Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ

Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ

BWV 67 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Jos van Veldhoven
Grote Kerk, Naarden

  • Menu
  • 1. Halt im Gedächtnis (Chorus)
  • 2. Mein Jesus ist erstanden (Aria)
  • 3. Mein Jesu (Recitative)
  • 4. Erschienen ist (Chorale)
  • 5. Doch scheinet fast (Recitative)
  • 6. Friede sei mit euch! (Aria)
  • 7. Du Friedefürst (Chorale)

Behind the music

Story
Story
Extra videos
Extra videos
Texts
Texts
Credits
Credits

A cantata filled with jubilant optimism

Nine days after his first Passion, Bach was already in full swing again.

Bach must have had a difficult time in his first year as cantor in Leipzig. Not only did he want to compose a complete series of new cantatas, but he also wanted to set his hand to a Passion straight away. It is understandable that after the presentation of his St John Passion on Good Friday 1724, there was not much energy left for more tours de force. For his cantatas in the following Easter days, he resorted to making a few changes to existing work. But by Quasimodogeniti, seven days after Easter, Bach was back in full swing again. His cantata ‘Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ’ is a completely new work with a wonderfully optimistic undertone. The work is in seven movements, yet is far from long-winded, and is full of variety, both with regard to vocal and instrumental combinations and to the range of moods. It was also the first time that Bach made use (albeit modestly) of the transverse flute. Along with the two oboes d’amore, the instrument adds colour to the sensitive moments, while the slide trumpet emphasises the festivity in the chorale melodies.

The reading for the first Sunday after Easter is about doubting Thomas. The words of the cantata talk about divine mercy: all those who struggle, yet see the error of their ways, will be shown forgiveness. The large-scale chorus at the beginning celebrates the resurrection of Christ. But then the tenor shows signs of Thomas-like doubt, which run smoothly on into those of the alto. However strongly the central chorale goes on to argue that the redeemer has crushed our enemies, the alto does not admit defeat easily. It is only in the fervent bass aria with chorus, rich in contrast, that a turning point is reached. Jesus himself comes to the aid of the faithful in their clearly audible struggle, with the repeated soothing words ‘Peace be with you’. And in the simple final chorale, peace does indeed return to the hearts of the faithful.

BWV
67
Title
Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ
Genre
cantatas
Year
1724
City
Leipzig
Lyricist
unknown
Occasion
First Sunday after Easter (Quasimodogeniti)
First performance
16 April 1724
Special notes
This is the first cantata in which Bach uses a transverse flute. Bach reused the sixth movement in the Gloria of the Mass in A minor, BWV 234.

Extra videos

Conductor Jos van Veldhoven

“Jos van Veldhoven explains why this cantata was already fairly popular in the early 19th century.”

Flute player Marten Root

“Marten Root tells how Bach uses the traverso in his cantatas.”

Trumpet player Robert Vanryne

“We really have no idea what this instrument actually was Robert Vanryne on the 'corno da tirarsi'”

Vocal texs

Original

1. Chor
Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ,
der auferstanden ist von den Toten.

2. Arie (Tenor)
Mein Jesus ist erstanden,
allein, was schreckt mich noch?
Mein Glaube kennt des Heilands Sieg,
doch fühlt mein Herze Streit und Krieg,
mein Heil, erscheine doch!

3. Rezitativ (Alto)
Mein Jesu, heissest du des Todes Gift
und eine Pestilenz der Hölle:
ach, dass mich noch
Gefahr und Schrecken trifft!
Du legtest selbst auf unsre Zungen
ein Loblied,
welches wir gesungen:

4. Choral
Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag,
dran sich niemand gnug
freuen mag:
Christ, unser Herr,
heut triumphiert,
all sein Feind er gefangen führt.
Alleluja!

5. Rezitativ (Alto)
Doch scheinet fast,
dass mich der Feinde Rest,
den ich zu gross
und allzu schrecklich finde,
nicht ruhig bleiben lässt.
Doch, wenn du mir
den Sieg erworben hast,
so streite selbst mit mir, mit deinem Kinde.
Ja, ja, wir spüren schon im Glauben,
dass du, o Friedefürst,
dein Wort und Werk an uns erfüllen wirst.

6. Arie (Bass, Chor)
Friede sei mit euch!

Wohl uns! Jesus hilft uns kämpfen
und die Wut der Feinde dämpfen,
Hölle, Satan, weich!

Friede sei mit euch!

