This type of pastoral organ music for the Christmas season were popular throughout the Alpine region.
The four part suite, named as 'Pastorella' in all known manuscripts, cannot be dated accurately, as no autograph exists. May be, they were composed together or possibly as individual pieces of Bach or somebody else. The key sequence is rather unusual. Nevertheless, the Pastorella belongs since the second half of the eighteenth century to the core stock of to Bach attribted organ works with a noticeably dense play tradition and performance practice until the 19th century; even Robert Schumann reported about an concert in 1840, when Felix Mendelssohn played in honor of Bach on the organ of St. Thomas church Leipzig: 'eine Pastorella in F-Dur, wie nur irgend ein Musikstück diesen Charakters in tiefster Tiefe gedacht werden kann‘.
I am grateful to Ton Koopman for his ideas of interpretation and embellishments of this popular work, which I got during a master class session on the Riepp organ of Ottobeuren basilica in Bavaria.
For my rendition, I dispensed with any reeds and used mainly the beautiful flute stops of the OAM-Sample from Poblet.