The University Church is hosting a five-part series of talks on works - cultural, legal, intellectual - of the year 1517, exploring the world in which the Reformation took shape. This talk will be on 'Music: Walter's Geystliches gesangk Buchleyn' with Owen Rees (University of Oxford).
The musical outcomes of the reformation spearheaded by Luther reflected his fervent support for the cultivation of musical excellence in worship and his desire to see the creation and widespread use of expanded repertories of German spiritual song as an aid to worship and Christian education. Luther collaborated closely with Johann Walter, including the formation of a new hymn repertory, and set out his views on music in the foreword to Walter’s pioneering collection of polyphonic German sacred song, Geystliches gesangk Buckleyn, published in 1524. This lecture explores the roles of music in the early Lutheran reformation as exemplified by Walter’s works.
Owen Rees is a musicologist and conductor. His research concerns Spanish, Portuguese, and English sacred music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is Professor in Music at the University of Oxford, and Fellow of The Queen’s College, where he conducts the Choir. He also directs the professional vocal ensemble Contrapunctus.