27 Jun 2018

J S BACH: Three Chorale Preludes

From Music Alive, 7:30 pm on 27 June 2018
The Heath Quartet

The Heath Quartet Photo: Simon Way

Heath Quartet: Oliver Heath (violin), Sara Wolstenholme (violin), Gary Pomeroy (viola), Christopher Murray (cello)

  • Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein BWV 641
  • Das alte Jahr vergangen ist BWV 614
  • O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sünde gross BWV 622

Between 1708 and 1717, Johann Sebastian Bach lived in Weimar, where he held the position of court organist. During this time he wrote many of his Chorale Preludes – short verses played by the organ to introduce a congregational hymn. By Bach’s time, these sacred interludes had developed as a genre in their own right. Organists embellished the melody and added parts to create polyphonic harmonies that lead smoothly from one phrase to the next. Bach combined imaginative countermelodies with the original hymn tunes to achieve an expressiveness that sets his Chorale Preludes apart from others in the genre. Additionally, he considered the Chorale Prelude an invaluable teaching tool.

The three Chorale Preludes performed here come from Bach’s Orgel-Büchlein, a set of 45 melodies on Lutheran chorales.

Recorded 27 June 2018, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert.

Producer: David McCaw

Engineer: Darryl Stack

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