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The title sounds like a high school fight song, doesn’t it? “Go! Go! Go, Team, Go!” And indeed, it has that same urgency. This week we ponder John Antes’ (1740-1811) haunting setting of this challenge. The soloist calls us to see: Go, congregation, go and see thy Savior in Gethsemane. There is a scene which with amaze must strike thee, there astonished gaze: thy Maker prays.
And the choir responds:
Surely, he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace lay upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.
In my opinion, this is one of the most deeply moving, most haunting works in our entire collection. We are called to observe Jesus’ anguish in the garden of Gethsemane, as he sees his anguish and death approaching. And we respond with the words of the prophet Isaiah, reflecting on the effect of Christ’s sacrifice.
For this Holy Week, I invite you to listen to this work, recorded by the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra of Winter Park, Florida, with Sharla Nafziger, soprano, and John V. Sinclair, conductor. Click here to listen: 04 Go Congregation Go
Next week: Johann Friedrich Peter’s self-examination