(b Köstritz, 1585; d Dresden, 1672).
Ger. composer and organist, one of greatest of Bach's predecessors. Studied law, but patron, impressed by his mus. ability, sent him in 1609 to study in Venice with G. Gabrieli until 1612. Court org., Kassel, 1613. Kapellmeister, Dresden electoral court, 1617–57. Spent 3 periods as court cond. in Copenhagen 1633–45. In Dresden with court orch. from 1645. Comp. first Ger. opera, Dafne, 1627 (mus. destroyed by fire 1760). Revisited It. 1628–9. His special importance lies in his grafting of It. choral and vocal style on to Ger. polyphonic tradition. Wrote magnificent settings of Passions, Christmas oratorio, 7 Words from Christ on the Cross, etc. Works pubd. in 16 vols. 1885–94, ed. Spitta, with suppl. vol. 1927, contents as follows: 1. 4 Passions, Resurrection oratorios, and Sieben Worte Jesu Christi am Kreuz; 2 and 3. Psalms and Motets, 1619; 4. Cantiones sacrae, 4 vv., 1625; 5. Symphoniae sacrae, Pt.I, 1629; 6. Geistliche Concerte, 1–5 vv., 1636 and 1639; 7. Symphoniae sacrae, Pt.II, 1647; 8. Musicalia ad chorum sacrum, 1648; 9. It. madrigals, Venice 1611; 10 and 11. Symphoniae sacrae, Pt.III, 1630; 12–15. Motets, concs., arias, psalms, etc; 16. Psalms for 4 vv. Suppl.: Christmas oratorio: Die Historia von der freuden und gnadenreichen Geburt Gottes und Mariens Sohns (1664, lost until 1908).