J. S. Bach - Chorale from Cantata BWV 140
Sheet music for violin
|Chorale from Cantata No. 140; Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme; Zion hört die Wächter singen
|This piece is the 4th movement (Tenor chorale Zion hört die Wächter singen) of one of Bach's most famous and theatrical sacred cantatas. It was written in 1731 as part of Bach's series of five cantatas for each Sunday and special feast day in the Lutheran calendar. This cantata was written for the 27th Sunday after the Trinity. This day only occurs in years when Easter arrives unusually early. As this was a rare event (it happened only twice during Bach's 26 years in Leipzig), Bach used an unusually large ensemble and wrote the cantata on a grand scale. The choir used in the cantata comes from a melody from a 1599 hymn by Philipp Nicolai. Literally, the title translates as "Wake up, the voices are calling us". To adjust the three syllables of German, the most commonly found translation "Sleepers Wake" is used, and it is by this name that it is best known in English. The text is a treatment of Jesus' parable of the wise and foolish virgins (or, as some translations say, wise and foolish bridesmaids). What is silly about these young women in the story of Jesus is that because they did not bring enough oil for their lamps, they had to go out to buy more and, in doing so, were prevented from attending the wedding and the wedding feast. In fact, they didn't even enter Bach's cantata, as it only mentions the wise bridesmaids, who didn't miss the Bridegroom's arrival and therefore witnessed the wedding and participated in the feast. The Bridegroom is allegorical for Jesus; his bride is the Christian soul. And these two allegorical figures have an ardent, even lyrical, love duet attributed to soprano and bass.
|Johann Sebastian Bach
|21 March 1685 , Eisenach
|28 July 1750 , Leipzig
|One of the greatest composers of all time. Bach wrote hundreds of pieces for organ, choir, as well as many other instruments. He spent most of his life as a church organist and a choir director. His music combines profound expression with clever musico-mathematical feats, like fugues and cannons in which the same melody is played against itself in various ways.
|G3 - F5