Chorale Preludes

Chorale preludes, music based on a pre-existing melody or hymn-tune, form an important part of Frederick Frahm’s composition catalog. From the two books of chorales composed for Augsburg Fortress, the ‘Faith Alive’ books 1 & 2, to the numerous accompaniments and introductory settings composed for the roll-out of the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (post 2006), there are dozens of en miniature works that demonstrate the composer’s ingenuity and liturgical sensibility in the making of new music for worship.

This page offers a selection of significant works based on chorale of hymn-tune melodies that Frederick Frahm specifically created for liturgy. This set of nine chorales stylistically stands outside of the works written for the Lutheran publishing house which are are often more straightforward, if not obviously ‘gebrauchsmusik’. Five of the pieces are included in what was initially conceived as a Kirchensonate (Church Sonata) which was intended to stand as a ‘liturgical year’ of sorts for parish organists. Here there are settings of de tempore chorales to be played in one of the major church seasons: Advent (Nun Komm, der heiden Heiland), Christmas (Vom Himmel Hoch), Epiphany (Herr Christ der einig Gotts Sohn), Lent (Seelenbräutigam), and Easter (Jesus meine Zuversicht). The additional chorales on this page also have de tempore applications.  One however, Sheng En, based on a melody found in the Hymnal 1982, was composed for eucharistic celebrations and is considered an omne tempore chorale.

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Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland

From the Kirchensonate (2012), based on a 16th century German Chorale.

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Musica Badia: Ave Maria, gratia plena

Based on the Gregorian Chant melody, mode 1.

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Vom Himmel Hoch, da kom’ ich her (second setting)

From the Kirchensonate (2012), based on a 16th century German Chorale.

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Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn

From the Kirchensonate (2012), based on a 16th century German Chorale.

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Seelenbräutigam

From the Kirchensonate (2012), based on a 17th century Moravian Chorale.

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Auf, Auf, mein Herz

Based on a 17th century chorale for Easter-Tide.

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Noël Nouvelet

Based on a French Carol.

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Jesus Meine Zuversicht

From the Kirchensonate (2012), based on a 17th century German Chorale.

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Sheng En

Chorale fantasy on a tune by Su Yin-Lan from 1936.

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