Philipp Nicolai

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Philipp Nicolai

Philipp Nicolai (10 August 1556 – 26 October 1608) was a German Lutheran pastor, poet, and composer, author of two famous hymns: "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" and "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern", sometimes referred to as the King and Queen of Chorales, respectively. These two chorales have inspired many composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach, whose chorale cantatas Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1, and Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140, are based on them.[1] Bach's organ transcription of the latter, as published in the Schübler Chorales, has become world famous. Nicolai is supposed to be the last example of the Meistersinger tradition, in which words and music, text and melody stem from one and the same person.

He is commemorated as a hymnwriter in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church on 26 October with Johann Heermann and Paul Gerhardt.


  1. ^ Lyon, James (2005). Chorals. Editions Beauchesne. p. 73. ISBN 978-2-7010-1493-7. 

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