Each Wednesday through Holy Week, we will be offering a Bach organ chorale to sustain us all in our Lenten journey.
O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sünde groß, BWV 622, is one of Bach’s most sublime pieces, in the form of a tender ornamented chorale. The text asks us to look inward, reflecting on our own flaws. So much could be said about this piece, though words cannot express its delicacy, subtlety, richness, etc. Of particular note is the flattened sixth triad in root position just before the end (3’58”)…it’s as if time stands still, a stunning expression of the text, “wohl an dem Kreuze lange” (“for a long time on the Cross”).
“O humankind, mourn your great sins, for which Christ left his Father’s bosom and came to earth; from a virgin pure and tender he was born here for us, he wished to become our Intercessor, he gave life to the dead and laid aside all sickness until the time approached that he would be offered for us, bearing the heavy burden of our sins, indeed for a long time on the Cross.”
Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten, BWV 642, is a chorale of optimism and trust— important sentiments as we persevere in the COVID season.
“If thou but trust in God to guide thee, with hopeful heart through all thy ways, God will give strength, whate’er betide thee, to bear thee through the evil days.”