Like the other arioso recitatives, the music for this one is based on a recurring motif. In this case it is a rocking motif in the first violins, suggesting the gentle breeze of evening, or the beating of the dove’s wings perhaps, with a melody in the second violins and violas. The music is evocative of appeasement after the tumultuous events we have both witnessed and in which we have participated. We now become spectators rather than protagonists, unable to influence events any further. The arioso and aria, set in the cool calm of the evening, lay bare the reason for the crucifixion – namely redemption – expressed here as the annihilation of Adam’s original sin, and as the return of the dove to Noah, both described in the early chapters of Genesis, and both events happening in the evening time. The change of atmosphere is fully accomplished in the following aria.  The time signature of 12/8, used so pertinently in the opening movement and the aria which follows Peter’s denial, coupled with a frequent use of hemiolas at cadential points, imbues the music with a sense of direction and purpose.

64

Bass
Arioso recitative

Am Abend, da es kühle war, ward Adams Fallen offenbar; am Abend drükket ihn der Heiland nieder.

Am Abend kam die Taube wieder und trug ein Ölblatt in dem Munde.

O schöne Zeit! O Abendstunde!

Der Friedensschluß ist nun mit Gott gemacht, denn Jesus hat sein Kreuz vollbracht.

Sein Leichnam kömmt zu Ruh, ach! liebe Seele, bitte du, geh, lasse dir den toten Jesum schenken, O heilsames, O köstlichs Angedenken!

 

In the evening, when it was cool, Adam’s fall was made known; in the evening the Saviour brings an end.

In the evening the dove returned and carried an olive leaf in its mouth.

Oh beautiful time! Oh evening hour!

Peace has now been made with God, for Jesus has endured his crucifixion.

His body finds peace, Oh, dear soul, please go, take the gift of dead Jesus, Oh healing, O precious memory!

65

Bass
Aria

Mach dich, mein Herze, rein, ich will Jesum selbst begraben.

Denn er soll nunmehr in mir für und für seine süße Ruhe haben. Welt, geh aus, laß Jesum ein!

 

Make yourself pure, my heart, I will bury Jesus myself.
 

For he shall have his sweet peace for ever in me. World, go away, let Jesus in!

The choral interjection at 66b follows the same pattern as previous ones – namely a homophonic opening followed by a contrapuntal development.

66a

Evangelist

Und Joseph nahm den Leib und wikkelte ihn in ein rein Leinwand und legte ihn in sein eigen neu Grab, welches er hatte lassen in einen Fels hauen, und wälzete einen großen Stein vor die Tür des Grabes und ging davon.  Es war aber allda Maria Magdalena und die andere Maria, die satzten sich gegen das Grab. Des andern Tages, der da folget nach dem Rüsttage, kamen die Hohenpriester und Pharisäer sämtlich zu Pilato und sprachen:

 

And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock, and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. Now the next day, that followed the day of preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying:

66b

Chorus

“Herr, wir haben gedacht, daß dieser Verführer sprach, da er noch lebete: 'Ich will nach dreien Tagen wieder auferstehen.' 

Darum befiehl, daß man das Grab verwahre bis an den dritten Tag, auf daß nicht seine Jünger kommen und stehlen ihn und sagen zu dem Volk: er ist auferstanden von den Toten, und werde der letzte Betrug ärger denn der erste!”

 

“Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, 'After three days I will rise again.'
 

Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, he is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.”

66c

Evangelist

Pilatus sprach zu ihnen:

Pilate said unto them:

 

Pilate

“Da habt ihr die Hüter; gehet hin und verwahrets, wie ihrs wisset!”

“Ye have a watch; go your way, make it as sure as ye can!”

 

Evangelist

Sie gingen hin und verwahreten das Grab mit Hütern und versiegelten den Stein

So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

Commentary by Peter Parfitt © Aberdeen Bach Choir 2012

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