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Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach’s Chorals, vol. 1 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the “Passions” and Oratorios [1915]

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Johann Sebastian Bach, 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. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2055

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About this Title:

Part of a three volume work on Bach’s Chorals with detailed commentary, melodies, translations, and analysis of these great pieces of music. Vol. 1 contains The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the “Passions” and Oratorios; vol. 2 contains The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Cantatas and Motetts; vol. 3 contains The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Organ Works

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Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [i]
BACH’S CHORALS
Edition: current; Page: [ii]

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS

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Edition: current; Page: [iii]
BACH’S CHORALS
by CHARLES SANFORD TERRY
PART I THE HYMNS AND HYMN MELODIES of the “PASSIONS” AND ORATORIOS
Cambridge:
at the University Press
1915
Edition: current; Page: [iv]

TO MY FRIEND

IVOR ATKINS

printed in great britain

Edition: current; Page: [v]

PREFATORY NOTE

NO other country can vie with Germany in wealth of hymnody. Much of it was pre-Reformation in origin. Most of it was fruit of the spiritual exaltation of the Reformation and the Thirty Years War. In its development the year 1524 is the starting-point—the “crucial year for German Church-music,” Schweitzer calls it1. It witnessed the publication of the first German Hymn-Book, Etlich Christlich lider Lobgesang, und Psalm (Wittenberg, 1524), which contained eight hymns, set to four melodies. Another, Eyn Enchiridion oder Handbuchlein...geystlicher gesenge und Psalmen, Rechtschaffen und kunstlich verteutscht, was issued at Erfurt, and contained twenty-five hymns, set to sixteen melodies. In the same momentous year Johann Walther published at Wittenberg, under Luther’s direction, his Geystliche Edition: current; Page: [vi] gesangk Buchleyn, which contained thirty-two hymns, and forty-three, mostly five-part, musical settings. Twenty-one years later (1545) Valentin Babst published at Leipzig his Geystliche Lieder, the last Hymn-Book that received Luther’s revision. It contained one hundred and twenty-nine numbers and ninety-seven hymn melodies Ninety-five years later Johann Cruger’s Newes vollkomliches Gesangbuch Augspurgischer Confession (Berlin, 1640), which remained in use in Berlin for nearly a century, contained two hundred and forty-eight hymns and one hundred and thirty-five melodies. Johann Cruger’s collection (1697)—Bach was twelve years old then—entitled Andachtiger Seelen geistliches Brand- und Gantz-Opfer. Das ist vollstandiges Gesangbuch in acht unterschiedlichen Theilen, contained more than five thousand hymns, but no melodies. It is a work closely associated with Bach, who possessed the eight volumes and drew his hymns from them. Nearly one hundred years later (1786) an incomplete hymnological index of first lines revealed actually 72,733 German hymns! The Dictionary of Hymnology (1908) estimates that about 10,000 of them have become popular, of which “nearly one thousand are classical and immortal1.” Bach Edition: current; Page: [vii] drew lavishly upon this wealth of material, and for his choral works alone used 208 of the old melodies, of which he wrote actually 389 harmonisations, introducing the majority of them (204) into the “Passions,” Oratorios, Cantatas, and Motetts. The remaining 185 were collected by Bach’s son Karl Philipp Emmanuel (Leipzig,4 Parts, 1784-87) and belonged, presumably, to works of his father which no longer are extant1.

The Chorals annotated in the following pages occur in Bach’s “Passions” and Oratorios, i.e. the “St Matthew Passion,” the “St John Passion,” the “Christmas Oratorio,” and the “Ascension Oratorio,” or Cantata, “Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen.” The Easter Oratorio, or Cantata, “Kommt, eilet und laufet,” contains no Chorals, and Bach was precluded from introducing them into the Masses and Magnificat2. These pages therefore exhaust the Choral material used by Bach outside the Cantatas, Motetts, Organ Preludes and Fantasias.

Throughout the four works Bach makes use altogether of forty old hymns or hymn-tunes: twelve for words and melody, eighteen for words only, ten for melody only. In three instances (“Christmas Edition: current; Page: [viii] Oratorio,” Nos. 38, 40, 42) he uses a melody of his own.

The following twelve hymns provide both words and melody1:

  • * Christus der uns selig macht. 2, J.
  • Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist. 2, C, A.
  • *† Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ. 2, C.
  • Herzlich Lieb hab’ ich dich, O Herr. 1, J.
  • Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen. 5, M, J.
  • *† In dich hab’ ich gehoffet, Herr. 2, M, C.
  • *† O Lamm Gottes unschuldig. 1, M.
  • † Valet will ich dir geben. 1, J.
  • *† Vater unser im Himmelreich. 1, J.
  • *† Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her. 3, C.
  • Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh’ allzeit. 1, M.
  • Werde munter, mein Gemuthe. 1, M.

The following eighteen hymns provide their words only for the Chorals:

  • Befiehl du deine Wege. 1, M.
  • Du Lebensfurst, Herr Jesu Christ. 1, A.
  • Frohlich soll mein Herze springen. 1, C.
  • Gott fahret auf gen Himmel. 1, A.
  • Hilf, Herr Jesu, lass gelingen. 1, C.
  • Ich steh’ an deiner Krippen hier. 1, C.
  • Ihr Christen auserkoren. 1, C.
  • Edition: current; Page: [ix]
  • Ihr Gestirn, ihr hohlen Lufte. 1, C.
  • Jesu, du mein liebstes Leben. 1, C.
  • Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod. 3, J.
  • Lasst Furcht und Pein. 1, C.
  • Nun liebe Seel’, nun ist es Zeit. 1, C.
  • O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden. 4, M.
  • O Mensch, bewein’ dein Sunde gross. 1, M1.
  • O Welt, sieh’ hier dein Leben. 3, M, J.
  • Schaut! schaut! was ist fur Wunder dar? 1, C.
  • Wie soll ich dich empfangen. 1, C.
  • Wir singen dir Immanuel. 1, C.

The following ten hymns provide their melody only for the Chorals:

  • * Es sind doch selig alle. 1, M2.
  • Gott des Himmels und der Erden. 1, C.
  • † Herzlich thut mich verlangen. 7, M, C.
  • Jesu Kreuz, Leiden und Pein. 3, J.
  • Mach’s mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Gut’. 1, J.
  • † Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein. 1, C.
  • O Welt, ich muss dich lassen. 3, M, J.
  • *† Von Gott will ich nicht lassen. 1, A3.
  • Warum sollt’ ich mich denn gramen. 1, C.
  • *† Wir Christenleut’. 1, C.

Six hymns or their melodies occur in more than one of the “Passions” and Oratorios:

  • Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist.
  • Herzlich thut mich verlangen.
  • Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen.
  • In dich hab’ ich gehoffet, Herr.
  • Edition: current; Page: [x]
  • O Welt, ich muss dich lassen.
  • O Welt, sieh’ hier dein Leben.

The words of the identified hymns are by the following seventeen writers, only one of whom, Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer, was Bach’s contemporary:

  • Albrecht, Margrave of Brandenburg-Culmbach (1522-57).
  • Nicolaus Decius (d. 1541).
  • Johann Franck (1618-77).
  • Paul Gerhardt (1607-76).
  • Johann Heermann (1585-1647).
  • Valerius Herberger (1562-1627).
  • Sebald Heyden (d. 1561).
  • Martin Luther (1483-1546).
  • Adam Reissner, or Reusner (1496-c. 1575).
  • Johann Rist (1607-67).
  • Christoph Runge (1619-81).
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer (1635-99).
  • Martin Schalling (1532-1608).
  • Paul Stockmann (1602?-36).
  • Michael Weisse (1480?-1534).
  • Georg Weissel (1590-1635).
  • Georg Werner (1589-1643).

Throughout the following pages the Bach-Gesellschaft hymn texts have been followed. They have been collated in every case with Carl E. P. Wackernagel’s Das deutsche Kirchenlied von der altesten Zeit bis zu Anfang des XVII. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 5 vols., 1864-77), or Albert Fischer’s Das deutsche evangelische Kirchenlied des siebzehnten Jahrhunderts vollendet und herausgegeben von D. W. Tumpel (Gutersloh, 1904- ). Verbal discrepancies Edition: current; Page: [xi] between the original texts and Bach’s versions are noted. The author of the stanza in the “St John Passion,” No. 22, is not identified.

The non-anonymous melodies of the Chorals are, in addition to Bach himself, by the following fourteen composers, none of whom was Bach’s contemporary:

  • Heinrich Albert, or Alberti (1604-51).
  • Seth Calvisius, or Kallwitz (1556-1615).
  • Johann Cruger (1598-1662).
  • Nicolaus Decius (d. 1541).
  • Johann Georg Ebeling (1637-76).
  • Caspar Fuger, or Fuger, the younger (d. 1617).
  • Matthaus Greitter (d. 1550 or 1552).
  • Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612).
  • Heinrich Isaak (b. circ. 1440).
  • Martin Luther (1483-1546).
  • Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630).
  • Johann Schop, or Schopp (d. circ. 1665).
  • Melchior Teschner (fl. 1613).
  • Melchior Vulpius (1560?-1615).

In the following pages the melodies are printed in their earliest known form (see Johannes Zahn, Die Melodien der deutschen evangelischen Kirchenlieder, Gutersloh, 6 vols., 1889-93).

