About this work
This chorale prelude is the first in the Christmas section of Bach's masterful Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book). Most of the works in the collection are brief and this one is especially so. But despite its one-minute length and modest scope, "Lob sei dem allmächtigen Gott" (Praise to the Almighty God) is quite attractive, standing as further evidence that in his brevity, Bach could express more worthwhile content than most of his contemporaries could in their more ambitious and sizeable outpourings. This chorale prelude follows the general pattern found in most works in the
Orgelbüchlein of presenting the chorale theme in the upper ranges of the keyboard and adorning it with very little ornamentation. Here, the melody is given a jaunty treatment, both in the character of the main line and in Bach's deftly conceived contrapuntal activity. As usual, the composer captures the bright character of the text's spirit and he imparts a subtle sense of serenity to the joyful manner of the music. While this tasty morsel is not a major offering, its craftsmanship cannot be faulted in any way.