Secrets of Organ Playing Contest Week 125 Submission--Chorale Prelude on Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott by Dieterich Buxtehude

The chorale prelude for today is based the Lutheran hymn for Pentecost "Come, Holy Spirit, Lord God". In this prelude, Buxtehude keeps the accompaniment fairly simple like a continuo part with bits of imitative polyphony occurring mostly in the interludes between the phrases of the chorale. It is the chorale melody that takes center stage. Buxtehude treats the melody in a highly elaborated fashion, possibly similar to how a professional singer of the time would have elaborated an operatic aria. Each phrase of the chorale is presented in order, but elaborated and varied so much that the original is not even recognizable. I find the piece to be stunningly beautiful.

For the accompaniment in the left hand on the Great, I used a Bourdon 8' and Nachthorn 4'. The pedals here are a Subbass 16' and Bourdon 8'. The melody is being played on the Swell manual with a Gedakt 8', Fugara 4', Blockflute 2', and Jeux deux II.