The composers of the following melodies cannot be identified:

  • i. Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh’ allzeit (“St Matthew Passion,” No. 31), whose secular parentage is not stated in Pierre Attaignant’s volume, 1529.Edition: current; Page: [xii]
  • ii. Vater unser im Himmelreich (“St John Passion,” No. 5), published in 1539 and attributed to Luther.
  • iii. Christus der uns selig macht (“St John Passion,” No. 12), the proper melody of “Patris Sapientia,” first published by Michael Weisse in 1531.
  • iv. Herzlich Lieb hab’ ich dich, O Herr (“St John Passion,” No. 37), which was first published by Bernhard Schmidt in 1577.
  • v. Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ (“Christmas Oratorio,” No. 7), a pre-Reformation tune published, and probably moulded, by Johann Walther in 1524.
  • vi. Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her (“Christmas Oratorio,” No. 9), attributed to Luther.
  • vii. Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein (“Christmas Oratorio,” No. 59), attributed to Luther.
  • viii. Von Gott will ich nicht lassen (“Ascension Oratorio,” No. 11), derived from a secular song extant in 1569.

On the origin of the melodies of the Reformation hymns the following passages of Schweitzer’s J. S. Bach are illuminating:

“Since we rarely know the history of a melody before it became attached to a hymn, the name of which it henceforth bears, it is difficult to decide which melodies were adopted and which composed by the musicians of the Reformation....On the whole the number of musicians who wrote melodies for the Church was not large, not because at that time there were no musicians capable of the work, but rather because their services were not called for. For a new melody to become a true folk-melody, of the kind that would gain immediate Edition: current; Page: [xiii] acceptance everywhere, was a difficult process, requiring a long period of time. It was much more natural to impress existing melodies into the service of the Church, sacred melodies at first, and then, when these did not suffice, secular ones. The Reformed Church made the most abundant use of this latter source....For the Reformation it was a question of much more than acquiring serviceable melodies. While it brought the folk-song into religion, it wished to elevate secular art in general. That the object was conversion rather than simple borrowing is shown by the title of a collection that appeared at Frankfort in 1571: ‘Street songs, cavalier songs, mountain songs, transformed into Christian and moral songs, for the abolishing in course of time of the bad and vexatious practice of singing idle and shameful songs in the streets, in fields, and at home, by substituting for them good, sacred, honest words.’...Any foreign melody that had charm and beauty was stopped at the frontier and pressed into the service of the [Church]....When the treasures of melody to be drawn upon were at last exhausted, there came the epoch of the composer. The copious spiritual poetry of the seventeenth century called them to the work....The spirit, however, which dominated music about the beginning of the eighteenth century made it incapable of developing the true church-tune any Edition: current; Page: [xiv] further. German music got out of touch with German song, and fell further and further under the influence of the more ‘artistic’ Italian melody. It could no longer achieve that naiveté which, ever since the Middle Ages, had endowed it with those splendid, unique tunes....When Bach came on the scene, the great epoch of Choral creation was at an end, like that of the sacred poem. Sacred melodies indeed were still written; but they were songs of the Aria type, not true congregational hymns; an indefinable air of subjectivity pervaded them1.”

Bach’s Oratorios and “Passions” contain forty-three Chorals: fifteen in the “St Matthew Passion,” twelve in the “St John Passion,” fourteen in the “Christmas Oratorio,” and two in the “Ascension Oratorio.” Of that number the majority (33) are in simple hymn form suitable for congregational use. The remaining ten fall into four categories: (1) Nos. 9, 23, 42, 64 of the “Christmas Oratorio” may be termed Extended Chorals, the lines of the hymn being separated by orchestral interludes. (2) In No. 1 of the “St Matthew Passion” the Choral melody is woven into, independent of, and surges above the doubled chorus and orchestra below. (3) No. 25 of the “St Matthew Passion,” Edition: current; Page: [xv] No. 32 of the “St John Passion,” and No. 7 of the “Christmas Oratorio” are alike in this: the hymn (set to a unison melody in the last of them) is part of a dialogue, either commenting upon the narrative of a solo voice, or, as in the “Christmas Oratorio,” No. 7, providing the solo voice with the subject of its reflexions. (4) No. 35 of the “St Matthew Passion” and No. 11 of the “Ascension Oratorio” are Choral Fantasias, the Choral melody being woven into a complicated musical scheme. In the following pages the form and orchestration of every Choral are stated.

The author expresses his indebtedness to the Rev. James Mearns and his erudite articles on German hymnody in the Dictionary of Hymnology. He also cordially thanks his friend Mr Ernest Newman for reading this opusculum in proof, to its advantage. He dedicates it gratefully to another helper, most patient and skilled in Bach lore.

The author reserves for a second Part the Chorals of the Church Cantatas and Motetts.

King’s College,
Old Aberdeen.
Edition: current; Page: [xvi]

CONTENTS

  • Prefatory Note . . . . . . . . page v
  • The “St Matthew Passion” . . . . . 1
  • The “St John Passion” . . . . . . 24
  • The “Christmas Oratorio” . . . . . 41
  • The “Ascension Oratorio” . . . . . 62
  • MELODIES
    • Christus, der uns selig macht (1531) . . . 29
    • Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist (1641) . . 45
    • Es sind doch selig alle (1525) . . . . . 14
    • Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ (1524) . . . 42
    • Gott des Himmels und der Erden (1642) . . 57
    • Helft mir Gott’s Gute preisen (1575 [1569]) . . 63
    • Herzlich Lieb hab’ ich dich, O Herr (1577) . . 38
    • Herzlich thut mich verlangen (1601) . . . . 8
    • Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen (1640) . 3
    • In dich hab’ ich gehoffet, Herr (1581) . . . 16
    • Jesu Kreuz, Leiden und Pein (1609) . . . . 27
    • Mach’s mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Gut’ (1628) . 32
    • Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein (1535) . 58
    • O Lamm Gottes unschuldig (1542 and 1545) . . 1
    • O Welt, ich muss dich lassen (1539) . . . 5
    • Valet will ich dir geben (1614) . . . . . 34
    • Vater unser im Himmelreich (1539) . . . . 25
    • Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her (1539) . . 44
    • Von Gott will ich nicht lassen (1572 [1571]) . . 63
    • Warum sollt’ ich mich denn gramen (1666) . . 49
    • Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh’ allzeit (1529 and 1572 [1571]) . . . . . . . 12
    • Werde munter, mein Gemuthe (1642) . . . 19
    • Wir Christenleut’ (1593) . . . . . . 51
  • Index . . . . . . . . . 66
Edition: current; Page: [xvii]

ERRATA

P. vi, lines 10-11, delete which century

line 13, for Johann Cruger read Paul Wagner

P. 13, line 8, for of 1552 read in 1552

Edition: current; Page: [1]

THE ST MATTHEW PASSION (1728—1729)

No. 1.: O Lamb of God most holy (O Lamm Gottes unschuldig)1

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Melody:O Lamm Gottes unschuldig

Nicolaus Decius 1542

lf1393-01_figure_002.jpg

Nicolaus Decius 1545

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The melody, “O Lamm Gottes unschuldig,” was composed or adapted by Nicolaus Decius (von Hofe or Hovesch) for his translation of the “Agnus Dei.” Probably Decius was a native of Hof in Upper Franconia. In 1519 he became provost of the Cloister of Steterburg, near Wolfenbuttel, but, abjuring the Roman Catholic Church, was appointed master in the St Katharine and Egidien school at Brunswick in 1522. In 1526(?) he was instituted preacher in the Church of St Nicolas, Stettin. He died at Stettin in 1541, poisoned, it was suspected, by his Roman Catholic enemies. The tune was published, with the hymn, in Anton Corvinus’ Christliche Kirchen-Ordnung (Erfurt, 1542), issued, with a Preface by Elisabeth Duchess of Brunswick-Luneburg, for the use of the Principalities of Calenberg and Gottingen, of which she was Regent; and in Johann Spangenberg’s Kirchengesenge Deudtsch (Magdeburg, 1545).

There is another harmonisation of the melody in the Bach Choralgesange, No. 285.

The words of the Choral are the first stanza of Decius’ translation of the “Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi.” It was first published in Low German in Geystlyke leder, Rostock, 1531, and in High German in Valentin S. Schumann’s (d. 1545) Geistliche lieder auffs new gebessert und gemehrt, Leipzig, 1539:

Edition: current; Page: [3]
  • O Lamm Gottes unschuldig,
  • Am Stamm des Kreuzes geschlachtet,
  • Allzeit erfund’n1 geduldig,
  • Wiewohl du warest verachtet.
  • All’ Sund’ hast du getragen,
  • Sonst mussten wir verzagen;
  • Erbarm’ dich unser, O Jesu!
  • B.G. iv. 7.

English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, pp. 31, 1550.

Form. The Choral (Soprano ripieno) is an independent strand or ornament of the Double Chorus (Two Orchestras, each 2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 3.: O Blessed Jesu, how hast thou offended (Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen)

lf1393-01_figure_003.jpg

Melody:Herzliebster Jesu

Johann Cruger 1640

The melody, “Herzliebster Jesu,” composed for Heermann’s Hymn by Johann Cruger, first Edition: current; Page: [4] appeared in his Newes vollkomliches Gesangbuch, Berlin, 1640. Cruger was born at Gross-Breesen, near Guben, in Brandenburg, in 1598. He became Cantor of St Nicolas’ Church, Berlin, in 1622, and died in that city in 1662. About 20 of his melodies are still in common use, the most familiar of them being “Nun danket alle Gott.”

Bach uses the melody elsewhere in the “St Matthew Passion” (Nos. 25, 55) and twice in the “St John Passion” (Nos. 4, 15).

The words of the Choral are the first stanza of the Passiontide Hymn, “Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen.” Its author, Johann Heermann, was born at Raudten, Silesia, in 1585. He became deacon of Koben on the Oder in 1611, retired in 1638, and died in 1647. The Hymn was first published in Heermann’s Devoti Musica Cordis. Hauss- und Hertz-Musica, Leipzig, 1630; and, with a melody by Johann Staden (1581-1634), in the latter’s Hertzens Andachten, 1631:

  • Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen,
  • Dass man em solch hart1 Urtheil hat gesprochen?
  • Was ist die Schuld, in was fur Missethaten
  • Bist du gerathen?
  • B.G. iv. 23.

