Tunder’s setting of An Wasserflüssen Babylon (By the waters of Babylon) is one of only seventeen vocal works of his that survived. It’s a straightforward setting that uses the chorale melody in the vocal part and surrounds it with a delicate web of instrumental counterpoint that expresses the sense of loss and exile. It’s a lovely piece of music, mournful without becoming maudlin, with some very fine chromatic writing at "wir weinten" (we wept). Tunder’s music was written to appeal to an audience whose taste in entertainment ran to religious music, it clearly succeeded brilliantly as the success of the Musikabend tradition which he founded and Buxtehude continued shows. Given the quality of his surviving works I think it’s easy to see why his contemporaries held him and his music in such esteem. Enjoy :-).
I wrote about Tunder earlier in this series see: Franz Tunder (1614-1667): Salve mi Jesu | Saturday Chorale .
Text & Translation: An Wasserflüssen Babylon
An Wasserflüssen Babylon,
By the waters of Babylon