Talk:O sacred head (Johann Sebastian Bach)

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It is clearly known that the Composer of German and English translations is Hans Leo Hassler, but Johann Sebastian Bach arranged that melody and used it in different his works with different words. So Hassler must be indicated as authentic Composer of this melody! The Tune also is called "Passion Chorale (Hassler)". And in my edition there are different arrangements of different musicians, not only of J.S. Bach. The original text isn't German, but Latin poem "Salve, caput cruentatum", what is the last part of a big medieval poem "Salve, mundi salutare", now attributed to the Medieval poet Arnulf of Louvain (died 1250). The English text translation has a many variations of different authors. The most used is the text, translated in 1830 from Latin poem by James Waddel Alexander (1804-1859). Alexander's translation, beginning "O sacred head, now wounded," became one of the most widely used in 19th and 20th century hymnals. But there are so many variations of his translation in many stanzas, that it isn't possible to establish, which one would be real original translation. So it isn't correct to call them "contrafactum". I searched through many variants of Alexander's text and found also this one with improved text, where somobody (not me!) changed old pronouns with modern English words. In my edition I used for now Alexander's translation! It is a project to edit in the future this scores also with traditional text. Other well known poet of English translation is Sir Henry Baker (1821-1877). His translation was made in 1861 and is based on German translation. It begins, "O sacred head surrounded by crown of piercing thorn." And there are many variations of text, too. And in 1899 the English poet Robert Bridges (1844-1930) made a fresh translation from the original Latin, beginning "O sacred Head, sore wounded, defiled and put to scorn." In comparison of English and German translations we can see big discordance either with text as well with the number of stanzas... But different authors and their translations can't be mixed. Please don't change my edition without consultation first with me and other responsibles admins. Andris Solims (talk) 22:30, 12 March 2013 (UTC)


The first harmonization is No. 15/17 (Erkenne mich mein Hüter/Ich will hier bei dir stehen)from Bach's St. Matthews Passion The 2nd harmonization is No. 54 (O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden)from Bach's St. Matthews Passion.
Gerd Eichler 13:03, 13 March 2013 (CET)

If these harmonizations belong to a larger work that has its own page and BWV number, then I tend to agree with Gerd that they should be titled as a Bach's "composition" (or maybe even merged with the existing page for the larger work, but only if music and text match exactly those of the larger work). An inner note should be added informing that Hassler is the composer of the tune. Usually that's what is done with Bach's harmonizations of hymn tunes. Regards, —Carlos (talk) 00:01, 14 March 2013 (UTC)