Secrets of Organ Playing Contest Week 105 Submission--Jesu, meine Freude BWV 610 from Orgelbuchlein by J.S. Bach

After a little over a year, I am approaching the end of playing each of the preludes in J.S. Bach's Orgelbuchlein. I skipped two, BWV 627 and 608, because I just could not get them into my fingers. I will return to them later with a little more confidence. Hard to believe there is only one more to go before I return to BWV 612!

BWV 610 is probably one of the most well-known of the chorale preludes as it is probably the first one introduced to organ students. I remember working on it out of Flor Peters' "Little Organ Book" as an example of four part playing including the pedals. I first worked on it in high school, but only returned to it this year. The slow tempo and clear delineation of different voices within a fairly small range help with learning the piece, but I will admit there were many frustrating times trying to get all the voices to be heard. It is very similar to the previous prelude in the collection in this regard. The Chorale is heard in quarter and half-notes in the the upper most voice while a polyphony of different voices are heard all within the range of the alto, tenor and bass voices. I used a principal chorus (manual 8', 4', and 2', and pedals 16', 8', and 4') in this recording which allowed the chorale melody to stand out over the faster moving lower melodic lines.


What fascinates me in a lot of the compositions from the Orgelbüchlein, is the technique of creating a motive for the pedals and maintaining that throughout the piece. This one is a fine example of that.

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