In the collection of 388 simple chorale settings by Bach, in addition to all of the chorales that appear in the Passions and cantatas, are many works that stand alone.  Our setting of “O Mensch” is Bach’s only four-voice harmonization of that great chorale tune.  One of the most marvelous of the “Orgelbüchlein” preludes is based upon this tune, and, of course, it is the basis for the great chorus that closes the first section of the Matthew Passion. We are singing it this morning accompanied by a trumpet and three trombones.

©Craig Smith

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