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O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß (Präludium)

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Uploaded by: AAHunt (01/22/19)
Composer: Aaron Andrew Hunt
Sample Producer: OrganART Media
Sample Set: Bosch - F.C. Schnitger Vollenhove
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Baroque
If you know this chorale, you may be aware that the text in fact has no fewer than 23 strophes, and is a complete retelling of the Passion of Christ in poetic form. Only the first and last strophes are used in the modern Gesangbuch.

(written 13./20./22. January 2019)

Melodie: Matthias Greitter, 1525
Text: Sebald Heyden, 1530

O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß,
darum Christus seins Vaters Schoß
äußert’ und kam auf Erden;
von einer Jungfrau rein und zart
für uns er hier geboren ward,
er wollt der Mittler werden.
Den Toten er das Leben gab
und tat dabei all Krankheit ab,
bis sich die Zeit herdrange,
dass er für uns geopfert würd,
trüg unsrer Sünden schwere Bürd
wohl an dem Kreuze lange.


(attempted English translation)

O mankind, lament your great sins
for which Christ left his Father’s bosom
and came upon earth;
from a young woman pure and gentle
he was born here for us.
he willed to be our mediator,
to the dead he gave life
and thereby banished all illness
until the time came to be
that he would be sacrificed for us,
bearing the heavy burden of our sins
perfectly on the cross for a long time.


P.S. Incidentally, the first phrase of the melody "O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß" is identical in both pitch and rhythm with another chorale called "Lasst uns erfreuen herzlich sehr". A beautiful harmonisation of the latter by Ralph Vaughn-Williams is well known in English-speaking cultures with texts such as "All Creatures of our God and King", "Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones", "From All That Dwell Below the Skies", and others, whereas the hymn "O Mensch bewein" is virtually unknown in English speaking churches.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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