Composition - - American Recorder Society
Vater unser im Himmelreich (The Lord's Prayer) for soprano and alto
By Anthony St. Pierre June 1997
Martin Luther set his paraphrase of The Lord's Prayer ('Vater unser im Himmelreich', 1538) to an ancient tune that is the basis for these bicinia in the five “species” of counterpoint that Johann Joseph Fux describes in his treatise, 'Gradus ad Parnassum' (Steps to Parnassus, 1725). Bach and other Lutheran composers wrote settings of this tune. Bach set the text ‘Dein Will gescheh…’ to it in the St. John Passion. Haydn, Beethoven, Berlioz, and Liszt were among many composers who studied 'Gradus…' assiduously.

Here however, the auxiliary lower voice offers the opportunity for the novice alto recorder player to become comfortable in range from low F to top C. With minimal technical demands and at a moderate tempo, students may concentrate on fingerings and tuning as they work through these graduated exercises. The tune remains in the upper voice throughout.

For those learning the soprano recorder, the ARS libraries offer bicinia on 'Vater unser' for soprano and tenor recorders in which the tune is in the lower voice.
-- Anthony St. Pierre
A very easy and informative introduction to the 5 Species of Counterpoint, hidden inside a Lutheran hymn melody. The upper line has the melody in all whole notes while the lower line explores the counterpoint possibilities according to Fux. In addition to its educational value, it also provides “real” music for beginners, offering a melody with minimal technical demands that can be played by everyone at all levels of their recorder journey.
-- Glen Shannon

The composer has provided a play-along accompaniment for this piece.
Listen to both parts
Upper voice (melody) only -- you play the lower voice on alto

The composer has also provided a recording of the chorale tune played on organ, for those unfamiliar with the melody.
No. of Recorder Parts:
Very Easy
New Music for Recorder, Play-alongs
Date Added:
Social/Casual, Laid-back/Slow, Tonal/Melodic, Folk/Traditional, Variations/Fantasies/Adaptations, Neo-Renaissance/Baroque/Classical, Recorded Accompaniment, Renaissance/Baroque/Classical