O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß BWV 622

Another of the extraordinarily beautiful chorales from the Orgelbüchlein, Bach’s genius is revealed here in the incredibly expressive solo upper voice. Add to that the ending which is very unusual both harmonically and melodically as Bach summons the image of the cross – this is a truly great work.

O mankind, mourn your great sins,

for which Christ left His Father’s bosom

and came to earth;

from a virgin pure and tender

He was born here for us,

He wished to become our Intercessor,

He gave life to the dead

and laid aside all sickness

until the time approached

that He would be offered for us,

bearing the heavy burden of our sins

indeed for a long time on the Cross.