Fantasia super:Valet will ich dir geben

Fantasia super:Valet will ich dir geben

BWV 735 performed by Erwin Wiersinga
Stiftskirche St. Georg, Goslar-Grauhof

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

100% Bach?

This piece is a whodunit for musicologists

Rewriting Bach is nothing new. Bach even rewrote his own music – sometimes for a special occasion and sometimes refining an earlier piece just because his taste had changed. Moreover, we are not always clear about who did what and when to a piece by Bach. For at least a century, Bach’s organ works were just pieces of music to be used by other organists.

There is an early variation (BWV 735a) of this fantasia based on the chorale ‘Valet will ich dir geben’. The last quarter, in particular, is very different. This early version is noted down in a source dating from before 1710. No sources from Bach’s day have survived that contain the later version, played here by organist Erwin Wiersinga. There is, however, a lost manuscript that is supposed to have been written by Bach himself.

So it raises many questions for performers and listeners. Is the last version that we are listening to here indeed Bach’s own revision, as was thought for a long time? Not all the changes are actual improvements, and creating a whole new ending is not typical of Bach. So was this maybe a nineteenth-century arrangement, made by an organist from Mendelssohn’s circle, as some have believed? The discovery of a copy of the later version, written by the Nuremberg organist Leonhard Scholz (1720-1798), who also adapted many other organ works by Bach for his own use, now rules out that possibility. But the burning question remains: is BWV 735 100% pure Bach?

Fantasia super: Valet will ich dir geben
organ works
unknown, probably an early composition
Special notes
BWV 735a is an early variation from before 1710.

Extra videos

Organist Erwin Wiersinga

“I am playing this chorale fugue in a plenum registration, the full organ with in the pedal the 32 foot Posaune stop.”

Vocal texts




  • Release date
    18 March 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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