Jesus Christ, Our Saviour, from Seventy-Nine Chorales, Op. 28, No. 43

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Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier. Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, alle gleich. Meine Seele erhebt den Herren. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland. O Gott, du frommer Gott. O Lamm Gottes unschuldig. Puer natus in Bethlehem ein Kind geborn zu Bethlehem. A movement of doubtful authenticity attributed to G. Homilius is in B. Valet will ich dir geben. Vater unser im Himmelreich. Two doubtfully authentic movements are in B. Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her.

Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schaar. Von Gott will ich nicht lassen. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme. Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ. A movement confidently attributed to Bach is in B. Wo soll ich fliehen hin. In addition to the foregoing, B. They are as follows:. A variant is in P. Spitta attributes the movement to Johann Gottfried Walther. O Vater, allmachtiger Gott. When he died, in , presumably they were intact. To-day only about one-third of his Organ music survives in his handwriting 1.

The remainder has been printed from copies made by his pupils and others. It is therefore in regard to the miscellaneous or ungrouped Choral movements only that dubiety exists regarding the source of the published texts. In Ernst Naumann edited a larger collection of them for the Bachgesellschaft Jahrgang xl. To the contents of the latter collection the Novello Edition makes no addition.

In the Peters Edition Griepenkerl already had printed 62 of them. Breitkopf and Haertel included 56 of them in their Edition. The Novello Edition contains the same number. Of the 82 numbers printed in B. The remaining seventy-eight compositions come to us through mss. By far the greater number of the mss. The richest in mss. In the Mozartstiftung at Frankfort a. In it was in the possession of Herr Gleichauf 1. It was made by Johann Nepomuk Schelble , founder of the Frankfort Caecilienverein and one of the earliest Bach conductors 2. It was largely used by Griepenkerl in , when it was in the possession of the singer Franz Hauser , a friend of Mendelssohn and an avid Bach collector 4.

Kittel, which contains Organ movements by Bach. Other collections drawn upon in and were those of the publishers Breitkopf and Haertel; S. Finally must be mentioned an important ms. In the following pages the derivation of the miscellaneous Preludes from the ms. It is a small quarto of ninety-two sheets bound in paper boards, with leather back and corners, and bears the following title:. Composed by Johann Sebast. To that date he held the positions of Concertmeister and Court Organist at Weimar, where the death of the Capellmeister, Johann Samuel Drese, in , had opened the prospect of obtaining that vacant post.

A petition for release from his Weimar duties was rejected.

79 Chorales, Dupre, Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ

He was not released until December 2, , when he was permitted at length to resign his Weimar appointments 3. It does not survive examination, however. It is possible to be more precise. As to three-quarters of its programme the Orgelbuchlein is incomplete, and most of it was of little practical use to a Church organist. We are drawn, therefore, to search for a period of exceptional leisure in which Bach was free to sketch and partly write a lengthy work which in after years he never attempted to complete. Such a period presented itself during his incarceration at Weimar in November , and during those weeks, it may be concluded, the Autograph was written.

But the date of the Autograph does not consequently determine the year in which all its forty-six completed movements were composed. For he demonstrates clearly that the Autograph is not the earliest text of the movements it contains. Felix Mendelssohn possessed a ms. Indeed, Spitta makes out a strong case for the belief that the Mendelssohn ms. But of its separate movements so large a number of mss. Twenty-eight of the Preludes, in the handwriting of Johann Christoph Oley, organist at Aschersleben d.

In the first two of the three leaves were in the possession of the wife of Professor Wach, Leipzig. The ninety-two sheets of the Autograph were planned by Bach to contain movements upon the melodies of hymns; three hymns Nos. Of the projected movements only forty-six were written, two of them Nos. The pages of the Autograph, other than those which contain the completed movements, are merely inscribed with the names of the hymns whose melodies Bach proposed to place upon them. Why did Bach fail to complete a work conceived, as the title-page bears witness, in so lofty a spirit? Schweitzer suggests 1 that the unused tunes lack the opportunities for poetic and pictorial expression that Bach required.

If so, it is strange that of the hymns selected by Bach himself should be of that character. Many of the unused tunes in the Orgelbuchlein are as capable of poetic Edition: Moreover elsewhere he has given some of them precisely the expression of which Schweitzer assumes them to be incapable. Whatever may have been the circumstances that moved him to plan it and partially to write it, no practical incentive to its completion can be discovered.

To establish the statement it is necessary to examine the contents of the Autograph.

