With its more than 50 editions published over almost a century and a half and its almost 1600 texts and around 600 melodies, the "Hallische Gesangbuch", which was widely distributed far beyond the borders of Germany and even Europe, not only became the most influential pietistic collection of songs, but also one of the most successful in the history of hymnbooks, alongside the PRAXIS PIETATIS MELICA by Johann Crüger, which was strongly received by Freylinghausen and referred to as the "Berlinisches Gesangbuch". From the very beginning "Printed and published in the Wäysenhaus", the work, which is estimated to have been produced in more than 150,000 copies, was "a bestseller in the publishing house of the bookstore of the orphanage in Halle", so that one can actually speak of it as "a pietistic folk hymn book". The development towards such a book was due to the fact that Freylinghausen's testimonies of recent "spirit = rich" singing were embedded in the almost 200-year-old tradition of German Protestant song and thus, in contrast to other Pietist hymnbook publishers, appealed to a broad audience not just limited to pious circles. Our selection of 24 songs tries to give an impression of the complexity and variety of the work and thus to encourage the rediscovery of the rich treasure of sacred song material collected by Freylinghausen.
Wolfgang Miersemann (from the afterword)