Bach wrote a cantata on "Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir" (Out of the Depths I Cry to Thee) in 1707, and thus this chorale prelude setting, if it was written by Bach, may well date to that year or that general period. The composer served as a church organist in both Arnstadt and Mühlhausen in the early years of the eighteenth century and then became Court organist in Weimar in 1708. While holding these posts, he wrote a large body of organ music. This chorale prelude is a fairly substantial work cast in two parts, the first devoted to a harmonizing of the chorale theme, the second (and the longer of the two) exhibiting a fantasy-like treatment of it. The work opens with the stately chorale theme given a somber and ponderous rendering. The writing, while decently crafted here, is not of exceptional quality, coming across as comparatively bland alongside the more interesting fantasy-like section that follows. It occupies about two-thirds of the work's nearly four-minute length and maintains much the same serious mood from the opening, but features imaginative contrapuntal activity and a subtle, if limited sense of color.
In recent years the attribution for this work has moved into the camp of Johann Sebastian Bach's son, Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach.