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.
Description by Robert Cummings
|2018||Harmonia Mundi||HMM 90245052|
|2012||Bella Musica / Zebralution|
|2010||DA Records / Zebralution|
|2000||EMI Music Distribution||73878|
|EMI Music Distribution|