First edition with Additional Version in G major
The chorale fantasia enjoyed great esteem in the second half of the 17th century in northern Germany, and was regarded by organists as the most sophisticated instrumental genre of all since it combined the chorale setting and the contrapuntal fantasia. Every self-respecting North-German musician wrote such works for his own practice and in accordance with the resources of the large organ at his town church in order to prove his mettle as composer and performer. Pieter Dirksen discovered the anonymously transmitted chorale fantasia “Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein” in the Lüneburg Ratsbücherei. Dirksen believes that the piece was very likely written by Dietrich Buxtehude in Helsingör, the second station in his professional career (1660-1668). The editor supports his attribution with stylistic and organological arguments. Dirksen also supplies a convincing explanation for the anonymous transmission: young Buxtehude was simply not well-known enough when this work was transcribed into the Lüneburg tablature.