J. S. Bach's motet for SSATB choir, "Jesu, Priceless Treasure," is made up of eleven movements. Four of these, Nos. I, III, VII, and XI, are straight harmonizations of the Johann Crueger hymn "Jesu Meine Freude." The others, except for V and IX, are settings of verses from the eighth chapter of Paul's epistle to the Romans. In Romans 8, Paul deals with the believer's relationship to the Spirit and to the sinful nature.
Bach treats Romans 8:2 in movement IV, "Thus then the law of the Spirit, in Christ abiding, now has made me free from the law of sin and death." The essential truth of this verse is mouthed by the treble voices (SSA) in flowing waves, as of a wheat field gently rippled by the wind. The short section, taking less than a minute to sing, ends with all three parts arriving at the end of the verse "...free from the law of sin and death."
As if to make sure this point was heard, Bach begins movement V with an empahtic sounding of the words "Death, I do not fear thee!" by all five parts of his SSATB choir. Movement V is loosely based on a stanza of the Crueger hymn, but very little of the hymn tune is recognizable. Rather, this movement is usually classified as a chorale fantasy, a complete outpouring of creative energy expounding on the lyric, rendered in this English-language edition as follows:
Death, death I do not fear thee, though thou standest near me,
Grave, grave I calmly spurn thee, though to dust thou turn me,
Strong in hope and faith!
Rising up and singing I shall heav'nward winging,
Soar, and vanquish death, and without death shall forever rest.
He that reigns will rend my chains.
Earth may vanish, heaven may sever,
God is God forever.
There are very few, if any, pieces of music that more emphatically and clearly state the sure hope of resurrection that is the source of the victorious Christian life. Therefore, these two movements are the spiritual and musical heart and soul of this motet, and quite possibly of Bach's entire body of work.
These two movements are presented with English lyrics only. The entire work is available elsewhere on the internet with the original German lyrics.
MP3 sound sample: Minnehaha Academy Singers, 1977
THUS THEN THE LAW and DEATH I DO NOT FEAR THEE from BWV 227 by J. S. Bach, an SSA setting of Romans 8:2 and an SSATB chorale fantasy, both a cappella, comes in a PDF file of 1296K that contains Eight pages of complete score and license page, nine pages in all. If both movements are performed sequentially (recommended), performance time should be around 3:20.
WE SEEK RECORDINGS TO USE AS DEMOS
The majority of our sheet music pieces use electronically-produced demos on the item pages. We would much prefer to use actual recordings, so if you email us a digital recording or link to an online video and we end up using it as a demo on our site (fully credited), we will send you a coupon code good for US$25 toward your next purchase from our site.
BLANKET RECORDING POLICY FOR SHEET MUSIC
Many of our sheet music licenses state that the purchaser does not have the right to record the work. We have modified our policy on this, and unless the license page states that you must obtain permission from a party other than www.tributek.com to record the work, we will allow a small number (less than 50) of copies of an audio or video recording of a live performance to be made and distributed and/or posted to a free web site for viewing/listening, so long as www.tributek.com, the composer, arranger, and lyricist are credited.
A customer commented: "Today I made my first purchase from Tributek. Every aspect of the transaction exceeded my expectations. The description of the product included a Quicktime demo in addition to a clear, interesting, well-written description of the product. The price of the product was a bargain. The ordering process could not have been easier or faster. I will definitely shop with Tributek again!"
Another customer commented: "I would like to compliment you on the ease of purchasing music on-line. I require the music for a wedding in a couple of weeks, and didn't want to wait for music to be sent in the mail. It was great to be able to hear the music and to know the length of the PDF file and performance time."
Another customer writes: "I bought some choral music off your site. It's great. I hope we can do all of it in our church. I don't know how you can sell it so cheap. It's a great service you offer."
NOTE: All www.tributek.com customers are given the opportunity to rate our service, value, and quality, and 98% of www.tributek.com customers who have ever returned satisfaction surveys rate their overall experience doing business with us as "excellent" (71%) or "good" (27%). You can't please all of the people all of the time, but we do try very hard.
www.tributek.com - PO Box 8025 - Elburn IL 60119 USA
Visit our hard goods division at tributek.us
Copyright (c)1999-2019 www.tributek.com
All rights to all text, sounds, and graphics are reserved.
Last update: 28 February 2019