O Vater allmächtiger Gott

Johann Sebastian Bach

O Vater allmächtiger Gott


About this work

Because this work is of doubtful origin, its date of composition is also not known. It could certainly be an early Bach piece, perhaps from the first decade of the eighteenth century when his compositions divulged an evolving style that revealed the young composer was far from his musical maturity. But the work's unpopularity suggests that organists are suspicious of its origins, doubtful its unusual structure was a product of Bach's mind. Even some of the artists who have played and recorded it concede its doubtful status. Still, it is a worthwhile work, whoever was its author. "O Vater, allmächtiger Gott" (O Father, Almighty God) features an attractive chorale melody founded upon a Kyrie of Gregorian chant (or plainsong) origin. It is actually a four-verse partita with a cantus firmus in the upper register in the first three parts and in the bass in the last. The attractive chorale theme comes across as an appropriately glorious creation, fully in the spirit of the chorale's text. Each section lasts about a minute and the music becomes a bit more lively as it progresses. Many listeners will find this piece attractive, even if they conclude it is not likely a product of Bach.