Johann Sebastian Bach

Wie schön leuchtet uns der Morgenstern (I), chorale prelude for organ, BWV 739 (BC K97)

    Description by Robert Cummings

    Bach wrote a number of works based on the chorale "Wie schön leuchtet uns der Morgenstern" (How Beautifully the Morning Star Shines), including his Cantata BWV 1, as well as several other chorale preludes. This one, BWV 739, is among the earlier efforts, though it shows Bach already a master at adapting the melody to the organ. As many know, his chorale preludes were composed to serve as a means to prime the congregation during church services for the singing of the chorale itself. Here, Bach deftly captures the character of the chorale's text, with music that is ethereal, celestial, and brimming with sunlight. While some have considered this work of doubtful origin in the past, it appears to be an authentic Bach effort. It features a cantus firmus, but hardly of a stationary nature. The theme is given a mostly light treatment throughout, the mood lively and joyous. Bach's contrapuntal writing consistently shows his usual skill, and in the end, the blending of sonorities produces a colorfully woven musical fabric of great appeal. This chorale prelude is a relatively long one, having a general duration of just over four minutes.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2015 Brilliant Classics 95005BR
    2013 Coro COR 16112
    2012 MDG MDG 9141743
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2011 Erato 2564676018
    2010 Warner Classics 256468081
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2010 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4778628
    2010 DG Deutsche Grammophon 477 862-8
    2010 MDG 3201624
    2009 Ricercar 289
    2008 Regent 258
    2008 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4694202
    2007 BIS 1527/28
    2007 Carus 83197
    2007 Erato 4699028
    2006 Brilliant 93102
    2006 Brilliant 99697
    2006 Romeo Entertainment 7251
    2004 Tall Poppies 166
    2004 Laserlight 16421
    2004 Capriccio Records 49231
    2003 Art & Music 1539/58
    2003 Hungaroton 32222
    2002 Hyperion 44121/36
    2001 Laserlight 35890/35608
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 73878
    2000 6w 65009
    2000 Organ 70092
    1999 Teldec 25705
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Teldec 3984-25713-2
    1999 Hyperion 67213
    1999 Delta Distribution / Laserlight 35890
    1999 Haenssler / Haenssler Classics 92089
    1995 Capriccio Records 10036
    1995 London 444410
    1994 Erato 96358
    1994 Erato 96721
    1994 BIS 439
    1993 LMM 97218
    1990 Delta Distribution / Laserlight 15272
    Brilliant 93102-VOL6
    Brilliant 99706
    Brilliant 93102/151
    Ricercar 246762
    Erato 45808
    CPO 999654
    Ricercar 246772
    Brilliant 99706/13
    Hyperion 44133
    EMI Music Distribution
    Nimbus 5669
    Delta 24831
    Capriccio Records 492337