  

Hört ir Christen
Hört ir christen ein psalmenlit,                         Hear, O Christians, a sung psalm,
Das virundneuntzigst feine,                             the fine ninety-fourth,
O herr gott des die rache ist,                            O Lord, God of vengeance,
Des die rach ist alleine,                                                O God of vengeance, shine forth!
Erschine, du richter auff erden                                    Rise up, O judge of the earth;
Erhebe dich und richt.                                     repay to the proud
Vergilt dem hofferting unwert,                        what they deserve!
Nach seiner that o here,                                               O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
Wie lang solten sich in der frist,                                   how long shall the wicked exult?
All gotloss freien sere,                                     They pour out their arrogant words;
Und dere, halstarrig und ubeltetter reden entwicht.    all the evildoers boast.
Sich herre sie haben dein folck erschlagen,     They crush your people, O Lord, and
Dein erb gedemütiget hie.                                afflict your heritage.
Witwen fremdling wurgen sie in den tagen,     They kill the widow and the sojourner,
Dar zu die weisen dötten Sy,                           and murder the fatherless;
Al die der herr sicht es nicht deine feinde sagen, and they say, “The Lord does not see;
Und der got Jacob merck es nit,                                   the God of Jacob does not perceive.”
Hört ir narren auff erden,                                Understand,
Under dem folck ir thoren wist,                                   O dullest of the people!
Wan wolt ir witzig werden, mit garden,                        Fools, when will you be wise?
Der das Or hat gepflanzet solt                          He who planted the ear, does he         
der hören nicht.                                               not hear?

In the 1950s, the musicologist Paul Nettl pointed out the similarities between Luther’s hymn and one of the Meisterlieder of Hans Sachs, who wrote two sets of words for his Silberwiese—one sacred and one secular.  This performance is of the latter.  

Silberweise………………………………..……………………………….Hans Sachs
Ich lob ein Brünnlein küle                                            I praise a cool little brook
Mit Ursprunges sufwühle                                            which starts in a bubbling spring,
Für ein gros Wasserhüle,                                            higher than a waterhole
Die keinen Urpsrung hat.                                            which has no spring of its own.
Sich allein muss beseschen                                       Such a waterhole must depend
mit zufliessenden Bechen                                           on flowing streams to fill it,
Der Brünnlein mag ich sprechen;                               I must tell you,
Die Hül nit lang bestat.                                               such a hole does not last long.
Wan von der Sunen grosser Hirz                               When the sun’s great heat
Im sumerlangen Tak                                                   in summer’s long days
Die Hül wirt faul und gar unnütz,                                the hole becomes foul and very useless
Gewint bosen geschmak;                                           and it smells.
Sie trucknet ein, wirt grün un gelb.                             It dries up and becomes green and yellow.
So frischer sich das Brunnlein selb                            But the little brook remains fresh
Mit seinem Urseprunge,                                             refreshed by its spring,
Beleibet unbezwunge von der Sune scheinuge,        Unaffected by the sun

Wirt nit faul noch mat.                                                 It does not become foul or stagnant.

When Love and Beauty

“In the Catacombs” and “Brother, Thou Art Gone Before Us” from THE MARTYR OF ANTIOCH

I Will Sing of Thy Power, O God:

Tu Pauperum Refugium
El Grillo

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