HERZLIEBSTER JESU

Composer: Johann Crüger

Crüger, Johann, was born April 9, 1598, at Gross-Breese, near Guben, Brandenburg. After passing through the schools at Guben, Sorau and Breslau, the Jesuit College at Olmütz, and the Poets' school at Regensburg, he made a tour in Austria, and, in 1615, settled at Berlin. There, save for a short residence at the University of Wittenberg, in 1620, he employed himself as a private tutor till 1622. In 1622 he was appointed Cantor of St. Nicholas's Church at Berlin, and also one of the masters of the Greyfriars Gymnasium. He died at Berlin Feb. 23, 1662. Crüger wrote no hymns, although in some American hymnals he appears as "Johann Krüger, 1610,” as the author of the supposed original of C. Wesley's "Hearts of stone relent, relent" (q.v.).… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: Johann Crüger (1640)
Meter: 11.11.11.5
Incipit: 11175 12334 22345
Key: f minor

Texts

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted!

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Notes

Partially based on earlier melodies (including the Genevan tune for Psalm 23), HERZ LIEBSTER JESU was composed by Johann Crüger (PHH 42) and published in his Neues vollkömliches Gesangbuch (1640). Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used the tune in both his St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, and various other composers have written preludes on the chorale. HERZLIEBSTER JESU is a sober tune in minor tonality; it provides a strong match for Heermann's text. Sing with solemnity. Accompany in a subdued manner except at the final phrase of stanza 3, "for my salvation," a phrase that merits full organ accompaniment. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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