MINI BACH EXPERIENCE: ST. MATTHEW PASSION, PART 4 OF 6

Freed into love, so that we can love

"We are freed into love, so that we can love into freedom."

– The Rev. Dr. Robert Allan Hill Dean of Marsh Chapel, Boston University
 

Movements 45–50

This week, we are pleased to present movements 45–50 of the St. Matthew Passion. The text comes from Matthew 26 and focuses on Pontius Pilate's appeal to the assembled crowd to choose between Jesus and Barabbas. Featured is the soprano aria, Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben (Out of love my Savior wants to die).

As Artistic Director Scott Allen Jarrett notes in his opening remarks, Bach and his librettist Picander take their cue here from Martin Luther's meditations on the cross to guide the believer through a transformative, cyclical theology. First, admit your sin. Then, rejoice because you are absolved of that sin—because Jesus bears its burden for you. Finally, take the model of Christ's love, and be that model to the world. Listen in as Scott explains how Bach employs musical devices to re-create the scene, but more importantly, how he manages to keep the listener's focus on the point of the story. Then, enjoy the audio and visuals from our performance at the 2019 Charlotte Bach Festival.

Notes

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On the Video

0.07 - Mini "Bach Experience"
St. Matthew Passion, Part 4

Scott Allen Jarrett

Movements 45–50

22.20 - #45a: Pilate asks the crowd which prisoner to release for Passover

24.37 - #45b: Laß ihn kreuzigen!

24.56 - #46: Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe!

25.34 - #47: Pilate asks the crowd what evil Jesus has done

25.54 - #48: Er hat uns allen wohlgetan

27.03 - #49: Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben

31.52 - #50a: The crowd cries louder

31.58 - #50b: Laß ihn kreuzigen!

32.18 - #50c: Pilate washes his hands of Jesus

32.46 - ​​​​​​​#50d: Sein Blut komme über uns und unsre Kinder

33.26 - #50e: Pilate releases Barrabas and scourges Jesus

 


Text & Translation

 

45a. Evangelist
Auf das Fest aber hatte der Landpfleger Gewohnheit, dem Volk einen Gefangenen loszugeben, welchen sie wollten. Er hatte aber zu der Zeit einen Gefangenen, einen sonderlichen von andern, der hieß Barrabas. Und da sie versammlet waren, sprach Pilatus zu ihnen:

Pilatus
Welchen wollt ihr, daß ich euch losgebe? Barrabam oder Jesum, von dem gesaget wird, er sei Christus?

Evangelist
Denn er wußte wohl, daß sie ihn aus Neid überantwortet hatten. Und da er auf dem Richtstuhl saß, schickete sein Weib zu ihm und ließ ihm sagen:

Pilati Weib
Habe du nichts zu schaffen mit diesem Gerechten; ich habe heute viel erlitten im Traum von seinetwegen!

Evangelist
Aber die Hohenpriester und die Ältesten überredeten das Volk, daß sie um Barrabam bitten sollten und Jesum umbrächten. Da antwortete nun der Landpfleger und sprach zu ihnen:

Pilatus
Welchen wollt ihr unter diesen Zweien, den ich euch soll losgeben?

Evangelist
Sie sprachen:

Chor I & II
Barrabam!

Evangelist
Pilatus sprach zu ihnen:

Pilatus
Was soll ich denn machen mit Jesu, von dem gesagt wird, er sei Christus?

Evangelist
Sie sprachen alle:

45a. Evangelist
At the festival, however, the Governor had a custom of releasing a prisoner to the people, whichever they wanted. He had, at the time, a most unusual prisoner named Barabbas. And as they were gathered together, Pilate said to them:

Pilate
Which one do you want me to release to you? Barabbas or Jesus, of whom it is said, he is the Christ?

Evangelist
For he knew well that they had handed him over out of envy. And while he sat upon the judgment seat, his wife sent to him and her message said:

Pilate's Wife
Have nothing to do with this righteous man; I have suffered much in a dream today on his account!

Evangelist
But the high priests and the elders convinced the people that they should ask for Barabbas and convict Jesus. So when the Governor answered and said to them:

Pilate
Which one of the two do you want me to release to you?

​​​​Evangelist
They said:

Chorus I & II
Barabbas! ​​​​​​​

Evangelist
Pilate said to them: ​​​​​​​

Pilate
What shall I do then with Jesus, of whom it is said, he is the Christ?

​​​Evangelist
They all said: ​​​​​​​

45b. Chor I & II
Laß ihn kreuzigen!

45b. Chorus I & II
Let him be crucified!

46. Choral
Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe!
Die gute Hirte leidet für die Schafe,
Die Schuld bezahlt der Herre, der Gerechte,
Für seine Knechte.

("Herzliebster Jesu," verse 4)

46. Chorale
How strange is this punishment!
The Good Shepherd suffers for the sheep.
The Lord, the Righteous One, atones for the crime on his servant's behalf.

("Herzliebster Jesu," verse 4)

47. Evangelist
Der Landpfleger sagte:

Pilatus
Was hat er denn Übels getan?

47. Evangelist
The Governor said:

Pilate
What evil has he done then?

48. Rezitativ S (Chor I)
Er hat uns allen wohlgetan,
den Blinden gab er das Gesicht,
Die Lahmen macht' er gehend,
Er sagt' uns seines Vaters Wort,
Er trieb die Teufel fort,
Betrübte hat er aufgericht',
Er nahm die Sünder auf und an,
Sonst hat mein Jesus nichts getan.

48. Recitative S (Chorus I)
He has done good things for all of us;
he gave sight to the blind,
he made the lame to walk,
he told us his Father's word,
he drove out the devil,
he has strengthened the troubled.
He took sinners in and embraced them,
other than that, my Jesus has done nothing!

49. Arie S (Chor I)
Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben,
Von einer Sünde weiß er nichts,
Daß das ewigen Verderben
und die Strafe des Gerichts
Nicht auf meiner Seele bliebe.

49. Aria S (Chorus I)
Out of love my Savior wants to die.
He knows nothing of a single sin;
so that the eternal destruction
and the punishment of judgment
would not remain upon my soul.

50b. Chor I & II
Laß ihn kreuzigen!

50b. Chorus I & II
Let him be crucified!

50c. Evangelist
Da aber Pilatus sahe, daß er nichts schaffete, sondern daß ein viel größer Getümmel ward, nahm er Wasser und wusch die Hände vor dem Volk und sprach:

Pilatus
Ich bin unschuldig an dem Blut dieses Gerechten, sehet ihr zu!

Evangelist
Da antwortete das ganze Volk und sprach:

50c. Evangelist
When Pilate saw, however, that he achieved nothing, rather that a much greater riot occurred, he took water and washed his hands before the people and said:

Pilate
I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man, see to it yourselves!

Evangelist
Then all the people answered and said:

50d. Chor I & II
Sein Blut komme über uns und unsre Kinder.

​​​​​​​50d. Chorus I & II
Let his blood be on us and on our children.

 

50e. Evangelist
Da gab er ihnen Barrabam los; aber Jesum ließ er geißeln und überantwortete ihn, daß er gekreuziget würde.

50e. Evangelist
Then he released Barabbas to them; but he had Jesus scourged and handed him over to be crucified.



Performed live at the Charlotte Bach Festival
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC

BA|Charlotte Cantata Choir
North Carolina Baroque Orchestra
Charlotte Latin Choristers, directed by Emily Shusdock
Scott Allen Jarrett conducting



The stained glass in the video and at the top of this page is located in the sanctuary of Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC, the site of the Akademie's 2019 Charlotte Bach Festival performance of the St. Matthew Passion.

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