This melody is one of the most famous and most used of the Lutheran church. It is for example also used for “Wie soll ich dich empfangen”, “Ach Herr mich arme Sünder”, “O haupt voll Blut und Wunden”. The melody was originally written by Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612), though not for use church. Christoph Knott first introduced it for church use as melody for “Wie soll ich dich empfangen”.
As it is a popular melody, there is an abundance of chorale preludes employing this melody. Kauffmann and Kehl, though basing their work on different chorales, both employ the key of e flat major (or is it c minor? or g phrygian?). They have both a very original take on this famous melody. Kauffmann uses a bicinium texture, in an almost giddy ternary rythm. The registration he prescribes adds to a totally original quality to this melody. Though I’m not sure which combination of stops is meant for which hand. Kauffmann indicates ‘Ped.’ only for the last note. Yet it easier to use the pedal for last note of the melody (four bars before the end), than to try to play both the accompanying voices in the last four bars with one hand.
BW: Baarpijp 8′, Flagfluit 4′ (LH)
HW: Praestant 16′ (last chord)
RW: Quintadena 8′, Superoctaaf 2′, Fagott 16′ (RH)
Score available here: http://partitura.org/index.php/georg-friedrich-kauffmann-ach-herr-mich-arme-sunder/