Composing runs in the family

Dear Friends,

This weekend I will play two voluntaries by German organist and composer Johann Gottfried Walther (1684 - 1748).

Walther was a cousin to Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750), and the two shared a collegial relationship throughout their lives.  Bach, for example, used Walther’s transcriptions as a model for his own transcriptions, and Walther used Bach’s chorale preludes in the same manner.  This weekend, we will hear two of Walther’s chorale preludes, each of contrasting style.

The first, entitled The acts of God are righteous, is rather regal in nature.  Its chorale melody (or cantus firmus) can be heard broadly in the pedal line.  The second chorale prelude, entitled Christ, thou art my life, is different in both style and composition.  Here, the cantus firmus can be found in the soprano part, supported by a slow and gentle counterpoint below.

Enjoy the music this weekend - and until we meet again, take care and stay well!


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