Motet 5 (Komm, Jesu, komm) Vocal Score
Vocal Scores for Bach's Motet 5 (Komm, Jesu, Komm)
The most popular vocal score for Bach's Motet 5 (Komm, Jesu, Komm) is shown below.
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This motet is a setting of hymnbook poetry by Paul Thymich. The text appeared in the Leipziger Gesangbuch of 1697:
Komm, Jesu, komm, mein Leib ist müde,
Die Kraft verschwindt je mehr und mehr,
Ich sehne mich nach deinem Frieden;
Der saure Weg wird mir zu schwer.
Komm, komm, ich will mich dir ergeben,
Du bist der rechte Weg,
Die Wahrheit und das Leben.
Drauf schliess ich mich in deine Hände
Und sage, Welt, zu gutter Nacht!
Eilt gleich mein Lebenslauf zu Ende,
Ist doch der Geist wohl angebracht,
Er soll bei senem Schöpher schweben,
Weil Jesus ist und bleibt
Der wahre Weg zum Leben.
Come, Jesus, come, my flesh is weary,
My strength deserts me more and more,
I yearn for Thy peace;
Life’s bitter journey is too hard for me.
Come, I will give myself to Thee,
Thou art the sure Way,
The Truth and the Life.
Thus I yield myself into Thy hands,
And bid the world good night.
Soon as my life may end,
My soul is prepared.
It shall rise up with its Creator,
For Jesus is, and remains,
The true way to Life.
Note that the first stanza of poetry ends with a famous quote from the Gospel of John, 14:6 (I am the way, the truth and the life). The text was originally written in 1684 for the funeral of Jacob Thomasius, rector of the Thomasschule, and set to music by one of Bach's predecessors in Leipzig, Johann Schelle. The original text contains many more stanzas, but Bach chose to use only the first and last (for reasons which are not clear).
Like Der Geist and Ich lasse Dich nicht, Komm, Jesu, komm is a double-chorus motet. But in combination with the other two, we get to see how many various possibilities this scoring allowed, for different textures and characters in the music.
Unlike in Der Geist or Ich lasse Dich nicht, the listener does not see or hear the two choirs as completely separate entities in Komm, Jesu, komm. This is due in large part to Bach's use of a strongly chordal opening -- our ears are trained from the start to perceive the parts not as individuals but rather as a collective.
For further information of Bach's Komm, Jesu, Komm, please click here to visit the Wikipedia website
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