Johann Bernhard Bach (23 May 1676 – 11 June 1749) was a German composer, and second cousin of J. S. Bach.
He was born in Erfurt, and his early musical education was by his father, Johann Aegidius Bach. He took up his position as organist in Erfurt in 1695, and then took a similar position in Magdeburg. He replaced Johann Christoph Bach as organist in Eisenach, and also as harpsichordist in the court orchestra in 1703. Most of his musical output has been lost, but amongst his surviving music there are four orchestral suites. It is known that J.S. Bach had individual parts prepared for performance by his orchestra.
His musical style has been described as being similar to that of Telemann.
The chorale "Christ lag in Todesbanden" ("Christ lay in death's bonds") is an Easter hymn by Martin Luther. Its melody is by Luther and Johann Walter. Both the text and the melody were based on earlier examples. It was published in 1524 in the Erfurt Enchiridion and in Walter's choral hymnal Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn.
It is derived from the Latin Easter Sequence, "Victimae Paschali Laudes."
In this setting, the melody is in long notes in the right hand, while the left hand weaves an accompaniment, that "interacts" perfectly with the melody.
The text of the first (translated) is:
Christ lay in Death's dark prison,
It was our sin that bound Him;
This day hath He arisen,
And sheds new life around Him.
Therefore let us joyful be
And praise our God right heartily.
So sing we Hallelujah!
I'm uploading a piece each day of this Easter Week, and many of the works to appear are based either upon this chorale, or upon the original Gregorian chant.
The score is attached below, as well as a painting of Johann Bernhard Bach. Also included is a copy of the Walter's orginal hymn from the "Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn," dating from 1594.
Tomorrow, a more elaborate setting of this tune by Georg Böhm.