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Jesus Christ, Our Saviour, from "Seventy-Nine Chorales", Op. 28, No. 43 - Kindle edition by Marcel Dupre. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device. Seventy-Nine Chorales, Op. No. O innocent Lamb of God No. Christ No. Jesus Christ, our Saviour No. Holy Jesus is risen from the dead.

On the contrary, Bach wrote the hymns into the Autograph in accordance with a carefully thought-out programme, which, however, he left concealed. The order in which the hymns appear in the Autograph is the only Edition: He was able later to point out 1 that Bach modelled it upon a Hymn-book issued in November for the neighbouring duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, edited by Christian Friedrich Witt d.

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It bears the title:. Lutheri, als anderer Geistreichen Manner, Auf Hochfl. Nebst einer Vorrede und Nachricht. Gotha, Verlegts Christoph Reyher, A copy of the book in the British Museum has another title Neues Cantional: Gotha and Leipzig, , but its contents are identical with the Gotha publication. Whence Bach took them cannot be stated and is immaterial; both were accessible in other collections. The Orgelbuchlein, in fact, is a condensed Hymnary and, for convenience, may be divided into two Parts. Part I was planned to contain sixty Preludes, of which thirty-six were composed.

Part II was designed to include one hundred and four Preludes, of which only ten were written. Five of its eleven groups contain not a single completed movement; one contains three; two contain two apiece; three contain one apiece. The hymns are named in the order in which Bach wrote them into the Autograph, and are grouped under the seasons or headings he intended them to illustrate but neglected to indicate. In Witt the hymn is set to the tune of No. The Advent section calls for no comment. Bach selects from Witt four of his fifteen hymns on the season, altering the order of one, No.

The other hymns invoke the coming Saviour. The hymn is not in Witt. Michael Altenburg, first printed in Zahn, No. The result is to transform a haphazard series of tunes into a Christmas Mystery. The next three hymns are songs of thanksgiving; the second of them No.

On that note Bach prefers to end. The first two look back upon the old year. The third is instinct with the hope and promise of the new one. Purification of the B. Bach omits, or appears to omit, the Epiphany Witt, Nos. Probably Bach intended the two hymns to do duty for both contiguous festivals. The hymn is attributed to Melchior Franck. It is in ten stanzas, addressed to the Feet st.

It was published, with the hymn, in and is by Franck himself Zahn, No. Both hymn and melody are found in the Gotha Cantional of , and therefore have a strong Saxon tradition. Bach intended to use it here, as the sketch of the opening bars in the Autograph shows 1. The hymn is by Nikolaus Selnecker. In Witt it is set to a melody probably by Witt himself Zahn, No. Perhaps Bach intended to use it, but there are earlier tunes Zahn, Nos. The hymn, a Litany, is by Hermann Bonn c.

This long 21 stanzas Good Friday hymn by Johann Rist does not appear to have a melody proper to itself. The first three hymns call Edition: Christ being dead, Bach hastens to utter No. The section is a miniature of the greater Passion written twelve years later. Bach begins it with introductory hymns Nos. There can be little doubt that Bach intended to introduce it here. The hymn is also sung to an older melody Zahn, No.

The hymn is by Erasmus Alberus d. One of the few vernacular pre-Reformation hymns, with stanzas added by Luther. The tune occurs in Edition: On the other hand, there exists a sixteenth century melody to the hymn Zahn, No. Witt may have taken it from Freylinghausen , where it also occurs. The hymn is by Luther. It is set in Witt to the original Edition: In regard to No. The hymn is attributed to a former Duke of Saxe-Weimar. Its fourth stanza is appropriate to the season:. The regular Trinity hymns Nos. As Bach introduces that melody in the next movement it may be concluded that he did not propose to use it here also.

The melody proper to the hymn is dated Zahn, No. Visitation of the B. Bach uses its melody Tonus Peregrinus in Cantata There are two Organ movements upon it and two four-part settings in the Choralgesange, Nos. Bach omits the Annunciation. Six hymns for that festival are in Witt Nos.

The hymn is by Paul Eber. The hymn and melody occur in Cantata , and there are three four-part settings of the tune in the Choralgesange, Nos. The hymn is by Ludwig Helmbold. It is set in Witt to a tune by Joachim von Burck ? There is a four-part setting of it among the Choralgesange, No. There is an Organ movement upon it and a four-part setting in the Choralgesange, No. Bach uses it in Cantata The hymn appears to have no other melody.

