Patterico's Pontifications

10/21/2018

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 99

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan” (What God does is well done).

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 10:35-45:

The Request of James and John

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, echoing Jesus’s words of trusting in God only, and attaining greatness and delight only through service and suffering:

What God does is well done,
His will remains righteous;
However he begins my affairs,
I will silently keep to Him.

. . . .

When the bitterness of the cross
struggles with the weakness of the flesh,
nevertheless it is well done.
Whoever, through misapprehension,
considers the cross unbearable,
will also in the future never share delight.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

UPDATE: I would be remiss if I did not point out that the duet near the end is truly lovely. I am listening to it a second time now. Even if you skip the rest of the piece, listen to the duet:

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

6 Responses to “Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 99”

  1. Beautiful music!

    I’ve always favored Mozart: https://youtu.be/RwgOgF2GW6s

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  2. UPDATE: I would be remiss if I did not point out that the duet near the end is truly lovely. I am listening to it a second time now. Even if you skip the rest of the piece, listen to the duet:

    Patterico (115b1f)

  3. I had to pull up the score on IMSLP and sort of poke my way through singing the alto part. Beautiful (OK, not so much when I sing it).

    Patterico (115b1f)

  4. Pray for Tyler Trent.

    DRJ (15874d)

  5. TylerStrong. By the way, Purdue won.

    DRJ (15874d)

  6. When I listen to this music, I am drawn into contemplation of the contemporaries of Bach who performed it in church cathedrals, and their successors across the decades and centuries since. I’ll bet no few of them sort of poked their way through — aspiring to get this just so, the way it was in their imaginations and, occasionally, in their actual experience as performers or listeners.

    I imagine one of the things they’d find least surprising, were they somehow able to view our modern world, is that this music is still appreciated and performed and cherished. What they’d be amazed at, I imagine, is that it’s available potentially to billions, instantly, in perfect form, for nothing, upon the movement of a tiny muscle of one’s index finger.

    Beldar (fa637a)

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