Dieterich Buxtehude (±1637-1707): Herren, vår Gud

Photo: Interior Tyska Kyrkan (Old German Church), Stockholm, Düben in whose collection Herren, vår Gud is found was organist at the German Church and at court. It seems more than likely that it was he who commissioned the piece for use at both locales.

Photo: Interior Tyska Kyrkan (Old German Church), Stockholm, Düben in whose collection Herren, vår Gud is found was organist at the German Church and at court. It seems more than likely that it was he who commissioned the piece for use at both locales.

This is one of the only two Swedish texted works by Buxtehude to have survived (I wrote about the other one at the start of September, see Dieterich Buxtehude (±1637-1707): Att du Jesu vill mig höra | Saturday Chorale – mfi). The text of Herren, vår Gud (The Lord Our God) is a poetic paraphrasis of Psalm 20 and the melody can be found in Den Svenska psalmboken Koralbok, published in 1697. I don’t know who it was composed for but I think it most likely that it was composed for Düben who was the organist at the German Church in Stockholm for use both at court and at the church. Nor do I know where the melody actually comes from however it could have been a pre-existing melody or it could be of Buxtehude’s own devising because while the Swedish psalter was published in 1697 Buxtehude’s composition predates it by at least ten years.

Musically it’s a very typically Buxtehudian piece that starts with a tremolo of repeated eight notes to denote sorrow and with a body consisting of a  concertato chorale in which he combines the instrumental elements of the concerto with the four-part harmonisations of the Swedish Lutheran hymnbook. He ends with a cheerfully bouncy Amen signifying the congregation’s confidence that their prayer has been heard. Enjoy :-).

mfi

Dieterich Buxtehude (±1637-1707): Herren, vår Gud (BuxWV 40).

Herren, vår Gud, vare dig blid
och låt dig nåde finna;
han hör din bön i nödens tid
och stryk’ din håg och sinne;
Jakobs Gud, han beskydde dig
och löse utav vanda;
så önska vi all’ innerlig,
vår konung till vatt’n och lande:
förlän dig Gud sin ande!

The Lord our God be kind to you
and bestow on you his mercy;
let him hear your prayer in times of trouble
and touch your heart and mind;
may the God of Jacob protect you
and release you from tribulation;
so all of us sincerely wish,
our king on sea and land:
God grant you his holy spirit!

Dig vare pris, Gud Fader kär,
så ock din Son vår Herra,
den Helge And’ som trösten är,
ske också jämlik ära;
såsom utav uppskov är skett,
nu och förutan ände:
Gud den helga Trefaldighet,
oss sina nåder sände,
uti detta elände!
Amen.

Praise be to you, dear God and Father,
and to your Son, our Lord;
the Holy Spirit, the comforter,
be praised in equal measure;
as it was from the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be:
God the holy Trinity
grant us his grace
in this vale of tears!
Amen.

Performers: Theatre of Voices conducted by Paul Hillier

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