The hymn is by Tobias Clausnitzer. It is set in Witt to the melody which Bach uses in N. Bach and Witt Nos. Its familiar melody also is probably by him. Witt uses another tune Zahn, No. The hymn is by Erhart Hegenwalt. The melody, probably by Johann Walther, was published with the hymn in Bach uses it in the miscellaneous Preludes. The hymn is by Johannes Schneesing. The melody also is attributed to him. It occurs in Cantata The authorship of the hymn is disputed. The melody is used by Bach in Cantata 48 and among the miscellaneous Preludes. A four-part setting of it is among the Choralgesange, No.

The hymn is by Bartholomaus Ringwaldt. Bach uses it in Cantatas 48, , , , and there is a four-part setting of it among the Choralgesange, No. The hymn is by Cyriacus Schneegass. The hymn is by Johann Heermann. The melody Witt uses is perhaps by Caspar Stieler. Bach uses it in two Cantatas of the Weimar period, Nos.

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The melody of this anonymous hymn is taken by Witt from a five-part setting in the Gotha Cantional of Zahn, Bach has not made use of it elsewhere. After a final No. The tune also is attributed to him. It occurs in four Organ Preludes, and there is a four-part setting of it among the Choralgesange, No. The hymn is by Luther, and the melody is based on pre-Reformation material. The hymn is by Wolfgang Meusel. It is set in Witt to a melody Zahn, No. It is not in Witt. Bach has not used its melody Zahn, No.

The second tune has been attributed to Luther, and for that reason perhaps Bach preferred it. Witt also uses it. The hymn is by Johann Graumann. The melody, probably composed by Johann Kugelmann, is used by Bach in Cantatas 17, 28, 29, 51, , Motett 1. There are four-part settings of it among the Choralgesange, No.

Of the nine hymns in the Holy Communion group only five Nos. It is an invitation to the Holy Table:. The last two hymns Nos. The hymn is by Martin Luther. He has not used it elsewhere. The hymn is attributed to Johann Kolross. The section does not need comment. The hymn is by Georg Gruenwald. Bach uses the melody in Cantatas 74, 86, The hymn is by Michael Weisse. There is a four-part setting of the original melody of the hymn in the Choralgesange, No. There are three four-part settings of it among the Choralgesange, Nos. The first stanza of the hymn is by Joachim Magdeburg.

It is set in Witt to a version of the original melody found in Calvisius in The hymn is by Ambrosius Blaurer Its proper melody Zahn, No. Bach has not used it elsewhere. It is set in Witt to an anonymous melody which Bach uses in Cantatas 24, 71, Elsewhere in the Cantatas Bach uses a second melody, and for the Partite a third. The hymn is by Adam Reissner. The melody Zahn, No. The hymn and the melody are by Wolfgang Dachstein. Bach uses the melody elsewhere in the Organ Preludes, and there is a four-part setting of it among the Choralgesange, No. The hymn is attributed to Hans Sachs.

It is set in Edition: The hymn is by Caspar Schmucker. Its proper melody is found in the Gotha Cantional of Zahn, No. The hymn is attributed to Martin Moller. In Cantatas 3, 44, 58, , Bach uses another melody for the hymn see No. The hymn is by Jakob Peter Schechs The hymn is by Philipp Nicolai.

The hymn is by Johannes G. The hymn is anonymous. The hymn is by J. Its proper melody is in the Gotha Cantional of Zahn, No. The hymn is by Samuel Rodigast. He deliberately selects No. The succeeding eight hymns Nos. Then the mood changes. It is set in Witt to the original melody. Bach uses it in Cantatas 2, 77, The melody, attributed either to him or to Johann Walther, is used by Bach in Cantata The hymn is by Justus Jonas.

Bach uses its melody in Cantatas 73, , and , and there are four-part settings of it among the Choralgesange, Nos. The hymn is by Philipp Nicolai, to whom also the tune is attributed. Bach uses the melody in Cantatas 1, 36, 37, 49, 61, , and an Organ Prelude. The hymn is by Ambrosius Lobwasser Hence, the section contains two parts: To the taunt No. The last hymn No. The second part is prefaced appropriately No. Its proper melody is in the Gotha Cantional of The hymn is by Jakob Ebert. Its melody, by Bartholomaus Gesius, is used by Bach in Cantatas 67, , and The hymn is by Balthasar Schnurr.

Its melody, attributed to Melchior Franck, is used by Bach in Cantata The hymn and its melody are by Nikolaus Herman. Bach uses the tune in Cantatas 15, 31, 95, and there are four-part settings of it among the Choralgesange, Nos. Witt sets it to a tune Zahn, c which Bach has not used elsewhere. In Cantata he uses a melody by Louis Bourgeois. Among the Choralgesange, No. The hymn is by Johann Georg Albinus. In Cantata and No. The hymn is by Valerius Herberger. The hymn is by Martin Schalling. The melody occurs in Cantatas , , and the St John Passion. The hymn is attributed to Sigismund Weingartner.

