Christe, du Beistand

Meter: 11.11. 11.5. (Sapphic stanza)
Composer: Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern, 1644
Source: Symbola Oder Gedenck-Sprüche, Breslau, 1644
Proper Text: Christ, Thou Defender of Thy Congregation (Christe, du Beistand deiner Kreuzgemeine)

Zahn No. 993

Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern composed this tune and its four-part setting to accompany his text, “Christ, Thou Defender of Thy Congregation (Christe, du Beistand deiner Kreuzgemeine),” which first appeared in his Symbola Oder Gedenck-Sprüche, Breslau, 1644, No. 17, under the title, “A Sapphic Ode. For Spiritual and Bodily Peace.” The term “Sapphic Ode” refers to the metrical structure of the stanzas: /xx//:/x/x// (3x), /xx// (though Löwenstern repeats the fourth and final line). In classical poetry the structure was dependent upon syllable length and was scanned somewhat differently: /x///:xx/x// (3x), /xx//. By Löwenstern’s day, however, accentuation had taken over the role of syllable length, as reflected in the text for which he composed this tune. A scan of the music in its original printing is available here [the PURL for the general work is here].