Contents of the manuscript

Submitted by admin on Thu, 12/12/2019 - 22:13

A detailed description of the contents has been given by Hans Klotz in his editorial report for the Neue Bach Ausgabe, vol. IV/3 (1962).[1]Klotz identifies the Frankenberger manuscript as a new version (Neuschrift) of the Köningsberg manuscript; the Frankenberger contains 29 compositions not included in the Köningsberg manuscript, while six of the compositions in the Köningsberg manuscript are not in the Frankenberger.

Less then half of the volume (75 out of 196 compositions) consists of Walther's own compositions. Among the 25 other composers, Dieterich Buxtehude can be identified as the composer of 21 works, Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow of 15, Johann Pachelbel of 19, and six of the chorales settings are by Johann Sebastian Bach. Apart from the doubtful attributions, three compositions remain anonymous.

In most cases Walther has provided the full name or initials of the composers. Typical of the problems raised by these abbreviations is the case of Johann Pachelbel, also known as Bachelbel: the abbreviation J. Bach may refer both to him and to any of the large number of ‘J. Bachs'.[2]In some cases the identification does not accord with the attributions he made in other copies of the same compositions. The last written page in the manuscript provides an index, listing the chorales alphabetically with page numbers. This does not contain the composers' names.

For more than twenty compositions the ‘Frankenberger' is our only source. Among these are works by Buxtehude (Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam, Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott, Auf meinen lieben Gott), Telemann (Nun freut euch, lieben Christen, g'mein), and several by Walther himself.


  1. NBA Vol. IV/3, Die einzeln überlieferten Orgelchoräle. Kritischer Bericht, p. 19-28
  2. E.V. Nolte et al.: article Pachelbel, in Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 21 Apr. 2010