Thanks Dr. David Christiansen for this great music!
ORGAN ARRANGEMENTS OF HOLY WEEK HYMNS
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - Arrangements by Gilbert Martin and James Biery
Isaac Watts was one of the first English-language hymn writers. This great hymn deserves two hymn
tunes – the first is American, the second English.
O Lord, We Praise Thee - Gunther Martin Göttsche
Jesus, I Will Ponder Now - David Christiansen and Paul Manz
O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken - Helmut Walcha
Were You There - Emma Lou Diemer
O Sacred Head Now Wounded - Bernhard Krol
Lamb of God, Pure and Holy J. S. Bach
Bach’s lengthy setting of this hymn is more of a theological meditation than a hymn arrangement.
The melody appears in the top part for the first stanza, then in the middle voice (go, altos!), and
finally in the pedal. The piece begins gently (“pure and holy” and “patient, lowly” in the hymn). In the
third stanza the mood shifts suddenly, and at “else had despair reigned o’er us” takes a very
dramatic and dissonant turn before a glorious “Thy peace be with us, O Jesus!”. This is truly a
triumphant proclamation of “it is finished” – our peace is gained through the cross.