In dir ist Freude

In dir ist Freude

BWV 615 performed by Theo Jellema
Stiftskirche St. Georg, Goslar-Grauhof

Behind the music

Story
Story
Extra videos
Extra videos
Credits
Credits

Recurring joke

Bach creates a New Year’s mood with irrepressibly cheerful festoons.

Short-short-short-long is the rhythm of the ultra short melodic fragment around which this chorale prelude is constructed. They are the four opening notes of an extremely cheerful New Year’s carol, which in turn is based on a sixteenth-century balletto by Gastoldi in triple time. This explains both the dance-like character of the piece and its tempo. The rhythmical motif keeps recurring on other notes in the hymn, which is why the words, too, keep almost completely to the rather breathless structure. But Bach sticks teasingly to these four opening notes, of which two are even the same note. It is only by degrees that we get to hear the whole melody, but even then the little motif keeps popping up. It is a joke that is well suited to the irrepressibly cheerful festoons that decorate the notes. It is supported in the bass by an ostinato with features reminiscent of a carillon. This, too, endorses the jubilant words – a hymn of praise to the coming of Christ.

Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599-644
During his time as court organist at Weimar (1708-1714), Bach already started compiling his first collection of chorale arrangements of Lutheran hymns. According to the list of contents, it was supposed to have been a collection of 164 compositions, but in the end it did not exceed 46. The order, combined with the limited length of the pieces, indicates that Bach was planning to compile a complete cycle of chorale preludes for the church. Later, in his period at Köthen, he gave the collection a title page, which reads: Orgel-Büchlein, Worinne einem anfahenden Organisten Anleitung gegeben wird, auff allerhand Arth einen Choral durchzuführen… (Little organ book, in which a beginner organist is taught to arrange a chorale in all sorts of ways...). So at the time, he intended the collection just as a teaching manual, maybe to present on his application in 1722 for the post of cantor at the Thomasschule in Leipzig, which was an important teaching position. The pupils must have had a hard time of it, as the preludes contain the complete range of Baroque keyboard techniques in a nutshell.   

BWV
615
Title
In dir ist Freude
Instrument
Organ
Genre
organ works
Serie
Orgelbüchlein
Year
ca. 1708-1717
City
Weimar
Special notes
Included in a manuscript with 45 other chorale preludes. It was only in 1722, in Köthen, that the manuscript was given a title page stating Orgelbüchlein.

Extra videos

Organist Theo Jellema

“This piece is totally happy and festive.”

Vocal texs

Original

Translation

Credits

  • Release date
    22 January 2016
  • Recording date
    26 August 2015
  • Location
    Stiftskirche St. Georg, Goslar-Grauhof
  • Organist
    Theo Jellema
  • Organ
    Christoph Treutmann, 1731
  • Film director and editor
    Onno van Ameijde
  • Camera
    Maarten van Rossem, Onno van Ameijde
  • Music production, editing and mix
    Holger Schlegel
  • Interview
    Onno van Ameijde
  • Producer
    Jessie Verbrugh
Help us to complete All of Bach Help us to complete All of Bach

Help us to complete All of Bach

There are still many recordings to be made before the whole of Bach’s oeuvre is online. And we can’t complete the task without the financial support of our patrons. Please help us to complete the musical heritage of Bach, by supporting us with a donation!