William Gillies Whittaker (1876–1944), who at the time he was invited to contribute to the Bach Book
was simultaneously Professor of Music at Glasgow University and Principal of the newly founded Scottish National Academy of Music, was a Northumbrian composer of quite progressive instincts (as his visionary setting of Psalm 139 for unaccompanied double chorus in 1924 attests) but was more celebrated as a scholar of early music. In addition to editing Bach he had founded the Newcastle Bach Choir and would eventually be known for his posthumously published standard study of all the Bach cantatas. In his otherwise restrained treatment of the chorale prelude Wir glauben all an einen Gott
BWV740, Whittaker’s persistent accents on the melody notes rather seem to war against his marking Sempre dolcissimo e legato, but this in fact makes an interesting study in balance, since the pianist must maintain the serenely devotional mood throughout.
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2010