(b Freiberg, Saxony, bap. 28 March 1603; d Schandau, Saxony, bur. 2 Oct 1656). German composer and teacher. He studied at the Gymnasium at Freiberg under Christoph Demantius, his ‘truly diligent mentor’, as he later called him. He matriculated at the University of Leipzig in the summer term of 1614, but since there is no record of his taking an oath it seems that he did not study there after all. Probably between 1621 and 1623 he went to Augsburg, where he is said to have studied and taken up employment. In 1625 he became a teacher at the Protestant Gymnasium of St Anna. On 7 September 1629, as a consequence of the Edict of Restitution of 6 March 1629, he was dismissed, together with all the other teachers, for embracing the Protestant faith. By 1631 he was back in Freiberg, where, when the post became vacant on 11 November 1632, he was appointed succentor at the Gymnasium. In the following year he was appointed cantor to Count Rudolf von Bünau at the castle at Weesenstein, Saxony. The organist there in 1633–4 was Andreas Hammerschmidt (who also worked for a time in Freiberg), with whom he enjoyed a long-standing friendship; Hammerschmidt's commendatory poem in Otto's Kronen-Krönlein (1648) bears witness to this. In 1639 Otto became cantor at Schandau and remained there until his death. In 1643 he applied unsuccessfully to follow Demantius as cantor at Freiberg.
Like that of Demantius, Otto's music is firmly rooted in the expressive style characteristic of madrigalian and monodic music. Kronen-Krönlein is his most important publication. He attached designations to each of the 15 pieces, whether ‘motet’, ‘madrigal’, ‘symphony’, ‘concerto’, ‘dialogue’ or ‘melody’, and this recognition of distinct categories is reflected in the individual works. In the motet (for double choir) and the sacred madrigal striking individual details stand out from the homogeneous textures; in a three-part parody mass (an early example of the concert mass) and in the gospel settings (concertos and dialogues) solo passages alternate with tutti sections. The concertos point the way to subsequent formal developments, such as the insertion of non-gospel texts, realistic dramatic dialogue passages and the use of a closing chorale. The terms that Otto used to denote the various groups of performers are those of Demantius: ‘favorito’, ‘capella’ (vocal or instrumental) and ‘tutti’ (vocal and instrumental). His theoretical work of 1632, now lost, was known as late as 1740 to Mattheson who thought very highly of it.
Edition:Geistliche Chorwerke, ed. H. Mönkemeyer, Veröffentlichung der Städtischen Volksmusikschule Krefeld, i (Hanover, 1937) [M]
Andachts-Krönlein, oder des Hl. Bernhards Jubel-Geschrei, 3vv (Freiberg, 1646); lost, cited in Göhler
Kronen-Krönlein, oder musikalischer Vorläufer, 3–8vv, bc (Freiberg, 1648); M
Die Luth: Burgk, das ist … Ein feste Burgk ist unser Gott, 19vv, 1632; M
Wedding songs: Dreyfache Frewd aus Hl. Schrift, 8vv (Freiberg, 1631); Wünschet Glück, 9, 15vv, Mein Freundin ist mein, 8vv: lost, cited in Nagel
Freuden-Krönlein, Trauer-Krönlein, Epistel-Krönlein, Evangelien-Krönlein; lost, mentioned in foreword of 1648 publication
R. Kade: ‘Die älteren Musikalien der Stadt Freiberg im Sachsen’, MMg, xx (1888), suppl.
W. Nagel: ‘Die Kantoreigesellschaft zu Pirna’, MMg, xxviii (1896), 148–66
R. Vollhardt: Geschichte der Cantoren und Organisten von den Städten im Königreich Sachsen (Berlin, 1899, rev. 2/1978 by E. Stimme)
G. Schünemann: ‘Die Bewerber um das Freiberger Kantorat’, AMw, i (1918–19), 179–204
E. Schild: Geschichte der protestantischen Messenkomposition im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert (Wuppertal, 1934)
E. Müller: Musikgeschichte von Freiberg, Mitteilungen des Freiburger Altertumsvereins, lxviii (Freiberg, 1939)
JOHANNES GÜNTHER KRANER
(b Leipzig, 25 July 1579; d after 1612). German composer, organist and instrumentalist. The son of Valentin Otto, Kantor at the Thomaskirche, Leipzig, he enrolled, according to Wustmann, at Leipzig University in summer 1592 and received a scholarship in 1593 which enabled him to study at Schulpforta. By 1609, according to Wustmann, he was organist of the Týn Church (the main church of the Old Town, Prague), and musician to the Prince of Leuchtenberg; Pertuchius stated that he still held these posts in 1612. Only one volume of music by Otto survives, and that incomplete: Newe Paduanen, Galliarden, Intraden und Currenten nach englischer und frantzösischer Art (Leipzig, 1611), containing 62 pieces in five parts. Ten instrumental dances were included in David Oberndörffer's Allegrezza musicale (Frankfurt, 1620); Otto's Musa Jessaea gloriosa virgine Maria for five and eight voices (Leipzig, 1609) is lost, as is a Magnificat that he is said to have had printed.
J. Pertuchius: Chronicon Portense (Leipzig, 1612), 272
R. Wustmann: Musikgeschichte Leipzigs, i: Bis zur Mitte des 17. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig and Berlin, 1909/R)
K. Nef: Geschichte der Sinfonie und Suite (Leipzig, 1921/R), 34
G. Oberst: Englische Orchestersuiten um 1600 (Wolfenbüttel, 1929)
A. LINDSEY KIRWAN