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Hyperion Records

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Interior of St Gommar, Lierre (1850) by David Roberts (1796-1864)
Reproduced by permission of The Wallace Collection, London
Track(s) taken from CDH55417
Recording details: April 1989
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: July 1990
Total duration: 7 minutes 54 seconds

'Splendid. A wonderful achievement, one that only renews our admiration for Bach. It has been six, maybe twelve months since I heard a record that impressed me as much as this one. Don't pass it by' (American Record Guide)

Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV226
24 October 1729; funeral of J H Ernesti, Rector of St Thomas's School
author of text
Romans 8: 26-27
author of text
1524, Chorale: Komm, Heilige Geist, Herre Gott; verse 3

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The eight-part Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf is the only motet of the six that can be assigned with certainty to a particular occasion: it was written for the funeral of J H Ernesti, Rector of St Thomas’s School, on 24 October 1729. Its structure is not unlike that of ‘Komm, Jesu, komm!’ in that it divides into two movements: the first, subdivided into three contrasted sections marked by changes of time, is a setting of Romans 8, verses 26 and 7, while the second is a simple setting of verse 3 of Luther’s chorale ‘Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott’. The musical style, however, is much more modern. The first section of the first movement, for instance, is in the polychoral motet style, but uses a lively 3/8 metre and has a main theme that returns in fragments in the manner of a concerto ritornello theme. A set of original doubling instrumental parts, for strings and woodwind, survives for this work.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1990

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