Sunday, April 1, 2012


I've lived in Boston long enough that I know I take it for granted at how easy it is to travel a short distance and/or pay a minimal fee to hear some pretty spectacular music.  A week ago Saturday, I was privileged to hear J.S. Bach's St. John Passion performed at Marsh Chapel on the Boston University campus.  This past Friday, the Handel & Haydn Society did the other great Passion of Bach, St. Matthew's, at Symphony Hall.

How fortunate. Both were brilliant productions. And to get into Marsh Chapel I paid 10 bucks .... Symphony Hall, 25.

Since today is Passion Sunday in the Christian calendar, seems quite appropriate to share my favorite pieces from each of these venerable works -- both bass solos:

Betrachte, meine Seel (St. John)

Betrachte, meine Seel, mit ängstlichem Vergnügen,
     Observe now, O my soul, with fearful satisfaction,
Mit bittrer Lust und halb beklemmtem Herzen
     With bitter joy and with a heart half-anguished
Dein höchstes Gut in Jesu Schmerzen,
     Thy highest good in Jesus' torments:
Wie dir auf Dornen, so ihn stechen,
     For thee the thorns there which have pierced him
Die Himmelsschlüsselblumen blühn!
     As keys to heaven's flowers bloom!
Du kannst viel süße Frucht von seiner Wermut brechen
     Thou canst pluck much sweet fruit from his most bitter wormwood,
Drum sieh ohn Unterlass auf ihn!
     So look unceasingly on him!

Mache dich, mein Herze rein (St. Matthew)

Mache dich, mein Herze, rein,
     Make thyself, my heart, now pure,
Ich will Jesum selbst begraben.
     I myself would Jesus bury.
Denn er soll nunmehr in mir
     For he shall henceforth in me
Für und für Seine süße Ruhe haben.
     More and more find in sweet repose his dwelling.
Welt, geh aus, lass Jesum ein!
     World, depart, let Jesus in!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

@Karin. Danke shorn, meine Frau.