Johann Sebastian Bach

Herzlich tut mich verlangen, chorale prelude for organ, BWV 727 (BC K109)

    Description by Rovi Staff

    As organist at Weimar, Johann Sebastian Bach was charged with providing a harmonic underpinning for the singing of Lutheran chorale tunes chosen for each day. Bach wrote out many of these harmonizations, in part as instruction for younger composers (they are still used for this purpose). A derivation of this practice, Bach's conception of the organ chorale, as manifested in the chorale preludes, dates from 1713 -1714, about the time he became familiar with Vivaldi's concertos.

    Bach's Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book) contains chorale preludes for the church year written during the composer's service at Weimar (1708 - 1717). In about 1713, Bach began assembling the Orgel-Büchlein, and his earliest entries seem to be Her Christ, der ein'ge Gottes-Sohn, BWV 601, In dulci jubilo, BWV 608, Christ ist erstanden, BWV 627, and Heut' triumphieret Gottes Sohn, BWV 630. These were very original compositions, highly expressive miniatures based on a chorale melody, supported with refined counterpoint, and featuring highly condensed motivic writing.

    Bach's Orgelbüchlein was essentially complete by 1716. Only the fragment O Traurigkeit and the chorale prelude, Helft mir Gottes Güte preisen, BWV 613, were added later. "Complete" is used with some reservation here, because Bach originally projected 164 pieces but completed fewer than 50. In Bach's manuscript, pages with finished pieces alternate with blank ones intended for other chorale preludes. The later pieces differ from Bach's earlier chorale elaborations, in that they contain only one statement of the melody and are intended to demonstrate how to accompany a chorale with contrapuntally proper figurations that support the meaning of the text.

    In the early 1740s Bach assembled a number of chorale preludes, possibly with the intention of publishing them as a set. These Achtzehn Choräle (Eighteen Chorales) BWV 651 - 668 were almost certainly written before 1723 and revised later. The Fantasia super Komm, heiliger Geist, BWV 651 is an especially impressive, extended elaboration of the chorale melody, which is in the pedal. The tune is treated in a less ornate fashion in the next prelude of the set (BWV 652). The highly convoluted Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BWV 658 also contains the chorale melody in the pedal.

    The six Schübler chorales (BWV 645 - 650) are derived from Bach's cantatas and contain one of his most popular chorale preludes, on the melody Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645.

    The third part of Bach's Clavier-Übung, published in Leipzig in 1739, contains 21 chorale preludes (not all appear in every publication), many of which are for manuals only. Nine of these are meant for use during the Mass, while the others are for the catechism. Among the most impressive is Kyrie, Gott heiliger Geist, BWV 671, which is in five voices with the chorale melody in the pedal. More complex is the first of two preludes on Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, BWV 686, which is in six parts, including two pedal parts.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2019 La Dolce Volta LDV 69D
    2019 La Dolce Volta LDV 69
    2019 Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 19075915582
    2018 ABC Classics
    2018 Willowhayne Records LCSCD 006
    2018 Christophorus CHR 77422
    2018 Decca
    2018 Tempéraments TEM 316060
    2018 ABC Classics
    2018 Danacord DACOCD 793794
    2017 ABC Classics
    2016 Winter & Winter 9100532
    2016 Signum Classics SIGCD 800
    2016 Decca
    2015 Genuin GEN 15375
    2015 Gall (formerly Gallo) CD 1431
    2015 Nimbus Alliance NI 6302
    2014 Brilliant Classics 94792
    2014 Melodiya MELCD 1002132
    2014 Sono Luminus DSL 92183
    2014 Prestare ZWF 3331566
    2013 Rondeau / Rondeau Productions ROP 6073
    2013 Newton Classics 8802164
    2013 Melodiya MYD 1002109
    2012 BIS BISCD 2011
    2012 Lawo Classics LWC 1035
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 MDG MDG 9141743
    2012 Audite AUDITE 92663
    2011 Red Bus Classical RCLAS 002
    2011 Erato 2564676018
    2011 Regent REGCD 307
    2011 Oehms Classics OC 840
    2010 Hyperion 67767
    2010 Documents 233041
    2010 Camerata Records CMCD 28189
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 4778628
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 477 862-8
    2009 Afka 562
    2009 Ricercar 289
    2009 Opening Day Recordings 9303
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Hyperion CDA67683
    2009 Valitova Productions 1006
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 439108
    2008 Chandos 0510
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4694202
    2008 Alphée / Zebralution
    2008 Motette 50821
    2007 Decca / Universal Classics 4759126
    2007 Musical Concepts 191
    2007 BIS 1527/28
    2007 Analekta 24022-43
    2007 Elatus
    2007 Naïve V 5101
    2007 Mirare 30
    2007 HDC 40303
    2007 Deutsche Grammophon 457624
    2007 Erato 4699028
    2007 Regis Records 1012
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99697
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2006 Analekta 3091
    2006 Aeolus Music 10136
    2006 Raven 875
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    2005 Winter & Winter 9101142
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    2004 Accord 4762474
    2004 Delta Distribution 40028
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    2004 Archiv Produktion 000185602
    2004 High Definition Classics 047
    2004 Chandos 5030
    2004 Nimbus 5700
    2004 Nordic Sound 1964
    2003 Art & Music 1539/58
    2003 Hungaroton 32222
    2003 Calliope 3713/4
    2002 Delta Distribution 14585
    2002 Hyperion 44121/36
    2001 Hyperion CDA67309
    2001 Ornament 11449
    2001 Testament 1202
    2001 Naxos 8110658
    2001 Loft Recordings 1025
    2000 Erato 8573821542
    2000 Arts Music 47569
    2000 CPO 999700
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    2000 Archiv Produktion 463712
    2000 Philips 464028
    2000 Bayer DaCapo 200005
    1999 Teldec 25705
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Harmonia Mundi 290772
    1999 Teldec 3984-25713-2
    1999 Valois 4425
    1999 Hyperion 67213
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    1999 Haenssler 92093
    1998 Herald Records 214
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    1996 Raven 290
    1996 Telarc Distribution 80385
    1996 Collins Records 14012
    1995 London 443485
    1995 London 444410
    1995 Herald Records 166
    1994 BIS 397/98
    1994 Erato 96358
    1994 Erato 96721
    1993 EMI Music Distribution 65028
    1990 Laserlight 507
    Brilliant 93102-VOL6
    Brilliant 99706
    Brilliant 99706/11
    Brilliant 93102/149
    Erato
    Analekta 4022
    Laserlight 14836
    Vox 8019
    Challenge Records 72033
    Excelsior Recordings 055
    Supraphon 110626
    Ligia 104046/48
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    Ligia 104081
    EMI Music Distribution
    Archiv Produktion 463720
    Disques Pierre Verany 789104
    Richardson Records 700001
    Walsingham 8021
    CBS Records 45807
    Berlin Classics 0093632BC
    Deutsche Grammophon 469 229-2GP2
    EMI Music Distribution 585617
    Philips 422289