dem_2011

Erbarme dich, mein Gott (Bach) Marian Anderson

Erbarme dich, mein Gott from Matthäus-Passion [The St. Matthew Passion], BWV 244 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Marian Anderson, contralto
Joseph Fuchs, solo violin
RCA Victor Chamber Orchestra
Robert Shaw, conductor

Recorded June, 1946

Erbarme dich,
Mein Gott, um meiner Zähren willen!
Schaue hier,
Herz und Auge weint vor dir
Bitterlich. 

TRANSLATION:
Have mercy,
My God, for my tears' sake;
Look hither,
Heart and eyes weep before thee
Bitterly. 

In Memoriam:  Marian Anderson (1897-1993)  

Renowned contralto Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia on February 27, 1897. Famed Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini said that she had a voice that came along "once in a hundred years." On April 9, 1939 Marian Anderson performed at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after she was denied use of Constitutional Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) because of her race.  She performed on the steps to a crowd of more than 75,000 people and was broadcast live for millions of radio listeners. That concert made her an international celebrity.   

She was the first African American singer to perform at the White House and the first African American to sing with New York's Metropolitan Opera. She sang for the inaugurations of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. In 1957, she toured India and the Far East as a goodwill ambassador through the U.S. State Department. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Congressional Gold Medal in 1977, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991. 

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