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)

J. S. Bach: Erbarme dich mein, O Herre Gott BWV 721

Performed by Robert Hovencamp, organist

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

 

 

Gregorio Allegri
Gregorio Allegri (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Psalm 51:1-19 [Latin]

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.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

Miserere mei, Deus (prob. from 1630s) by Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652)

Gregorio Allegri: Miserere

Performed by The Choir of Claire College, Cambridge, Timothy Brown

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MP3: Miserere mei, Deus / Choir of Trinity College / Conifer Classics

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Arranged by John Rutter. For SSATB choir (unaccompanied), SSAB soloists and piano (for rehearsal only). Mixed Voices. Oxford Choral Classics Octavos. Baroque. Difficulty: medium. Vocal score. Choral notation, piano reduction and introductory text. 24 pages. Duration 12′. Published by Oxford University Press

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Samuel Sebastian Wesley
Samuel Sebastian Wesley

Psalm 51:2-3

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

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

Wash me throughly (c. 1840) by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876)

Wash me throughly - Wesley

Performed by Manchester Cathedral Choir

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For SATB Choir, Organ (SATB, Organ). Music Sales America. 8 pages. Novello & Co Ltd.

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