Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier

Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier

BWV 731 performed by Erwin Wiersinga
Stiftskirche St. Georg, Goslar-Grauhof

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

Resignation and desire

A true Bach classic, and not just thanks to the Swingle Singers

Does this sound familiar, but not on the organ? That’s very possible. This early chorale arrangement is on the Bach Album by The Swingle Singers, who had a smash hit in 1963 with their LP of jazzed up instrumental music by Bach, sung a capella. This recording coloured the sound of Bach for at least a couple of generations of listeners. In among all the extremely virtuoso arrangements, their version of Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier is a welcome respite, precisely as it was intended.

The chorale on which Bach based the work was written for Whitsuntide. God proclaims his word of salvation, while the faithful ask whether their hearts can be drawn from the earth to join him wholly in heaven. It is a prayer of resignation and desire.

In Bach’s version for two keyboards and pedal, an early work with no direct source or precise dating, the highly embellished melody is reminiscent of a slow concerto movement, such as the Andante from the Concerto nach Italienischen Gusto, BWV 971. Below the melody, Bach weaves a simple yet effective three-part accompaniment, in which the alto and tenor continually pass the musical movement back and forth.

Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier
organ works
early work

Extra videos

Organist Erwin Wiersinga

“Erwin Wiersinga talks about the importance of the ornaments in this work.”

Vocal texts




  • Release date
    8 April 2016
  • Recording date
    26 August 2015
  • Location
    Stiftskirche St. Georg, Goslar-Grauhof
  • Organist
    Erwin Wiersinga
  • 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

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