The second piece in the third set of chorale preludes is on Erhalt uns Herr. I don’t know what it is that inspires me so, but I really like chorale variations. Perhaps it’s the multiple verses that have multiple meanings can be attributed to a single tune. Perhaps it’s the excuse to create a set of short works using the same tune. I have to admit that it makes composing a lot easier when I can approach a tune knowing that I don’t have to rely on a single piece to express myself.
That’s a lot of talk because I think that the Chorale Variations that I composed so far represent a refined version of my improvisations more than anything else. I so often find myself adding an “extra movement” to a singular improvisation because the liturgy, for example, demands 40 more seconds. Even on this day that I have made this recording, I found myself having to add to the liturgies that I played.
The last thing I will add to this blog post/conversation is that I have no directives for registration. I think there are always a lot of ways to interpret chorale variations and this particular recording I have made keeps things pretty mild. For example, the last variation is set with a 4′ Principle stop, when I think that last movement could be much bigger. Registration is such a fascinating topic and difficult subject to broach as no two instruments or acoustics are the same.