Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich

Johann Sebastian Bach

Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich

BWV719 • “Ein Kindelein so löbelich”

About this work

This work was unearthed with 37 others by Bach when musicologist Christoph Wolff discovered the Neumeister Collection in 1985 at the Yale Library. It had previously appeared on Bach works lists as a doubtful entry and to some, its style and other compositional characteristics may still raise questions. Bach wrote another and more famous work for organ, entitled "Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich" (This day, it is so full of joy), which was the fourth piece in the Christmas section of the Orgelbüchlein. This earlier one was probably composed about a decade earlier, though no absolute timeframe for any of the works in the Neumeister Collection can be established. This chorale prelude can be classed as a fughetta because of its contrapuntal features and brief length, the whole lasting about two minutes. It opens with the chorale theme presented in a modest but stately manner. The music gradually takes on greater color and textures develop more meat. The composer's fugal writing both enriches and enlivens the thematic material in this moderately paced work, making this a quite worthwhile rediscovery for Bach enthusiasts.