Johann Rudolph Ahle

Johann Rudolph Ahle was a church composer, born at Muhlhausen in Thuringia, Dec. 24, 1625; educated at Gottingen and Erfurt.

In 1646 he became organist at Erfurt, and in 1654 held the same post in the Blasiuskirche at his native place, where in 1656 he was appointed member of the senate and in 1661 burgomaster.

He died in full possession of his powers July 8, 1673.

His published compositions include Compendium pro tonellis (1648), a treatise on singing which went through three editions; ‘Geistlichen Dialogen’ (1648), ‘Sinphonien, Paduanen, Balletten’; ‘Thuringische Lustgarten’, a series of church compositions, which appeared in 1657, 1658, 1663, 1665; 400 ‘geistliche Arien’, ‘geistliche Concerte’, and ‘Andachten’ on all the Sundays and Festivals, etc., etc. He cultivated the simple style of the choral, avoiding polyphonic counterpoint. His tunes were for long very popular, and are still sung in the Protestant churches of Thuringia amongst others that are known as ‘Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier’.

Ahle left a son, Johann George, born 1650, who succeeded to his father’s musical honors, and was made poet laureate by the Emperor Leopold I. He died Dec. 2, 1706. His hymn tunes were once popular, but are not now in use.