Christian Friedrich Witt (~1660 – 1716) was born in Altenburg. He was first taught music by his father, Johann Ernst Witt, who was Altenburg court organist in succession to Gottfried Scheidt. Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg probably gave Witt a scholarship in 1676 to study in Vienna and Salzburg, and then from 1685–1686 to study composition and counterpoint in Nuremberg with Georg Caspar Wecker. In 1688 he was again sent to study with Georg Kaspar Wecker.
In 1686 Christian Friedrich Witt was appointed chamber organist at the Gotha court. He moved to Gotha to take up a post as chamber organist to the court in June 1686. He remained there for the rest of his life. He became a substitute for W.M. Mylius, the kapellmeister, in 1694, and succeeded him after his death in 1713; Duke Frederick II was one of his pupils.

Witt was well thought of as a teacher, not only within the Dukedom of Gotha. He was also admired as an able keyboard player (in J.P. Treiber’s Der accurate Organist im General-Bass, 1704) and Kapellmeister (in Georg Philipp Telemann’s Beschreibung der Augen-Orgel, 1739). He enjoyed good relations with neighbouring courts, including those of Ansbach-Bayreuth, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Saxe-Weißenfels, and several works by him are listed in inventories from there.

Christian Friedrich Witt was one the best composers of his time. He was a versatile composer of both vocal and instrumental music. His vocal music consists largely of church cantatas (many of which appear to be lost). He also wrote 3 French overtures, a 7-part sonata, 4 suites, organ and harpsicord pieces (Riemann; Q.-L.). Much of his varied output of keyboard works is now lost.

A few of his choral works for organ survive in the manuscripts of Johann Gottfried Walther. The trio on “Jesu Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn” is one of them.

The recording was done on the sample set of the Holzey organ of St. Peter and Paul in Weissenau by Prospectum.

Score
pdf_iconWitt, Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn

Performance

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