Rist, Johann

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Rist, Johann

Rist, Johann , German poet and composer; b. Ottensen, near Hamburg, March 8, 1607; d. Wedel-on-Elbe, Aug. 31, 1667. He studied theology, law, and poetry at the Univs. of Rintein and Rostock, and was pastor in Wedel (from 1635). In 1644 he was made poet laureate by the Emperor, and in 1653 was elevated to the rank of nobleman. He organized in Hamburg a Liederschule, for which he secured the cooperation of many important composers of the day, among them Schiedemann and Thomas Selle. He has been described as the “organizer of the German Parnassus,” and indeed his role in the development of a purely national type of secular song, of German folk inspiration, was historically significant. He also wrote a number of sacred songs—O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort; O Traurigkeit; O Herzeleid; Werde munter, mein Gemüte; etc.—which are still sung in Lutheran churches in Germany. He compiled valuable collections of German sacred songs. A modern ed. was brought out by E. Mannack, J. Rist: Sämtliche Werke (Berlin, 1967 et seq.).


T. Hansen, J. R. und seine Zeit (Halle, 1872; reprint, Leipzig, 1973); W. Krabbe, J. R. und das deutsche Lied (Bonn, 1910); O. Kern, J. R. als weltlicher Lyriker (Marburg, 1919); O. Heins, J. R. und das niederdeutsche Drama des 17. Jahrhunderts (1930).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire