Sheet music

Musical contribution - May 2012

O, Welt, ich muß dich lassen, Opus 67 - Max Reger

We unfortunately don’t know who wrote this song. However, we do know he should have been born in 1555. The melody is by Heinrich Isaac and it was also used by Bach in two of his Passions. It’s therefore often sung during the Lutheran worship.

Until recently I was under the impression this song had been written for Ascension Day and that these words were actually spoken by the Lord Jesus. The text does seem to allow for this initially. But we come to the realisation that this isn’t possible at all once we get to verses 2 and 3. The literal text refers to someone who is dying and is handing himself over to God in confidence.

Yet we have still decided to make this chorale a central focus point this month (Ascension Day is 17th May). Without any further reason.

Max Reger has composed many “Choralvorspiele”.  There are 52 in opus 67 alone. He wrote them in 1902 and 1903 and they were also published during that same year.

We often associate Max Reger’s music with the German romantic organ type, as a result of his “major” chorale fantasies. And this is certainly justified considering the instructions (2nd and 3rd manual and crescendo and decrescendo signs). I have only used 8’ stops in order to ensure I don’t get in the harmony’s way. So much beauty in just 18 bars. And opus 67 is full of this.

Musical greetings,
André van Vliet