“New” Organ Chorales in the Schübler Tradition


Monday, July 01, 2024
09:00 AM – 09:45 AM



What if Bach had looked deeper into his cantata movements and prepared a second volume of his Schübler Chorales for organ? Bach’s original volume was published toward the end of his life (1747-1748), so perhaps he would have considered it if he had lived longer. Marilyn Biery looked through more than 200 of Bach’s cantatas, scanning for movements with a cantus firmus. She transcribed ten chorale-based Bach cantata movements in the same style as the Schübler Chorales, all but one in trio form, and with a similar symmetrical structure to Bach’s original collection. James Biery provided registration suggestions using specification of the Klais organ in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI as a starting point. Jim also recorded many of the movements, available to hear in this workshop and on the Augsburg website. Useful in worship or recital, each piece in the Augsburg book is accompanied by an explanation of its context in the original cantata and the chorale tune upon which it is based. They also make excellent pieces for organ instruction, especially for students who are not yet ready to learn an entire Bach trio sonata or for organists who love playing the trios but want something shorter for worship services. Several of the tunes in this volume are tunes in current use, including Jesu, meine Freude, Lobe den Herren, Valet will ich dir geben and Christ lag in Todesbanden.