In this marvelous cantata, Barbara, dira, effera, Jan Dismas Zelenka explores the roots of Easter joy in the horror of our Lord’s Passion:
Though the sound here is a bit muffled, the power of this performance by Delphine Galou and Collegium 1704 cannot be impeded.
That befits the message conveyed: that the barbarity of man, so far from frustrating the benevolence of God, is the vehicle he uses to bestow upon us his greatest graces.
Barbarous, cruel, and savage was the ferocity of those who confounded the holy rood with the crosses of thieves!
As a result of man’s cruelty, confusion seems to reign: “The fear-filled mind hesitates: Which is the rood of the Redeemer? The uneasy heart is in doubt: Which is the Cross of the Savior?”
But confusion is not the last word: “The Lion of the tribe of Judah has vanquished. Yield, yield, awful death, cruel death! Your barbarity has been overcome and now lies groaning.”
Man, rejoice in the Redeemer’s victory! Applaud Christ for his many triumphs!!
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