Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
In celebration of the occasion, we’ll listen to various permutations of “Nun danket alle Gott” (“Now thank we all our God”) by Johann Sebastian Bach. Most Protestants will be familiar with the hymn, which was written in the early 17th century (words [German]: Martin Rinckart; music: Johann Cruger). You’ll hear the core melody in these pieces, although, as with all of Bach’s variations, each piece is expanded far beyond the original tune.
I prefer Bach’s organ music, so we’ll begin with the chorale prelude “Nun danket alle Gott”, BWV 657, performed by Bine-Katrine Bryndorf on the Wagner organ (built in 1738) in the Nidaros Cathedral at Trondheim, Norway:
I’m aware that Baroque organ music is an acquired taste, and that most people prefer choral or orchestral music. You’ll find both in the cantata “Nun danket alle Gott”, BWV 79, performed by Thomanerchor Leipzig, Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum andns-Joachim Rotzsch:
And finally a longer cantata, “Nun danket alle Gott”, BWV 192, performers and location not listed:
We give thanks for our health and well-being, for our family and friends, for our generous and patient readers, and above all for the grace of the Good Lord who put us here and helps us to continue.
Who from our mother’s arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.