I have been systematically “ripping” all my CDs onto my computer for some time now (I am not yet complete). Nevertheless, I have nevertheless built a couple of playlists of particular themes (Psalms, hymns, chant, Bach, etc). A couple weeks ago I was playing my “everything Bach playlist” on my Windows Media Player at home, and suddenly a particularly sublime sound came cresting through the living room. I quickly ran over to the computer determine what exactly was playing. It was the 3rd and central movement of his Cantata 131, “Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir” (Out of the deeps I cry, Lord, to thee), which is a cantata built around a slightly modified Psalm 130.

You really should take twenty minutes and listen to it. The whole thing is wonderful. The free streaming Leusink recording available at bach-cantatas.com* does a good job, in my estimation. If you, like I, need a translation, I found this German-English “inter-linear” very helpful. You may even want to contemplate what Bach is trying to do with the piece. If your mind is having trouble getting started (and you like people eating your ice-cream for you), try fishing around at the bach-cantatas website (linked several times now) for some commentary.

Another thing I’d like to point out to you is a little snip of video of Yo-Yo-Ma-Ma and Ton Koopman talking about Bach and the cello and playing the piece commonly called “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” I found it here.

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*Requires RealPlayer. Bach-cantatas.com gives the following disclaimer for this streaming audio: “The music examples in the Bach Cantatas Website are for educational purposes only. Any distribution or commercial use of these music examples is absolutely forbidden.”

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