Jesu, joy of man’s desiring

Jesu, joy of man’s desiring. Attributed to Robert Bridges* (1844-1930).  The music used with this text is known better than the poem. The tune is familiar primarily through its arrangement by Johann Sebastian Bach* taken from Cantata 147, ‘Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben’ (‘Heart and mouth and deed and life’), composed in 1723 during his first year as Cantor at Thomaskirche in Leipzig. As was Bach’s compositional practice, he borrowed sections of this Cantata from an Advent Cantata written in Weimar in 1716. The closing chorale of the Cantata was a hymn by Protestant pastor Martin Janus (1620?-1662?), ‘Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne’ (1661), paired with a melody (1642) by Hamburg composer...

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