Michael's Music Service

Copy & Use Freely Free Program Notes Copy & Use Freely

Andreas Armsdorf (1670–1699)

Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern Back

Armsdorf, a student of Johann Pachelbel, set the chorale, "How Brightly Shines the Morning Star" (Hymn 000), as a trio with the melody in the pedals. The words and music of this hymn were composed by Philip Nicolai. While Nicolai was a Lutheran pastor in Westphalia, the plague killed 1300 of his congregation, mostly in the latter half of 1597, 170 in one week. To comfort his members, he wrote a series of meditations which he called "Freudenspiegel" (Mirror of Joy), and to this he appended this tune and "Wachet Auf" ("Sleepers Wake").