Bach, Music, and Liberty

Among the names engraved on the limestone walls of the Luther's Hymns and Bach's Chorals. We exhibit here some of the melodies from those works.

A moving hymn by Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott, was put to Johann Sebastian Bach. The themes of faith and freedom have spoken powerfully to Protestants ever since:

A stronghold sure our God remains,
A shield and hope unfailing;
In need His help our freedom gains,
'er all we fear prevailing.
Our old malignant foe
Would fain work us woe.
With craft and great might
He doth against us fight;
On earth is not one like him.

This score at the left is from The Hymns of Martin Luther.

Gottes Sohn ist kommen (Anon. 1531)

Once He came in blessing,
All our ills redressing,
Came in likeness lowly,
Son of God most holy,
Bore the Cross to save us,
Hope and freedom gave us.

Valet will ich dir geben (Melchior Teschner 1614)

Oh write my name, I pray Thee,
Now in the book of life;
So let me here obey Thee,
And there, where joys are rife,
For ever bloom before Thee,
Thy perfect freedom prove,
And tell, as I adore Thee,
How faithful was Thy love.