If Comfort! – Aus tiefer Not is a composition for choir (SAB), organ and saxophone. The piece was written especially for the first edition of the musical study day VIERkamp in July 2023 in Kampen (NL).

The starting point was to rework the content of Martin Luther’s first church song, Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir from 1524 into a contemporary composition. The comforting content of his song, based on Psalm 130, was also popular in Johann Sebastian Bach’s time and inspired his organ arrangements of the melody and the chorale cantata of the same name Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir (BWV 38) from 1724.

To continue sharing the comforting content of the song in our time, new words have been given to it and a new sound idiom with the use of the saxophone. The new text was written by Lydia Vroegindeweij and contains in contemporary language the content of Luther’s song and his theological view that faith is more or less a synonym for consolation. Johan van der Linden composed the music to this new text, also using recognisable quotes from Bach’s arrangements of the melody. If necessary, the piece can also be performed without the saxophone part.

Listen to a recording

On the occasion of a celebration around All Souls’ Day, the Dutch version of the piece was performed on 4 November 2023 by the Catharina Collegium conducted by Elske te Lindert in the Catharinakerk in Doetinchem. Saxophone: Johan van der Linden. Organ: Wybe Kooimans.


The Dutch text slowly emerges from the German opening line. This line also forms an acrostic on the initial letters of the Dutch text lines.

Als troost voor mij onvindbaar lijkt
Uitweg uit verdriet verdween
Stel dat ik
Ten onder ga
Is er iemand die mij redt?
Een toekomst voor mijn ziel, dat is geen
Fantasie maar perspectief
Een steun bij zware tegenslag, dat is
Rond mijn schouder Jouw arm
Nooit is diepste diep te diep
Onder mijn voeten vind ik vaste grond
Troost is geloof is troost is geloof is troost geworden.
Lydia Vroegindeweij
If comfort is too hard to find
No escape from sorrow ‘s left
If I were to perish now
Who will save me anyhow?
A future for my soul that is
No fantasy but promised love
Support in heavy trouble, that’s
Around my shoulder Your arm
Never deepest is too deep
Under my feet I find a solid ground
Comfort grew to faith and trust, 
turned to comfort, changed to faith.
Lydia Vroegindeweij

Ordering scores

The score of this composition with text in Dutch is available from our online shop. If you are interested in the English version, please email me.