Hammerschmidt, Andreas


Organist and composer, who was born at Brüx, Bohemia. His father moved to Freiberg in 1826. Here Andreas received musical instruction from Stephen Otto. His first known work, a Thanksgiving piece for the victory of the Saxon army at Liegnitz, 1634, was published while he was organist in the service of Count von Bünau at Schloss Weesenstein. In 1635 he became organist of St. Peter's in Freiberg, and in 1639 went to Zittau as organist of St. John's, which position he held until his death. He greatly improved the sacred music of his time in Germany. His compositions show the originality and pureness of style, especially his development and use of the dialogue-form, his works being chiefly anthems for four or more voices. In 1639 appeared two sets of dance-pieces for violin. His Musical Devotions appeared in numerous parts from time to time. Many of his simple chorale-tunes are still used in the Lutheran Church, such as Meinen Jesum lass Ich Nicht; Hosianna David's Sohn; and others. His church and chambermusic was published in 1662.