Eccard was born at Mühlhausen, Thuringia, Germany. At the
age of eighteen he went to Munich, where he became the pupil
of Orlando Lasso. In his company, Eccard is said to have
visited Paris, but in 1574, he was again at Mühlhausen,
where he resided for four years. There he, together with
Johann von Burgk, edited his first master, a collection of
sacred songs, called Crepundia sacra Helmboldi (1577). Soon
afterwards he obtained an appointment as musician in the
house of Jacob Fugger, the Augsburg banker.
In 1583 he became assistant conductor, and in 1599 conductor
at Königsberg to Georg Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg-Anspach,
the administrator of the Duchy of Prussia. In 1608 he was
called by Joachim Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg as
principal conductor in Berlin, but this post he held only
for three years, owing to his death at Königsberg in 1611.
Eccard's works consist exclusively of vocal compositions,
such as songs, sacred cantatas and chorales for four or
five, and sometimes for seven, eight, or even nine voices.
Their polyphonic structure is a marvel of art and still
garners the admiration of musicians. At the same time his
works are instinct with a spirit of true religious feeling.
His setting of Martin Luther's words Ein feste Burg ist
unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God) is still regarded
by the Germans as their representative national hymn.
Eccard and his school are inseparably connected with the
history of the Protestant Reformation. Of Eccard's songs a
great many collections are extant such as those published in
Der Evangelische Kirchengesang (1843) by Baron Karl Georg
August Vivigens von Winterfeld.
Nun schürz dich, Gretlein, schürz dich
Übers Gebirg Maria geht
Christ ist erstanden
Es rühmt die Heilige Schrift (1591)
Nachdem die Sonn beschlossen (1600)
Maria wallt zum Heiligtum (also sung in English: "When to
the temple Mary went")
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia