Circa 1660–1716

Introduction

Born: Cir­ca 1660, Al­ten­burg, Ger­ma­ny.

Died: Ap­ril 13, 1716, Al­ten­burg or Go­tha, Ger­ma­ny.

Biography

Son of Al­ten­burg court or­gan­ist Jo­hann Ernst Witt, Chris­tian prob­ab­ly re­ceived a schol­ar­ship from Fred­er­ick I, Duke of Saxe-Go­tha-Al­ten­burg, in 1676 to stu­dy in Vi­en­na and Salz­burg, then from 1685–86 to st­udy com­po­si­tion and coun­ter­point in Nur­em­berg with Ge­org Cas­par Weck­er, re­turn­ing for fur­ther stu­dy in 1688.

He moved to Gotha to become court chamber organist in June 1686, and stayed there the rest of his life. He became a substitute for Kapellmeister W. M. Mylius 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 Kapellmeister in J. P. Treiber’s 1704 Der accurate Organist im General-Bass & Telemann’s 1739 Beschreibung der Augen-Orgel. He was val­ued by the courts of Ans­bach-Bay­reuth, Schwarz­burg-Ru­dol­stadt, and Saxe-Weiß­en­fels.

While on his death­bed, Bach was com­mis­sioned to sub­st­itute for him and per­form a Pas­sion­tide work for the court cha­pel (the Wei­mar­er Pas­sion). Witt wrote do­zens of can­ta­tas.

Publications

Sources

Music

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