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The oratorio Solomon by G. F. Handel
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*The Saint John Passion by J. S. Bach (BWV 245*

The Saint John Passion by J. S. Bach (BWV 245)


(1)  Chorus: Lord, our ruler, whose name is honored in all the lands....
(2 - 6) Recitative: St.John 18, vs.1-5: When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it. Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, "Who is it you want?"
Chorus: "Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.
Recitative: "I am he," Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, "Who is it you want?"
Chorus: "Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.
Recitative: St. John 18, vs.8 "I told you that I am he," Jesus answered. "If you are looking for me, then let these men go."
Chorale: O great love, love without measure, which brought thee to this torment!.....
(8) Recitative: St. John 18, vs.9-11 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: "I have not lost one of those you gave me." Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.) Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"
(9) Chorale: "Thy will be done, Lord God, on earth as it is in heaven...."
(10) Recitative:  St. John 18, vs.12-14 "Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he war father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people."
(11) Aria: "To release me from the bonds of my sins, my Saviour is bound. To heal me of the bruises of my vices He lets himself be wounded."
(12) Recitative: "And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple."
(13) Aria: "I follow Thee also with joyful step."
(14)  Recitative: St. John 18, vs.15-23 "Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest's courtyard, but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in. "You are not one of his disciples, are you?" the girl at the door asked Peter.  He replied, "I am not." It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself. Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. "I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said." When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. "Is this the way you answer the high priest?" he demanded. "If I said something wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?" Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.
(15) Chorale:  "Who beat thee, my Saviour, and so evilly injured thee."
(16-17)  Recitative: St. John 18, vs.24-25 "Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not."
Chorus: "Art thou not one of His disciples?"
(18) Recitative: St. John 18, vs.25-27 "One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew."
(19) Aria: Ah, my soul, where art thou going?
(20) Chorale: Peter unthinkingly denied his God, and afterwards cried bitterly.
(21) Chorale: Christ, who makes us blessed, has done no wrong.
(22-26) Recitative: St. John 18, vs.28-30 " Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: andit was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee."
Chorus: If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to thee. (St.John 15, vs.30)
Recitative: St. John 18, vs.31 "Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him accordingly to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:"
Chorus: It is not lawful for us to put any man to death!
Recitative: St. John 18, vs.32-36 "That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die. Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
(27) Chorale: Ah, great King, great forever.
(28-30) Recitative: St. John 18, vs.37-40 "Pilate therefore said unto him,Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born,and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth, Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But ye have a custom that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? And cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber."
Chorus: Not this man, but Barabbas (St. John 18, vs.40)
Recitative: St. John 18, vs.40 and 19, vs.1 "Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him."
(31) Arioso: Look my soul, with fearful rejoicing....
(32) Aria: Imagine that His blood-spattered body is now in heaven.
(33-39) Recitative: St. John 19, vs.2-3 "And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! "
Chorus: Hail, King of the Jews!
Recitative: St. John 19, vs.3-6 "and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. "
Chorus: Crucify him, crucify him! (St . John 19, vs.6)
Recitative: St. John 19, vs.6-7 "Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law..."
Chorus: We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God.(St . John 19, vs.7)
Recitative: St. John 18, vs.8-12 "When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have the power to release thee? Jesus anwered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: "
(40) Chorale: From thy imprisonment, Son of God, is freedom come to us.
(41-47) Recitative: St. John 19, vs.12 "but the Jews cried out, saying, if thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar."
Chorus: If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend.
Recitative: St. John 19, vs.13-15 "When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a placed that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him."
Chorus: Away with him, away with him, crucify him!
Recitative: St. John 19, vs.15 "Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar."
Chorus: We have no king but Caesar.
Recitative: St. John 19, vs.16-17 "Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified, And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a placed called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:"
(48) Aria: Hurry, ye aroused souls, come out of your dark places and hurry to Golgotha!. "Where, where?", the people cried.
(49-51) Recitative: St. John 19, vs.18-21 "Where they crucifed him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews."
Chorus: Write not, "King of the Jews"; but rather, "He says he is king of the Jews"
Recitative: St. John 19, vs.22 "Pilate answered, I have written what I have written."
(52) Chorale: In my heart thy name and cross sparkle for all time and in every hour...
(53-54) Recitative: St. John 19, vs.23-24 "Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughtout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scipture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did."
Chorus: Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it (the robe) whose it shall be.
(55) Recitative: St. John 19, vs.24-27 "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefrore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! The saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her into his own home. "
(56) Chorale:  He took notice of all in his last hour...
(57) Recitative: St. John 19, vs.27-30 "After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: "
(58-59) Aria: "It is finished."
Recitative: St. John 19, vs.30 "and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
(60) Aria:   My dear Saviour, let me ask: since thou wert nailed to the cross and have said "It is finished", am I free from death?
(61) Recitative: St. Matthew 27, vs.51-52 "And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose."
(62) Arioso: My heart! The whole world is plunged in sorrow
(63) Aria: Break, my heart, in the flood of tears....
(64) Recitative: St. John 19, vs.31-37 "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced."
(65) Chorale: Help us, Christ, God's Son
(66) Recitative: St. John 19, vs.38-42 "And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner fo the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therfore because of the Jew's preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand."
(67) Chorus: Rest well, blessed body, for which I no longer weep.
(68) Chorale: Ah Lord, let thy dear angel carry my soul..