Once again, VOCES8 makes my day … or night … or perhaps both.

Session footage from VOCES8’s recording of cantata 150 ‘Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich’ by JS Bach. VOCES8 is recording with the Academy of Ancient Music (Bojan Cicic, leader), directed by Barnaby Smith. The track forms part of the VOCES8’s 15th anniversary recording project, ‘After Silence’, and can be found on all digital music platforms. For more information about the album project, visit VOCES8 After Silence.

Notes by Paul Williamson
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150, known only from secondary sources, is probably Bach’s earliest surviving cantata, written while he was organist at the Neue Kirche in Arnstadt (1703–7). The work’s modest scoring reflects the limited musical resources at his disposal; it is also an old- style Protestant cantata, untouched by the reforms of Erdmann Neumeister, who advocated the introduction of madrigalesque poetry, operatic recitatives and da capo arias. BWV 150 takes a more restrained Lutheran approach, setting texts from Scripture (verses from Psalm 25 in movements 2, 4 and 6) alongside interpretative stanzas by an unknown poet (in movements 3, 5 and 7). To understand the Psalms, Luther said, we must consider that David was a prophet, and unless he instructs otherwise, we must take the sacred poetry to refer to Christ. Accordingly, in BWV 150, the Psalmist’s entreaties to the God of the Old Testament find Christian meanings in the exegetical modern verse. Similarly, commenting on Psalm 25:15 (set in movement 6), Luther explains the image of the ‘foot’ being released from the ‘net’ as the redemptive power of God’s grace, delivering the faithful from worldly snares. Valuing sacred music as a divine gift, Luther also compared the harmonious singing of many voices to a ‘heavenly dance’, a point surely recalled by Bach in the final movement of Nach dir, Herr, which takes the form of a chaconne. Nearly two centuries later, Bach’s inviting little dance was famously reborn in the final movement of Brahms’ Fourth Symphony, premiered in October 1885.

Text and Translation
Words: Psalm 25:1–2, 5, 15 (mvts 2, 4, 6); anon. (mvts 3, 5, 7)

1. Sinfonia

2. Chor
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich. Mein Gott, ich hoffe auf dich. Laß mich nicht zuschanden werden, daß sich meine Feinde nicht freuen über mich.
Lord, I long for you. My God, I hope in you.
Let me not be put to shame, so that my enemies will not rejoice over me.

3. Arie (Soprano)
Doch bin und bleibe ich vergnügt, Obgleich hier zeitlich toben Kreuz, Sturm und andre Proben, Tod, Höll, und was sich fügt.
Ob Unfall schlägt den treuen Knecht, Recht ist und bleibet ewig Recht.
Yet I am and remain content, although at the moment here may rage
cross, storm and other trials, death, hell, and what is theirs. Though misfortune strike the true servant, right is and remains eternally right.

4. Chor
Leite mich in deiner Wahrheit und lehre mich; denn du bist der Gott, der mir hilft, täglich harre ich dein.
Lead me in your Truth and teach me; for you are the God, who helps me, I await you daily.

5. Terzett (Alto, Tenor, Bass)
Zedern müssen von den Winden Oft viel Ungemach empfinden, Oftmals werden sie verkehrt.
Rat und Tat auf Gott gestellet, Achtet nicht, was widerbellet, Denn sein Wort ganz anders lehrt.
Cedars must, before the winds, often feel much hardship, often they will be destroyed. Place your words and deeds before God,
heed not what howls against you, since his Word teaches otherwise.

6. Chor
Meine Augen sehen stets zu dem Herrn; denn er wird meinen Fuß aus dem Netze ziehen.
My eyes gaze continually at the Lord; for he will draw my foot out of the net.

7. Chor
Meine Tage in den Leiden
Endet Gott dennoch zur Freuden; Christen auf den Dornenwegen Führen Himmels Kraft und Segen. Bleibet Gott mein treuer Schutz, Achte ich nicht Menschentrutz; Christus, der uns steht zur Seiten. Hilft mir täglich sieghaft streiten.
My days in suffering
God will nevertheless end in joy; Christians upon the thorny pathways are led by Heaven’s power and blessing.
If God remains my dearest treasure, I need not heed mankind’s cruelty; Christ, who stands by our side, helps me daily fight to victory.

Academy of Ancient Music
Bojan Cicic, Violin I (Leader)
Davina Clarke, Violin II
Jonathan Byers, Cello
Judith Evans, Double Bass
Ursula Leveaux, Bassoon
Alastair Ross, Organ
William Carter, Theorbo

but honestly?! This guy is playing four non-related instruments. Okay then.

Principal Clarinetist of the Utah Symphony playing Gershwin

But why didn’t he sing and dance? Hm.

Charming! And yeah, it also made me cry. Go figure.

Pas moins de 100 musiciens et membres de l’équipe ont participé à la réalisation de ce clip, en collaboration avec le département vidéo de Radio France, pour se mobiliser, aider UNICEF et sensibiliser le plus grand nombre à la nécessité d’apporter un soutien aux enfants qui en ont plus que jamais besoin.

Enregistrés en son réel, les 100 fichiers ont ensuite été, scénarisés, montés et mixés (aucun Playback) une véritable prouesse technique et artistique pour porter un projet solidaire et humanitaire avec France Musique.

Pour en savoir plus :
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