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Johann Melchior Gletle, 36 Solo-Motetten op. 5


Edited By Peter Reidemeister and Silja Reidemeister

Johann Melchior Gletle (1626–1683), in Bremgarten/AG geboren und als Dom-Organist und -kapellmeister in Augsburg tätig, hat eines der umfangreichsten und beeindruckendsten Œuvres eines Schweizer Komponisten des 17. Jahrhunderts hinterlassen. In dieser Edition wird erstmals sein komplettes op. 5 publiziert, das durch die Verbindung des modernen italienischen «Konzertierenden Stils» und der Polyphonie der traditionsreichen Gattung Motette charakterisiert wird und in seiner Faktur typisch ist für die Zeit zwischen Schütz und Buxtehude. Gletle ist ein «musikalischer Rhetor» und Textausdeuter von unerschöpflicher Phantasie und bestem handwerklichen Können, der den Vergleich mit den namhaftesten Komponisten der Zeit nicht zu scheuen braucht.
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It is time to reassess the compositional work of Johann Melchior Gletle (1626–1683), the Swiss-born composer who was active in Augsburg.

The justification for this edition

Some sixty years ago, one was quick with judgments about the composer Hanß Melcher Gletle (as his name was recorded in the baptismal register of the Swiss city of Bremgarten, Aargau, in 1626), such as “a minor master from the seventeenth century”1 or “his church music is … particularly worthy of note for research.”2 At that time, the historic-philological element was predominant in the interest in his music, whereas the music itself had not yet experienced a qualitatively high standard of performance that could have created new inspiration for the scholarly occupation with his works. Today, in contrast, the artistic side of his œuvre and its special historic position between Schütz (b 1585) and Buxtehude (b 1673) appears decidedly attractive, and the matter-of-fact manner meanwhile attained by historically informed musicians in dealing with the sources, the notation, and the instrumentarium of the early Baroque period makes possible a new level of reception on the basis of the sounding work of art.

That in spite of this, as late as 2002 and in a rather exposed place, namely in the new edition of the lexicon Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, musicology rather heedlessly and ignorantly failed to recognized the musical quality of this composer, with formulations such as “Gletle’s at times...

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