Christian Friedrich Witt, or Witte (ca. 1660? 3 April 1717) was a German composer, music editor and teacher.
He was born in Altenburg, where his father, Johann Ernst Witt, was court organist; he had come from Denmark around 1650 when a Danish princess married into the house of Saxe-Altenburg. Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg probably gave Witt a scholarship in 1676 to study in Vienna and Salzburg, and then from 1685?1686 to study composition and counterpoint in Nuremberg with Georg Caspar Wecker, returning for a further period of study in 1688. He moved to Gotha to take up as post as chamber organist to the court in June 1686; he remained there for the rest of his life. He became a substitute for W.M. Mylius, the capellmeister, in 1694, and succeeded him after his death in 1713; Duke Frederick II was one of his pupils. He is mentioned as a good keyboard player and capellmeister in J.P. Treiber's Der accurate Organist im General-Bass (1704) and Telemann's Beschreibung der Augen-Orgel (1739). He was also valued by the courts of Ansbach-Bayreuth, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, and Saxe-Weissenfels. While on his deathbed, Johann Sebastian Bach was commissioned to substitute for him and perform a Passiontide work for the court chapel (the Weimarer Passion BWV deest (BC D 1)).
His cantatas feature instrumental introductions, vocal concerto movements, solos, duets, homophonic chorale choruses, and are without recitatives. Psalmodia sacra is an important hymnal from the late baroque; Marpurg wrote that it was the best he knew. It contains 762 hymns, 351 with melodies and figured basses, and an appendix of 12 more hymns and five more melodies. There are established chorale melodies by sixteenth and seventeenth century Thuringian composers along with over 100 new ones believed to have been written by Witt. Text source : Wikipedia (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)