Sunday, September 29, 2013

Johann Sebastian Bach - Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir

Image via Wikipedia
Today is Michaelmas, the feast of St. Michael the Archangel.  St. Michael was a big deal - he was the Almighty's General - and so his feast day was appropriately a big deal down through the ages.  Readers of the Roman Catholic devotion will certainly hear about the Archangel at today's mass*.

Michaelmas was not just a pretty big holy day, but falling nearly on the Equinox it served double duty  as a harvest festival throughout much of Western Europe.  You can imagine that this made it one of the most important celebrations between Easter and All Saint's Day.

It was, in fact, such a big deal that no less that J. S. Bach was commissioned to write this cantata for Michaelmas in 1724.  It follows the liturgy of the day (sort of; it pretty much skates past Revelations), but after an appropriately sober opening ends with an almost festive air.

* Readers of the Greek Orthodox devotion will celebrate this feast in November.


libertyman said...

Excellent. Imagine the ability to create such music!

Chickenmom said...

Beautiful - plugged in the good speakers on this one!

Unknown said...

Thank you for a perfect start to my Sunday!