Bach Meditating on Time
J.S. Bach – Weihnachtsoratorium – Ach wenn wird die Zeit erscheinen
A compassionate and serene backdrop of instrumental music sets the stage for the drama. Two voices enter, their hearts tormented...
Ah, when will the time appear?
Ah, when will the comfort of the faithful come?
Singing the exact same text layered on top of itself it is as if one is looking into the future of the other, interchangeably, asking: “can I find redemption there?” only to be let down by the harrowing dissonance. Pacing and gliding past each other in perfect imitation they are in reality but one voice asking ‘when?’ again and again.
And then like an arrow piercing their wallowing cries a third voice calls ‘Hush!’. But they do not heed the voice and continue with their wailing. The voice calls again ‘Hush, He is truly already here!’
To no avail – they are determined to suffer while looking for salvation in time.
Listen to the voice,
Rise above time,
Reach the transcendent.