Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg, Gott des Himmels und der Erden
The next choral prelude by Marpurg’s hand is the prelude to the choral “Gott des Himmels and der Erden” (in English also known as “Good, who madest earth and heaven”). I completed recording all the Marprug choral preludes several months ago, but never came around to actually publishing the scores and the performances. So, it’s about time to complete the series. Spring is gradually blosoming here on the Northern hemisphere, and in a few weeks it will be a bit odd to see me playing in clothing that is obviously suited for the winter.
Marpurg places the choral melody in the pedal part and notates that it is to be played with a 4 feet stop, making it sound an acotave higher than it is notated. That means that the left hand part has the role of providing the harmoninaly important bass toles. To emphasize this intention, Marpurg prescribes that the left hand part is to be played wit5h a 16 feet stop, making it sound an octave lower than notated. The left hand part could be played with a principal or some flute stop of 16 feet. And a few years ago I would have done exactly that. Since then, however, I’ve played all the choral preludes composed by Georg Frierdrich Kauffmann and one thing I have learned from Kauffmann’s registration precriptions is that using a 16 feet reed stop for a left hand part works very well. So, that is what I do here.
This prelude is not Marpurg’s best work, but with the rapid notes in the right hand part and the steady moving bass line it is a very attractive piece to play and to listen to. The 16 feet reed gives the left part a nice punch that adds to the general festive atmosphere of this composition.
The recording was done with the Hauptwerk software and the sampleset, made by Sonus Paradisi, of the Schnittger organ in the St. Martini-kerk, Groningen (https://www.sonusparadisi.cz/en/organs/netherlands/groningen-st-martini.html).