The chorale cantata Jesus Christus, unser Heiland
(‘Jesus Christ, our saviour’) is set for five voices and five instruments, and is based on a poetic work by Martin Luther. The melody, however, originates from the pre-Reformation period. Knüpfer combines the three verses of the text with an elaborately symmetrical musical structure. The two outer movements are scored for the full ensemble, treating the chorale melody imitatively; the third verse is a variant of the first, transformed into triple time. The concerto-like, freer middle verse is framed by a dance-like ritornello.
from notes by Peter Wollny © 2000
English: Viola Scheffel