No.2 Gott, durch deine Güte

Johann Sebastian Bach

No.2 Gott, durch deine Güte


About this work

This chorale prelude, Gott, durch deine Güte (God, Through Your Goodness), is the second of 45 that comprise Bach's collection entitled Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book). Written during the exact span of his service as Court organist for the Duke of Sachsen-Weimar (1708 - 1717), they were designed for church service as well as for study and performance by organ students. The ingenious Bach fills both purposes with remarkable skill, but in the end, also produces a masterful gem on purely musical terms. (Incidentally, this work is also known as Gottes Sohn Ist Kommen and is not to be confused with the later Fughette of the same title.)

This gentle chorale prelude opens with a bright theme in the soprano, underneath which there is finely imagined canonic activity in the tenor. In the lower ranges, a roaming ostinato figure can be heard further enhancing the joyous mood of the piece. In the end, the subtle detail and craftsmanship Bach invests this work with is a marvel: the listener often notices something entirely new on each audition. Lasting just over a minute -- a not uncommonly brief duration in this set of mostly miniature works -- this chorale prelude will appeal to most Baroque and serious organ music aficionados.