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At-A-Glance

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Length: c. 4 minutes

About this Piece

The hymn “Nun danket alle Gott” (Now thank we all our God) by protestant minister Martin Rinckart (1586-1649) served well as material for one of the more introspective and fugal organ chorale preludes by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). When given the task of writing a cantata for Reformation Day (October 31, which was last Thursday), Cantata 79, Bach chose to set that tune with louder, more joyous instrumental forces. Flamboyant American organist Virgil Fox (1912-1980) probably reflected upon those contrasting settings, preferring the one in the Cantata to fit his style of playing the organ. Although not a type of chorale prelude representing any purist forms or models that Bach might have been concerned with, Fox’s transcription produces a rousing seasonal hymn.