English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, pp. 517, 1648.

Form Simple (Flutes, Oboes, Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

Edition: current; Page: [5]

No. 16.: My sin it is which binds thee (Ich bin’s, ich sollte bussen)

lf1393-01_figure_004.jpg

Melody:O Welt, ich muss dich lassen

Heinrich Isaak 1539

Heinrich Isaak’s melody was first published in Georg Forster’s Ein ausszug guter alter ūn newer Teutscher liedlein, Nurnberg, 1539, but to the secular song, “Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen.” Of Isaak, Germany’s first great composer, little is known. He was born circ. 1440, perhaps at Prague, was organist of the Medici chapel, Florence, 1477-93, and composer to the Emperor Maximilian I, 1496-1515. He died before 1531. The tune has survived through its association with Johann Hesse’s (1490-1547) Hymn for the Dying, “O Welt, ich muss dich lassen,” first published as a broadsheet at Nurnberg circ. 1555 and in the Nurnberg Edition: current; Page: [6] Hymn-Book, Geystliche Lieder, Psalmen und Lobgesenge. D. Mart. Luther, Nurnberg, 1569. The words of Hesse’s Hymn are a frank conversion of the travelling artisan’s song, “Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen,” and the melody is styled “Innsbruck” in Hymns Ancient and Modern (No. 86). It was not until sixty years after its publication that Isaak’s melody appeared in association with Hesse’s Hymn. They were first published together in David Wolder’s New Catechismus Gesangbuchlein (Hamburg, 1598 [1597]), and in the Eisleben Gesangbuch, Darinnen Psalmen unnd Geistliche Lieder (Eisleben, 1598). In the latter work the tune virtually assumed the form in which Bach employs it.

Bach uses the melody elsewhere in the “St Matthew Passion” (No. 44), and in the “St John Passion” (No. 8). He employs it also in three of the Cantatas: “Meine Seufzer, meine Thranen” (No. 13), for the Second Sunday after Epiphany; “Sie werden euch in den Bann thun” (No. 44), for the Sixth Sunday after Easter; and “In allen meinen Thaten” (No. 97), for general use. In the Choralgesange there are four other harmonisations of the melody (Nos. 289, 290, 291, 298).

The words of the Choral are the fifth stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s Passiontide Hymn, “O Welt, sieh’ hier dein Leben,” first published in the 1647 (Berlin) Edition: current; Page: [7] edition of Johann Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica. Paul Gerhardt was born in 1607, at Grafenhainichen, near Wittenberg. At the age of fifty (1657) he became third deacon of the Church of St Nicolas, Berlin, during the reign of the Great Elector. For refusing to obey the Elector’s order to treat with moderation the differences between the Calvinist and Lutheran Churches, Gerhardt was deposed in 1666. Three years later (1669) he became archdeacon at Lubben. He died in 1676. After Luther Gerhardt is the most popular of the German hymn-writers. He was the author of 120 hymns, which were collected and published in ten “Dozens” by Johann G. Ebeling (see the “Christmas Oratorio,” No. 33), under the title Pauli Gerhardi Geistliche Andachten (Berlin, 1666-67):

  • Ich bin’s, ich sollte bussen,
  • An Handen und an Fussen
  • Gebunden in der Holl’.
  • Die Geisseln und die Banden,
  • Und was du ausgestanden,
  • Das hat verdienet meine Seel
  • B.G. iv. 42.

English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 853.

Form. Simple (2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

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No. 21.: Receive me, my Redeemer (Erkenne mich, mein Huter)

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Melody:Herzlich thut mich verlangen

Hans Leo Hassler 1601

Hans Leo Hassler’s melody was published first in his Lustgarten Neuer Teutscher Gesang, Balletti, Galliarden und Intraden mit 4, 5, 6 und 8 Stimmen, Nurnberg, 1601. It was, however, set there to a secular love song, “Mein G’mut ist mir verwirret von einer Jungfrau zart.” Hassler, who was born at Nurnberg in 1564, studied music at Venice, and was organist and choirmaster at Nurnberg from 1601 to 1608. He was called to Dresden by the Electoral Prince in 1608, and died in his service in 1612. Like so many other secular tunes, Hassler’s was pressed into the service of the Church. In 1613 it was attached to Christoph Knoll’s (1563-1650) Hymn, “Herzlich thut mich verlangen.” (Harmoniae sacrae, Gorlitz, 1613), and forty-three years later, in Johann Cruger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica (Frankfort, 1656), was set to Paul Gerhardt’s “O Haupt voll Blut.”

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The melody is the principal one in the “St Matthew Passion” and is employed again in Nos. 23, 53, 63, and 72. Bach uses it also in the “Christmas Oratorio” (Nos. 5, 64), and in four of the Cantatas: “Ach Herr, mich armen Sunder” (No. 135), for the Third Sunday after Trinity; “Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind’ ” (No. 153), for the Sunday after the Circumcision; “Sehet, wir geh’n hinauf nach Jerusalem” (No. 159), for Quinquagesima; and “Komm, du susse Todesstunde!” (No. 161), for the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity. There are other harmonisations of the tune in the Choralgesange, Nos. 157, 158.

The words of the Choral are the fifth stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s Passiontide Hymn, “O Haupt voll Blut,” a translation of St Bernard of Clairvaulx’ (?) “Salve caput cruentatum.” It appeared first in Johann Cruger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, Frankfort, 1656. Other stanzas of the Hymn are used in Nos. 23, 63, and 72 infra:

  • Erkenne mich, mein Huter,
  • Mein Hirte, nimm mich an,
  • Von dir, Quell aller Guter,
  • Ist mir viel Gut’s gethan.
  • Dein Mund hat mich gelabet
  • Mit Milch und susser Kost,
  • Dein Geist hat mich begabet
  • Mit mancher Himmelslust
  • B.G. iv. 51.
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English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, pp. 835, 1681.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 23.: Here would I stand beside thee (Ich will hier bei dir stehen)

For Hans Hassler’s melody, “Herzlich thut mich verlangen,” see No. 21 supra.

The words of the Choral are the sixth stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s Passiontide Hymn, “O Haupt voll Blut” (see No. 21):

  • Ich will hier bei dir stehen:
  • Verachte mich doch nicht!
  • Von dir will ich nicht gehen,
  • Wenn dir dein Herze bricht.
  • Wann dein Herz wird erblassen
  • Im letzten Todesstoss,
  • Alsdann will ich dich fassen
  • In meinen Arm und Schooss.
  • B.G. iv. 53.

Form. Simple (2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 25.: My Saviour, why must all this ill befall thee? (Was ist die Ursach’ aller solcher Plagen?)

For Johann Crüger’s melody, “Herzliebster Jesu,” see No. 3 supra.

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The words of the Choral are the third stanza of Johann Heermann’s Passiontide Hymn, “Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen” (see No. 3 supra):

  • Was ist die Ursach’ aller solcher Plagen1?
  • Ach, meine Sunden haben dich geschlagen2!
  • Ich, ach Herr Jesu, habe dies verschuldet,
  • Was du erduldet!
  • B.G. iv. 55.

Form. The Choral (S.A.T.B.) is sung (Strings, Organ, and Continuo) in three detached phrases interrupting the Tenor Recitativo (2 Fl., 2 Ob. da caccia, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 31.: O Father, let thy will be done (Was mein Gott will)

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Melody:Il me souffit

Anon. 15293

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Melody:Was mein Gott will

Anon. 1572 [1571]

The melody, “Was mein Gott will,” is of French origin, and was published first in Pierre Attaignant’s Trente et quatre chansons musicales (Paris, [1529]), to the song “Il me souffit de tous mes maulx.” It was sung in Antwerp in 1540 to Psalm cxl. It was attached to the Hymn, “Was mein Gott will,” in Joachim Magdeburg’s Christliche und Trostliche Edition: current; Page: [13] Tischgesenge, mit Vier Stimmen (Erfurt, 1572 [1571]). It appears to have been sung also to the secular song, “Beschaffens Gluck ist unversaumt.” Magdeburg was born circ. 1525 in the Altmark of Brandenburg. In 1549 he became pastor at Salzwedel in the Altmark, from whence he was banished upon his refusal to accept the Interim of 1552. After a wandering life he was living in Austria in 1583. The year of his death is not known.

Bach uses the melody elsewhere in six of the Cantatas “Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin” (No. 144), for Septuagesima; “Alles nur nach Gottes Willen” (No. 72), for the Third Sunday after Epiphany; “Was mein Gott will” (No. 111), also for the Third Sunday after Epiphany, “Sie werden aus Saba Alle kommen” (No. 65), for Epiphany; “Ich hab’ in Gottes Herz und Sinn” (No. 92), for Septuagesima; and “Ihr werdet weinen und heulen” (No. 103), for the Third Sunday after Easter.

The words of the Choral are the first stanza of Albrecht, Margrave of Brandenburg-Culmbach’s only Hymn, “Was mein Gott will.” He was born in 1522. As a soldier he gained for himself the name, “the German Alcibiades.” Being a member of the Evangelical Union he was driven from Germany in 1554. He was permitted to return, and died in Edition: current; Page: [14] 1557. The Hymn was first published as a broadsheet at Nürnberg circ. 1554, and in Fünff Schone Geistliche Lieder (Dresden, 1556):

  • Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh’ allzeit,
  • Sein Will’ der ist der beste1;
  • Zu helfen den’n er ist bereit,
  • Die an ihn glauben feste;
  • Er hilft aus Noth,
  • Der fromme Gott,
  • Und zuchtiget2 mit Maassen.
  • Wer Gott vertraut,
  • Fest auf ihn baut,
  • Den will er nicht verlassen.
  • B.G. iv. 83.

