Video: Wolf Matthias Friedrich Sings J.S. Bach



The aria Wer bist du? from J.S. Bach’s cantata Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn! (“Prepare the paths, prepare the road!”) poses a straightforward question and demands that you make an assessment of yourself.

Who are you? Ask your conscience,
from which, without hypocrisy,
whether you, o human, are false or true,
you must hear the just pronouncement.
Who are you? Ask the law,
it will tell you, who you are,
a child of wrath in Satan’s trap,
a false and hypocritical Christian.

(Translation: Pamela Dellal)

Here’s a performance of the aria with bass Wolf Matthias Friedrich and the J.S. Bach-Stiftung, St. Gallen. Can you predict what character the music takes after reading the words above?


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