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Du lieber Heiland du (from 'St Matthew Passion') (1727) BMV244

Du lieber Heiland du (from 'St Matthew Passion')

Du lieber Heiland du,
Wenn deine Jünger töricht streiten,
Daß dieses fromme Weib
Mit Salben deinen Leib
Zum Grabe will bereiten,
So lasse mir inzwischen zu,
Von meiner Augen Tränenflüssen
Ein Wasser auf dein Haupt zu gießen!

Thou, dear Saviour (from 'The Matthew Passion')

Thou, dear Saviour,
When Thy disciples foolishly quarrel amongst themselves
As to whether this devout woman
Should prepare Thy body
With ointment for the grave,
Allow me to anoint Thy head
With rivers of tears from my eyes!

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Johann Sebasian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Boroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg concertos, th Goldburg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over three hundred cantatas of which around two hundred survive. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.

Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.

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Christian Friedrich Henrici (1700 – 1764), writing under the pen name Picander, was a German poet and librettist for many of the cantatas which Johann Sebastian Bach composed in Leipzig. Some of Bach's most important works used Henrici's libretti. Most notably their collaboration was on religious works in a Lutheran tradition such as the St Matthew Passion (BWV 244).

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