Today's prelude was a fun one to learn and is a wonderful example of painting a scene. The original chorale, being played in the soprano voice, was written by Martin Luther and based on the famous passage of the angels appearing to the shepherds in the Gospel of Luke. There is no hidden theology here--it is about the angels flying back and forth above the heads of the Shepherds. Bach captures this very simply by having scalar runs in 16th notes ascending and descending the keyboard in the tenor and alto voices. Meanwhile, the pedals are playing the same ascending and descending scalar runs, but at one quarter the speed. They seem to plod away, like the shepherds plodding along with their flock.
Secrets of Organ playing Contest Submission--Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar BWV 608 from Orgelbuchlein
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