Not Katy Perry, Lady Gaga or Kesha warbling on some auto-tuned rubbish, but like this.
And to think that this is just one of many incredible passages in Bach's St. Matthew Passion! To anyone interested in listening to an even better performance - not just of "Erbarme Dich" but of the whole work - I highly recommend the recording by the Collegium Vocale Gente, conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.
I share completely Thomas Edison's conviction that religion is bunk, but if there were anything with the power to sway me towards religious belief, it would be the existence of sublime works such as this passion or Monteverdi's "Vespers of 1610"; these are compositions of whose authors, one feels justified in quoting the famous passage from Hamlet:
What a piece of work is man. How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties. In form and moving, how express and admirable. In action how like an angel. In apprehension, how like a god.
Indeed, sometimes I find myself wondering how it can be that the greatest composers, painters, writers and scientists, who leave behind works able to astonish, surprise and delight long after their creators are dead, and the dim-witted hordes who love "Twilight", proudly hang Thomas Kinkade paintings on their walls, think Lady Gaga is a rebel and a genius, and follow the fabricated adventures of the Kardashians with rapt attention, can really be said to belong to the same species ...