BWV 731

All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society

Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier

BWV 731 performed by Erwin Wiersinga
Stiftskirche St. Georg, Goslar-Grauhof

Resignation and desire

A true Bach classic, and not just thanks to the Swingle Singers.

Does this sound familiar, but not on the organ? That’s very possible. This early chorale arrangement is on the Bach Album by The Swingle Singers, who had a smash hit in 1963 with their CD of jazzed up instrumental music by Bach, sung a capella. This recording coloured the sound of Bach for at least a couple of generations of listeners. In among all the extremely virtuoso arrangements, their version of Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier is a welcome respite, precisely as it was intended.

The chorale on which Bach based the work was written for Whitsuntide. God proclaims his word of salvation, while the faithful ask whether their hearts can be drawn from the earth to join him wholly in heaven. It is a prayer of resignation and desire.

In Bach’s version for two keyboards and pedal, an early work with no direct source or precise dating, the highly embellished melody is reminiscent of a slow concerto movement, such as the Andante from the Concerto nach Italienischen Gusto, BWV 971. Below the melody, Bach weaves a simple yet effective three-part accompaniment, in which the alto and tenor continually pass the musical movement back and forth.


BWV
731

Title
Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier

genre
organ work (chorale arrangement)

year
early work

City
Arnstadt/Mühlhausen/Weimar

Cast & Crew

release date 8 April 2016
recording date 26 August 2015
LOCATION Stiftskirche St. Georg, Goslar-Grauhof
organ Christoph Treutmann, 1731
ORGANIST Erwin Wiersinga
FILM DIRECTOR and editor Onno van Ameijde
Camera Maarten van Rossem, Onno van Ameijde
MUSIC PRODUCTION, EDITING AND MIX Holger Schlegel
interview Onno van Ameijde
Producer Jessie Verbrugh

Vocal Texts

Original

Translation

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