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I enjoyed your article ‘Lutheran Legacies’ (April issue) but have a problem with the following sentence: ‘The rather bleak austerity of Protestant reformers like Calvin and Zwingli in Switzerland has rubbed off a little on Martin Luther’s posthumous reputation.’
Even today, Swiss German hymn books have kept at least two hymns written by Zwingli. And Calvin? Though he wasn’t a trained musician, he commissioned what is now known as the Geneva Psalter. It was the first containing rhymed paraphrases in French, set to 125 different melodies. With this publication, Calvin started a movement that didn’t stop at the borders of Switzerland. Scots call the ‘Old Hundredth’ their own, Germans wrote metric Psalms to fit the Geneva tunes and early Dutch immigrants brought them to North America.
Daniel von Allmen, London
Every month the editor will award a Solardab 2 Roberts radio (retail value £80 – see www.robertsradio.co.uk) to the writer of the best letter received. The editor reserves the right to shorten letters for publication.
hymn of praise: John Calvin enjoyed a wide influence