Leipzig Church Music from the Sherard Collection : Eight Works by Sebastian Knüpfer, Johann Schelle, and Johann Kuhnau. / Rose, Stephen (Editor).

Madison, WI : A-R Editions, 2014. 338 p. (Collegium Musicum ; Vol. 20, No. 2).

Research output: Book/ReportScholarly edition



This edition contains eight sacred compositions by the Leipzig Kantors who were the immediate predecessors of J. S. Bach: Sebastian Knüpfer (1633–76), Johann Schelle (1648–1701), and Johann Kuhnau (1660–1722). They are edited from manuscripts collected by James Sherard (1666–1738), an English apothecary and amateur musician. Five of the works are large-scale vocal concertos, including two highly expressive psalm settings by Sebastian Knüpfer; a Magnificat by Johann Schelle that anticipates aspects of J. S. Bach’s Magnificat; and Schelle’s Durch Adams Fall, one of the first Lutheran works to combine chorale melodies, Biblical recitation, and arias. The remaining three compositions are virtuosic concertos for solo voice, including Schelle’s Ah! quam multa sunt peccata for alto, and two major additions to the repertory for tenor (Kuhnau’s Laudate pueri and Muss nicht der Mensch). The instrumental writing also includes many notable features, such as two early examples of trumpet solos and two pieces with organ obbligatos.


Reviewed by Markus Rathey in Early Music  August 2015:

The edition is an important contribution for several reasons: it makes accessible eight interesting pieces, each of which deserves modern performances; it shows in a nutshell some of the developments of music in Leipzig in the decades before Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantorship; and it documents an important step in the genesis of the cantata with mixed texts before Bach and before Erdmann Neumeister’s ‘cantata reform’…

The importance of the pieces edited by Rose transcends the realm of church music. … The edition of the music is excellent and Rose treats the sources appropriately. ...The preface provides the biographical background for the composers, a short analytical discussion of each piece and a good English translation for all the texts. Of particular value are his remarks on questions of performance practice, such as the choice of pitch and the use of vocal embellishments.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMadison, WI
PublisherA-R Editions
Number of pages338
ISBN (Print)978-0-89579-798-8
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameCollegium Musicum
PublisherYale University
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

ID: 14771364