Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ

for New Orgelbüchlein
Year of composition:
organ solo
3 min
Commissioned by:
Norsk Orgelfestival
2023-09-16, Stavanger Domkirke

A contribution to William Whitehead's "Orgelbüchlein Project" - published in Volume 3.

The chorale is presented as two canonic voices, appearing in changing keys and at slightly fluctuating speeds. A series of short notes is presented in four layers, connected by the rhythmic ratios of 2:3:4:5. The harmony is composed of pitches taken from the actual phrase of the chorale, modulating independently from the melody.

All in all the idea is to pay a tribute to Bach’s contrapuntal techniques, but within a more floating framework, maybe creating an impression of distance to this chorale which is not known in our church, and which even Bach did not publish any setting of.


The melody of this chorale is composed by Bartholomäus Gesius (Frankfurt an der Oder 1605) and not used by Bach anywhere else.

Text known to Bach (Weimar 1713):
Wir dancken dir/ O Jesu Christ
dass du das Lämmlein worden bist
und trägt all unser Sünd und Schuld
hilf das wir rühmen deine Huld.

Text: Nicolaus Selnecker (1628-92)

Wir danken, page 1
page 1 of score