Daniel Erich

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Daniel Erich (19 February 1649 in Lübeck - 30 October 1712 in Güstrow) was a German organist and composer.

Born into a musical family—his father was a lutenist and maker of stringed instruments in Lübeck—Erich studied for many years with Dietrich Buxtehude, who bought a tenor viol from his father in 1677. From 1675 until 1679, Erich played the positive organ in the choir loft at the Marienkirche in Lübeck. In 1679, he was appointed organist at the parish church in Güstrow (also the Marienkirche), a position he held until his death.[1]

Erich also enjoyed a high reputation as an organ teacher and authority on the instrument, and in the latter capacity worked closely with the organ builder Arp Schnitger.[2] In 1700, he played at the dedication of a new organ by Schnitger in the Dargun castle church.[3]

Only four of his compositions survive. All are chorale preludes, none of them dated:[4]

  • Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, which has been described as "not very expressive";[5]
  • Christum wir sollen loben schon, described as "fantasy-like" and "virtuosic";[6]
  • Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, which "shows considerable originality";[7] and
  • Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, a set of six "fluent" variations.[8]

Christum wir sollen loben schon came to light when the Neumeister Collection was rediscovered in 1984, inspiring hope that other works may yet be found.[9]


  1. ^ This paragraph is based on Kerala J. Snyder, Dieterich Buxtehude: Organist in Lübeck (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, rev. edn. 1987), pp. 129–130.
  2. ^ "Daniel Erich", Wikipedia (in German).
  3. ^ Snyder, p. 130.
  4. ^ Es ist das Heil uns kommen her is No. 118 in the manuscript collection known as the Plauener Orgelbuch. It was assembled in 1708, the date sometimes given to Erich's contribution, but there is no indication of when his piece was written. The Plauener Orgelbuch, which has been linked to Johann Gottfried Walther, was acquired by the parish church at Plauen in 1828 and rediscovered there by musicologists in 1910; the original was destroyed in 1945, but there are copies. See Max Seiffert, "Das Plauener Orgelbuch von 1708," Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, vol. 2, no. 3 (1920), pp. 371–393; Harry Joelson-Strohbach, "Nachricht von verschiedenen verloren geglaubten Handschriften mit barocker Tastenmusik," Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, vol. 44, no. 2 (1987), p. 95.
  5. ^ Willi Apel, The History of Keyboard Music to 1700 (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1972), p. 640.
  6. ^ Christoph Wolff, "The Neumeister Collection of Chorale Preludes from the Bach Circle," in his Bach: Essays on His Life and Music (New Haven, CT: Harvard University Press, 1991), pp. 115-116.
  7. ^ Apel, p. 640.
  8. ^ Hugh J. McLean, "Daniel Erich", Grove Music Online. Accessed 4 March 2014. Subscription required. Reproduced, apparently without permission, on the Bach Cantatas Website. Accessed 4 March 2014.
  9. ^ Sara Ann Jones, The Neumeister Collection of Chorale Preludes of the Bach Circle: An Examination of the Chorale Preludes of J.S. Bach and Their Usage as Service Music and Pedagogical Works, Doctor of Musical Arts Dissertation, Louisiana State University, 2002, pp. 3 and 77.