About this work
The BWV numbers after Bach's works do not necessarily reflect a chronological order, since the dates of some of his compositions are unknown. This chorale prelude, for instance, belongs to a set of fughettas that cannot precisely be dated. It is believed they were written around the time he composed his Chorales (45) of the Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book), which came during the years he served as Court organist under the Duke of Sachsen-Weimar (1708-1717). They were not designed to be a set, since they come from several different manuscript sources. All of the fughettas are short -- lasting around a minute apiece -- owing to the fact that Bach wrote them as a sort of prelude to the chorale of the same title, to be sung during church service. "Gottes Sohn ist kommen" (God's Son is Coming) opens with the lovely chorale theme played in single notes in the soprano range, after which the left hand takes up the melody while the right becomes busy with contrapuntal ideas. Thereafter, both hands engage in an exchange of thematic and contrapuntal interplay of great delight. One's only regret is that Bach did not go on longer than just a minute with this brilliantly crafted, rather light and joyous piece.