HOLBEIN 1533 - THE AMBASSADORS 

On the lower table, you can see an 11-stringed lute and an open book of music. But notice the broken string: this is commonly regarded as evoking ecclesiastical disharmony during the Reformation. Would things be improved simply if the reformers returned to the fold? Is this more Catholic propaganda? Well, the fascinating thing is that the book is in fact a Lutheran hymnal and the hymn is Luther’s own composition KOM HEYLIGER GEYST

Kom Heyliger geyst- Johann Walter/Luther  - Katharina von Bora & Johann Walter


Katharina von Bora - soprano


Johann Walter - organ


In 1524 Johann Walter was called to Wittenberg by Martin Luther to assist him in framing the German Mass. The result of this was his Geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn for four voices (1524), the earliest Protestant hymn - book. Luther wrote a preface to this collection of 43 polyphonic works by Walter. Planned for young people in Lutheran schools, the collection went through many editions, the last one of which (1551) contained 47 Latin and 74 German pieces. In 1525 Luther consulted Walter about a projected sacred service in German, a service that was published as the Deutsche Messe (1526).