Patterico's Pontifications


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 54

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

It is the first Sunday in Lent. Today’s Bach cantata is “Widerstehe doch der Sünde” (Just resist sin).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 4:1-13:

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It is a short piece for a solo voice, sung here by a contratenor (a male with a singing range similar to that of a female contralto). It contains these words, urging resistance to Satan and his temptations:

Just resist sin,
lest its poison seize you.
Don’t let Satan blind you;
for those who defile God’s honor
will incur a curse that is deadly.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

6 Responses to “Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 54”

  1. That was delicious.

    Oh, I love this piece with all the sixes, suspensions and retardations. Bach thought of everything. Truly inspired.

    The second part reminds me of one of Cherubino’s (Nozze de Figaro) recitatives by a mezzo-soprano.

    felipe (023cc9)

  2. So my comment is in moderation because of the technical term for a suspension that resolves upward?

    felipe (023cc9)

  3. I spoke too soon. Thanks for fishing out my comment!

    felipe (023cc9)

  4. Here is Glenn Gould leading a performance of this cantata. I think it was originally filmed for the CBC

    Kishnevi (c5cd7d)

  5. Kish! You beat me to it!


    felipe (023cc9)

  6. I spent time looking for the right time to start the video.

    felipe (023cc9)

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