Bach’s Orgelbuchlein (‘Little Organ Book’) – Richard Townend

Bach’s title page to the Orgelbüchlein reads: “Little organ book in which guidance is given to an inquiring organist in how to accomplish a chorale [prelude] in all kinds of ways, and at the same time to become practised in the study of pedalling… for the highest God alone Honour…”

The Orgelbüchlein is the jewel in Bach’s organ music – a collection of magnificent miniatures which encompass all the musical emotions and which allow the organist to show all the colours and sonorities of the instrument at his disposal. The organ at St. Margaret Lothbury is rich in those sounds which Bach had in mind when he composed these wonderful preludes.

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:

Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 2,000 lectures free to access or download from the website.