This theme-and-variations on a well-known hymn tune will find a place in both worship and recital. The piece is reverent and triumphant, yet musically interesting even to those who do not know the hymn. Each player has challenging and interesting things to play.
The theme-and-variations form is one the most common types of compositions in classical music. The idea is that the composer devises several transformations of a musical theme, either an original one, or a borrowed theme. Most of the great composers wrote multiple works of this kind.
The tune Lasst uns erfreuen (Let Us Rejoice) first appeared in Geistliche Kirchengesänge (Spiritual Church Songs), published in Cologne, Germany in 1623, printed by Peter von Brachel. The composer of the tune is
Lasst uns erfreuen is known as the tune for many hymns, such as All Creatures of Our God and King, A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing, Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds, and Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones