Johann Sebastian Bach

Christus, der ist mein Leben, chorale prelude for organ, BWV 1112 (BC K185) (Neumeister Chorale No. 23)

    Description by Robert Cummings

    Here is another of the Bach chorale preludes discovered in 1985 by Christoph Wolff in the so-called Neumeister Collection at the Yale Library. Wolff's unearthing of the 82 works in the set, 38 of which are attributed to Bach, was one of the more important rediscoveries in twentieth century music. While many of the works are not masterpieces, some are, and almost all are worthwhile at the very least. This one, "Christus, der ist mein Leben" (Christ, You Who Are My Life), is certainly worth attention, even if it is not among the more important items in the collection. The work opens in a somber mood, the chorale theme rising from the middle ranges in muted, barren sonorities and moving upward to reach an angelic expressive manner with richer textures and a sense of tenderness. Bach supplies a goodly measure of contrapuntal activity, but also divulges the influence of Pachelbel and Buxtehude, not least because his music exhibits far less ornamentation here than would become the norm for him, even by 1708. This approximately two-minute work most likely dates to the earlier part of the composition period given in the headnote.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Harmonia Mundi HMM 90245052
    2015 Brilliant Classics 95005BR
    2012 Regent REGCD 328
    2012 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2010 DA Records / Zebralution
    2009 Ricercar 289
    2008 Loft Recordings 1086
    2007 BIS 1527/28
    2007 Danacord 650
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99697
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2002 Haenssler 94025
    2002 CPO 999866
    2002 Hyperion 44121/36
    2000 Hyperion CDA67215
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 73878
    1999 Teldec 25705
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Haenssler 92086
    1999 Teldec 3984-25713-2
    1999 Nimbus 5606
    1997 Arte Nova 31680
    1995 Haenssler 98573
    1995 London 444410
    1994 BIS 379
    1992 Harmonia Mundi 1905158
    Brilliant 93102-VOL6
    Brilliant 99706
    Brilliant 93102/148
    Brilliant 99706/10
    Arte Nova 30463
    Arte Nova 30464
    ASV 121
    Ricercar 246762
    Ricercar 246802
    Hyperion 44135
    EMI Music Distribution