Sorry I am late—here’s yesterday’s cantata, for the 6th Sunday after Trinity. Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV 170. One of my favorites.
It was HARD to find a video without a countertenor. I will NOT listen to a man hoot and squeak his way through this beautiful alto part. These students are quite competent, but I highly recommend hearing Magdalena Kožená sing this if you can. I own that recording, it’s lovely.
Delightful rest, beloved pleasure of the soul,
you cannot be found among the sins of hell,
but rather in the concord of heaven;
you alone strengthen the weak breast.
Therefore the pure gifts of virtue
shall have their dwelling in my heart.
Today we Confessional Lutherans commemorate the life of Johann Sebastian Bach, Kantor.
Johann Sebastian Bach, died 1750; Heinrich Schütz, died 1672; George Frederick Handel, died 1759; musicians
These three German-born musicians have done much to enrich the life of the church. Schütz was an early master who focused on settings of biblical texts. Bach wrote over 300 cantatas along with works for organ and instrumental pieces, and has been called the “fifth evangelist” for the way he proclaimed the gospel in music. Handel’s great work, Messiah, is a setting of scriptural texts.
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten (Who only lets dear God rule) BWV 93, for the 5th Sunday after Trinity. John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque.
I will look upon the Lord
and always trust my God.
He is the true miracle-worker.
He who can make the rich poor and bare
and the poor rich and great
after His will.
"Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder (Ah Lord, poor sinner that I am)," BWV 135, cantata for the third Sunday after Trinity. Performed here by the Amsterdam Baroque under Ton Koopman, with Annette Markert, Christoph Prégardien, and Klaus Mertens.
Ah, heal me, You healer of souls,
I am extremely ill and weak;
one can even count my bones,
so sorely has my hardship,
my torment and suffering affected me;
is completely swollen from tears,
which, like rapid rivers, roll down my cheeks.
My soul is anxious and fearful with terror;
Ah, Lord, why so long?
Today is the third Sunday after Trinity and so we hear “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis (I had much trouble),” BWV 21.
Emma Kirkby, soprano; Michael Chance, alto; Charles Daniels, tenor; Peter Harvey, bass, with the Purcell Quartet and additional wind musicians.
This is an early cantata (1714), and a lengthy one. There is a theme of struggle here, but as always with the cantatas, ultimate triumph in Christ.
Come, my Jesus, and revive,
- Yes, I come and revive -
And delight with Your glance.
- You with my glance of grace. -
- Your soul, -
- shall live, -
and not live
- and not die -
and in its pit of unhappiness
- here out of this cave of injury -
- you shall inherit -
I must constantly hover in anguish
- Salvation! Through this juice of the vine. -
Yes, ah yes, I am lost!
- No, ah no, you are chosen! -
No, ah no, You hate me!
- Yes, ah yes, I love you! -
Ah, Jesus, thoroughly sweeten my soul and heart!
- Fade, you troubles, disappear, you pains! -
One of my favorite chorale movements here in the beginning of “Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein (Oh God, look down from heaven),” BWV 2. Based on a hymn by Martin Luther from the first Lutheran hymnal, of 1524.
Johannette Zomer, soprano
Ingeborg Danz, alto
Jan Kobow, tenor
Peter Kooy, bass
Ah God, look down from heaven
and have mercy yet upon us!
How few are Your saints,
we poor ones are abandoned;
Your Word is not upheld as true,
and faith is also quite extinguished
among all mankind.
Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes (The heavens are telling the glory of God), BWV 76, cantata for the second Sunday after Trinity.
Ton Koopman with the Amsterdam Baroque and soloists.
Hasse nur, hasse mich recht,
Christum gläubig zu umfassen,
Will ich alle Freude lassen.
Just hate me, hate me well,
To embrace Christ faithfully,
I will abandon all joy.
I apologize for the frankly bizarre visuals on this video. It’s not quite as creepy as the Taylor Swift slash Islamic fashion inspired series that is up on YouTube, but it’s pretty weird. But, I do not apologize at all for the performance, for here we have Ton Koopman and the gang at the Amsterdam Baroque, and a truly excellent rendition of “Freue dich, erlöste Schar (Rejoice, redeemed flock),” BWV 30. This is a later work of Bach, and a very spirited and festive one.
This is our final cantata for St. John’s day. I hope you had a good one.
We have repose,
and the burden of the law
is done away with.
Nothing shall disturb this our rest,
that our dear forefathers often
desired, longed and hoped for.
they rejoice, who can eternally,
and sound to the honor of their God
a song of praise,
that in the exalted choirs
indeed, are sung to one another!