The hymn is by Johann Hermann Schein. The hymn is by Martin Behm. The hymn is by Ludwig von Hornigk d. Bach has not used its proper melody Zahn, No. The hymn is by Erasmus Alberus. There is a four-part setting of its melody among the Choralgesange, No. The hymn is by M. Its melody Zahn, No. In the above section all but the last two hymns Nos. The hymn is by Heinrich Albert. The hymn is by Johann Kolross. The melody, secular in origin, is used by Bach in Cantata The hymn is attributed, probably inaccurately, to Johannes Mathesius A four-part setting of the melody is among the Choralgesange, No.

Bach has used the melody for a set of Variations. There is also a four-part setting of it among the Choralgesange, No. The hymn is by Johann Rist. Bach uses the melody in the St Matthew Passion and Cantatas 55, , , The hymn is by Paul Gerhardt. The hymn is by Johann Horn. Both its Descant and Tenor passed into use as hymn tunes. A four-part setting of its melody is among the Choralgesange, No.

The hymn and its melody Zahn, No. Bach has not used the tune elsewhere. The hymn is by Johann Flittner The original melody Zahn, No. The hymn is by Johann Flittner. There is a four-part setting of the melody among the Choralgesange, No. The hymn is by Michael Franck. Why Bach changed it is not apparent. He uses the melody in Cantata The hymn is by Johann Rosenthal Bach has not used the melody Zahn, No. The hymn is by Ahashuerus Fritsch. The hymn is by Christian Keimann.

The hymn is by Johann Franck. Its seven stanzas end with the refrain:. Then come two reflective hymns upon the transitoriness of human life Nos. The last four hymns of the group look across the gulf of death. In the last stanza of the hymn No. So, sustained and strengthened, the Soul wings its flight Heavenward No. It reveals in the young man of thirty the simple, confiding trust in God that was his thirty-five years later, when the call of Death came to him almost as his failing breath dictated the words:.

Since only forty-six of the movements melodies; Nos. But assuming that he proposed to use in the Orgelbuchlein the tune which he associates with the particular hymn elsewhere, we conclude that only thirty-four of its melodies are not found in his vocal and Organ works or among his Choralgesange: Three of them undoubtedly are based on melodic texts not found in Witt Nos. In three cases Nos. In another instance the same conclusion presents itself, though less positively No. There can be little doubt that he referred to the Gotha Cantional of , or a later edition.

After his removal to Leipzig in it is shown that Bach took his melodic texts from the Hymn-books of Leipzig musicians, such as Vetter and Schein. On the other hand, the melodic texts of the four-part settings among the Choralgesange seem very generally to conform to the Hymn-books of the Weimar period. The subject is a large one, rendered difficult by the inaccessibility of the Hymn-books upon which its solution depends.

In Verlegung des Authoris. Published by the Author. The work was published in , or at latest at Easter ; price, three thalers 1. Bach, however, added six irrelevant numbers:. The similar tonality of the opening Prelude and closing Fugue emphasizes the homogeneity of the numbers that lie between them. The Catechism hymns are presented in duplicate, in long and short movements. Sind zu haben in Leipzig bey Herrn Capellm. Writing in , Rust declares its then locality unknown to him. Rust possessed a second and Hauser of Carlsruhe a third copy 1. After Bach appears to have abandoned the composition of Church Cantatas, which to that point occupied so much of his time at Leipzig, and devoted himself to his Organ works.

Zella is a small town of inhabitants, twenty miles south of Gotha in the Thuringian Forest, about one hundred miles from Leipzig. That Bach should publish his music there is curious but explicable. If the identification is correct, the acquaintance of Bach and Schmidt was of long standing. They are printed in the following order, to which, however, no significance attaches:. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme Canto fermo in Tenore.

The Cantata was composed in , or later. Wo soll ich fliehen hin, or Auf meinen lieben Gott a 2 Clav. In the Organ movement it is given to a four-foot stop on the Pedals. The Cantata was composed in ? Meine Seele erhebt den Herren a 2 Clav. The Cantata was composed c. The Cantata was composed in Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter a 2 Clav. In the Organ movement it is given to a fourfoot stop on the Pedals. Nurnberg in Verlegung Balth. Published by Balthasar Schmidt. The supposition is so improbable, that Bach must be held to have engraved the work before he presented it to the Mizler Society.

