Have mercy on me, Lord my God (Psalm 51:1-4) – Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach’s harmonization on organ around a chorale melody and text that paraphrases Psalm 51:1-4

German text of chorale:

Erbarm’ Dich mein o Herre Gott!
nach Deiner groß’n Barmherzigkeit,
wasch’ ab mach’ rein mein’ Missethat,
ich kenn’ mein’ Sünd’ und ist mir leid;
allein ich Dir gesündigt hab’,
das ist wider mich stetiglich;
das Bös’ vor Dir mag nicht bestahn,
Du bleibst gerecht, ob Du urtheilest mich.

English translation of chorale:

O God, be mercyfull to me,
Accordynge to Thy great pitie;
Washe of, make clene my iniquite:
I knowlege my synne, and it greveth me
Agaynst The, agaynst The only
Have Isynned, which is before myne eye:
Though Thou be judged in man’s syght,
Yet are Thy wordes founde true and ryght.

Psalm 51:1-4

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.


Erbarme dich mein, O Herre Gott, BWV 721, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Performed by Robert Hovencamp, organist

FREE SHEET MUSIC

 International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) / Petrucci Music Library

 

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