Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Sins' poison

There are some highlights from  the project "All of Bach" I just need to write about. This time it is the solo cantata "Widerstehe doch der Sünde" is probably one of the very early Bach cantatas, possibly his sixth if we put all the 200 cantatas in chronological order. It dates from the period Bach was working in the Weimar court (1708-1717).Bach used the first aria again in his St Mark Passion. All of Bach recorded in the Geertekerk in Utrecht. Pay attention to the conductor Lars Ulrik Mortensen. He is not only playing the harpsichord, but the whole Geertekerk as well ;-)

The cantata was probably sung in Leipzig by a boy. Now it it sung by Maarten Engeltjes (funny name Maarten Angelic in English), a countertenor. That is a man with a high voice. Quite popular nowadays. I prefer a female alto, the sound is so much warmer if it us sung by a woman. Anyway that seldom happens anymore, the countertenors are quite popular these days.

Enjoy about 12 minutes of Bach's music. 

BWV 54 - "Widerstehe doch der Sünde" Johann Sebastiaan Bach
Cantata for Oculi 1. Arie A
Widerstehe doch der Sünde,
Sonst ergreifet dich ihr Gift.
Laß dich nicht den Satan blenden;
Denn die Gottes Ehre schänden,
Trifft ein Fluch, der tödlich ist.
Just resist sin, lest its poison seize you.
Don't let Satan blind you;
for those who defile God's honor
will incur a curse that is deadly.
2. Rezitativ A Die Art verruchter Sünden
Ist zwar von außen wunderschön;
Allein man muß
Hernach mit Kummer und Verdruß
Viel Ungemach empfinden.
Von außen ist sie Gold;
Doch, will man weiter gehn,
So zeigt sich nur ein leerer Schatten
Und übertünchtes Grab.
Sie ist den Sodomsäpfeln gleich,
Und die sich mit derselben gatten,
Gelangen nicht in Gottes Reich.
Sie ist als wie ein scharfes Schwert,
Das uns durch Leib und Seele fährt.
2. Recitative A The appearance of vile sin
is indeed outwardly very beautiful;
however one must
afterwards with trouble and frustration
experience much hardship.
On the outside it is gold;
yet, going further in,
it shows itself as only an empty shadow
and a whitewashed grave.
It is like the apples of Sodom,
and those who engage themselves with it
will not achieve God's Kingdom.
It is like a sharp sword,
that pierces through body and soul.
3. Arie A Wer Sünde tut, der ist vom Teufel,
Denn dieser hat sie aufgebracht.
Doch wenn man ihren schnöden Banden
Mit rechter Andacht widerstanden,
Hat sie sich gleich davongemacht.
3. Aria A Whoever sins is of the devil,
since he has brought it forth.
Yet if one is able, with virtuous devotion,
to withstand its contemptible bonds,
it is already done away with.
Georg Christian Lehm, 1711


  1. Hey Han...I'm not a real big fan of classical music but I did enjoy the link you shared. Thank you for the translation...very intense words!

    Hugs and Blessings...

    1. Frankly I am sursprised you like it. It is not very accessable music and the lyrics are high baroque. But I am absolutely thrilled you liked it.

  2. What an unexpected, but beautiful post, Han. Thank you/


    1. I like to post what I like and it is nice if there are a lot of people come and visit the blog, and is it nice if there is only one person (myself) likes it. It doesn't bother me, appy. I'm glad however you liked it.

  3. Sitting at Franfurkt AirPort , waiting for My fly and listening to Bach.
    Life is great. Thank you, Han, this made My day

    Take care,
    Mona Lisa

  4. Replies
    1. Isn't it lovely to be in a noisy place and you plug in those ear things and listen to beautiful music? I'm very glad you liked it. I didn't know you liked classical music. Wasn't the Danish conductor fun to watch?

    2. He was amazing, like he was doing a rock music.. Lol.
      I love clasic musik very much.
      It was a great part of My childehood.
      Han did you forget that Mona Lisa is clasically educated woman? .. Lol

    3. I humbly apologize, ML :-). I didn't discover classical music myself until I was 14, 15 years I think. My parents didn't care for music much, my Mum liked the typical weird Dutch songs.

  5. long long ago I played in an orchestra accompanying a choir singing cantatas. I wish I could say I remember the singing but I was more concerned about fluffing my own notes. Thanks for the memories.

    1. Oh, I simply admire people who can play music. You did huh, playing in an orchestra. Wow. I'm glad I made you go back in time for a moment.

    2. Nothing exciting - a scratch orchestra formed on the day of the concert to accompany a local choir. I got paid travel expenses for the privilege of sitting in cold churches. No time to practice, it was a fly by the seat of your pants experience.

    3. OK, you are allowed to play it down some, but that doesn't mean I'm any less impressed.


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