English translations of the Hymn are indicated in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 37.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 35.: O man, thy grievous sin bemoan (O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sunde gross)

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Melody:Es sind doch selig alle

Matthaus Greitter 1525

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The melody of “O Mensch, bewein’ ” most probably was composed by Matthaus Greitter. It was first published in the third Part of the Teutsch Kirchēampt mit lobgsengen (Strassburg, 1525; reprinted at Erfurt in 1848), and in Psalmen, gebett und Kirchenubung wie sie zu Strassburg gehalten werden (Strassburg, 1526), a book of 64 pp., containing 23 melodies, of which Greitter and his colleague Wolfgang Dachstein were the editors. In 1525-26 the melody was set to Greitter’s version of Psalm cxix, “Es sind doch selig alle.” In Calvin’s Hymn-Book (Strassburg, 1539) it was adapted to Psalm xxxvi, “En moy le secret pensement.” In the course of the sixteenth century it was sung to the Hymns, “Als Jesus Christus unser Herr” and “Komm, heilger Geist,” and from c. 1584 chiefly to Heyden’s “O Mensch, bewein’.” Greitter was a monk and chorister of Strassburg Cathedral. He became a Protestant and in 1528 was assistant pastor of St Martin’s Church, and later of St Stephen’s Church, Strassburg. His death is dated variously as 1550 and 1552. Dachstein (d. c. 1561) was organist of St Thomas’ Church, Strassburg, in the same period.

There is another harmonisation of the melody in the Choralgesange, No. 286.

The words of the Choral are the first stanza of Sebald Heyden’s Hymn, “O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sunde gross.” Heyden was a native of Nurnberg Edition: current; Page: [16] and rector of the school attached to St Sebald’s Church there. He died in 1561. The Hymn was first published as an 8-page (23 verses) broadsheet at Nurnberg, in 1525:

  • O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sunde gross;
  • Darum Christus sein’s Vaters Schoos
  • Aussert, und kam auf Erden.
  • Von einer Jungfrau rein und zart
  • Fur uns er hie geboren ward,
  • Er wollt’ der Mittler werden.
  • Den’n Todten er das Leben gab,
  • Und legt’ dabei all’ Krankheit ab,
  • Bis sich die Zeit herdrange,
  • Dass er fur uns geopfert wurd’,
  • Trug’ unsrer Sunden schwere Burd’
  • Wohl an dem Kreuze lange.
  • B.G. iv. 107.

Form. Choral Fantasia (2 Fl., 2 Ob. d’amore, Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 38.: How falsely doth the world accuse! (Mir hat die Welt truglich gericht’t)

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Melody:In dich hab’ ich gehoffet, Herr

Seth Calvisius 1581

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The melody, “In dich hab’ ich gehoffet, Herr,” was composed by Seth Calvisius (Kallwitz). He was born at Gorsleben (Thuringia) in 1556, and became Cantor of St Thomas’ Church, Leipzig, in 1594. He died in 1615. The melody was first published by the Augsburg preacher Gregorius Sunderreitter in his Psalter, Davids Himlische Harpffen von neuwem auffgezogen (Nurnberg, 1581), a revision of his Augsburg Psalterium of 1574. It was there associated with Reissner’s Hymn, and again in Calvisius’s Hymni sacri Latini et germanici (Erfurt, 1594). By 1627 (Schein’s Cantional) the melody had assumed the form, to a great extent, in which Bach uses it.

Bach uses the melody elsewhere in the “Christmas Oratorio” (No. 46), and in the Cantatas, “Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht” (No. 52), for the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity; and “Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit” (No. 106, the Actus Tragicus).

The words of the Choral are the fifth stanza of Adam Reissner’s, or Reusner’s, Hymn (based on Psalm xxxi), “In dich hab’ ich gehoffet, Herr,” which was first published in Form und Ordnung Gaystlicher Gesang und Psalmen, Augsburg, 1533. Adam Reissner was born at Mindelheim in Swabian Bavaria in 1496. He fought in the Italian campaign, 1526-27, and was present at the sack of Edition: current; Page: [18] Rome in the latter year. He died at Mindelheim circ. 1575:

  • Mir hat die Welt truglich gericht’t
  • Mit Lugen und mit falschem G’dicht1,
  • Viel Netz und heimlich Strikken.
  • Herr, nimm mein wahr
  • In dieser G’fahr,
  • B’hut’ mich vor falschen Tukken.
  • B.G. iv. 151.

Translations of Reissner’s Hymn are noted on page 955 of the Dictionary of Hymnology.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 46.: O Lord, who dares to smite thee? (Wer hat dich so geschlagen)

For Heinrich Isaak’s melody, “O Welt, ich muss dich lassen,” see No. 16 supra.

The words of the Choral are the third stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s Passiontide Hymn, “O Welt, sieh’ hier dein Leben” (see No. 16):

  • Wer hat dich so geschlagen,
  • Mein Heil, und dich mit Plagen
  • So ubel zugericht?
  • Du bist ja nicht ein Sunder,
  • Wie wir und unsre Kinder;
  • Von Missethaten2 weisst du nicht.
  • B.G. iv. 164.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

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No. 49.: Lamb of God, I fall before thee (Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen)

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Melody:Werde munter, mein Gemuthe

Johann Schop 1642

The melody, “Werde munter, mein Gemuthe,” was composed by Johann Schop, or Schopp. The date of his birth is not ascertained. He was a talented instrumentalist, and, after a career at Wolfenbuttel and the Danish Court, became (1621) Director of the Ratsmusik, and later, Town Organist, and organist of the Church of St James, at Hamburg. He died about 1664 or 1665. The tune was first published, with the hymn, in Johann Rist’s Himlischer Lieder mit Melodeien, Luneburg, 1642.

Bach has used the melody elsewhere in four of the Cantatas. “Wir mussen durch viel Trubsal in das Reich Gottes eingehen” (No. 146), for the Third Sunday after Easter; “Ich armer Mensch, Edition: current; Page: [20] ich Sündenknecht” (No. 55), for the Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity; “Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren” (No. 154), for the First Sunday after Epiphany; and “Herz und Mund und That und Leben” (No. 147), for the Feast of the Visitation of the B. V. M. There are two other harmonisations of the tune in the Choralgesange, Nos. 363, 364.

The words of the Choral are the sixth stanza of Johann Rist’s Evening Hymn, “Werde munter, mein Gemuthe,” which was first published in the third Part of Rist’s Himlischer Lieder, Luneburg, 1642. Rist, a most prolific hymn-writer, was born at Ottensen, near Hamburg, in 1607. He was educated at Rostock and in 1635 became pastor at Wedel, near Hamburg. He died in 1667:

  • Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen,
  • Stell’ ich mich doch wieder ein;
  • Hat uns doch dein Sohn verglichen
  • Durch sein’ Angst und Todespein.
  • Ich verleugne nicht die Schuld,
  • Aber deine Gnad’ und Huld
  • Ist viel grosser als die Sunde,
  • Die ich stets in mir befinde.
  • B.G. iv. 173.

Translations of the Hymn into English are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 1254.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

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No. 53.: Commit thy way to Jesus (Befiehl du deine Wege)

For Hans Hassler’s melody, “Herzlich thut mich verlangen,” see No. 21 supra.

The words of the Choral are the first stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s (see No. 16) Hymn, “Befiehl du deine Wege,” which was first published in Johann Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, Frankfort, 1656. The Hymn is an acrostic, formed by the initial words of the stanzas, on Luther’s version of Psalm xxxvii. 5: “Befiehl dem Herren deine Wege und hoffe auf ihn, er wirds wohl machen”:

  • Befiehl du deine Wege
  • Und was dein Herze krankt
  • Der allertreusten Pflege
  • Dess, der den Himmel lenkt;
  • Der Wolken, Luft und Winden
  • Giebt Wege, Lauf und Bahn,
  • Der wird auch Wege finden,
  • Da dein Fuss gehen kann.
  • B.G. iv. 186.

Translations of the Hymn into English are noted on p. 125 of the Dictionary of Hymnology.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 55.: O wondrous love, that suffers this correction! (Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe!)

For Johann Crüger’s melody, “Herzliebster Jesu,” see No. 3 supra.

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The words of the Choral are the fourth stanza of Johann Heermann’s Passiontide Hymn, “Herzliebster Jesu” (see No. 3):

  • Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe!
  • Der gute Hirte leidet fur die Schaafe;
  • Die Schuld bezahlt der Herre, der Gerechte,
  • Fur seine Knechte!
  • B.G. iv. 192.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo)

No. 63.: O sacred head, surrounded (O Haupt voll Blut)

For Hans Hassler’s melody, “Herzlich thut mich verlangen,” see No. 21 supra.

The words of the Choral are the first and second stanzas of Paul Gerhardt’s Passiontide Hymn, “O Haupt voll Blut” (see No. 21):

    • O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden,
    • Voll Schmerz und voller Hohn!
    • O Haupt, zu Spott gebunden
    • Mit einer Dornenkron’!
    • O Haupt, sonst schon gezieret
    • Mit hochster Ehr’ und Zier,
    • Jetzt aber hoch schimpfiret:
    • Gegrusset seist du mir!
    • Du edles Angesichte,
    • Vor dem sonst schrickt und scheut
    • Das grosse Weltgerichte1,
    • Wie bist du so bespeit!
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    • Wie bist du so erbleichet,
    • Wer hat dein Augenlicht,
    • Dem sonst kein Licht nicht gleichet,
    • So schandlich zugericht’t?
    • B.G. iv. 214.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 72.: Be near me, Lord, when dying (Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden)

For Hans Hassler’s melody, “Herzlich thut mich verlangen,” see No. 21 supra.

The words of the Choral are the ninth stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s Passiontide Hymn, “O Haupt voll Blut” (see No. 21):

  • Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden,
  • So scheide nicht1 von mir!
  • Wenn ich den Tod soll leiden,
  • So tritt du dann herfur!
  • Wenn mir am allerbangsten
  • Wird um das Herze sein,
  • So reiss mich aus den Aengsten
  • Kraft deiner Angst und Pein!
  • B.G. iv. 248.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo)2.

