About this work
This is the seventh chorale prelude in the Passion section of Bach's
Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book). The whole collection has eight sections and is comprised of 45 chorale preludes, with all but the last 12, the so-titled "Glaubenslieder" (Songs of Faith), being associated with Lutheran feast days. This effort, Hilf Gott, dass mir's gelinge (its full title usually being translated as Help me, Lord, to rhyme the words to sing thy praises), is especially interesting for its deftly fashioned and somewhat unusual accompaniment. Bach fashions a canon here, giving the stately, somewhat somber chorale theme a treatment that it might seem somewhat at odds with. Yet his deft contrapuntal writing throughout imparts a greater expressive range to the music, both enlivening it and creating a richer expressive yield. As mentioned above, the work is associated with the Passion of Christ and thus has an appropriately serious demeanor throughout its minute-and-a-half duration, but it also divulges a brightness of character and colorful keyboard writing. Here is yet another gem that should have wide appeal to organ music and Baroque enthusiasts.