Rostock Motet Choir
Capella Fidicinia Leipzig
1. BWV 225 - Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied|
2. BWV 226 - Der Geist hilft uns'r Schwachheit auf
3. BWV 227 - Jesu, meine Freude
4. BWV 228 - Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir
5. BWV 229 - Komm, Jesu, komm
6. BWV 230 - Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden
7. Three Verses from the Magnificat, BWV 243
Total time 72:53
All of Bach's six motets were written between 1723 and 1727 for St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, where Bach was appointed as director of music in 1723. These were occasional compositions for special occasions; four of the six were written for funeral services of prominent Leipzig citizens.
'Der Geist hilft' BWV 226 might have induced mixed feelings for Bach as it was commissioned for the funeral of Johann Ernesti, Rector of Bach's Thomas Schule, who had let things slide almost to a point of decrepitude – though his death subsequently prompted a thorough upgrading of the school building. Performance took place in St Paul's University Church, 20th October 1729. Likewise 'Jesu Meine Freude' BWV 227, the longest, most musically complex and the earliest of the six, was written in 1723 for the funeral of Johanna Maria Käsin, the wife of Leipzig's postmaster.
Whatever the occasion, Bach brings his special musical skills to bear on these beautiful chorale-like works.