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THE ST JOHN PASSION (1723)

No. 41.: O wondrous love (O grosse Lieb’)2

For Johann Cruger’s melody, “Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen,” see “St Matthew Passion,” No. 3.

The words of the Choral are the seventh stanza of Johann Heermann’s Passiontide Hymn, “Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen” (see “St Matthew Passion,” No. 3). Two more stanzas of the Hymn are sung in No. 15 infra:

  • O grosse Lieb’, O Lieb’ ohn’ alle Maasse,
  • Die dich gebracht auf diese Marter-Strasse!
  • Ich lebte mit der Welt in Lust und Freuden,
  • Und du musst leiden!
  • B.G. xii. (1) 17.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

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No. 51.: Thy will, O Lord, be done (Dein Will’ gescheh’)

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Melody:Vater unser im Himmelreich

Anon. 1539

The melody, “Vater unser im Himmelreich,” by an unknown composer, appeared first in Valentin S. Schumann’s (d. 1545) Geistliche lieder auffs new gebessert, Leipzig, 1539. The tune has been attributed to Luther, but on inadequate evidence.

Bach uses the melody elsewhere in three of the Cantatas: “Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott” (No. 101), for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity; “Es reifet euch ein schrecklich Ende” (No. 90), for the Twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity; and “Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben” (No. 102), for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity. There is Edition: current; Page: [26] another harmonisation of the tune in the Choralgesange, No. 316, which Bach used for the earlier performances of the “St John Passion.”

The words of the Choral are the fourth stanza of Luther’s versification of the Lord’s Prayer, which was first published, with the tune, in Valentin S. Schumann’s Geistliche lieder, Leipzig, 1539:

  • Dein Will’ gescheh’, Herr Gott, zugleich
  • Auf Erden wie im Himmelreich;
  • Gieb uns Geduld in Leidenszeit,
  • Gehorsamsein in Lieb’ und Leid,
  • Wehr’ und steur’ allem Fleisch und Blut,
  • Das wider deinen Willen thut.
  • B.G. xii. (1) 18.

English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 1205.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 81.: O Lord, who dares to smite thee? (Wer hat dich so geschlagen)

For Heinrich Isaak’s melody, “O Welt, ich muss dich lassen,” see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 16.

The words of the Choral are the third and fourth stanzas of Paul Gerhardt’s Passiontide Hymn, “O Welt, sieh’ hier dein Leben” (see the Edition: current; Page: [27] “St Matthew Passion,” No. 16. Stanza iii. is used by Bach also in No. 44 there):

    • Wer hat dich so geschlagen,
    • Mein Heil, und dich mit Plagen
    • So ubel zugericht’t?
    • Du bist ja nicht ein Sunder,
    • Wie wir und unsre Kinder,
    • Von Missethaten1 weisst du nicht.
    • Ich, ich und meine Sunden,
    • Die sich wie Kornlein finden
    • Des Sandes an dem Meer,
    • Die haben dir erreget
    • Das Elend, das dich schlaget,
    • Und das betrubte Marterheer.
    • B.G. xii. (1) 31.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 112.: Peter, faithless, thrice denies (Petrus, der nicht denkt zuruck)

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Melody:Jesu Kreuz, Leiden und Pein

Melchior Vulpius 1609

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The melody, “Jesu Kreuz, Leiden und Pein,” was composed by Melchior Vulpius. He was born at Wasungen circ. 1560 and became Cantor at Weimar circ. 1596. He died there in 1615. This, his most notable, tune appeared in his Ein schon geistlich Gesangbuch, published at Jena in 1609, an enlarged edition of his Kirchen Geseng und Geistliche Lieder, Leipzig, 1604. It is there set to Petrus Herbert’s (d. 1571) Hymn “Jesu Kreuz, Leiden und Pein.” Adjusted to Paul Stockmann’s “Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod,” it was included in Johann Hildebrandt’s Geistlicher Zeit-Vertreiber (Leipzig, 1656). By 1714 (the Weissenfels Gesang-Und Kirchenbuch) the tune had in great measure assumed the form Bach employs.

The melody may be regarded as the principal one of the “St John Passion,” where it appears again in Nos. 30 and 32. Bach uses it also in the Cantatas “Sehet, wir geh’n hinauf nach Jerusalem” (No. 159), for Quinquagesima; and “Himmelskonig, sei willkommen” (No. 182), for Palm Sunday.

The words of the Choral are the tenth stanza of Paul Stockmann’s Passiontide Hymn, “Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod,” which first appeared in his Aller Christen Leib-Stucke, Leipzig, 1633. Stockmann was born at Lauchstadt in 1602 or 1603. He served under Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden as a Lutheran field preacher, and after residing at Edition: current; Page: [29] Wittenberg and Leipzig, became pastor of Lützen. He died there in 1636:

  • Petrus, der nicht denkt zuruck,
  • Seinen Gott verneinet,
  • Der doch auf ein’n ernsten Blick
  • Bitterlichen weinet:
  • Jesu, blicke mich auch an,
  • Wenn ich nicht will bussen,
  • Wenn ich Boses hab’ gethan,
  • Ruhre mein Gewissen.
  • B.G. xii. (1) 39.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 121.: See the Lord of life and light (Christus, der uns selig macht)

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Melody:Christus, der uns selig macht

“Patris Sapientia” 1531

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The melody, “Christus, der uns selig macht,” proper to the Latin hymn “Patris Sapientia,” was first published by Michael Weisse in the earliest German Hymn-Book of the Bohemian Brethren, Ein New Gesengbuchlen, Jung Bunzlau, 1531. With slight variations Bach uses one of his predecessors’, Calvisius, version of the melody, published in his Harmonia Cantionum ecclesiasticarum (1598). Michael Weisse was born circ. 1480 at Neisse in Silesia. He became a monk at Breslau, adopted Lutheranism, entered the Bohemian Brethren’s House at Leutomischl, and acted as their preacher in Bohemia and Moravia. He also edited their Gesengbuchlen of 1531. He died in 1534.

Bach uses the melody elsewhere in the “St John Passion” (No. 35). There is another harmonisation of it in the Choralgesange, No. 48.

The words of the Choral are the first stanza of Michael Weisse’s Passiontide Hymn, “Christus, der uns selig macht,” a free translation of the Latin “Patris sapientia, veritas divina.” It was first published, with the tune, in Ein New Gesengbuchlen of 1531, which contained 157 hymns written or translated by Weisse himself:

  • Christus, der uns selig macht,
  • Kein Bos’s hat begangen,
  • Der ward fur uns in der Nacht1
  • Als ein Dieb gefangen,
  • Edition: current; Page: [31]
  • Gefuhrt vor gottlose Leut’
  • Und falschlich verklaget,
  • Verlacht, verhohnt und verspeit,
  • Wie denn die Schrift saget.
  • B.G. xii. (1) 43.

Translations of the Hymn into English are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 886.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 151.: O mighty King (Ach, grosser Konig)

For Johann Crüger’s melody, “Herzliebster Jesu,” see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 3.

The words of the Choral are the eighth and ninth stanzas of Johann Heermann’s Passiontide Hymn, “Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen” (see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 3):

    • Ach, grosser Konig, gross zu allen Zeiten,
    • Wie kann ich g’nugsam diese Treu’ ausbreiten?
    • Kein’s Menschen Herze mag indess ausdenken2,
    • Was dir zu schenken.
    • Ich kann’s mit meinen Sinnen nicht erreichen,
    • Womit doch dein Erbarmen zu vergleichen.
    • Wie kann ich dir denn deine Liebesthaten
    • Im Werk erstatten?
    • B.G. xii. (1) 52.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

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No. 221.: Thy bonds, O Son of God Most High (Durch dein Gefangniss, Gottes Sohn)

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Melody:Mach’s mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Gut’ ”

Johann Hermann Schein 1628

The melody and Hymn, “Mach’s mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Gut’,” composed and written by Johann Hermann Schein, were first published together in broadsheet form (Leipzig, 1628) as a “Trost-Liedlein” for five voices. The melody and Hymn (stanzas i.-v.) were included in Schein’s Cantional Oder Gesang-Buch Augsburgischer Confession, of which the second edition was published at Leipzig in 1645 (first edition, 1627). The melody is generally known as “Eisenach.”

Schein was born at Grunhain, Saxony, in 1586. In 1616, having recently been appointed Kapellmeister at the ducal court of Saxe-Weimar, he succeeded Seth Calvisius as Cantor of St Thomas’ Church, Leipzig. He held the post until his death in 1630, and was one of the most distinguished musicians of the period. Of the 237 Choral melodies in his Cantional, 81 are by him.

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Bach uses the melody elsewhere in the Cantatas, “Wohl dem, der sich auf seinen Gott” (No. 139), for the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity; and “Ich steh’ mit einem Fuss im Grabe” (No. 156), for the Third Sunday after Epiphany. There is another harmonisation of the tune in the Choralgesange, No. 237.

The words of the Choral are from an unknown source. Their workmanship does not suggest the “delicate unknown poet” who revised Brockes’ text of the “Passion” for Bach, whom Schweitzer (vol. ii. 175) conjectures to be the author of the text of the Cantatas “Sie werden aus Saba Alle kommen” (No. 65), “Mein liebster Jesu ist verloren” (No. 154), and “Du wahrer Gott und Davidssohn” (No. 23). The stanza is discoverable neither in Brockes’ libretto (set to music by Handel and others), nor in the 1697 (Leipzig) eight-volumed Hymn-Book, from which Bach chiefly drew his Choral texts.

