Alle Menschen müssen Sterben for EASTER?
  • LarsLars
    Posts: 59
    I was browsing hymnals for some Easter recessional/postlude ideas(improv on hymn tunes).
    I found this hymn called “At the Lamb's High Feast We Sing (Salzburg)” which is really nice to just play as is, SATB arrangement with full registration. I did a little bit more research and it turns out the tune originally is called “Alle Menschen müssen Sterben”(All men must die). Pachelbel wrote 8 variations on this tune.

    My question is: this particular tune is it associated with funerals or Easter? Bit confused..
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 856
    Does the hymn and its harmonization reflect a funerary Affekt at all? I have no such impression.

    I always assumed this harmonization was from Bach, but this partita predates Bach's birth by two years.
    Thanked by 1Lars
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,687
    The harmonization given for the chorale in the partitas is the same as that given by Bach in BWV 262 (see CPDL for the score). I wonder if the chorale statement before the first partita is an editorial addition, cribbed from Bach.
    Thanked by 1Lars
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 856
    The Neue-Bach Ausgabe does not recognize it as a work by Bach, apparently. Personally, I view it as exceeding the usual intricacy of Pachelbel's partita harmonizations, and without a compelling artistic or textual reason for doing so.
    Thanked by 1Lars
  • Alle Menschen is referred to Salzburg in The English Hymnal's tune index and is paired with 'At the Lamb's High Feast'. Otherwise, I had never been aware of any connectedness between these two. The only Alle Menschen I have ever known is the one that Bach sets so profoundly in the Orgelbuchein, which is definitely for Passiontide or Good Friday. Like we, the Lutherans have been noted for matching a variety of texts to a variety of tunes.
    Thanked by 2Lars CHGiffen
  • Felicia
    Posts: 67
    This tune, with the text "At the Lamb's high feast" is included in several Catholic hymnals in the U.S. Probably relatively few American Catholics who know this tune would associate it with "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" unless they know German and/or the partita.
    Thanked by 2Lars Liam
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,358
    The tune is also commonly associated with the text of the Epiphanytide hymn, "Songs of Thankfulness and Praise", in the USA (ST EDMUND is not as commonly paired with that text here as in the UK).
    Thanked by 1Lars
  • CGM
    Posts: 525
    The Breitkopf & Härtel edition of Pachelbel's organ and harpsichord works, available on IMSLP, provides a much simpler harmonization than Bach's as the opening chorale with another set of variations that Pachelbel wrote on this same theme (see attached score). I agree with Charles, that the editor of the initial piece in this thread must have borrowed Bach's harmonization, perhaps thinking that Pachelbel's was too simple — or perhaps Pachelbel himself didn't supply one at all, and just launched right into the variations.

    These two pieces are catalogued in Pachelbel's works as
    — P.377a (the piece that begins this thread)
    — P.377b (the piece attached here)
    There appears to be some question regarding whether Pachelbel wrote 377b, or if Walther, a contemporary of JS Bach, composed 377b in the style of Pachelbel.

    I agree with Liam that the piece seems (in the U.S.) to be equally well-known for Easter ("At the Lamb's high feast") and Epiphany ("Songs of thankfulness and praise").
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 856
    The Bärenreiter score here gives the familiar harmonization at the beginning. I haven't yet checked the critical commentary, but Bärenreiter also doesn't seem to believe that Bach composed said harmonization.
    Thanked by 1Lars
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,687
    From :
    Original source: Chorale, Alle Menschen müssen sterben, BWV 262
    Chorale Text: Alle Menschen müssen sterben*, by Johann Rosenmüller or Johann Georg Albinus (1652)
    Tune: Alle Menschen müssen sterben, by Jakob Hintze (1678) (Zahn 6778)
    First Performance: Unknown
    Appearance in Early Collections (Key): Riemenschneider 153; Breitkopf 153; Birnstiel 157; AmB 46II p.174
    Other Harmonizations: None


    This chorale is an adaptation of a 3–voice setting by Johann Pachelbel, Erfurt 1683. [See NBA III/2.2, p.226]

    This chorale survives without text. The text that appears here is the one provided by editors of the Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe (BGA).

    Speculation regarding liturgical occasion: Häfner identifies three possible Picander–Jahrgang cantatas as the possible origin of this setting:
    1) Fasse dich, betrübter Sinn for Jubilate (Picander 33), in which case the 7th verse of the Alle Menschen müssen sterben would have been used for this setting.
    2) Kömmt denn nicht mein Jesus bald for Trinity +26 (Picander 70), in which case the 6th verse would have been used.
    3) Valet will ich dir geben for the 6th Sunday after Epiphany (Picander 18), in which case the 4th verse would have been used.
    (See NBA III/2.2 KB, p.226)
    Thanked by 2JonathanKK Lars
  • davido
    Posts: 506
    Seeing Alle Menschen in this thread title had me really hoping the OP was going to ask if they could do Ode to Joy at Easter mass.
  • vansensei
    Posts: 165
    The sopranos in any choir would begin plotting your death if they saw the score for Beethoven's Ninth... So not this time!