Christian Petzold (composer)

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Christian Petzold (1677 – before 2 June 1733) was a German composer and organist. He was active primarily in Dresden, and achieved a high reputation during his lifetime, but his surviving works are few. It was established in the 1970s that the famous Minuet in G major, previously attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach, was in fact the work of Petzold. The sprightly melody was used in the 1966 pop music hit "A Lover's Concerto" by the American group The Toys.[1][2][3]


He was born in Weißig near Königstein in 1677; the exact date of birth is unknown. From 1703 Petzold worked as organist at St. Sophia (Sophienkirche) in Dresden, and in 1709 he became court chamber composer and organist. He led an active musical life, giving concert tours that took him as far as Paris (1714) and Venice (1716). In 1720 he wrote a piece for the consecration of the new Silbermann organ at St. Sophia, and he performed a similar task at Rötha, near Leipzig, where another Silbermann organ was built. Petzold was also active as a teacher. His pupils included Carl Heinrich Graun. Nothing is known about the circumstances of Petzold's death. The date is usually given as 2 July 1733, yet his vacancy at the court was filled on 22 June, and a surviving letter of application for this vacancy (by Christoph Schaffrath) is dated 2 June.

Contemporaries held Petzold in high regard. Johann Mattheson and Ernst Ludwig Gerber both praised his skills, referring to him as "one of the most famous organists" and "one of the most pleasant church composers of the time", respectively. However, only a few of Petzold's pieces are extant today. He is best remembered for a pair of minuets that were copied into the 1725 Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach, compiled by Anna Magdalena Bach and her husband Johann Sebastian Bach. One of these minuets, the Minuet in G major, achieved wide recognition, but for centuries was attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach. Petzold's authorship was only established in the 1970s.[4]

Minuet in G minor (BWV Anh. 115)

Selected works[edit]


  • Cantata Meine Seufzer, meine Klagen


Solo instrumental[edit]

  • Two partitas for solo viola d'amore
  • Recueil de 25 concerts pour le clavecin (1729), 25 harpsichord pieces
  • Orgeltabulatur (1704), chorale settings for organ
  • 11 fugues for organ or harpsichord
  • A suite and single pieces for harpsichord


  1. ^ Wolff, Christoph (2001). "Bach. III. 7. Johann Sebastian Bach. Works". In Root, Deane L. (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ Williams, Peter F.. 2007. J.S. Bach: A Life in Music, p. 158. Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ Schulenberg, David. 2006. The Keyboard Music of J.S. Bach, p. 448 and elsewhere.
  4. ^ Schulze, Hans-Joachim. "Ein 'Dresdner Menuett' im zweiten Klavierbüchlien der Anna Magdalena Bach. Nebst Hinweisen zur Überlieferung einiger Kammermusikwerke Bachs." Bach-Jahrbuch (1979 pp. 45-64), pp. 54-58, 64.


External links[edit]