The Autograph is in the Royal Library, Berlin. His Society being somewhat academic in its outlook, Bach was only induced to join it in the summer of —Handel had been elected an honorary member two years before 2. The character of the Society to some extent explains the form of the composition Bach presented to it as his diploma work. The canon is between the two manuals; the Pedal having the unembellished melody. Like the first Variation, the movement is a Trio, the cantus being on the Pedal, and the canon between the two manuals. The canonic subject has a close affinity to the Choral melody; or, more correctly, suggests either by anticipation bars 1 and 16 or by repetition bar 10 the lines of the cantus, in the Pachelbel manner.

The canon is between the Pedal and the second manual. The melody is on the first manual over a free part cantabile. The canon is between the first manual and the Bass of the second. The melody is on the Pedal. The middle part on the second manual has a free subject. The movement is a tour-de-force. For the first thirteen bars the melody is in the Treble and below it a canon by inversion at the sixth. From bars 14 to 26 the melody is in the Bass of the second manual in canon with the first by inversion at the third.

For bars 27 to 39 the melody is in the Pedal and above it is the canon by inversion at Edition: In bars 40 to 51 the melody is again in the Treble in canon with the Pedal by inversion at the ninth. In every one of the foregoing divisions the part not engaged in canon has a free subject; the Pedal in the first two sections, the first manual in the third, the second manual in the fourth. The last five bars are in five parts. Bach turned again to this work in the last weeks of his life. A corrected fair copy of the printed edition is in the Autograph containing the Eighteen Chorals in the Royal Library, Berlin.

It once belonged to Philipp Emmanuel Bach. The manuscript bears the following title:. Bach worked upon the manuscript during the illness that terminated fatally on July 28, Of the last movement, No. The remaining nineteen and a half bars have been supplied from the Art of Fugue, in which the movement also is found.

The conclusion hardly can be evaded that Bach, tardily obsessed by desire to publish in the last five years of his life, was preparing the Eighteen Chorals for the engraver when death called him. In addition to the Autograph and original edition of the Art of Fugue, early and authoritative mss. The Kirnberger Collection in the Amalienbibliothek of the Joachimsthal Gymnasium contains copies of thirteen of them: In the handwriting of Oley Hauser Collection are copies of seven: Besides these there are earlier versions of twelve: They are found in the Krebs, Kirnberger, and Walther Collections.

The Autograph of the early version of No. The large number of early texts of them supports the conclusion. The Eighteen Chorals appear in the Autograph in the following order, to which no significance attaches. Every movement except No. Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott Fantasia. Canto fermo in Pedale. Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott Alio modo. An Wasserflussen Babylon a 2 Clav. Schmucke dich, O liebe Seele a 2 Clav. Nun danket alle Gott a 2 Clav. Canto fermo in Soprano. Von Gott will ich nicht lassen Canto fermo in Pedale. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland a 2 Clav. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland Trio.

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Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland In Organo pleno. Canto fermo in Tenore. Even in this miscellaneous Collection Bach inserts the Trinity Hymn three times. Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, Der von uns Alio modo. The first seven and part of the eighth bars are textually an almost exact copy of the Orgelbuchlein movement on the melody. The foundation of the movement is the earlier Prelude in the Orgelbuchlein. In the present movement, however, the four lines of the cantus are separated and the elaborate embroidery of the canto fermo is discarded.

The new material is in the interludes. As a separate melody, however, its Alto part is at least as old as Bach uses it in the movement infra, in Cantata 6 , and Choralgesange, Nos. His text is invariable. Its variations of the original are not traced in Zahn. The movement is No. The movement paints the placid evening scene upon the road to Emmaus. It was published as a broadsheet in , and with the melody in The composer of the tune is unknown.

A major version of his reconstruction appeared fifteen years later Bach employs it in Cantata 48 c. A variant text of it is in B. That Bach communicated to Walther his own treatments of the melody is an obvious inference. In one of the eleven mss. A copy of it in the Krebs mss. In the same period, it is to be observed, Bach Edition: In none of the three movements is there apparent an intention to distinguish the stanzas of the hymn by musical treatment.

Words and melody were published together in In Cantata 26 c. It dates from The title of the hymn is correctly stated in the Cantata. Its author is not identified. That Bach should introduce the rhythm into a hymn on Death is due to his disregard of the sinister message of the first stanza. Bach uses the melody in the Organ movements infra; Cantatas Edition: There exists also a set of seventeen Variations B. Almost invariably Bach uses the melody to express the adoration of the Angelic hosts, and in scale passages pictures the throng of them ascending and descending between earth and heaven.

