A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Score & Parts)-WW5
Composer: Luther, Martin
Publisher: Laudation Music
(Ein feste Burg Ist Unser Gott)
for woodwind quintet
by Martin Luther (1483-1546)- German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation
Arranged by Tim Rumsey
"A Mighty Fortress" is one of the best loved hymns of the Lutheran tradition and among Protestants more generally. It has been called the "Battle Hymn of the Reformation" for the effect it had in increasing the support for the Reformers' cause. John Julian records four theories of its origin:
- According Heinrich Heine, it was sung by Luther and his companions as they entered Worms on 16 April 1521 for the Diet.
- K. F. T. Schneider: it was a tribute to Luther's friend Leonhard Kaiser, who was executed on 16 August 1527;
- Jean-Henri Merle d'Aubigne: it was sung by the German Lutheran princes as they entered Augsburg for the Diet in 1530 at which the Augsburg Confession was presented; and
- the view that it was composed in connection with the 1529 Duet of Speyer at which the German Lutheran princes lodged their protest to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who wanted to enforce his 1521 Edict of Worms.