Patterico's Pontifications


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 115

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General — Patterico @ 7:00 am

Composed for the 22st Sunday after Trinity, the title of the cantata is “Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit” which translates as “Make yourself ready, my spirit.”

The text is here. The chorale used in the cantata is based on a melody called “Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn.” The composer of the original chorale melody is anonymous.

In Bach’s time, the Gospel reading for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity was Matthew 18: 23-35, a parable told by Jesus after Peter asked him how many times one should forgive his neighbor:

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ he servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[b] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Happy listening!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 38

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General — Patterico @ 7:00 am

Composed for the 21st Sunday after Trinity, the title of the cantata is “Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir” which translates as “Out of deep anguish I call to You.” It was first performed on October 19, 1724.

The text is here. The cantata is based on a hymn of the same name, with the text provided by Martin Luther himself, based on Psalm 130. Here is a Mendelssohn setting of the melody of the chorale as a motet:

In Bach’s time, the Gospel reading for the 21st Sunday after Trinity was John 4:46–54, the healing of the royal official’s son:

Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

“Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

“Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.

This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.

I hope to do a post about one of the Bach cantatas every Sunday for the foreseeable future.

Happy listening!

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 139

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General — Patterico @ 8:38 am

Composed for the 23rd Sunday after Trinity, the title of the cantata is “Wohl dem, der sich auf seinen Gott” which translates as “Happy is the man, who to his God.”

The text is here. The cantata is based on a hymn by Johann Christoph Rube, sung to a tune written by Johann Hermann Schein called “Machs mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt.” Here is the unadorned melody of the hymn:

The Gospel reading for the 23rd Sunday after Trinity is Matthew 22: 15-22, with a famous quote you have heard before.

Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

I tend to prefer more updated translations of the Bible, but used the King James Version here because I like the way they translate the penultimate verse.

Commenter kishnevi recommends this box set of Bach’s cantatas, if anyone is interested.

Happy listening!

UPDATE: I wrote two posts last night about Bach cantatas and accidentally published the wrong one. I had intended to publish a post embedding the cantata written for the 20th Sunday after Trinity, but instead accidentally published a different post I had already written, embedding the cantata for the 23rd Sunday after Trinity. I am now annoyed at myself.

If you are interested in the post for the correct date, I have published it at RedState.

UPDATE x2: The readings are taken from this Web site about Bach’s cantatas. As best as I can tell, the readings are those that would have been used in Bach’s day.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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