Fugue on “Jesus Christus Unser Heiland”

Joseph Kerman

in The Art of Fugue

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780520243583
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941397 | DOI:
Fugue on “Jesus Christus Unser Heiland”

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The fugue on the chorale “Jesus Christus unser Heiland” counts as the rogue fugue in the present selection, perhaps, though one likes to think of every Bach fugue as rogue or phoenix or unicum in its own special way. It categorized the piece for musicians of the time. The chorale fugue or fughetta is a special keyboard genre going back to the seventeenth century. Improvising fugues was part of the organist's stock in trade. The present fugue is an almost unimaginably transfigured version of this genre, which Bach also resuscitated and handled less radically. The “events” of this chorale fugue serve as a focus for discussion in this chapter. The subject comes from line one of a short catechism hymn sung for the Eucharist.

Keywords: Jesus Christus unser Heiland; chorale fugue; organist's stock; events; unicum

Chapter.  2491 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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