Bernhard Meyer was a German organist and composer. Little is known about his live and his year of birth has to be guessed. He was employed at the court of Anhalt-Zerbst until his death in 1713. Another thing that is known about him is that he was the teacher of Heinrich Michael Keller, who lived from 1638 – 1710. Meyer’s birth therefore must have been somewhere in the years around 1630. A few pieces by Meyer’s hand are extant in the Brasob tablature. An until now unknown work by his hand survives in manuscript Mus Ms 30439, owned by the Staatsbliothek Berlin.

The piece has no title in the manuscript other than the first line of the text of the chorale. It could be called a chorale fantasy or a chorale partita. It consists of 6 episodes and a coda. The chorale melody, as we know it from organ preludes by for example Johann Michael Bach or Johann Sebastian Bach is never properly stated. Four of the 6 episodes are build on the first three characteristic notes of the melody, a minor third up and down. The other two are seemingly unrelated to the melody. Perhaps Meyer had another melody in mind than the one usually associated with the chorale text?

The music is very different from the music of for example contemporaries like Johann Michaël Bach, Johann Pachelbel or Dietrich Buxtehude. It has lots of dance like elements, not in the least because of the ternary rythm. And the harmonies in bars 79, 80 and 81 are nothing short of spectecular.

The recording was done on the sample set of the Müller-organ in the Sint Bavokerk in Haarlem by Voxus Organs for Hauptwerk.

Meyer, Meine Seele erhebet den Herren

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