There is further symbolic significance in the fact that every movement is in the form of a Trio. It is a Trio, the cantus being given to the Treble. The three movements are among the Eighteen Chorals. The last thirty-one bars of No. The ascending cadence again represents the departing host of angels.

An older text of No. Two copies of it are among the Krebs mss. The movement, of which copies are in the Schicht and Schelble mss. The movement comes to us through three mss. It is in the Pachelbel form, a Fugue in three parts upon the first two lines of the melody, which is introduced at the close as a cantus firmus on the pedal. A similar scheme occurs in the setting of the Magnificat N. The attribution of the movement to Bach rests upon a Krebs ms.

The movement is in three parts, as, significantly, are six of the ten movements on the melody. The words are by Wolfgang Dachstein, to whom the melody also is assigned. He died circa Both are in G major. In quavers, against the crotchets of the cantus, the accompaniment ripples on pellucidly in a figure which, in No. Practically they are built upon the same Bass, and their contrapuntal accompaniment to the cantus is constructed out of the opening two lines of the melody.

The melody also occurs in Choralgesange, No. In the penultimate bar supra E flat for E natural as the sixth note was Edition: He dates its composition circa , during the Weimar period. In the year , as will be shown, Bach revised No. With what art he creates cf. Spitta suggests 2 that Bach revised the Hamburg improvisation No. While preserving the framework of No. Bach makes little use of it. It occurs only in the movements infra and Cantata 38 c. They are the only ones in that collection, as Sir Hubert Parry points out 2 , which completely reproduce the Pachelbel type.

A piece of pure music of unsurpassable grandeur, the Prelude seems to derive its inspiration from the mood expressed in stanza iii of the hymn:. At the thirteenth bar from the end Bach introduces a rhythm of joy that rolls on with increasing fervour to its climax of fruition and content. The addition of Trombones to the Pedal cantus enhances its impressiveness. The movement becomes, like No. After studying at Wittenberg under Luther and Melanchthon, Alberus worked as a schoolmaster until, in , he was appointed pastor at Sprendlingen and Gotzenhain.

Later he settled at Magdeburg, and was present during the long siege of the city in In the hymn was published in the Edition: In the former his text exactly follows Witt No. It will be observed that the second line of the cantus in the Variations differs from the original version. Schweitzer 2 points out that the number of Variations corresponds to Edition: But the inference that each Variation pictures the corresponding stanza does not survive examination. It is difficult to imagine Bach tempted to distinguish in seven pictures moods so placid and invariable as the hymn maintains.

He is not even moved, as in maturer years he might have been, by references to Satan and the angels; though the convolutions of the accompanying figure in Variations II, IV, VI may have been prompted by the image of the Serpent. On the other hand, it need not follow that the numerical correspondence between the hymn stanzas and the Variations is fortuitous. The opening broad and simple treatment of the melody looks like a statement of the cantus as a preliminary to singing the first stanza. The remaining movements may have been designed as improvisations between the stanzas.

Copies also exist in the Hauser Collection. The melody is found in print in With the words it occurs in a text of []. Zahn does not reveal the source of his variations: Probably they are his own. His melodic text closely fits the words of each stanza:. A four-part setting of the melody is in B. Copies of it are in the Forkel and Hauser mss. In the Organ works, Cantatas 4 and , and Choralgesange, Nos. The B natural which he almost invariably substitutes for A as the first note of the fifth phrase of the tune is in Witt No.

For G sharp as the second note of the first phrase Zahn reveals no earlier authority. The short movement is instinct with the triumph of Easter. The semiquaver Pedal phrases may symbolize the rolling away of the sepulchral stone. In three of them the movement concludes with the following simple setting. It is omitted in the Novello Edition. A variant text of the movement without the concluding Choral is in B. It differs from No. There are three mss. The fact, along with the final crotchet E, shows that Bach wrote the movement for the two-manualed Edition: In general character it resembles the first movement of Cantata 38 c.

Besides the above movements, B. A copy of it is also among the Schelble-Gleichauf mss. It occurs in the Organ movements infra; Cantatas 7, c. Zahn does not reveal early authority for his variations of the orginal text G for A as the first note of the second phrase supra; B for A as the first note of the fifth phrase.

