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Lenten Music: Bach’s “St. John Passion” – Herr, unser Herrscher

February 17, 2010

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  I like to listen to recordings of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ during Lent and today I will start with one of my favorites: Bach’s “St. John Passion.”  It is shorter and less famous than his “St. Matthew Passion,” but I have always been draw to the St. John.

I love how it begins, with a movement called “Herr, unser Herrscher” (Lord, our Ruler).  Here is the text with English translation (source):

Herr, unser Herrscher, dessen Ruhm
Lord, our ruler, whose glory
In allen Landen herrlich ist!
is magnificent everywhere!
Zeig uns durch deine Passion,
Show us through your passion,
Dass du, der wahre Gottessohn,
that you , the true son of God,
Zu aller Zeit,
at all times
Auch in der größten Niedrigkeit,
even in the most lowly state,
Verherrlicht worden bist!
are glorified.

Here is an excellent recording featuring the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, conducted by Stephen Cleobury:

A blessed Ash Wednesday to you.

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From → Church Music

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