Fred Hersch
Jazz Pianist & Composer


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Edition Peters

24 Variations on a Bach Chorale

Concert Work


These variations are by internationally-known jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch. The Chorale is ‘O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden’ (‘O sacred head sore wounded’ is the customary verse translation; the literal translation is ‘O head full of blood and wounds’) from J.S. Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion. The secular version of the melody became known as ‘The Peace Chorale (Because all men are brothers)’, with lyrics by Tom Glazer; it was recorded by The Weavers, and by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Fred writes: ‘After the terrible events of September 11, 2001, the powerful, timeless melody, and these hopeful words inspired these variations.’