It’s been a while since I published a composition from manuscript Mus. Ms. 40037. The last one was Kirchhoff’s ciaconna on Ach, Herr mich armen Sünder. The next composition in the manuscript is a ciaconna as well, on the melody of “Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, O Herr”. It remains anonymous in the manuscript. A later scribe has pencilled “G. Kirchhoff?” above the title of the piece. And not without reason. The manuscript contains several compositions in the form of a Ciaconna, and they ae, as far as a composer is indicated, composed by Kirchhoff. It is therefore not unreasonable to suspect that the ciaconna’s in this manuscript where no composer is indicated, were in fact composed by Kirchhoff as well.

To write a Ciaconna as accompaniment to a given melody is not an easy task. The repeating bass line has harmonically to be flexible enough to accomadate a chorale melody that itself moves through different tonal realms. Kirchhoff obviously had a keen eye for constructing a repating bass line beneath a given melody.

In this particular case the bass line is a really simple one. It is basically a descending c major scale wit a cadence like closing. This descending scale is repeated no less than 17 times. Perhaps because of the monotony of this, the composition lacks a certain esprit. Or in other words: it is a bit boring.

The recording was done with the sampleset, made by Sonus Paradisi, of the Schittger organ in the St. Martini-kerk, Groningen.

pdf_iconKirchhoff, Herzlich lieb hab ich dich o Herr

Score (non alto)
pdf_iconKirchhoff, Herzlich lieb hab ich dich o Herr (non alto)

Kirchhoff, Herzlich lieb hab ich dich o Herr

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