Front Page Titles (by Subject) Lobt Gott, ihr Christen alle gleich. - Bach's Chorals, vol. 3 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Organ Works
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Lobt Gott, ihr Christen alle gleich. - Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach’s Chorals, vol. 3 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Organ Works 
Bach’s Chorals. Part III: The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Organ Works, by Charles Sanford Terry (Cambridge University Press, 1915-1921). 3 vols. Vol. 3.
Part of: Bach’s Chorals, 3 vols.
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Lobt Gott, ihr Christen alle gleich.
The words and melody of the Christmas hymn, “Lobt Gott, ihr Christen alle gleich [allzugleich],” by Nikolaus Herman, were first published together in 1560. The tune (supra) had appeared six years earlier in association with another hymn by Herman. In both hymns the fourth line of the stanza is repeated.
Bach uses the melody in Cantatas 151 and 195 (?c. 1726-40), Choralgesänge, Nos. 233, 234, and in the two movements infra. His text generally differs from that of 1554 in phrases 2 and 4. His version of both is adumbrated in texts dated 1576 and 1592. Excepting his treatment of the second phrase (the last six notes of line 1 supra) Bach’s version of the melody is invariable. In the Orgelbüchlein and Cantatas 151 and 195 he adopts the 1554 form, which is also that of Witt (No. 32), but always begins the second phrase on G (not A ut supra). The source of his variation of that line elsewhere is not ascertained. An unimportant modification of the closing cadence occurs in Cantata 195 (?c. 1726).
N. xv. 29. The movement, in the Christmas section of the Orgelbüchlein, expresses the jubilation of earth at the angels’ Christmas message. Bach introduces into the movement, therefore, a characteristic rhythm of joy.
N. xviii. 74. A brilliant Organ accompaniment of the melody, inspired by stanza viii, more literally translated thus:
Bach buries the second phrase of the cantus under harmonies soaring heavenward followed by a downward rush of whirling notes, typifying dispersal of the forces that hitherto barred the Gate of Life.
A copy of the movement is in the Dröbs ms. A so-called “variant,” which comes from the Krebs mss., is printed in B.G. xl. 159. The second phrase of the melody is in a form Bach does not use elsewhere.
[1 ]Psalms and Hymns, No. 52. The original hymn has eight stanzas, of which ii, iv, v, vii are omitted in the translation.