Ach Lieb, ich tu dir klagen

We’re singing several good songs in choir this session, but my favourite by far is “Ach Lieb, ich tu dir klagen,” by Hans Leo Hassler. It’s Renaissance-tastic. Here’s the only YouTube recording I could find:

Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s in five parts. I usually sing alto, but since I’m technically a mezzo-soprano, I decided to sing the second soprano part this time (our conductor is very easy-going and doesn’t mind). I always think whichever part I’m singing is the most beautiful, but in this case I’m pretty sure it’s true. The second soprano line is something special.

German has a bad rep in some circles as a harsh-sounding language, but I don’t think it’s harsh. It’s super fun to sing. During one of our more melodic moments as second sopranos, we’re singing “die grossen Schmerzen mein,” which doesn’t look like it ought to be beautiful, but it is. It takes a lot of mouth-effort to pronounce correctly, but I like that in a language. I think it gives the song some additional timbre and nuance. The sound of the words, separate from their meaning, is an interesting and integral part of the whole.

4 thoughts on “Ach Lieb, ich tu dir klagen

  1. I’m usually a first soprano, but I was in a women’s choir in the spring and because we had so many firsts, I moved down to second. I learned so much! The transition took a little bit of work (you mean I’m not singing the top note??) but second soprano tends to be a really awesome part. My favorite language to sing in is Swedish, which is similar to German but has some really fun vowels (see:

  2. Ah, that *is* lovely! I can see how wonderful it would be to sing. The choral work I would most like to sing is “O Magnum Mysterium” – but since I’m not really good enough to be in a choir, I just sing along with the CD. But, oh, to sing it live would be heavenly! (no pun intended)

  3. If you aren’t tone deaf and are willing to work hard, I’m sure you’re good enough to be in a choir. Look around for amateur choirs in your area! Whose O Magnum Mysterium do you love? My favorite is Lauridsen.

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