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Track(s) taken from CDA67247

Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein 'Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit', BWV668

1708/17; revised into Leipzig Chorales collection, the '18' circa 1744/7
author of text

His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
Recording details: December 2000
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: March 2002
Total duration: 4 minutes 11 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Christopher Herrick (organ)
The Monteverdi Choir, Sir John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)


'A beguiling and brilliantly conceived programme, brilliantly performed. A special recommendation for a most delightful and unusual disc' (Gramophone)

'An engaging programme' (BBC Music Magazine)

‘the instrumental tone is very attractive and the standard of playing simply splendid’ (American Record Guide)

‘the Sinfonia to Cantata 29 is vibrant and exhilarating … this is certainly an interesting addition to the Bach catalogue’ (Cathedral Music)

‘splendid performances … all done with taste and affection’ (Early Music Today)

‘The playing and singing are of course very good indeed’ (Scotland News)

‘This disc is a unique journey through some of Bach’s sacred music, with, as guides, an ensemble which takes an original approach to the music and comes out a winner … This is certainly one of the most interesting ‘derivative’ Bach albums I have heard in a long time’ (MusicWeb International)
This apparently simple prelude with the chorale stated plainly over gently strolling counterpoint carries a complex burden of myth and speculation. In the volume containing the Leipzig preludes and other organ works, there was a little space left after the Canonic Variations on Vom Himmel hoch. Into this space a copyist has started to write Vor deinen Thron, breaking off in the 26th bar. But the prelude is virtually identical to another setting which C P E Bach added—as compensation—to the incomplete ‘Art of Fugue’, whose preface states that the prelude was ‘dictated extempore by the deceased man in his blindness to a friend’, thus suggesting pictures of Bach on his deathbed. With this tale in mind, numerologists have delved into the prelude and extrapolated references to the name BACH, to the Trinity, and to the mystical number 7. The words—‘Before thy throne I now appear’—are singularly appropriate to a deathbed scene, as is the text of another chorale which Bach set to this tune—‘When in the hour of greatest need our only comfort is to call on you, O Lord’.

from notes by Ian Carson © 1996

Dieses scheinbar einfache Präludium, in dem der Choral gleichmäßig durch sanft fortschreitende Kontrapunkte geführt wird, trägt eine komplexe Last des Märchenhaften und Ungewissen. In der Ausgabe, in der die Leipziger Präludien und andere Werke für Orgel enthalten, war nach den Kanonischen Variationen über Vom Himmel hoch nur noch wenig Raum vorhanden. Ein Kopierer begann in diesen Raum Vor deinen Thron zu schreiben, brach das Stück aber im 26. Takt ab. Das Präludium ist jedoch mit einer anderen Vertonung praktisch identisch, die C P E Bach—als Kompensation—dem unvollendeten Werk ‘Kunst der Fuge’ hinzufügte. Dessen Vorwort beschreibt das Präludium als ‘ex tempore von einem verstorbenen Mann in seiner Blindheit einem Freund gewidmet’ und malt somit das gedankliche Bild von Bach, auf seinem Todesbett liegend. Mit dieser Geschichte im Kopf haben sich Numerologen in das Präludium vertieft und Referenzen auf den Namen BACH, Trinitatis und die mystische Zahl 7 extrapoliert. Diese Begriffe sind für eine Todesbett-Szene außerordentlich passend, wie auch der Text von einem anderen Choral, den Bach mit dieser Melodie vertonte—‘Zur Stunde größter Not, ist unser einziger Trost dich anzurufen, O Gott’.

aus dem Begleittext von Ian Carson © 1996
Deutsch: Ute Mansfeldt

Other albums featuring this work

Bach: Cantatas Nos 47, 96, 114, 116, 148 & 169
SDG159Download only
Bach: Wachet auf!
CDA67071/22CDs Archive Service
Bach: The Complete Organ Works
CDS44121/3616CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted
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