Buxtehude's cantata Nichts soll uns scheiden von der Liebe Gottes (Nothing shall part us from the love of God) takes its title and theme from Romans 8: 35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (KJV)
Buxtehude wrote it as a rondo with three couplets for soprano and alto and three for soprano, alto, and bass and his intent was a musical meditation – an aria, that took Paul's text and used as a repeated refrain with the repetitions being separated with strophes that loosely paraphrase the verses listing the various things and powers that are powerless in the face of God's love. It's a lovely piece of music that's well worth listening to both for itself and also because it greatly influenced Bach. You can hear this influence particularly clearly in "Jesu Meine Freude" the outline of which is generally the same with the same alternation of a one refrain leit-motiv, and caplets, and the alternation of homophony and counterpoint. Nor do the similarities stop there listen to how Buxtehude treats the exclamations of "nichts, nichts" and compare it to what you can hear in Bach's composition it's very clearly Bach paying homage to his teacher. Enjoy :-)
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