The Orgelbüchlein Project is a project to complete Bach’s unfinished collection of organ miniatures. His manuscript contains titles for one hundred sixty-four chorales, but he only completed forty-six of them (BWV 599-644). One by one, the English organist William Whitehead is commissioning composers from round the world to fill in the blanks, using the melody Bach intended, but never got around to completing.
The style is completely open; imitation of Bach is possible, but most composers have chosen to create something in their own style, in homage to Bach, but reflecting a contemporary stance on the old melodies.
Six new compositions will be given their world premieres in the Spitalfields Winter Festival on 8 December 2012. The composers represented are:
The concert will take place in the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula, inside the Tower of London, and will be played by Organist of the Chapel, Colm Carey.