Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg (21 November 1718 – 22 May 1795) was a German music critic, music theorist and composer.
Little is known of Marpurg's early life. According to various sources, he studied "philosophy" and music. It is clear that he enjoyed a strong education and was friendly with various leading figures of the Enlightenment, including Winckelmann and Lessing. In 1746, he travelled to Paris as the secretary for a General named either Rothenberg or Bodenberg. There, he became acquainted with important intellectual luminaries, such as the writer and philosopher Voltaire, the mathematician d'Alembert and the composer Jean-Philippe Rameau.
After 1746, he returned to Berlin where he was more or less independent. Marpurg's offer to write exclusively for Breitkopf & Härtel was declined by the firm in 1757. In 1760, he received an appointment to the Royal Prussian Lotteries, whose director he became in 1763, receiving the title of War Councillor. His son, Johann Friedrich Marpurg, who later became a celebrated violinist, was born in 1766.
Marpug's quarrelsome disposition and his enthusiasm for public polemics made him many enemies.
Marpurg published the bulk of his writings on music between 1750 and 1763.
Recently, I've been given the opportunity to make some "demos" and to do a review of the fine new sample set of the Steinmayer organ at St. Magnus in Marktoberdorf.
While the organ is modest in size, it does possess variety and color, and can play a pretty wide spectrum of the literature.
The setting of the chorale, "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten" by Marpurg is quite an interesting piece. For this recording, I've used the Prinzipal 8' of the Hauptwerk, with the melody appearing in the pedal, using the Bombarde 8' and the Prinzipalbass 8'.
I hope you will listen to the demos, and check out the review, just as soon as I can get it done. :-)
The score is attached below, as well as a likeness of Marpug, and a photo of the St. Magnus Church.