Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bach - Cantata BWV 140 - Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme: Pope Benedict's favourite Cantata

(Munich Bach Choir)

"I remember a concert performance of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach - in Munich in Bavaria - conducted by Leonard Bernstein. At the conclusion of the final selection, one of the Cantate, I felt -  not through reasoning but in the depths of my heart - that what I had just heard had spoken truth to me, truth about the supreme Composer, and it moved me to give thanks to God. Seated next to me was the Lutheran bishop of Munich. I spontaneously said to him, "Whoever has listened to this understands that faith is true"...

Pope Benedict from his General Audience catechesis August 31st 2011
(Full text here)
Later addition: It's a less than satisfactory translation. Need to comment in a later post.


Genty said...

Thank you so much, Jane. I miss hearing the weekly Sunday cantata on R3, now disappeared under the station's wreckover.
The more I read the words of this Pope the more I begin to mine within myself; for he doesn't just reveal himself but invites us to be open to him, and through him to God.
This gentle, but insistent, pulling on the spiritual cord is irresistible.
His thoughts on beauty and creativity are in themselves an admonition to those still seeking to convert our churches into sterile spaces of echoing banality.

Jane said...

Thanks Genty:

I'm sad but not surprised at your comment about R3. It had already pitched itself into a downward spiral well before I left the UK in 2006. As for 'The Last Night of the Proms' this year, well say no more!

btw the linked Zenit translation in my post leaves a lot to be desired, but even though it is ambiguous Pope Benedict shines through it all, not by stamping his foot and shouting, but just by allowing himself to be used as a channel for the Holy Spirit, to Whom eternal thanks for the last six years.

Genty said...

I haven't watched Last Night for years for the same reason I don't watch Wimbledon any more.
I've tried to stick with R3 on and off. But from today it will be off. Encouraging tripey email and text messages could lead to only one thing: the phone-in.
The barbarians are through the gates.
I feel the same sense of loss as when I attend a dodgy NO Mass. Then I have to remind myself of all those the Pope has had to endure on his travels and try to offer it up.
God Bless and thanks for a super blog.

Jane said...

"The barbarians are through the gates". How absolutely true. Even in rural France they are everywhere. Indeed the only way to survive is to take the attitude you describe.

Thanks for your kind remark about my blog. It really is very encouraging to know that you appreciate it.
God bless,