Ahh! Treasures! Get away!

Here’s another instalment in my illustrations of the old Lutheran hymn Jesu, meine Freude (Jesus, my Joy). Do you remember? I gave you the first instalment a few weeks ago in my notice for my choir’s performance of the Bach motet based on it. We had our first concert last night, and it sounded really wonderful — we’re performing it with a continuo section, a cello and portative organ.  Just the way it should be 🙂 (A continuo section, if you don’t know, is a group of instruments that holds down the bass line and a chord backing while the main parts — here, the chorus — soar above them. Like a bass and rhythm guitar under a vocalist! It’s a characteristic kind of 18th-century accompaniment.)

We have our second concert of the same material tomorrow, and if you’re in the New York area, I invite you very warmly to attend. The details are in that announcement, but briefly: it’s at 4 pm at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 88th & Lexington. Love to see you there!

So why not listen to this movement and read along! I’ve illustrated a recording from YouTube. Get that going, then please click on the image to view it full-size — you’ll get much better detail and it’ll be less blurry. I’ve included a translation below.

I realized eventually that I took half of one verse and half of another! Check that one out to hear the jumpy lightning and scary hellfire, followed by Jesus’ redemptive gentleness.  Amazing how differently Bach sets each verse of this…

Also, a shout-out to my dear friend Kali, whose high school doodles I realize these scary demons hearken back to 🙂


Away with all treasures —
You are my pleasure,
Jesus, my delight!
Away, you vain honours,
I don’t want to hear you;
remain unknown to me!
Even if now thunder and lightning rage,
even if sin and hell terrify me,
Jesus will shelter me.


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