Music for Holy Saturday from Bach's St. Matthew Passion
I figured if I started something on Good Friday with my posting of Marian Anderson's noble recording of "Were You There" -- one of my favorite performances by the legendary contralto -- I should follow up with some music for Holy Saturday. And that brings me to one of my favorites passages in all of Bach's extensive output, the bass aria "Mache dich, mein Herze, rein" from the "St. Matthew Passion."
The steady, calming flow of the melodic line gets to me every time I hear it. So perfect in construction, so affecting in mood. One need not have the slightest religious leaning to respond to the subtle expressive force of this poetic contemplation on the burial of Jesus: "Make my heart pure; I want to bury Jesus myself; he shall now find in me a sweet rest; world, depart, let Jesus in."
Here's a performance of the aria sung by Walter Berry, with Karl Richter conducting: