Georg Friedrich Kauffmann, Herr Jesu Christ mein’s Lebens Licht
Date: January 10, 2017
Comments: No Comments
Kauffman’s is perhaps best remembered nowadays as author of “Die Harmonische Seelenlust”, a complete edition of his organ chorales. He started publishing this work in 1733 in sequential volumes. However, he died of tuberculosis before they had been completely published. His widow saw the endeavor though and completed the publication of the Harmonische Seelenlust. This perhaps explains that Die Harmonische Seelenlust contains three works of Walther and one of Zachow.
Two reasons make Die Harmonische Seelenlust an important edition. The first reason is that Kauffmann himself provided this many of the chorale preludes with detailed instructions for the combination of stops. This makes it the most extensive source of Baroque registration examples available to us today. The second reason is that it contains the very first examples (6 to be precise) of chorale preludes for organ with a solo wind instrument, in this case hobo. That makes Kauffmann the creator of this genre. The hobo is employed to play the chorale melody, while the organ accompanies the melody in a trio-like texture.
Die Harmonische Seelenlust contains 98 preludes based on 63 different chorale melodies. Until now I published 19 of them. I intend to make them all available in the public domain, including the 6 incorporating the hobo as solo voice. It’ll be quite a project and it’ll take probably one to two years before I’m finished. So, here’s the first of that undertaking, the first chorale prelude of Die Harmonische Seelenlust, based on “Herr Jesu Christ mein’s Lebens Licht. It is a relatively simple four part piece. Kauffmann prescribes an equally simple registration of Principal 8′ or Gedackt 8′ and Principal 4′. I choose the second one of Kauffmann’s registration options realized with the Baarpijp 8’and Octaaf 4’ of the Bovenwerk.