• Judith Weir
  • Roll Off the Ragged Rocks of Sin (1992)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • pf
  • 3 min

Programme Note

This work is a free transcription of the aria Wer Bist du? Frage dein Gewissen from J.S.Bach’s Cantata No 132 Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn. For the moral improvement of the audience, it is suggested that the original text of the aria is read out in a fierce voice before, or perhaps during performances:

Where art thou? Ever ask thy conscience,
With honesty inquire anew
If thou, O man, be false or true,
And face the truth without evasion
What art thou? Study the scriptures
For they will tell thee what thou art:
A child of Sin, in Satan’s snares
How full of guile thine evil heart.
Roll off the ragged rocks of sin
And greet thy saviour now.

Roll Off… was written for Nicolas Hodges, who encouraged a large group of composers to write their reflections on Bach for solo piano, and first performed the in the BMIC London in 1992.

© Judith Weir