Jesus holet uns zum Frieden
und erquicket in uns Müden
Geist und Leib zugleich.

Friede sei mit euch!

O Herr, hilf und lass gelingen,
durch den Tod hindurchzudringen
in dein Ehrenreich!

Friede sei mit euch!

7. Choral
Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ,
wahr' Mensch und wahrer Gott,
ein starker Nothelfer du bist
im Leben und im Tod:
drum wir allein
im Namen dein
zu deinem Vater schreien.

Translation

1. Chorus 
Remember that Jesus Christ 
was raised from the dead. 

2. Aria 
My Jesus is risen, 
but what affrights me still? 
My faith knows the Saviour’s triumph, 
but my heart feels strife and war. 
My Saviour, I beg Thee, appear! 

3. Recitative 
My Jesus, Thou art called the poison of 
death and the plague of Hell: 
ah, that danger 
and terror still afflict me! 
Thou wouldst place on 
our tongues 
a hymn of praise, that we have sung: 

4. Chorale 
The glorious day is come,
at which no one can 
rejoice enough:? 
Christ, our Lord,
triumphs today,
He holds His enemies captive and leads them away. 
Alleluia! 

5. Recitative 
Yet it seems as though
the remaining foe,
whom I find too 
many and terrible, 
will not leave me in peace. 
But now Thou hast 
gained victory for me, 
fight at my side with Thine own child. 
Yes, our faith already tells us
that Thou, O Prince of Peace, 
will fulfil Thy Word and work in us. 

6. Aria and Chorus 
Peace be unto you! 

O joy! Jesus helps us fight 
to subdue the fury of our foe. 
Hell, Satan, be gone! 

Peace be unto you! 

Jesus summons us to peace, 
and restores in us weary ones 
soul and body alike. 

Peace be unto you! 

Help us, Lord, to enter 
through the realm of death 
Thy glorious Kingdom! 

Peace be unto you! 

7. Chorale 
Thou Prince of Peace, Lord Jesus Christ, 
very man and very God, 
Thou art a strong helper in need, 
in life and in death: 
we therefore,
in Thy name alone, 
cry unto Thy Father.

Credits

  • Release date
    23 January 2015
  • Recording date
    11 October 2014
  • Location
    Grote Kerk, Naarden
  • Conductor
    Jos van Veldhoven
  • Alto
    Alex Potter
  • Tenor
    Thomas Hobbs
  • Bass
    Peter Kooij
  • Ripieno soprano
    Lauren Armishaw, Marjon Strijk (solo), Kristen Witmer
  • Ripieno alto
    Marleene Goldstein, Barnabás Hegyi
  • Ripieno tenor
    João Moreira, Kevin Skelton
  • Ripieno bass
    Matthew Baker, Jelle Draijer
  • Violin 1
    Shunske Sato, Anneke van Haaften, Annelies van der Vegt
  • Violin 2
    Sayuri Yamagata, Pieter Affourtit, Paulien Kostense
  • Viola
    Staas Swierstra, Jan Willem Vis
  • Cello
    Lucia Swarts, Richte van der Meer
  • Double bass
    Robert Franenberg
  • Traverso
    Marten Root
  • Oboe
    Martin Stadler, Peter Frankenberg
  • Bassoon
    Benny Aghassi
  • Trumpet
    Robert Vanryne
  • Harpsichord
    Siebe Henstra
  • Positive organ
    Leo van Doeselaar
  • Concert production
    Imke Deters, Erik van Lith, Marco Meijdam
  • Producers
    Zoë de Wilde, Frank van der Weij
  • Film director
    Lucas van Woerkum
  • Director of photography
    Sal Kroonenberg
  • Camera
    Sal Kroonenberg, Robert Berger, Ruben van den Broeke, Benjamin Sparschuh
  • Film editors
    Lucas van Woerkum, Frank van der Weij
  • Music recording producer
    Leo de Klerk
  • Gaffer
    Zen Bloot
  • Best boys
    Roeland van Bemmel, Patrick Galvin
  • Score reader
    MaNOj Kamps
  • Music recording assistants
    Jaap Firet, Gilius Kreiken, Jaap van Stenis, Bobby Verbakel
  • Camera assistants
    Izak de Dreu, Zino Rosmolen
  • Music edit and mix
    Leo de Klerk, Frank van der Weij
  • Music edit assistant
    Martijn Snoeren
  • Acknowledgements
    Angela Mast, Marlo Reeders
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