Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring - Christel Veraart

In a blend of tradition and innovation, I have released Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. This cherished sacred aria, originally composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1723, finds its origins in Bach’s chorale arrangement from the cantata “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben,” BWV 147. As part of my forthcoming album of Sacred Arias, this rendition follows a series of single releases, including Caccini’s Ave Maria, Franck’s Panis Angelicus, Schubert’s Litany for the Feast of All Souls, and Haydn’s Fac Me Vere Tecum Flere, available for download and streaming on most digital platforms.

My upcoming album will be an extension of my previous work, Musica Sacra, recorded during a memorable concert I gave at the Mexican Mission of San Borja, nestled amidst the tranquil expanse of the Sonoran desert near Bahia de los Angeles (Mexico). My new album of Sacred Arias will not only showcase my vocals but also features my orchestrations. Soon to be Released!

Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring

This sacred aria serves as a melodic embodiment of hope, celebrating the joy surrounding the birth of the Messiah, and expressing gratitude for his redemptive influence. This composition resonates as a source of reassurance and solace, particularly during times of adversity. It holds a special place within the hearts of many, often gracing wedding ceremonies and enhancing the atmosphere of Christian celebrations like Christmas and Easter. Christel’s interpretation of “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring” invites you into a realm where transcendent melodies intertwine with the profound emotions of the sacred.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Born on March 21 (March 31, New Style), 1685, in Eisenach, Thuringia, this prominent composer from the Baroque era died on July 28, 1750, in Leipzig. He stood out as the most illustrious member of a prolific lineage of northern German musicians. While his contemporaries held him in high esteem primarily for his exceptional skills as a harpsichordist, organist, and authority on organ craftsmanship, Bach’s legacy has evolved to establish him as one of the preeminent composers of all ages.

He is revered for crafting monumental works such as the Brandenburg Concertos, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B Minor, and a plethora of other remarkable compositions spanning both religious and instrumental domains. Emerging during a pivotal juncture in the evolution of music, Bach possessed the unique ability to survey and amalgamate the dominant styles, forms, and cultural heritages that had evolved in the generations prior. Through his masterful synthesis, he magnificently enriched the entirety of musical expression.

German words by Martin Janus

Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe, o wie feste halt' ich ihn,
Daß er mir mein Herze labe, wenn ich krank und traurig bin.
Jesum hab' ich, der mich liebet und sich mir zu eigen giebet.
Ach drum laß' ich Jesum nicht, wenn mir gleich mein Herze bricht.

Jesus bleibet meine Freude, meines Herzens Trost und Saft,
Jesus wehret allem Leide, er ist meines Lebens Kraft,
Meiner Augen Lust und Sonne, meiner Seele Schatz und Wonne;
Darum laß' ich Jesum nicht, aus dem Herzen und Gesicht.

English Translation

Jesu,joy of man's desiring, Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring Soar to uncreated light.
Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, With the fire of life impassioned,
Striving still to truth unknown, Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding, Hark, what peaceful music rings;
Where the flock, in Thee confiding, Drink of joy from deathless springs.
Theirs is beauty's fairest pleasure; Theirs is wisdom's holiest treasure.
Thou dost ever lead Thine ownIn the love of joys unknown.