Patterico's Pontifications


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 97

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 8:43 am

It is the twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “In allen meinen Taten” (In all that I do / In all my undertakings).

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 10:17-31:

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”

“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

In all my actions
I take counsel from the Highest,
who owns and is capable of everything;
In all things He must give,
so that they may prosper,
His own advice and assistance.

There is nothing, early or late,
to all my efforts,
my worries are in vain.
He may do with my affairs
according to His will,
I place them at His disposal.

Both chorale movements in today’s cantata — at the beginning and at the end — are based on the famous melody “Innsbruck, ich muß dich lassen” (Innsbruck, I Must Leave You) by Heinrich Isaac. The final chorale (lasting less than a minute) in particular has a more straightforward rendition of the melody:

This tune may sound familar to fans of the St. Matthew Passion, because it is used twice in that work, for example here:

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

12 Responses to “Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 97”

  1. Sorry this came late today.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. “Soli Deo gloria” means, of course, “for the glory of God alone.” Bach used to append it to the end of his works (actually, he would write “SDG”), and I think it makes sense to begin appending it to the end of these posts.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  3. Thanks, Patterico!

    Golden Eagle (491bd9)

  4. I like SDG. I’m going to borrow it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  5. I take issue with you on other matters. But I come back after 9 a.m. mass and you’re spot on. Every time.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  6. I Wholeheartedly approve SDG. Thank you for continuing to post these.

    felipe (023cc9)

  7. The hymn tune of the chorale is INNSBRUCK or “O Welt Ich Muss Dich Lassen.” The Episcopalians have it in twice: “O Food to Pilgrims Given (#309) and the compline hymn “The Duteous Day Now Given (#46).” Lutherans probably know it as tune of “O Bread of Life from Heaven.”

    Golden Eagle (491bd9)

  8. Great segment, our sermon today was on proverbs 20, which is along similar lines.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  9. There was also mark 3:20

    Narciso (d1f714)

  10. As a Loyola alumnus, having been made a lawyer Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To The Greater Glory Of God), I also approve of Patterico adopting “Soli Deo Gloria”.

    nk (dbc370)

  11. BTW, the Orthodox meaning of “camel” is a camel-hair rope used as a hawser to tether a boat or as the anchor rope (the anchor being a large stone). Not the animal itself. Whether trymalias tis rafidos is “hole in a needle” or “hole made by a needle”, deponent opineth not.

    nk (dbc370)

  12. Golden Eagle,

    Wikipedia’s entry on the chorale tune calls it “Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen” although I do see versions where the phrase begins “O Welt…”

    Patterico (115b1f)

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