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O Mensch, Bewein' Dein Sünde Gross (arr Grainger)

From Wind Repertory Project
Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (setting. Percy Aldridge Grainger; ed. Brion and Brand)

The title translates from the German roughly as "Oh, man, now weep for thy great sin."

General Info

Year: 1724? / 1937-1942 / 1987
Duration: c. 5:55
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Organ
Publisher: G&M Brand International Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00   |   Score Only (print) - $20.00


Elastic scoring:

Grainger's concept of elastic scoring allowed him to adapt the music to all of the maddenly possible (or impossible) instrumental combinations one encounters in educational situations. In his early music settings, each musical voice is assigned a "tone strand:" Strand A for the soprano line, Strand B for the alto line, etc. through the bass line. These parts may then be played by a variety of instrumental combinations.

- Note from score


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The chorale-prelude O Mensch... is taken from Bach's Orgelbüchlein collection. Grainger created the setting between 1937 and 1942. While not unusual today, his beautiful realization of the ornamentation was revolutionary in the 1940s.

- Program Note from score

O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß (O man, bewail thy sins so great) is a Lutheran Passion hymn with a text written by Sebald Heyden in 1530. The author reflects the Passion, based on the Four Evangelists, originally in 23 stanzas. The lyrics were written for an older melody, Es sind doch selig alle, die im rechten Glauben wandeln (Zahn No. 8303). The first and last stanzas have appeared in 11 hymnals. Catherine Winkworth translated it as "O man, thy grievous sin bemoan".

Johann Sebastian Bach composed a chorale prelude from Orgelbüchlein, BWV 622. In the second version of his St John Passion, he began the work with a chorale fantasia on the first stanza of the hymn, which he later modified to conclude Part I of his St Matthew Passion as movement 29.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

  • Florida: IV
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Massachusetts: IV
  • Texas: IV. Complete
  • Virginia: IV


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Works for Winds by this Composer