November 20

Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen, BWV 48
Wretched man that I am, who shall save me

BWV 48 is from Bach’s first cycle of cantatas in Leipzig and was first performed on the 19th Sunday After Trinity, October 3, 1723. Although the Gospel reading for this day was the story of the physical healing of the paralytic at Capernaum (Matthew 9:1—8), the librettist of the cantata was more concerned with the torment of the believer’s soul and God’s comfort and forgiveness. The motet is from another relative of J. S. Bach’s, this time his first cousin once removed Johann Christoph Bach (1642—1703). The tender, chorale-like motet is a prayer that concludes each stanza with “Welt, gute Nacht!” (World, good night!) One cannot help but be reminded of the “Mein Jesu, gute nacht” refrain in the penultimate movement of the St. Matthew Passion. Playing the organ prelude and the service of Vespers is guest organist Paul Soulek, cantor at St. John Lutheran Church and School in Seward, Nebraska.

3:00 p.m. Cantata Preview Lecture (in-person only)
Mark P. Bangert, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

3:45 p.m. Bach Cantata Vespers (in-person and online)
Bulletin for the service is here
Paul Soulek, St. John Lutheran Church and School, Seward, Nebraska, guest organist

Johann Christoph Bach: Es ist nun aus mit meinem Leben

Ole Schenk, United Lutheran Church, Oak Park, Illinois homilist

Amy Anderson de Jong, mezzo soprano
Ryan Townsend Strand, tenor

Bach Cantata Vespers Chorus and Orchestra
Grace Cantor Michael D. Costello, conducting


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