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Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, BWV686

1739; Clavier-Übung III, Liepzig

BWV686 is unique in Bach’s output. It is an ‘organ motet’, in huge six-part texture, written in organo pleno with a double pedal line throughout. It builds a massive structure, fugal, running through each phrase of the chorale in turn. The theme of Luther’s text is repentance, based on Psalm 130. The note of anguish is unmistakable in the dissonances, felt more keenly with the slowly unfolding harmony. Perhaps ‘the depths’ are invoked by the extra weight and textural thickness created by the double pedals, with the chorale melody given to the upper pedal—literally crying out under the weight of a heavy burden above it. As the setting progresses, the antico style of slowly unfolding counterpoint is lifted by the appearance of dactyl rhythmic figures, lending more of a dance-feel, even joy, to the music.

from notes by George Parsons © 2020


A Bach Album
Bach: The Clavierübung Chorales & other great chorales
CDA67213/42CDs Archive Service
Bach: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 14
Studio Master: SIGCD814Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Bach: The Complete Organ Works
CDS44121/3616CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted


Track 3 on CDA67247 [3'56]
Track 10 on CDA67213/4 CD1 [5'12] 2CDs Archive Service
Track 5 on SIGCD814 CD2 [6'00] Download only
Track 10 on CDS44121/36 CD12 [5'12] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted

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