Both details are found in Witt No. Here, as there, the quick flowing stream is the background of his picture. While the Cantata movement is a setting of the first stanza of the hymn, the conclusion may be hazarded that in No. Had the first been before him it is difficult to believe that he would have omitted to emphasize lines 7 and 8 in his customary chromatic idiom:. Bach seeks rather to emphasize the contrast suggested in the first four lines of the seventh stanza:. Thus interpreted, the strong, reliant melody over which Jordan ripples acquires a new significance.

Bach uses it in the Orgelbuchlein; Cantatas 23, c.

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His text follows Witt No. Bach uses the tune, in its original form, in Cantata c. The movement is in the Kirnberger ms. In two of them the Prelude is specifically attributed to Bach. The melody occurs also in the St John Passion , Nos. Bach is not consistent in his statement of the melody. In the St John Passion he uses a Leipzig reconstruction of the tune which dates from 1.

The movement is one of the Passiontide Preludes in the Orgelbuchlein. Its fierce intensity is inspired by the first stanza of the hymn, and particularly by the words.

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An older text of the movement—that of the Mendelssohn Autograph 2 —is in B. In he published a Hebrew grammar at Augsburg and in settled at Wittenberg where Melanchthon was his pupil as a teacher of Greek and Hebrew. Later he taught Zwingli Hebrew at Zurich. He closely follows Witt No. The recurring Pedal rhythm, heavy, syncopated, pictures the weary exhaustion of the hanging and suffering Jesus.

Twenty years later Johannes Steurlein included the hymn, in six stanzas of four lines, in his Sieben und Zwantzigk Newe Geistliche Gesenge, Mit vier Stimmen Componiret und in druck der lieben Jugend zu gut verordnet Erfurt, As early as the whole hymn was attributed to Jakob Tapp d. On the other hand, the melody supra , which has borne the name of the hymn since , is generally attributed to Johannes Steurlein, son of the first Lutheran pastor at Schmalkalden, where he was born in About he became Town-clerk Edition: He died there in He was an excellent musician and published various melodies and four-part settings by himself.

Though the hymn is a prayer for help and comfort during the coming New Year the old year being referred to incidentally merely in the first stanza , Bach, influenced, perhaps, by the character of the melody, writes a threnody on the year that is gone, and wraps the tune in chromatic counterpoint expressing, in his idiom, poignant grief and regret. A chromatic grief motive is employed for the same purpose in the opening choruses of the B minor Mass and the St Matthew Passion. Bach uses the melody only in the Organ movement infra. The movement is in the form of a Fughetta, and develops to the jubilant climax pictured in the last stanza of the hymn:.

Once more the original tune dating from is elaborately decorated. The opening verse of the hymn is that which seems to suit the music best:. Harriet Cohen — was an English pianist, especially known for two things: In the programme for the latter a joint concert with Lionel Tertis , there was a foreword by one of the contributors which read:.

Not all the pieces are on the same level of inspiration. From the original twelve, I have chosen four to include in this recording. He was the son of a naval officer who served as a diplomat from to It shows another use for the chorale prelude — one in which the organist extemporizes brief interludes between the lines of the hymn. It must have been confusing for the congregation at times to hear a familiar tune bathed in such florid and brilliant goings-on as we have here!

Both the words and tune are medieval:. One of the most beautiful chorale tunes comes next with the transcription of Herzlich tut mich verlangen , BWV by William Walton — The melody by Leo Hassler has been set to many different texts, this one by Christoph Knoll Walton finds a particularly good solution to the problem of transcribing the last two bars for piano.

On the organ, the F sharp in the top voice is sustained throughout merely by holding down the note. On the piano, of course, it soon dies away. By repeating it in syncopation, he makes it last to the end, while at the same time clashing expressively with the E sharp in the bass. The chorale tune is plainsong tonus peregrinus , and the text is that of the Magnificat:. The exact same music also appears in Cantata No 10 of the same title, first sung on the Feast of the Visitation in There the scoring is for alto and tenor soloists, trumpet, bassoon and organ. Here Bach sets the words:. Certainly the fugal counterpoint that Bach weaves around the cantus firmus is more interesting than the tune itself.

Ireland remains totally faithful to the original. Once again, he adheres very closely to the original I have added a few things from the latter which he unaccountably leaves out , but in so doing creates a work for piano which is totally suited to that instrument, though very difficult to play well. In fact, anyone not familiar with the original would probably think that Howells had added quite a bit! The words Sebald Heyden, are beautifully portrayed with the almost constant use of a four-note descending figure which ascends as well underneath an elaborate solo melody.

The words in the last line are matched by a C flat in the harmony, a daring and astounding progression for the time. This chorale was also used as the basis for a huge fantasia ending the first part of the St Matthew Passion which in turn was taken from the second version of the St John Passion.

