Johann Ludwig Krebs, Christ lag in Todesbanden (KrebsWV 503/2) | Secrets of Organ Playing Contest, Week 143

This is my entry for the Secrets of Organ Playing Contest, Week 143. I play a part from Johann Ludwug Krebs Klavier Übung.


The first part of Kreb's Klavier Übung was published in 1744 and consists of 13 works based on one choral melody. Each of these works consists of a preambulum, a chorale setting, and a chorale alio modo. They are (probably) meant as manualiter pieces, and as such can be played on the orgen, the harpsichord or even the piano.

Manuscript D-LEb Rara Ib, 44 held by the Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig, contains adaptations of two parts from Kreb's Klvier Übung for organ with pedal. One of these is the work I play here, based on the melody of "Christ lag in Todesbanden". It is the second part of KrebsWV 503. The adaptation was probably made by tjhe scribe of this manuscript, Leonhard Scholz.

Scholz transfered the bass part of Kreb's original to the pedals, for the largest part an octave lower than it is written in the original. The result is a choral Trio for organ, that is pleasant to listen, but actually quite tricky to play. The pedal part is never above the middle c of the pedal board and mostly moves in the lower half of the lower octave. As such it's a good practise for maintaining balance.

The recording was done with the Hauptwerk software and the sampleset, made by Sonus Paradisi, of the Schnittger organ in the St. Martini-kerk, Groningen (


This arrangement is actually easier to play as a trio with pedals than a manualiter work. Beautiful registration too. Bravo!

Never played the manualiter version. This version was not so easy for me, so I'll skip the manualiter one... 😀

Loved your playing @primalamusica ! The triplets are leading so nicely, and make a beautiful line 👌

Thanks. Triplets give a nice lively and spirited effect. Difficult to lay though...

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