Gottes Zeit is die allerbeste Zeit

J.S. Bach, Cantata 106

from a recording of Bach Cantatas
directed by John Eliot Gardner
(Archive Produktion 429 782-2)

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Herman de Jong accompanied his son Henry on the recorder playing this piece for the funerals of both Harm and Dina van der Laan (Stiny's parents). An LP recording of this cantata has been in the family for some time. Known also as the "Actus Tragicus", this funeral cantata was written by J.S. Bach at the young age of 22, an age at which both Herman's and Henry's musical lives were also blossoming.

The text of the lovely choral movement that follows this Sonatina has been imprinted on our minds all these years, and fits very well (and probably not co-incidentally) with the funeral text.


Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit.
In ihm leben, weben und sind wir,
  solange er will.
in ihm sterben wir zur rechten Zeit
  wenn er will.

Of all times, God's is the very best.
In Him we live and move and have our being,
  so long as He wills.
in Him we die at the appointed time,
  when He wills.

This movement is included here for your edification,
even though it was not part of the service.

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While camping in the two weeks following the funeral we found ourselves in Grundy Lake Provincial Park down the lane from Thijs and Connie Eerkes, casual aquaintances of dad and mom, who nevertheless had come from out-of-town to attend the funeral. These two music lovers recognized the 'Actus Tragicus' immediately, and now, in one of God's better places, they had their recording of the whole cantata with them. They graciously lent us the CD to take back with us, which I here take the liberty of quoting from (since the recording from the funeral did not turn out so well).

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