Bonhoeffer - A choral-theater work by Thomas Lloyd - excerpt III - Donald Nally, The Crossing





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Published on Sep 7, 2013

excerpt from Final Scene and Meditation, from
Bonhoeffer -- A Choral-Theater work by Thomas Lloyd
performed by
The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally (www.crossingchoir.com)
with Carrie Ellmore Tallitsch and Tim Early, dancers;
Rebecca Siler, soprano; Rebecca Hoke, mezzo soprano;
Maren Montalbano Brehm, alto;
Guillaume Combet, violin; Ulrich Boeckheler, cello;
John Andrew Bailey, piano; Michael Sparhuber, percussion

This excerpt begins in the middle of an imagined conversation between Bonhoeffer and his fiancé, Maria von Wedemeyer. Bonhoeffer has been moved to an unknown prison to be executed. Maria seeks to find him, carrying a jacket of his for identification. Text freely adapted by the composer from correspondence. Musical reference to a favorite lied of Bonhoeffer's, Schubert's "Der Müller und der Bach".

The final mediation is a setting of the hymn "Ist Gott für mich" (a favorite of Bonhoeffer's with a text by Gerhardt to the tune "Augsburg") and lines from the Bonhoeffer's poem "Who Am I?" from his Letters and Papers from Prison (adapted from the translation in The Enlarged Edition, © SCM Press Ltd 1971, pp. 459-460. Used by permission). Musical references from Schubert, "Gute Ruh" from Die Schöne Müllerin and the African-American spiritual "Swing low, sweet chariot".

[M: But how can you be so sure of yourself...so sure that you've chosen the right thing to do?]

excerpt begins:

B: It is not a matter of the "choice of right or wrong but obedience to God's will."

M: But what does that mean? How can you say that you know God's will?

B: "Jesus is the man for others....faith is being part of this being of Jesus."

M: But what if everyone decided to kill if they believed God was speaking to them?

B: "Man's religiosity makes him look in his [own] distress to the power of God in the world -- The Bible only speaks of God as being powerless and suffering; only the suffering God can help."

M: If God only suffers as we do, what hope is there then for the world?

XV. Meditation -- Who am I?

Ist Gott für mich, [If God is for me,
so trete Gleich alles wider mich. I can withstand all enemies
Sooft ich ruf' und bête, As often as I call and pray
Weicht alles hinter sich. They all flee away.
Hab' ich das Haupt zum Freunde If I have [Christ] the head as friend
und bin geliebt bei Gott and am beloved by God
Was kann mir tun der Feinde what can the enemy and
und Widersacher Rott'? adversary do to me?]

Who am I? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptibly sad weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, thou knowest, O God, I am thine.

recorded by Joe Hannigan for Weston Soundon March 9 and 10, 2013
at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral;
for further information about this work: tlloyd@haverford.edu


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