Born near the city of Deventer, Bastiaans had his early musical training there. From 1836 to 1838 he studied organ and composition in Germany. After returning to the Netherlands, Bastiaans served as organist in Deventer and Amsterdam and, from 1858 until his death, was the municipal organist and carillonist in Haarlem. He also taught music at the Institute for the Blind in Amsterdam and gave private lessons in composition and organ. In addition to being an accomplished organist, Bastiaans was well known for his organ compositions. Moreover, he was primarily responsible for introducing J. S. Bach to the Netherlands, both through his Bach recitals and his founding of the Bach Society in Amsterdam.
Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988 Go to person page >
Awake, all who sleep, and arise from the dead,
and Christ shall become your new dawning.
God's Son and your King not in judgment and dread
as Savior wakes you to his morning.
Awake and arise, for the danger is great:
choose Christ as your life or choose death as your fate.
Johannes G. Bastiaans (PHH 418) composed ONTWAAK (awake) in 1866 for the original Dutch text. The tune was one of thirty that Bastiaans provided for the Vervolgbundel op de Evangelische Gezangen (1868) after being commissioned to do so by the Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk. ONTWAAK is also one of several of Bastiaans's tunes that remain popular to this day in the Dutch Reformed churches.
The tune is a bar form (AAB), a rarity in Bastiaans's tunes. Its melodic contour consists of a delicate balance of larger intervals and stepwise motion. Sing either in unison or in harmony. A more dramatic rendition might involve soloists singing stanzas 1-3 and the entire group singing stanza 4.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988