Before Thy Throne I Now Appear

From Wind Repertory Project
Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (arr. Daniel Bukvich)

General Info

Year: 1750 / 1993
Duration: c. 5:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Organ
Publisher: Wingert-Jones Publications
Cost: Score and Parts - $50.00   |   Score Only - $8.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Timpani
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Bach's last composition, dictated at his deathbed, is an organ prelude based on the chorale "Wenn wir in höchesten Nöten sein." Taking a line from an inner stanza of that hymn, Bach titled this work Before Thy Throne I Now Appear. Bach added a few ornamental notes to the first clause of the hymn in order to bring the number of notes up to fourteen, which represents B-A-C-H (B=2, A=1, etc.) in the figure alphabet. He also managed to include forty-one notes in the complete chorale melody, forty-one being fourteen backwards and representing J.-S.- B-A-C-H. Bach's number fourteen is twice seven, seven being a particularly significant number for him. There are seven colors in the solar spectrum and seven tones in the diatonic music scale. Seven is the number of biblical departures, and of rebirth. In Bach's fugal treatment, the initial phrase of the hymn appears after a prelude that covers seven bars, and each clause of the choral melody is separated from the previous one by seven bars of counterpoint.

Daniel Bukvich's re-composition includes the above-mentioned organ prelude (BWV 668), plus the original chorale melody and two of Bach's harmonizations (No. 68 and No. 247). The music, moving almost imperceptibly yet with a deep charge of emotion, emulates a slowly pulsating heart. The tempo (mm. 72) gives seventy-two pulse beats and eighteen full respirations per minute. Each measure corresponds to one inhalation and exhalation at about the rate produced in deep sleep.

- Program Note from score


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Bach, J.; Bukvich, J. (1993). Before Thy Throne I Now Appear: For Concert Band [score]. Wingert-Jones Music: Kansas City, Mo.
  • Perusal score