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Selle, Thomas

Selle, Thomas

Selle, Thomas, German composer; b. Zörbig, near Bitterfeld, March 23, 1599; d. Hamburg, July 2, 1663. He was educated in Delitzsch and at the Univ. of Leipzig (matriculated, 1622). He was Kantor in Heide, and then rector in Wesselburen (1625–34). After serving as Kantor in Itzehoe (1634–41), he settled in Hamburg as Kantor at the Johanneum and as civic director of church music (from 1641). Selle wrote a vast amount of vocal music, both sacred and secular, including the St. John Passion for 5 to 6 Voices (1641; enl. 1643; ed. in Das Chorwerk, XXVI, 1934), historically important as the first such work to include instrumental interludes. He prepared a collected MS edition of his works, consisting of 16 partbooks and 3 books of tablature; it includes 282 compositions, 193 to German texts and 89 to Latin texts (1646–53).


S. Günther, Die geistliche Konzertmusik von T. S. nebst einer Biographie (diss., Univ. of Giessen, 1935); J. Birke, Die Passionsmusiken von T. S. (diss., Univ. of Hamburg, 1957).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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