Johann Gottfried Walther (18 September 1684 – 23 March 1748) was a German music theorist, organist, composer, and lexicographer of the Baroque era. He was born at Erfurt. Not only was his life almost exactly contemporaneous to that of Johann Sebastian Bach, he was the famous composer's cousin.
Walther was most well known as the compiler of the Musicalisches Lexicon (Leipzig, 1732), an enormous dictionary of music and musicians. Not only was it the first dictionary of musical terms written in the German language, it was the first to contain both terms and biographical information about composers and performers up to the early 18th century.
Walther was the music teacher of Prince Johann Ernst von Sachsen-Weimar. He wrote a handbook for the young prince with the title Praecepta der musicalischen Composition, 1708. It remained handwritten until Peter Benary's edition (Leipzig, 1955). As an organ composer, Walther became famous for his organ transcriptions of orchestral concertos by contemporary Italian and German masters. He made 14 transcriptions of concertos by Albinoni, Gentili, Taglietti, Giuseppe Torelli, Vivaldi and Telemann. These works were the models for Bach to write his famous transcriptions of concertos by Vivaldi and others.
On the other hand, Walther as a city organist of Weimar wrote exactly 132 organ preludes based on Lutheran chorale melodies. Some free keyboard music also belongs to his legacy.
As the Church begins it's journey through Advent, it's "new year" so to speak, we await the birth of the Savior with a season of prayer and preparation.
The famous melody, "Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland" (Saviour of the heathern/nations, come") is set by Walther in a mini-fantasia with the tune appearing in long notes in the pedal.
The fine Führer organ is grand for its relatively "small size", and sounds "big" in these very grand acoustics!
The score is attached.