Al Fredericksson

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Pieces from Bach’s ‘Little Organ Book’

J. S. Bach’s ‘Little Organ Book’, or Orgelbüchlein, was probably written between 1708 and 1717. It contains 46 chorale preludes on hymns associated mainly with different seasons of the Church’s calendar. In it “instruction is given to the beginning organist how to work out a chorale in every style, also to perfect himself in the study of the pedal…”

Here are three of the chorale preludes:

‘Heut’ triumphiret Gottes Sohn’, for Ascensiontide.                               heut-triumphiret

‘O Mensch bewein’ dein’ Sunde gross’, a Passiontide chorale.                        o-mensch

‘Erschienen ist der herrliche Tag’. This is an Easter hymn, and Bach has written this chorale prelude as a canon, with the melody being echoed by the pedal one bar later throughout.                                                                                                                            erschienen-ist