Toronto Chamber Choir Blog
December 21, 2020
Author: Lucas Harris
The Mirror of Joy
All of us at the Toronto Chamber Choir wish you Happy Holidays, and offer you a virtual performance of one of our favourite German chorales which has a special resonance with our current moment in time.
Philipp Nicolai composed Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme in 1598 while sheltering from the plague which had befallen the town of Unna.
It was first published the following year in Nicolai’s Frewdenspiegel deß ewigen Lebens. His preface states:
"Day by day I wrote out my meditations, found myself, thank God, wonderfully well, comforted in heart, joyful in spirit, and truly content; gave to my manuscript the name and title of a Mirror of Joy . . . to leave behind me (if God should call me from this world) as a token of my peaceful, joyful, Christian departure, or (if God should spare me in health) to comfort other sufferers whom He should also visit with the pestilence."
Please be safe during this dark winter, and may you discover the same "comfort in heart" and "joy in spirit" that Nicolai found.