Front Page Titles (by Subject) No. 35.: Rejoice, and sing ( Seid froh, dieweil ) - Bach's Chorals, vol. 1 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Passions and Oratorios
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No. 35.: Rejoice, and sing ( Seid froh, dieweil ) - Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach’s Chorals, vol. 1 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the “Passions” and Oratorios 
Bach’s Chorals. Part I: The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the “Passions” and Oratorios, by Charles Sanford Terry (Cambridge University Press, 1915-1921). 3 vols. Vol. 1.
Part of: Bach’s Chorals, 3 vols.
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Rejoice, and sing (Seid froh, dieweil)
The melody, “Wir Christenleut’,” was published in Martin Fritzsch’s Gesangbuch. Darinnen Christliche Psalmen unnd Kirchen Lieder D. Martini Lutheri und andrer frommen Christen, Dresden, 1593. It is one of seven new melodies in that collection, and may be attributed to the son of the author of the Hymn, “Wir Christenleut’,” Caspar Fuger, or Fuger, first published in the Drey schone Newe Geistliche Gesenge (1592). Tune and hymn are found together in MS. 1589. Two Lutheran pastors, apparently father and son, named Caspar Fuger, or Füger, lived at Dresden in the sixteenth century. The authorship of the words of “Wir Christenleut’ ” has been attributed to both of them. The elder was Court Preacher and died circ. 1592. The younger was co-Rector of the Kreuzschule and died in 1617. In his Christliche Verss und Gesenge (Dresden, 1580) the elder Fuger states that his son had composed (in five parts) the music for his Hymns.
Bach uses the melody elsewhere in the Christmas Cantatas “Dazu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes” (No. 40), “Unser Mund sei voll Lachens” (No. 110), and “Uns ist ein Kind geboren” (No. 142).
The words of the Choral are stated by the Choralgesange (No. 381), following Erk, to be the second stanza of “Wir Christenleut’ ” stark veranderte. This, however, is not the case. The second stanza of “Wir Christenleut’ ” is as follows:
The words Bach uses here are these:
They are the fourth stanza of the Hymn “Lasst Furcht und Pein Fern von euch seyn,” by Christoph Runge, published in Johann Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica (Berlin, 1653). Runge was born at Berlin in 1619, was in business as a printer there, and died in 1681.
Bach’s choice of a stanza here was circumscribed. The text of No. 34 compelled him to treat Choral No. 35 as the utterance of the returning shepherds “praising and glorifying God for all the things which they had heard and seen.” Runge’s stanza, with its opening “Seid froh,” exactly fits the situation. So also, it may be observed, does the fifth stanza of Fuger’s Hymn, which begins, “Alleluja! gelobt sei Gott!”
Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).