Bach used the text to Tunder’s cantata Ach Herr, laß deine lieben Engelein (O lord, let Thy dear angels) in the closing chorale of Bach’s St. John Passion, it’s from Schalling’s hymn Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr (Great is my love for Thee, o Lord) but there’s absolutely no resemblance between the two pieces. Tunder’s setting scored for soprano, four viols and basso continuo is a concertante aria that eschews the chorale in favour some lovely arioso writing. It starts with an eloquent sinfonia following which the soloist enters into a dialogue with the strings. It has some wonderful musical portrayals such as the melodic ascent which depicts the soul’s rise and entry into Abraham’s bosom or the equally wonderful depiction of the descent into the tomb using increasingly lower registers or the way in which Tunder depicts rest (Ruh’ bis am Jüngsten Tage) by using long held almost languid notes. The second part of the cantata is equally eloquent using shifts of register and tone to depict the soul’s rejoicing at awakening to the sight of Christ on his throne of mercy. Enjoy :-).
Text & Translation: Ach Herr, laß deine lieben Engelein
Ach, Herr, laß dein’ lieb’ Engelein
Text: Martin Schalling (1569)
Ah Lord, let your dear angels