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CHURCH CANTATA

Synopsis

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(No. 185) BACH
Relayed from the Church of the Messiah, Birmingham
'BARMHERZIGES B ERZE DER EWIGEN
LIEBE'
('COMPASSIONATE HEART OF THE
Love EVERLASTING ')
KATE WlNTER (Soprano)
ALICE VAUGHAN (Contralto)
TOM PICKERING (Tenor)
ARTHUR CRANMER (Baritone)
G. D. CUNNINGHAM (Continuo)
THE BIRMIMINGHAMSTUDIO CHORUS and ORCHESTRA
Conducted by JOSEPH LEWIS
THE Cantata for the fourth Sun-
JL day after Trinity is a beautiful work. There is no introductory sinfonia; the first Duet begins at once with the melody in the continuo, followed at two bars' interval by the soprano and tenor voices in imitation. Throughout the Duet the oboe plays the melody of the old Chorale ' Ich ruf zu dir ' (' I cry to Thee ').
The Duet is followed by an elaborate
Recitative for the alto voice with a sustained accompaniment from the strings with a bass in the continuo.
The third number is an Aria for the alto with an expressive obbligato which the oboe and first violin play for the most part in unison.
The bass follows with a recitative and aria accompanied only by the continue, and the concluding Chorale has a free solo violin part as well as the usual continuo accompaniment.
English Text by D. Millar Craig ,
Copyright B.B.C., 1928.
1.—Duet (Soprano and Tenor) :
Compassionate Heart of the Love everlasting,
Awaken my spirit to knowledge of Thee,
That I may have charity, hate from me casting,
0 Fountain of Pity, flow Thou over me.
II.—Recitative (Alto) :
Ye hard hearts, that like stone and rock no pity reaches,
Like water flow and melt;
0 learn what now the Saviour teaches,
Learn, learn His charity. Seek to thyself to gather
The grace of God the Father. Seek not to judge, for God hath it forbidden,
Let God alone on High be judge,
Lest from thine eyes His face be hidden.
Forgive, so will He be forgiving:
Give while on earth thou'rt living;
Let grace be all thy wealth, that in His house
God shall reward theewith a heavenly treasure.
As thou dost mete, to thee is giv'n like measure.
III.— Aria (Alto) :
Be it here on earth thy care,
Mortal, good seed freely sowing,
Still to tend thy harvest growing,
So shalt thou for Heav'n prepare.
He that good seed freely soweth
To the harvest gladly goeth.
IV.—Recitative (Bass) :
The love of self is vanity. From out thine eye
First see that thou the beam removest,
Ere thou thy neighbour's tiny mote reprovest,
Within his eye that thou may'st see.
And though thy neighbour sinless may not be,
Remember thou, no angel art thou.
From thine own sin depart thou!
For when a blind a blind man leadeth,
And guidance too he needeth, So they must fall, he and his brother,
They do but o'er-throw one another.
V.—Aria (Bass) :
Thus shall the Christian do-
To worship God and know Him, A faithful love to show Him; Nor ever judge his neighbour; Nor waste another's labour;
The poor and needy tending.
For them his treasure spending;
That pleaseth God and mankind too;
Thus shall the Christian do.
VI.— Chorale :
To thee I call, 0 Christ my
Lord,
Hear me, 0 Love unbounded; Give me the grace to keep Thy word,
Nor let me be confounded;
Thy way I'ld go, to Thee above,
Where no ill may betide me, Thou beside me,
My neighbour I would love
And do Thy will. 0 guide me.
(The Bach Cantata for next Sunday is No. 6—' Bleib' beiuns' (' Bide, with us ').

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