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Today… An All-Time Favorite
One of Bach’s cantatas for Trinity 12 takes a different form. Cantata BWV 137 creates variations on the five verses of Joachim Neander’s great hymn,“Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren,” which English hymn singers know as, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.”
This is one of my favorite hymns, so it is a special delight to meditate on Bach’s rendition. The overall impression of the piece is like that of a small stream that grows in depth and fullness as it moves toward the sea. The melody becomes more and more prominent as the cantata unfolds, until the chorale of the final verse, where the hymn is heard in all its glory.
Praise the Lord, who surely blesses your condition,
who from heaven rains down streams of love;
what the Almighty can do,
who comes to meet you with love!
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Photo by Hop Phan at Flickr. Creative Commons License