Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht
BWV 345 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Christoph Prégardien
Grote Kerk, Alkmaar
Behind the music
Plenty of movement in upper part
Bach may also have written the chorale melody himself.
After Bach’s death, his four-part chorale settings remained the best known. As early as the 1760’s, two sets of a hundred four-part chorales each were printed, with the inscription “collected by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach”. But in fact Carl Philipp had nothing to do with this publication. In a letter sent to a Hamburg newspaper, he even criticised the edition for its errors and incorrect attributions. Between 1784 and 1787, he was involved in a more reliable edition of his father’s chorale settings for the music publisher Breitkopf. The four Breitkopf collections contain no fewer than 348 different harmonisations of chorale melodies without text. These settings are notated on two staves, like a keyboard score. So they formed an inexhaustible series of examples of how to endlessly harmonise creative chorale melodies (giving them a four-part accompaniment).
The chorale Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht is found in part three of the edition. There is plenty of movement in the upper part. So the soprano part does not sound like a typical chorale melody, which are usually a bit older. This melody dates from 1735. The only source is a manuscript from Bach’s circle – and it is possible that Bach wrote it himself. Whether he had Simon Dach’s text Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht in mind for it is not certain. Although the text does fit the upper part well, it is not such a good match for the lower parts. Moreover, in Bach’s day this text was usually sung to a melody by Heinrich Albert from 1648. Bach also made his own four-part harmonisation of this better-known melody (BWV 464).
- Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht
- Simon Dach
Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht
Du hast mich an das Licht gebracht
Und du erhältst mir auch das Leben,
Du kennest meiner Monden Zahl,
Weisst wann ich diesem Jammerthal
Auch wieder gute Nacht soll geben.
Wo, wie und wann ich sterben soll,
Das weisst du, Vater, mehr als wohl.
O Lord, you hold me in your might
It’s you who gave me life and light
And you who gives me all my living.
You know the number of my years
You know when to this vale of tears
My last goodnight I’m giving.
When I shall die, and where and how
You know, my Father, here and now.
translation © Ruth van Baak Griffioen, 2019
- Release date
- 23 January 2020
- Recording date
- 28 February 2019
- Grote Kerk, Alkmaar
- Christoph Prégardien
- Lucia Caihuela, Maria Valdmaa, Klaartje van Veldhoven, Lauren Armishaw, Orlanda Velez Isidro, Marjon Strijk
- Marine Fribourg, Elsbeth Gerritsen, Eimi Witmer, Inga Schneider, Bart Uvyn, Laura Lopes
- Guy Cutting, Immo Schröder, David Lee, Adriaan de Koster, Yves Van Handenhove, Diederik Rooker
- Drew Santini, Matthew Baker, Martijn de Graaf Bierbrauwer, Donald Bentvelsen, Michiel Meijer, Joep van Geffen
- Siebe Henstra
- Director and editor
- Bas Wielenga
- Music recording
- Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Pim van der Lee
- Music edit and mix
- Guido Tichelman
- Martin Struijf, Jesper Blok, Wesley Schipper
- Zen Bloot, Patrick Galvin, Fiona Verkleij, Henry Rodgers
- Assistant director
- Stefan Ebels
- Video engineer
- Justin Mutsaers
- Project manager team
- Ron Vermeulen
- Producer concert
- Imke Deters, Marco Meijdam
- Producer film
- Jessie Verbrugh
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