  • Durch dein Gefangniss, Gottes Sohn,
  • Ist uns die Freiheit kommen,
  • Dein Kerker ist der Gnadenthron,
  • Die Freistatt aller Frommen,
  • Denn gingst du nicht die Knechtschaft ein,
  • Musst’ unsre Knechtschaft ewig sein.
  • B.G. xii. (1) 74.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

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No. 281.: Within our inmost being (In meines Herzens Grunde)

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Melody:Valet will ich dir geben

Melchior Teschner 1614

The melody, “Valet will ich dir geben,” composed by Melchior Teschner, was first published, along with the words of Valerius Herberger’s Hymn (see infra), as a broadsheet, at Leipzig, in 1614. A second melody was printed in the broadsheet, also by Teschner, which has fallen out of use. The surviving melody is familiar in Hymns Ancient and Modern as “St Theodulph,” No. 98. It bears a striking resemblance to the air of the anonymous 16th century “Sellenger’s Round” (see Grove iv. 409). But Teschner’s authorship is attested as early as 1656 (Johann Hildebrandt’s Geistlicher Zeit-Vertreiber, Leipzig, 1656). Of Melchior Teschner little is known beyond the fact that he was Lutheran Cantor at Fraustadt, Silesia, early in the seventeenth century.

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Bach uses the melody in the Cantata “Christus, der ist mein Leben” (No. 95), for the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity. There is another harmonisation of the tune in the Choralgesange, No. 314.

The words of the Choral are the third stanza of Valerius Herberger’s Hymn for the Dying, “Valet will ich dir geben.” It was written during the Silesian plague in 1613, appeared first as a broadsheet (see supra) in 1614, and later in the Gotha Cantionale sacrum of 1648, whence it passed into common use. Valerius Herberger was born at Fraustadt in 1562. In 1590 he became deacon and in 1599 chief pastor of St Mary’s Church, Fraustadt, where Teschner was Cantor Ejected in 1604 as a Lutheran, Herberger on Christmas Eve opened a meeting-house at Fraustadt, the “Kripplein Christi.” He died in 1627. The Hymn is an acrostic on his name, Valerius, formed by the initial “Vale” of stanza i and the initial letter of the opening line of the following four stanzas.

  • In meines Herzens Grunde,
  • Dein Nam’ und Kreuz allein
  • Funkelt allzeit und Stunde,
  • Drauf kann ich frohlich sein.
  • Erschein’ mir in dem Bilde
  • Zu Trost in meiner Noth,
  • Wie du, Herr Christ, so milde
  • Dich hast geblut’t zu Tod.
  • B.G. xii. (1) 95.
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English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 511.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 301.: While his parting spirit sinks (Er nahm Alles wohl in Acht)

For Melchior Vulpius’ melody, “Jesu Kreuz, Leiden und Pein,” see No. 11 supra.

The words of the Choral are the twentieth stanza of Paul Stockmann’s Passiontide Hymn, “Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod” (see No. 11):

  • Er nahm Alles wohl in Acht
  • In der letzten Stunde,
  • Seine Mutter noch bedacht’,
  • Setzt ihr ein’n Vormunde.
  • O Mensch, mache Richtigkeit,
  • Gott und Menschen liebe,
  • Stirb darauf ohn’ alles Leid,
  • Und dich nicht betrube!
  • B.G. xii. (1) 103.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

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No. 321.: Jesu, thou who knewest death (Jesu, der du warest todt)

For Melchior Vulpius’ melody, “Jesu Kreuz, Leiden und Pein,” see No. 11 supra.

The words of the Choral are the thirty-fourth stanza of Paul Stockmann’s Passiontide Hymn, “Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod” (see No. 11):

  • Jesu, der du warest todt,
  • Lebest nun ohn’ Ende,
  • In der letzten Todesnoth
  • Nirgend mich hinwende2
  • Als zu dir, der mich versuhnt.
  • O mein trauter Herre!
  • Gieb mir nur, was du verdient,
  • Mehr ich nicht begehre
  • B.G. xii. (1) 108.

Form. The Choral (S.A.T.B.) is sung in eight detached phrases accompanying the Bass Aria (Organ and Continuo).

No. 353.: Help us, Christ, Almighty Son (O hilf, Christe, Gottes Sohn)

For the melody, “Christus, der uns selig macht,” see No. 12 supra.

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The words of the Choral are the eighth stanza of Michael Weisse’s Passiontide Hymn, “Christus, der uns selig macht” (see No. 12):

  • O hilf, Christe, Gottes Sohn,
  • Durch dein bittres Leiden,
  • Dass wir, dir stets unterthan,
  • All’ Untugend meiden;
  • Deinen Tod und sein’ Ursach’
  • Fruchtbarlich bedenken,
  • Dafur, wiewohl arm und schwach,
  • Dir Dankopfer schenken.
  • B.G. xii. (1) 121.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 371.: Lord Jesus, thy dear Angel send (Ach Herr, lass dein lieb’ Engelein)

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Melody:Herzlich Lieb hab’ ich dich, O Herr

Anon. 1577.

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The melody, “Herzlich Lieb hab’ ich dich, O Herr,” was first published in Bernhard Schmidt’s Zwey Bucher Einer Neuen Kunstlichen Tabulatur auf Orgel und Instrument, Strassburg, 1577. In Paschasius Reinigius’ Haus Kirchen Cantorei (Bautzen, 1587) it is associated with a Tenor, which moves almost uniformly in sixths below Schmidt’s treble, and is treated as the melody in Geistlich Kleinod (Leipzig, 1586).

The melody is used elsewhere by Bach in two of the Cantatas: “Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg” (No. 149), for Michaelmas; and “Ich liebe den Hochsten” (No. 174), for Whitsuntide. There is another harmonisation of the tune in the Choralgesange, No. 152.

The words of the Choral are the third stanza of Martin Schalling’s only known Hymn, “Herzlich Lieb hab’ ich dich, O Herr” (for the Dying). The Hymn was written circ. 1567 and was first published, with the germ of the melody, in Newe Symbola etlicher Fursten, Nurnberg, 1571. Schalling was born at Strassburg in 1532, educated at Wittenberg University, and in 1554 became deacon at Regensburg. Later he settled at Amberg in Bavaria, and was appointed General-Superintendent of the Bavarian Oberpfalz. In 1585 he became pastor of St Mary’s Church, Nurnberg. He died at Nurnberg in 1608:

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  • Ach Herr, lass dein lieb’ Engelein
  • Am letzten End’ die Seele mein1
  • In Abrahams Schooss tragen;
  • Den Leib in sein’m Schlafkammerlein
  • Gar sanft, ohn ein’ge Qual und Pein,
  • Ruhn bis am jungsten Tage!
  • Alsdann vom Tod erwecke mich,
  • Dass meine Augen sehen dich
  • In aller Freud’, O Gottes Sohn,
  • Mein Heiland und2 Genadenthron!
  • Herr Jesu Christ, erhore mich,
  • Ich will dich preisen ewiglich!
  • B.G. xii. (1) 131.

English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, pp. 1004, 1648.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo)3.

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THE CHRISTMAS ORATORIO (1734)

No. 5.: How shall I fitly meet thee1 (Wie soll ich dich empfangen)

For Hans Hassler’s melody, “Herzlich thut mich verlangen,” see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 21 supra.

The words of the Choral are the first stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s (see “St Matthew Passion,” No. 16) Advent Hymn, “Wie soll ich dich empfangen,” founded on St Matthew xxi. 1-9, and presumably written during the Thirty Years’ War. It was first printed in Christoph Runge’s D. M. Luthers Und anderer vornehmen geistreichen und gelehrten Manner Geistliche Lieder und Psalmen Berlin, 1653, to which Johann Cruger contributed a melody for Gerhardt’s Hymn:

  • Wie soll ich dich empfangen,
  • Und wie begegn’ ich dir?
  • O allei Welt Verlangen,
  • O meiner Seelen Zier!
  • O Jesu, Jesu! setze
  • Mir selbst die Fackel bei,
  • Damit, was dich ergotze,
  • Mir kund und wissend sei.
  • B.G. v. (2) 36.
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English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 1280.

Form. Simple (1 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 7.: For us to earth he cometh poor (Er ist auf Erden kommen arm)

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Melody:Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ

Anon. 1524

The melody, “Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ,” a tune clearly derived from a pre-Reformation source, was published at Wittenberg in 1524 by Johann Walther in his collection of 32 hymns and 38 melodies, mostly in five parts, under the title Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn Johann Walther was born in Thuringia in 1496, and, after serving as Sangermeister at Torgau, was appointed (1548) Kapellmeister at Dresden by the Elector Maurice of Saxony. He held the post until 1554, and returning to Torgau died there in 1570. In 1524 he spent three weeks with Luther at Wittenberg, along with Conrad Rupff, fitting tunes, old and new, to Luther’s hymns for the Geystliche gesangk Edition: current; Page: [43] Buchleyn. “Gelobet seist du” probably is his handiwork.

Bach uses the melody elsewhere in No. 28 of the “Christmas Oratorio,” and in the Christmas Cantatas, “Sehet! welch’ eine Liebe hat uns der Vater erzeiget” (No. 64), and “Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ” (No. 91). Another harmonisation of the tune is in the Choralgesange, No. 107.

The words of the Choral are the sixth stanza of Luther’s Christmas Hymn, “Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ,” a version of the Latin sequence “Grates nunc omnes reddamus,” first published in broadsheet form at Wittenberg in 1524, and (to the melody) in Walther’s Buchleyn:

  • Er ist auf Erden kommen arm,
  • Dass er unser sich erbarm’,
  • Uns in1 dem Himmel mache reich,
  • Und seinen lieben Engeln gleich
  • Kyrieleis!
  • B.G. v. (2) 37.

English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 408.

Form Five unison (Soprano) phrases interrupted by Bass Recitativo (1 Ob., 1 Ob. d’amore, 1 Fagotto, Organ, and Continuo).

