Lob sei dem allmächtigen Gott (BWV 602)

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from Das Orgelbüchlein by Johann Sebastian Bach

Background[edit]

The melody of this Advent chorale derives from the Gregorian hymn "Conditor alme siderum." Although the original tune is in the phyrgian mode, only the final phrase of the Orgelbuchlein setting contains "phyrgian" harmonies, with a final on A, harmonized as an A-major chord. The second phrase of the tune ends exactly like the last, but the cadence there is in F major. In the opening phrase, Bach disguises the melody's phrygian character by rewriting the two B-flats as B-naturals.[1]

For the most part this hymn expresses the joy and thankfulness felt by the world when Christ was born. The motive which Bach employed, effectively captures these themes.[2]

The English translation of the text by Michael Weisse is as follows:

Praise to the almighty God,

who has had mercy on us
and sent us His beloved Son,
born from Him on the highest throne.

O great grace and goodness!
O deep love and gentleness!
God performs a work for which no man

or angel can thank Him enough
[3]

Registration and Organs[edit]

A lighter registration of flues at 8' and 4' in the manual and at 16' and 8' in the pedal, can effectively serve the musical qualities of the prelude."[4]

Example:
8' Gemshorn, 4' Octave in Manuals
16' Lieblich Gedeckt, 8' Principle (or 8' Flute) in Pedal

See the footnote in the "Notes" section at the bottom of the page [5]

Fingering and Pedaling[edit]

The pedal part consists of three extended descending lines, the ideal of catabasis, which might refer to Christ's descent from heaven in the Nativity.[6]
Play the pedal part with alternating toes. Pay attention to the articulation you make between the octave leaps, and the articulate break that happens following the ties quarter note and sixteenth note.

Articulation and Phrasing[edit]

The melody is found in quarter notes in the soprano voice. This accompaniment has two different suspirans motives. A five-note embellished form appears in the alto and tenor, while the conventional four-note version is found in all three accompanimental parts.[7]

Ornamentation[edit]

No ornamentation is used in this chorale.

Tempo and Meter[edit]

Replace this text with any specific information on tempo and meter

Scores and Editions[edit]

Historical Organ Techniques and Repertoire, Volume 2, J.S. Bach—Basic Organ Works (ed. Quentin Faulkner)

Completely fingered in early fingering styles. Includes helpful information on the original chorales and performing the works.

J. S. Bach: Orgelbuchlein (ed. Robert Clark and John David Peterson)

Includes helpful information on the original chorales and performing the works.

[1]

Free scan of score (page 6)

Recordings[edit]

For a detailed list of several available recordings of BWV 602 access: [http://jsbach.org/bwv602.html

Free Online[edit]

James Kibbie, 1717 Trost organ, St. Walpurgis, Großengottern, Germany, using Lieblich Gedackt 8, Principal 4 in the Positiv; Subbass 16, Bordun 8, Octave 4 in the Pedal.

Pay to Listen[edit]

Replace this text with any specific information on online recordings that are available for a fee

Other Resources[edit]

Replace this text with any information on other resources pertinent to performing these works

Notes[edit]

  1. Stinson, Russell, BACH: The Orgelbuchlein (New York: Schirmer Books, 1996), 105.
  2. Boehnke, Paul B., Diapason March 1985, Vol. 76, 10.
  3. Johann Sebastian Bach: Orgelbuchlein. Ed. Robert Clark and John David Peterson. (St. Louis, MO: Concordia, 1984), 36.
  4. Johann Sebastian Bach: Orgelbuchlein. Ed. Robert Clark and John David Peterson. (St. Louis, MO: Concordia, 1984), 34.
  5. This footnote was entered in the "Registration and Organs" article.
  6. Boehnke, Paul B., Diapason March 1985, Vol. 76, 10.
  7. Stinson, Russell, BACH: The Orgelbuchlein (New York: Schirmer Books, 1996), 105.

This space is for automatic insertion of footnotes. To enter a footnote from anywhere in the article, start by typing the tag <ref> and then enter the text, and type the tag </ref> to end the footnote. The footnote will then appear in this "Notes" section automatically.