Christian Gotthilf Tag is one of those composers that nowadays is largely forgotten, yet whose music is qctually quite good and sometimes quite original. The choral preludes I’ve already published and played by Tag’s hand, were without exception very well written works. Tag’s choral prelude on the melody of “Wir Christenleut” is unlike any chorale prelude I’ve encountered before. The chorale melody is not used as a cantus firmus, or a theme for a fugue, it is not used as bassline in the pedal’s, or any of the more familiar forms of choral prelude. Tag uses this melody to create a virtuosic piece, where the repetitions in the chorale melody itself are taken a step further by giving each fragment of the choral melody an echo like repetition. Interspersed with passage work, the result is a effective impression of the full first line of the choral: “Wir Christenleut habn jetzund Freud” (We Christian people have joy now). Tag needs 34 bars for his play with the choral melody, than adds another 15 bars playing with the passage work and the echo effect. One truly woonders why organists have forgotten Christian Gothilff Tag.
The recording was done with the Hauptwerk software and the sampleset, made by Sonus Paradisi, of the Schittger organ in the St. Martini-kerk, Groningen (http://www.sonusparadisi.cz/en/organs/netherlands/groningen-st-martini.html).
Tag, Wir Christenleut