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No. 9.: Ah! dearest Jesus, holy Child (Ach, mein herzliebes Jesulein!)

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Melody:Vom Himmel hoch

? Martin Luther 1539

The melody, “Vom Himmel hoch,” with probability attributed to Martin Luther, was first published (Leipzig, 1539) in the Geistliche lieder auffs new gebessert of the Leipzig bookseller, Valentin S. Schumann (d. 1545), with the Hymn.

The melody is used by Bach in the “Christmas Oratorio” three times (Nos. 9, 17, 23), and in two cases (Nos. 9 and 23) is ornamented by stately orchestral interludes. It will be noticed that Bach employs in No. 9 the same orchestral tone as in No. 1, while the brilliant trumpet and tympani interludes in both are similar in design. Thereby he imposes upon the First Part of the Oratorio a clear impression of unity. Bach wrote a four-part arrangement of the melody which was sung at Christmas (1723) after the Et exultavit spiritus meus in the five-part “Magnificat1.”

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The words of the Choral are the thirteenth stanza of Luther’s Christmas Hymn, “Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her,” which first appeared in the Wittenberg printer Joseph Klug’s Geistliche Lieder, published at Wittenberg in 1535, but to the melody of the riddle-song, “Aus fremden Landen komm ich her,” whose ribald associations compelled its abandonment for that of 1539:

  • Ach, mem herzliebes Jesulem!
  • Mach’ dir ein rein sanft Bettelein,
  • Zu ruh’n in meines Herzens Schrein,
  • Dass ich nimmer vergesse dein.
  • B.G. v. (2) 47.

English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, pp. 1227, 1722.

Form. Extended (3 Trombe, Timpani, 2 Fl., 2 Ob., 1 Fagotto, Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 12.: Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light (Brich an, O schones Morgenlicht)

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Melody:Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist

Johann Schop 1641

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The melody, “Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist,” was composed by Johann Schop (see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 48), and appeared in Part 1. of Johann Rist’s Himlischer Lieder mit Melodeien, published at Luneburg in 1641. Bach follows Johann Cruger’s remodelling of the melody in the 1648 edition of his Praxis Pietatis Melica.

Bach uses the melody in two of the Cantatas, in both cases in ¾ measure: “Gott fahret auf mit Jauchzen” (No. 43), for Ascensiontide; and in the “Ascension Oratorio,” “Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen” (No. 11).

The words of the Choral are the ninth stanza of Johann Rist’s (see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 48) Christmas Hymn, “Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist,” founded on Isaiah ix. 2-7. It was first published, with the tune, in the first Part of Johann Rist’s Himlischer Lieder, at Luneburg in 1641:

  • Brich an, O1 schones Morgenlicht,
  • Und lass den Himmel tagen!
  • Du Hirtenvolk, erschrecke nicht,
  • Weil dir die Engel sagen:
  • Dass dieses schwache Knabelein
  • Soll unser Trost und Freude sein,
  • Dazu den Satan zwingen
  • Und letztlich Frieden bringen.
  • B.G. v. (2) 59.
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Translations of the Hymn into English are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 965.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob. d’amore, 2 Ob. da caccia, Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 17.: Within yon gloomy manger (Schaut hin! dort liegt)

For the melody, “Vom Himmel hoch,” see No. 9 supra.

The words of the Choral are the eighth stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s (see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 16) Christmas Hymn, “Schaut! schaut! was ist fur Wunder dar?” It was first published in the fifth “Dozen” of Johann G Ebeling’s (see No. 33 infra) edition of Gerhardt’s Geistliche Andachten, Berlin, 1667:

  • Schaut hin! dort liegt im finstern Stall,
  • Dess’ Herrschaft gehet überall
  • Da Speise vormals sucht’ ein Rind,
  • Da ruhet jetzt der Jungfrau’n Kind.
  • B.G. v (2) 66.

A translation of the Hymn is noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 411.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob. d’amore, 2 Ob. da caccia, Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

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No. 23.: With all thy hosts (Wir singen dir)

For the melody, “Vom Himmel hoch,” see No. 9 supra.

As in the First Part, Bach is at pains to link the concluding number of the Second Part (No. 23) with its opening one (No. 10) by weaving into it the rhythm and subject of the Pastoral Symphony (No. 10). The employment of the same tune for the concluding number of both Parts also, no doubt, was intentional; for their action is simultaneous—the birth of Christ in Part One and its announcement to the shepherds in Part Two.

The words of the Choral are the second stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s (see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 16) Christmas Hymn, “Wir singen dir, Immanuel,” which was first published in Johann Cruger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, Berlin 1653:

  • Wir singen dir in deinem Heer
  • Aus aller Kraft. Lob, Preis und Ehr;
  • Dass du, O lang gewunschter Gast,
  • Dich nunmehr eingestellet hast.
  • B.G. v. (2) 90.

English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 1288.

Form. Extended (2 Fl., 2 Ob. d’amore, 2 Ob. da caccia, Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

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No. 28.: The Lord hath all these wonders wrought (Dies hat er Alles uns gethan)

For the melody, “Gelobet seist du,” see No. 7 supra.

The words of the Choral are the seventh and last stanza of Luther’s Hymn, “Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ” (see No. 7):

  • Dies hat er Alles uns gethan,
  • Sein’ gross’ Lieb’ zu zeigen an;
  • Dess freu’ sich alle Christenheit,
  • Und dank’ ihm dess in Ewigkeit.
  • Kyrieleis!
  • B.G. v. (2) 110.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 33.: Thee with tender care I’ll cherish (Ich will dich mit Fleiss bewahren)

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Melody:Warum sollt’ ich mich denn gramen

Johann Georg Ebeling 1666

The melody, “Warum sollt’ ich,” was composed by Johann Georg Ebeling and was first published in Edition: current; Page: [50] his Geistliche Andachten, Berlin, 1666, the first collection of Gerhardt’s Hymns, issued in 10 “Dozens” in 1666-67. Bach uses only the first half of the melody and, except in the second half of his fourth and first half of his fifth bars, follows Daniel Vetter’s reconstruction (Musicalische Kirch- und Hauss-Ergotzlichkeit, Leipzig, Pt ii., 1713) of Ebeling’s tune. Ebeling was born at Lüneburg in 1637. He became Director of the Music at the Church of St Nicolas, Berlin, in 1662, and in 1668 was appointed Professor of Music in the Caroline Gymnasium at Stettin. He died at Stettin in 1676.

Bach uses the melody in the Motett, “Furchte dich nicht.” See also the Choralgesange, No. 334.

The words of the Choral are the fifteenth and last stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s (see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 16) Christmas Hymn, “Frohlich soll mein Herze springen.” It was first published in Praxis Pietatis Melica (Berlin, 1653), to a melody by Johann Crüger:

  • Ich will dich mit Fleiss bewahren,
  • Ich will dir
  • Leben hier,
  • Dir will ich abfahren.
  • Mit dir will ich endlich schweben
  • Voller Freud’,
  • Ohne Zeit
  • Dort im andern Leben.
  • B.G. v. (2) 124.
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English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 397.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 35.: Rejoice, and sing (Seid froh, dieweil)

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Melody:Wir Christenleut’ ”

Caspar Fuger the younger 1593

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 Edition: current; Page: [52] 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:

  • Ein Wunder fremdt:
  • Gott selbst wird heut
  • Ein wahrer Mensch von Marie geboren.
  • Ein Jungfrau zart
  • Sein Mutter ward
  • Von Gott dem Herren selbst dazu erkoren

The words Bach uses here are these:

  • Seid froh, dieweil
  • Dass euer Heil
  • Ist hie1 ein Gott und auch ein Mensch geboren,
  • Der welcher ist
  • Der Herr und Christ
  • In Davids Stadt, von Vielen auserkoren.
  • B.G. v. (2) 126.
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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).

Nos. 38 & 40.: Jesus, thou that for me livest (Jesu du, mein liebstes Leben) Jesu, thou my joy and pleasure (Jesu, meine Freud’ und Wonne)

In both movements the Soprano Arioso is a quasi Choral tune, by Bach himself and, like No. 42 infra, obviously derived from No. 36 of this Oratorio. The words of the two movements together form the first stanza of Johann Rist’s (see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 48) Hymn, “Jesu, Edition: current; Page: [54] du mein liebstes Leben,” first published in 1642 in Part v. of his Himlischer Lieder (Lüneburg):

    • (38) Jesu du, mein liebstes Leben,
    • Meiner Seelen Brautigam,
    • Der du dich fur mich gegeben
    • An des bittern Kreuzes Stamm!
    • (40) Jesu, meine Freud’ und Wonne,
    • Meine1 Hoffnung, Schatz und Theil,
    • Mein Erloser, Schutz und Heil2,
    • Hirt und Konig, Licht und Sonne!
    • Ach, wie soll ich wurdiglich,
    • Mein Herr Jesu, preisen dich?
    • B.G. v. (2) 150, 158.

Form (both movements). A Soprano Arioso accompanying a Bass Recitativo (Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 42.: Jesus who didst ever guide me (Jesus richte mein Beginnen)

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J. S. Bach 1734

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As in Parts I, II, and III Bach rounds off Part IV by connecting its opening and closing movements (Nos. 36 and 42). He does so in this case by inventing a melody, an Aria rather than a hymn-tune (cf. the concluding Choral of the Motett “Komm, Jesu, komm”), clearly derived from the Chorus “Come and thank Him” (No. 36), and by repeating the orchestral colour of that number.

The words of the Choral are the fifteenth stanza of Johann Rist’s (see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 48) New Year Hymn, “Hilf, Herr Jesu, lass gelingen,” first published in the third Part of Rist’s Himlischer Lieder, Luneburg, 1642:

  • Jesus richte mein Beginnen,
  • Jesus bleibe stets bei mir;
  • Jesus zaume mir die Sinnen,
  • Jesus sei nur mein’ Begier.
  • Jesus sei mir in Gedanken,
  • Jesu, lasse mich nicht1 wanken!
  • B.G. v. (2) 166.

