Gottes Sohn ist Kommen (from the Orgelbüchlein), BWV 600
by Johann Sebastian Bach [playing time 1:09]  [Download the MP3]

J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
The greatest of them all

"Who's your favorite composer?" is as tired a question as "Whomever I'm listening to at the moment" is an answer. If pressed, however, and with apologies to Ludwig, Wolfgang, Pyotr, and all the other greats, I would give the nod to Bach. His supreme blending of beauty, logic, and inventiveness has never been surpassed, and much of my avocational music-making is devoted to listening, learning, and making synthesized realizations of his music.

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Text - Johann Roh, 1544
Tune - Michael Weisse, 1531

God's Son is come to all believers

here on this earth, in lowly guise

that He might free us

and release us from sin.

This chorale features a canon between the soprano and bass. Listen for the hymn tune at the outset in the soprano, played by an organ flute stop and strings. Then, after one bar at 0:03, the tune appears in the bass, although Bach writes this part in the upper octave of the pedals. In the manuscript, Bach indicates this should be played on a trumpet stop, so I have used brass patches for the canon follower here.

The inner voices feature a steady stream of eighths (in the alto) and quarters (in the tenor). As an experiment in seMUSPARAting them clearly, I have played the alto legato, and the tenor quite detache.

BWV 599 < Index > BWV 601

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