Sunday, March 10, 2024

Music for Meditation: Chorale Prelude, “Jesu, meine Freude”…….Setting by J.S. Bach

This short setting of one of the most famous German/Lutheran hymns (chorales) comes from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein (“Little Organ Book”), a collection of 45 short chorale-based organ pieces compiled sometime around 1717. Bach set this chorale a number of times for both organ and other musical media, most notably in his magnificent multi-movement choral motet Jesu, meine Freude. In his Orgelbüchlein setting, the chorale melody is in the top (soprano) voice of the right hand, with flowing contrapuntal lines underneath it.

Offertory: Récit de Nazard………Louis-Nicolas Clérambault

This short piece, one of seven in Clérambault’s (1676-1749) Suite on the Second Tone, is a sicilliana (a lilting, lyric dance movement). It uses as a solo voice in the right hand the Nazard, an off-unison stop that, when combined with unison-pitched stops underneath it, provides a colorful and distinctive voice.

Postlude: Allegro (from Concerto in A minor after Vivaldi, BWV 593)…..J.S. Bach

J.S. Bach transcribed a number of Antonio Vivaldi’s (1678-1741) orchestral concerti grossi for solo organ, as well as for 1, 2, 3, and even 4 harpsichords with orchestra. BWV 593 is Bach’s transcription for solo organ of Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso Opus 3 No. 8, part of a collection of concerti grossi called “L’Estro Harmonico.”

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