Site ©1996 Timothy A. Smith

Johann Gottfried Walther 1684-1748


Bach's friendship with his distant relative goes bach to Weimar days when Walther also worked in that city. Walther was an excellent organist and composer, his chorale variations for that instrument are second only to Bach's. Mattheson's Ehrenpforte refers to Walther as the "second Pachelbel" (probably meaning Johann)." But Walther's most important legacy is his Musicalisches Lexicon (Leipzig 1732) which contains a biographical sketch on Bach (until 1730) and others in the Bach family. A facsimile of the Bach entry in this lexicon appears to the left. Smend theorized that Bach's 1713 canon (BWV 1073), with its 82 pitches(W+A+L+T+H+E+R) was written to honor Walther, but this is not certain.

Bach's World Contemporaries Chronology