All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society
Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir
JOS VAN VELDHOVEN’S 10 FAVOURITE WORKS
This week BWV 131: According to the book
A tribute to “our” Jos van Veldhoven: every Friday one of the 10 favourite works of Jos van Veldhoven, who is leaving the Netherlands Bach Society after 35 years as artistic director.
Jos van Veldhoven about his favourite cantata Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir, BWV 131: "Possibly the very first cantata written by Bach. Still completely in the tradition of the seventeenth century. It’s actually incredible how the young Bach could write masterpieces like this straight away. They still make a big impression nowadays."
It is already clear from the opening line that this is not just about slight misfortune, but deep misery. At the word ‘depth’, the voices literally plummet. The piece comes from the very beginning of Bach’s career, during his time as organist in Mühlhausen. He was then in his early twenties and trying his hand at vocal church music for the first time. He did so properly, according to the book, and in stylistic line with his seventeenth-century fellow musicians. There are no recitatives as yet and the movements run into one another more or less without interruption. They begin with a slow section, and then usually end quickly – like a sort of prelude and fugue. Like most early cantatas, this one too is symmetrical, with the chorus ‘Ich harre des Herrn’ as the central point. This is also where the mood changes. The beginning focuses mainly on the misery, whereas the third movement holds out a ray of hope. In the tenor’s aria, Bach goes on to illustrate quite literally that waiting can take a long time – listen out for the word ‘wartet’. The piece feels long even for the singer, as Charles Daniels explains in the interview.
We do not know for which occasion the piece was intended. In view of the text – a penitential psalm combined with a penitential chorale – it would have fitted very well in a ‘penitential service’. It is not known whether this sort of service was held regularly in Mühlhausen or only on special occasions. Just before Bach arrived in Mühlhausen, there had been a big fire, so there was cause for such a service.
It is interesting that Bach himself wrote at the bottom of the score that the cantata was composed at the request of Georg Christian Eilmar. He was the preacher in St Mary’s Church in Mühlhausen, although Bach himself worked at St Blaise’s Church. Eilmar was to become a good friend and later became godfather to Bach’s eldest daughter.
- Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir
- ca. 1707-08
- Psalm 130 and two chorale verses. Compiler unknown
- First performance
- unknown, but possibly Bach’s first cantata.
- The fugue from the final movement also exists as an organ work: the Fugue in G minor, BWV 131a/Anh. II 42. The authorship and dating of this piece have not been established.
Cast & Crew
|Release date||3 June 2016|
|Recording date||16 May 2015|
|Conductor||Jos van Veldhoven|
|ripieno soprano||Marjon Strijk|
|ripieno alto||Barnabás Hegyi|
|ripieno tenor||Immo Schröder|
|ripieno bass||Jelle Draijer|
|VIOLIN 1||Shunske Sato|
|viola da gamba||Mieneke van der Velden, Ricardo Rodriguez Miranda|
|DOUBLE BASS||James Munro|
|FILM DIRECTORS AND EDITORS||Jasper Verkaart, MaNOj Kamps|
|MUSIC RECORDING||Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Micha de Kanter|
|Music producer and editor||Guido Tichelman|
|CAMERA||Maarten van Rossem, Paul Caspers, Jorrit Garretsen, Rieks Soepenberg|
|GAFFER||Daan de Boer, Denny Schoute|
|concert Production||Erik van Lith, Marco Meijdam|
Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir.
Herr, höre meine Stimme,
lass deine Ohren merken
auf die Stimme meines Flehens!
2. Arioso (Bass), Choral (Sopran)
So du willst, Herr, Sünde zurechnen,
Herr, wer wird bestehen?
Erbarm dich mein in solcher Last,
nimm sie aus meinem Herzen,
dieweil du sie gebüsset hast
am Holz mit Todesschmerzen,
Denn bei dir ist die Vergebung,
dass man dich fürchte.
auf dass ich nicht mit grossem Weh
in meinen Sünden untergeh,
noch ewiglich verzage.
Ich harre des Herrn,
meine Seele harret, und ich
hoffe auf sein Wort.
4. Arie (Tenor)
Meine Seele wartet auf den Herrn
von einer Morgenwache
bis zu der andern.
Und weil ich denn in meinem Sinn,
wie ich zuvor geklaget,
auch ein betrübter Sünder bin,
den sein Gewissen naget,
und wollte gern im Blute dein
von Sünden abgewaschen sein
wie David und Manasse.
Israel hoffe auf den Herrn;
denn bei dem Herrn ist
die Gnade und viel Erlösung bei ihm.
Und er wird Israel erlösen
aus allen seinen Sünden.
Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee,
O Lord. Lord, hear my voice:
let Thine ears be attentive to
the voice of my supplications.
2. Arioso, Chorale
If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities,
O Lord, who shall stand?
Have mercy on me in such torment,
remove it from my heart,
for Thou hast atoned for it
with pains of death upon the cross,
But there is forgiveness with Thee,
that Thou mayest be feared.
so that I might not with grievous
woe perish in my sins, or despair for evermore.
I wait for the Lord,
my soul doth wait,
and in His word do I hope.
My soul waiteth for the Lord
more than they that watch
for the morning.
Because I in my heart,
as I have hitherto lamented,
am also a troubled sinner,
gnawed at by his conscience,
and would gladly in
Thy blood be washed clean of sin,
like David and Manasseh.
Let Israel hope in the Lord:
for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all her iniquities.