Bach for Holy Week
Welcome to Bach for Holy Week 2020, a lockdown project to bring some appropriate musical context to Holy Week, through the Chorale Preludes and Partitas of Johann Sebastian Bach. Each piece has particular relevance to Holy Week and Easter, and a short description will be given alongside the link. A new chorale will become available each day – so please return to the website for a daily dose!
It is my intention that these recordings will help people continue to feel connected, although we are unable to meet at St Mildred’s, and help to provide something of the atmosphere of Holy Week and Easter. Everything has been recorded and edited at my home over the past two weeks.
All the organ recordings are either from Bach’s epic Chorale Partita, Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig BWV 768, or from the Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book) in which Bach produced an incredibly diverse series of 46 chorales covering the seasons of the church’s year.
Richard Mander – Director of Music
Tap on the thumbnails to read about and listen to each individual recital.
Christ is erstanden BWV 627 https://soundcloud.com/user-186781211/christ-ist-erstanden-bwv-627 This is a larger scale work from the Orgelbüchlein, in three verses as set out below. You can imagine after the austere season of Lent, Bach stunning the congregation with...
Lead me, Lord – Samuel Sebastian Wesley St Mildred’s Virtual Choir During the lockdown, St Mildred’s Choir has continued to keep busy and we have produced a recording of Samuel Sebastian Wesley’s 'Lead me, Lord' which will premiere on our website from Easter Sunday...
Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig, BWV 768 – Chorale and Partita 10 https://soundcloud.com/user-186781211/sei-gegruset-jesu-gutig-bwv-768-chorale-and-partita-x Following on from Monday’s partitas, today we have the sensational Partita X, written in 5 parts. The Partita – very...
Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig, BWV 768 – Chorale and Partita I https://soundcloud.com/user-186781211/sei-gegruset-jesu-gutig-bwv-768-chorale-and-partita-i Partita I is thought to represent the death of Christ. Bach (a keen and accomplished mathematician) is known to have...
O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß BWV 622 https://soundcloud.com/user-186781211/o-mensch-bewein-dein-sunde-gros-bwv-622 Another of the extraordinarily beautiful chorales from the Orgelbüchlein, Bach’s genius is revealed here in the incredibly expressive solo upper...
Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig, BWV 768 – Chorale and Partitas VIII and IX https://soundcloud.com/user-186781211/sei-gegruset-jesu-gutig-bwv-768-chorale-and-partitas-viii-and-ix Partita VIII is in the unusual time signature of 24/16 (24 semiquavers in each bar, in four...
Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 639 https://soundcloud.com/user-186781211/ich-ruf-zu-dir-final My organ tutor once suggested that almost every composer that ever lived would be happy with their output if this were the only piece they’d ever composed. The stunning...
Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig, BWV 768 – Chorale and Partitas VI and VII https://soundcloud.com/user-186781211/sei-gegrusset-6-and-7-final The Chorale Partita BWV 768 is a tour de force in the organ repertoire, where Bach explores the expressive possibilities in a set of...
The organ used for all these recordings is a house organ, built in 1977 by the world-renowned Dutch builder Flentrop. It was deliberately designed to imitate the historic early 18th Century organs found in the Netherlands – including its voicing and rather noisy action that you may hear rattling during the recordings! This also makes it highly suitable for the music of JS Bach.
This is the only Flentrop house organ among around a dozen Flentrop organs in total known to be in the UK.
The instrument consists of 3 manuals (unusual for a house organ which would typically have only two). Manual III can be physically removed and the instrument used as a two-manual. The action is mechanical throughout, with the only electric component being the blower that supplies wind to the instrument.
|Manual I||Manual II||Manual III|
|Super Octav||2||Terts||1 3/5|
|Bourdon||8||P + I, P + II||Tremulant|
|Quintadeen||4||I + II, I + III|