A similarly dense and expressive work such as Ach Herr, strafe mich nicht in deinem Zorn
is Knüpfer’s setting of Psalm 137, Super flumina Babylonis
(‘By the waters of Babylon’). The gloomy text receives its great intensity from the two cornetts and three sackbuts which accompany the four-part vocal ensemble. A distinctive feature is that these wind instruments play only in the tutti sections, whereas the inner verses (performed largely by soloists) as well as the short ritornelli are played only by the five-part string ensemble. The melancholy atmosphere of the opening grows to a relentless rage and cursing of Babylon in the concluding fugato.
from notes by Peter Wollny © 2000
English: Viola Scheffel