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My Daily Bach

Episode 21: 'Adorn Yourself, O Dear Soul' performed by Chelsea Chen

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This final episode of our Daily Bach podcast also is the beginning of something new. We are pleased to be expanding the podcast to include other composers in 2015. But for this last episode, we feature Adorn Yourself, O Dear Soul, Bach’s chorale prelude, BWV 654, played by Chelsea Chen at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York on Nov. 22, as part of WQXR’s all-day Bach Organ Marathon. This piece is a slow and beautiful chorale prelude – one of a set of 17 or 18 works that Bach wrote and presumably performed during the nine years he was court organist in Weimar. Almost 25 years later, Bach returned to these works and put them into a single collection. The chorale – the hymn tune that everything is built around – is Schmuche dich, o meine Seele – Adorn Yourself, O Dear Soul – and the melody is highly decorated, in other words, the soul, adorned.

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