What affects me most about BWV 111 “Was mein Gott will” is the strikingly powerful text and emotional journey it takes us on as audience and participants. Furthermore it is amazing how this text is executed elegantly and so thoughtfully in Bach’s musical rhetoric. The unabashedly graphic take on death as it “powerfully wrenches the spirit out of its body" (translation by Pam Dellal), and the “battlefield” that comes from evil temptation contrasts the joy and assuredness expressed in giving one's trust to God to be saved in the face of death. In liturgical texts, often death is so wrapped up in fear, and here it’s not the case. It’s beautiful to me that instead of the fear being at the center of the affect, death seems like a welcome journey that one must simply trust in, without despair.

Corrine Byrne