Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein
BWV 734 performed by Erwin Wiersinga
Stiftskirche St. Georg, Goslar-Grauhof
Behind the music
The irrepressibly whirling joys of Advent.
Many of Bach’s chorale arrangements are short, but there are few that are over as quickly as this one. The right hand races through a long string of semiquavers, above a quite unique left hand that is very jumpy for a basso continuo line. In between – in the tenor played by the pedal – is the chorale melody, which was borrowed in the sixteenth century from another of Luther’s hymns and appears elsewhere in Bach’s oeuvre, for example in the Christmas Oratorio and cantata BWV 6. Although the perpetuum mobile in the upper part appears impetuous, Bach constructed it with great care. It seems to have started with a little motif described by Samuel Scheidt in 1624 as imitatio violistica; a way of linking four quick notes on the keyboard under a slur, like a stringed instrument would do. Bach treats the chorale melody in the same way, repeating it line by line, but then in very fast, short fragments in ever-changing combinations. The result is simply astonishing. No wonder the Italian composer and Bach fan Ferruccio Busoni arranged this cheerful piece for his favourite instrument at the beginning of the twentieth century, creating the ideal encore for pianists who like to impress their audience.
- Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein
- organ works
- ca. 1708-1717
- Special notes
- An alternative version of this work, entitled 'Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit', is described as an earlier version or a less successful arrangement, especially where the melody differs from Bachs version, in view of the different text.
- Release date
- 5 February 2016
- Recording date
- 25 August 2015
- Stiftskirche St. Georg, Goslar-Grauhof
- Erwin Wiersinga
- Christoph Treutmann, 1731
- Film director and editor
- Onno van Ameijde
- Maarten van Rossem, Onno van Ameijde
- Music production, editing and mix
- Holger Schlegel
- Onno van Ameijde
- Jessie Verbrugh
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