|Composer:||Johann Schop (1641)|
|Incipit:||11234 55453 43232|
Johann Schop (PHH 122) composed ERMUNTRE DICH in triple meter for the Rist text with which it was published in Himmlische Lieder (1641). Johann Crüger (PHH 42) adapted the tune for his Praxis Pietatis Melica (1648). The isorhythmic (all equal rhythms) setting in the Psalter Hymnal is the Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) arrangement from his Christmas Oratorio (1734).
ERMUNTRE DICH is a bar form (AAB) tune consisting of four long, majestic, and stately lines. Often congregations will sing this hymn in unison, but Bach's rich harmonization could be an interesting challenge for choir. When the hymn is sung in harmony, the tempo should be slower. Use lots of bright mixtures on the organ. The harmonization is one of the more difficult ones in the Psalter Hymnal but is well worth the effort.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook