Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau (1663-1712) grew up in Leipzig and was trained by his father, a violinist and city piper, in organ playing and composition. Later, he was also informed by Johann Schelle. 1684 he was elected organist at Marktkirche Halle and municipal music director. His most famous pupil was young George Frideric Handel.
After Zachau‘s death in 1713, Johann Sebastian Bach was elected as sucessor, but he rejected. But in 1747, Bach's eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann became organist there.
In the draft of an contract between the Council of the Marktkirche and Bach we find as meticulous as rigid music presets that were most likely already valid for Zachau: "choral songs" (means also preludes?) should be ‚played slowly, without special ornaments, with four and five voices and to use the Principal in a pious way‘.
Zachau's manual work "In dulci jubilo" follows in his unobtrusive style of this instructions: The chorale melody of the soprano becomes accompanied by two voices in eighths. Actually, a enriched Principal-based sound goes well with this charming Christmas music.