Christian Flor

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Prelude in A minorPrelude in C major
Christian Flor (1626 – 28 September 1697) was a German composer and organist. Working at churches in Rendsburg and Lüneburg, he was widely known for vocal and organ compositions. He composed one of the earliest Passion oratorios, in 1667.
Born in Neukirchen, Ostholstein, Flor came from a family of pastors spread throughout Schleswig-Holstein and was born as the son of the pastor Otto Flor and his wife Catharina. He probably received his musical education in Hamburg and Lübeck, studying with Heinrich Scheidemann and Franz Tunder. From 1652 he was organist at St. Marien [de] in Rendsburg. In 1653 he married Margarethe Hudemann, the widow of his predecessor. Their daughter Catharina was baptised in Rendsburg on 24 October 1653. At the latest in 1654, he became organist at St. Lamberti [de] in Lüneburg. After the death of his first wife he married Anna Dorothea Lange (1641–1685). From 1676 until his death, he was (as a predecessor of Georg Böhm) also organist at St. Johannis, the major church in Lüneburg.
Flor was widely known as an organist and organ expert. He contributed significantly to Lüneburg becoming one of the most important North German music centres of the time. Like their father, his son Johann Georg (1679–1728) worked as organist at St. Lamberti in Lüneburg, and his son Gottfried Philipp (1682–1723) from 1707 was organist at St. Michaelis, Lüneburg. Flor composed a St. Matthew Passion in 1667, which is one of the first passion oratorios in music history. He included chorales in the Passion. In addition to his few surviving organ works and independent harpsichord compositions, Flor also created several collections of occasional music and liturgical vocal works.
Flor died in Neukirchen near Eutin.
Johann Sebastian Bach probably became acquainted with compositions by Flor during his stay as a student in Lüneburg and may be influenced by them. According to other sources, Bach is said to have known Flor personally and to have appreciated his compositions. His reputation is also supported by the fact that both Johann Gottfried Walther (1732) and Johann Mattheson wrote about him in their music encyclopaedias. The latter described him in his 1740 Grundlage einer Ehrenpforte as "berühmten Lüneburgischen Organisten" (famous Lüneburg organist).
Flor's works include:
The title page of the collection of settings of Biblical verses from the Old Testament bears the title:
Neues Musikalisches Seelenparadis, in Sich begreiffend Die allerfuertreflichste Sprueche der H. Schrifft, Alten Testaments, In Lehr- und Trostreichen Liedern, und HertzensAndachten (welche so wohl auf bekannte, und in den Evangelischen Kirchen gewoehnliche, Als auch gantz neue, von dem fuertrefflichen Musico, Herren Christian Flor, der Kirchen zu S. Lambrecht, in Lueneburg wolbestelte Organisten, so kuenst- als lieblich- und andaechtig gesetzte Melodien, koennen gespilet und gesungen werden) richtig erklaehret und abgefasset Nunmehr aber zu Befoderung Goettlicher Ehre und Fohrtpflantzung des heiligen und allein seligmachenden Wohrtes wie auf Wideraufrichtung unseres leider! fast gantz verfallenem Christenthumes an das offene Licht gebracht und mit einem dreifachen Register oder Blattweiser hervor gegeben von Johann Rist
The New Musical Souls' Paradise, Containing The most sublime passages of the Holy Scripture (Old Testament) in most learned, reliable and deeply-considered songs (which can be played and sung equally to the well-known and familiar Melodies used in the Evangelical churches, as also to the quite new, artistically-, pleasantly- and reverently-composed Melodies by that most admirable Musico, Herr Christian Flor, the well-established organist of the church of St Lambrecht in Lüneberg), correctly explained and arranged, Now brought into plain light for the promotion of the Honour of God and for the dissemination of the Holy Word (which alone makes us blessed), as for the re-edification of our sadly wellnigh utterly fragmented Christendom, and supplied with a threefold register or page-index, by – Johann Rist...