The original tune was written by Mathias Greitter in Harriet Cohen herself made several Bach transcriptions in that she performed frequently. This is the final chorus, scored for oboe, strings, bassoon, organ and chorus. The English title given by Harriet Cohen does not truly translate the first line of the text which should read:. Harold Bauer — was born in Kingston-on-Thames and received his first musical training on the violin. He was considered one of the greatest pianists of his time, and a true successor to the tradition of Liszt, Paderewski and Brahms. His legendary Bach recitals in London in the s introduced many listeners to the music of the German master.

For the publishing house Schirmer he made many editions, including several of the works of Bach. The re-location of register turns out to be a good idea, though, as it separates the two voices distinctly on the keyboard. The text from the cantata which portrays the soul longing for death is as follows:. His life was tempestuous six wives , his career as a virtuoso short due to his greater interest in composition.

He does manage, nevertheless, to stay remarkably close to the original, even if his frequent change of dynamics and tempi are very much of their time.

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What is Bach saying in this piece? A passacaglia is a set of variations over a ground bass constantly repeating itself. The twenty variations and fugue which follow are grouped so as to provide points of maximum tension and release. There is some discussion as to whether or not it was originally intended for a two-manual pedal harpsichord rather than the organ, which I think is plausible.

The fugue is not a separate entity but rather an integral part of the passacaglia, using the first part of the theme as its subject, along with a persistent countersubject that greatly adds to the culminating excitement. It is refreshing to hear the passacaglia theme break out in different keys rather than simply restating it in the tonic as was the case in the variations. In the last few lines the music comes to a brief halt on a Neapolitan sixth chord D flat major. As Peter Williams says: This is my own arrangement which I have played as an encore for many years.

The text speaks for itself:. This hymn for the dying originated in , with the anonymous melody dating from Bach gives it the simple treatment, presenting the chorale in the top voice which I double with the lower octave on the repeat of the first stanza to change the colour over an ever-present rhythmic motive. The false relation between the C sharp and the C natural in the last bar cannot be heard properly in too fast a tempo.

This short prelude captures, in just a few lines, his faith, his joy, and, above all, his musical perfection. I am reminded of what Mendelssohn said after Schumann played him a chorale prelude:. Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.

Don't show me this message again. August Total duration: Nobody, however, complained about any of that. What would Johann Sebastian have thought of that? Come now, Saviour of the heathen, He who is known as the Child of the Virgin! All the world wonders that God should ordain such a birth. The bride, Zion, reacts: Wir folgen all Zum Freudensaal Und halten mit das Abendmahl. Zion hears the watchmen singing, Her beating heart with joy is springing, She wakens and with speed arises. Of course the tune is beautiful, but it is the middle voice, whose constant semiquavers unhurriedly fill in the harmonies, and the throbbing, pulsating bass which add the shape and colour to match the words: In Thy good time unto me list, thine ear to me inclining!

The duke was no doubt pleased by the praise he received: Shall Pales be the last to offer a sacrifice? I would also forsake my duties, and as the whole sovereignty rings with cheers, let even my beautiful pastures honour the hero of Saxony with me, to bring him joy and happiness. Sheep may safely graze where a caring shepherd guards them. Where a regent reigns well, we may have security and peace and things that let a country prosper. The rise and fall in the dynamic level of the chorale mirrors the words: Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, with the fire of light impassioned, striving still to truth unknown, soaring, dying round thy throne.

The text for the hymn is as follows: When in the hour of utmost need We know not where to look for aid, When days and nights of anxious thought Nor help nor counsel yet have brought, Then this our comfort is alone; That we may meet before Thy throne, And cry, O faithful God, to Thee, For rescue from our misery. The opening verse of the hymn is that which seems to suit the music best: Das alte Jahr vergangen ist: The old year hath passed away For this we thank you Lord today That thou has kept us through the year When danger and distress were near. At this time [] Oxford University Press were negotiating an exciting new project with me.

Several composers, knowing of my special devotion to Bach, transcribed some of his works for organ, song or strings, so that I could play them to myself. One told the other about it until I had about ten arrangements. I had written to Vaughan Williams to transcribe something for me, offering many more kisses although I owed him a lot from the Hymn-Tune. I shall claim it to the full and the th. In the programme for the latter a joint concert with Lionel Tertis , there was a foreword by one of the contributors which read: Miss Cohen has, indeed, given first performances of works by no fewer than seven of the English composers concerned in this compilation.