Chorale Prelude on "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (trans. Damrosch; adapt. Anthony O'Toole)

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General Info

Year: 1709 / 1935 / 2017
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Organ and Choir
Publisher: Anthony O'Toole Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In 1709, when the 24-year-old Johann Sebastian Bach composed his Chorale Prelude on Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" , the congregation would, at the appropriate time, have sung the hymn they all knew so well – In German. Luther composer Ein feste Burg is unser Gott between 1527 and 1529, well after his 1517 nailing of the 95 theses.

Chorale Prelude on "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" is one of several tributes Bach made to Martin Luther. We play it today in remembrance of the 500th anniversary of Luther's nailing his 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg Church on October 31, 1517, thereby starting what became the Protestant Reformation, which changed the course of history of Western civilization.

Walter Damrosch transcribed Bach's work for orchestra and choir in 1935. This transcription for band, initiated by the board of Sierra Nevada Winds for this very occasion, is by Anthony O'Toole.

- Program Note from Sierra Nevada Winds concert program, 18 November 2017

The words are a paraphrase of Psalm 46.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Wisconsin-Parkside Community Band (Laura Rexroth, conductor) – 7 December 2017
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Ensemble (Chad R. Nicholson, conductor) – 30 November 2017
  • Sierra Nevada Winds (Yuba City, Calif.) (Robert Halseth, conductor) – 18 November 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

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