English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 523.

Form. Extended (2 Corni, 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

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No. 46.: All darkness flies (Dein Glanz all’ Finsterniss verzehrt)

For Seth Calvisius’ melody, “In dich hab’ ich gehoffet, Herr,” see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 38.

The words of the Choral are the sixth and last stanza of Georg Weissel’s Hymn, “Nun liebe Seel’, nun ist es Zeit.” Weissel was born at Domnau in 1590, and in 1623 became pastor of the newly built Altrossgart Church at Konigsberg. He held the post until his death in 1635. He was one of the best of the early Prussian hymn-writers. His writings were published in the Preussischen Festlieder (Pt i., Elbing, 1642; Pt ii., Konigsberg, 1644). The Hymn, “Nun liebe Seel’,” appeared in Pt i. of the Festlieder:

  • Dein Glanz all’ Finsterniss verzehrt,
  • Die trube Nacht in Licht verkehrt.
  • Leit’ uns auf1 deinen Wegen,
  • Dass dein Gesicht
  • Und herrlich’s Licht
  • Wir ewig schauen mogen!
  • B.G. v. (2) 190.

Form. Simple (2 Ob. d’amore, Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

Edition: current; Page: [57]

No. 53.: This proud heart within us swelling (Zwar ist solche Herzensstube)

lf1393-01_figure_024.jpg

Melody:Gott des Himmels und der Erden

Heinrich Albert 1642

The melody, “Gott des Himmels und der Erden,” was composed by Heinrich Albert, or Alberti, for the Hymn, of whose words also he was the author. He was born at Lobenstein in 1604, and in 1631 became organist of Konigsberg Cathedral. He died at Konigsberg in 1651. He published in eight Parts his Arien oder Melodeyen Etlicher theils Geistlicher theils Weltlicher (Konigsberg, 1638-50). The Hymn “Gott des Himmels” was first published in Part v. of that collection in 1642. For all but the last two bars (which are closer to the Darmstadt Cantional of 1687) Bach gives the tune (with modifications necessitated by the rhythm of the words) as it appears in Daniel Vetter’s Leipzig Hymn-Book (1713).

Bach has not used the melody elsewhere.

Edition: current; Page: [58]

The words of the Choral are the ninth stanza of Johann Franck’s Morning Hymn, “Ihr Gestirn, ihr hohlen Lufte.” Franck was born at Guben in 1618, educated at Konigsberg, became a lawyer, Burgomaster of Guben, and its representative in the Landtag of Lower Lusatia. He died in 1677. His hymns, 110 in number, were collected in his Geistliches Sion (Guben, 1674):

  • Zwai ist solche Herzensstube
  • Wohl kein schoner Furstensaal,
  • Sondern eine finstre Grube;
  • Doch, sobald dein Gnadenstrahl
  • In dieselbe nur wird blinken,
  • Wird sie voller Sonnen dunken.
  • B.G. v. (2) 208.

Form. Simple (2 Ob. d’amore, Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 59.: Beside thy cradle here I stand (Ich steh’ an deiner Krippen hier)

lf1393-01_figure_025.jpg

Melody:Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein

Anon. 1535

Edition: current; Page: [59]

The melody bears the name of Luther’s first congregational Hymn, “Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein,” and is said to have been written down by Luther after hearing a travelling artisan sing it. The tune was first published in the Wittenberg printer Joseph Klug’s Geistliche Lieder (Wittenberg, 1535), and is generally known as “Luther’s Hymn.” An earlier melody to which the Hymn was sung appeared in the so-called Achtliederbuch, the small collection of eight hymns (along with four melodies) entitled Etlich Christlich lider Lobgesang, und Psalm (Wittenberg, 1524). The tune is familiar as No. 293 of Hymns Ancient and Modern, and is No. 261 of the Choralgesange1. Both melodies are improbably attributed to Luther.

Bach has not used either melody in the Cantatas. There is another harmonisation of the 1535 tune in the Choralgesange, No. 262, where it is set to a stanza of Bartholomaus Ringwaldt’s Advent Hymn, “Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit,” whose proper melody (1588) bears a close resemblance to it.

The words of the Choral are the first stanza of Paul Gerhardt’s (see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 16) Christmas Hymn, “Ich steh’ an deiner Edition: current; Page: [60] Krippen hier,” which was first published in Johann Cruger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, Berlin, 1653:

  • Ich steh’ an deiner Krippen hier,
  • O Jesulein, mein Leben,
  • Ich komme, bring’ und schenke dir,
  • Was du mir hast gegeben.
  • Nimm hin, es ist mein Geist und Sinn,
  • Herz, Seel’ und Muth, nimm Alles hin,
  • Und lass dir’s wohl gefallen!
  • B.G. v. (2) 245.

English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 410.

Form. Simple (2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

No. 64.: Now vengeance hath been taken (Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen)

For Hans Hassler’s melody, “Herzlich thut mich verlangen,” see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 21 supra.

The words of the Choral are the fourth stanza of Georg Werner’s Hymn, “Ihr Christen auserkoren.” Werner was born in 1589 at Preussisch-Holland, near Elbing. In 1614 he became master in a school at Konigsberg, and in 1621 was appointed deacon of the Lobenicht Church there. He died at Konigsberg in 1643. He edited the Edition: current; Page: [61] New Preussisches vollstandiges Gesangbuch (Konigsberg, 1650 [1643]), and contributed Hymns to Bernhard Derschau’s Ausserlesene Geistliche Lieder, Konigsberg, 1639. The Hymn “Ihr Christen auserkoren” was published in Johann Cruger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica (Berlin, 1647):

  • Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen
  • An eurer Feinde Schaar,
  • Denn Christus hat zerbrochen
  • Was euch zuwider war;
  • Tod, Teufel, Sund’ und Holle
  • Sind ganz und gar geschwacht,
  • Bei Gott hat seine Stelle
  • Das menschliche Geschlecht
  • B.G. v. (2) 256.

Form. Extended (3 Trombe, Timpani, 2 Ob., Strings, Organ, and Continuo).

Edition: current; Page: [62]

THE ASCENSION ORATORIO
(Cantata 11, Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen) (circ. 1736)

No. 6.: Now at thy feet creation lies1 (Nun lieget alles unter dir)

For Johann Schop’s (see “St Matthew Passion,” No. 48) melody, “Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist,” see the “Christmas Oratorio,” No. 12.

The words of the Choral are the fourth stanza of Johann Rist’s (see the “St Matthew Passion,” No. 48) Eucharistic Hymn, “Du Lebensfurst, Herr Jesu Christ.” It was first published in Rist’s Himlischer Lieder, Pt i., Lüneburg, 1641:

  • Nun lieget alles unter dir,
  • Dich selbst nur ausgenommen;
  • Die Engel mussen fur und fur
  • Dir aufzuwarten kommen.
  • Die Fursten stehn auch auf der Bahn,
  • Und sind dir willig unterthan;
  • Luft, Wasser, Feu’r und Erden
  • Muss dir zu Dienste werden
  • B.G. ii. 32.

Form. Simple (2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Continuo).

Edition: current; Page: [63]

No. 11.: When will the night be over? (Wann soll es doch geschehen)

lf1393-01_figure_026.jpg

Melody:Von Gott will ich nicht lassen

Anon. 1572 [1571]

* A syllable is wanting in the third period of the melody.

lf1393-01_figure_027.jpg

Melody:Helft mir Gott’s Gute preisen

Anon. 1575 [1569]

The two melodies, “Von Gott will ich nicht lassen” and “Helft mir Gott’s Gute preisen,” have a common origin and are practically identical. Their source is the tune of the secular song “Ich ging einmal spazieren,” to which Ludwig Helmbold (1532-98) wrote his Hymn “Von Gott” Edition: current; Page: [64] c. 1563. In Joachim Magdeburg’s Christliche und Trostliche Tischgesenge (Erfurt, 1572 [1571]) the tune was printed in association with Helmbold’s Hymn. In the same period Wolfgang Figulus (c. 1520-91), at that time Cantor in the Furstenschule at Meissen, published two versions of the melody in his Weynacht Liedlein (Frankfort on the Oder, 1575 [1569]) in association with Paul Eber’s (1511-69) Hymn, “Helft mir Gott’s Gute preisen.” The second of them was in four-part harmony, whose Tenor has been represented as the true melody. Carl von Winterfeld (Der evangelische Kirchengesang, i. 420) attributes the tune to Johann Eccard (1553-1611).

Bach uses the melody “Von Gott” in the putative and unfinished Cantata, “Lobt ihn mit Herz und Munde,” and in the Cantatas, “Herr, wie du willt, so shick’s mit mir” (No. 73), for the Third Sunday after Epiphany; and “Was willst du dich betrüben” (No. 107), for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity. In the Choralgesange there are three other harmonisations of the tune, Nos. 324, 325, and 326. The melody “Helft mir” appears in the Cantatas “Herr Gott, dich loben, wir” (No. 16), for the Feast of the Circumcision; “Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende” (No. 28), for Christmas; and “Sie werden euch in den Bann thun” (No. 183), for the Sixth Sunday after Easter.

Edition: current; Page: [65]

The words of the Choral are the seventh and last stanza of Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer’s Ascension Hymn, “Gott fahret auf gen Himmel.” Sacer was born at Naumburg in 1635, and was educated at Jena University. He abandoned a military career for the law, settled at Wolfenbüttel in 1683 as Kammer-und-Amts-advocat, and died there in 1699. His Hymns, which he began to publish in 1661, were collected and posthumously issued (Geistliche, liebliche Lieder, Gotha, 1714):

  • Wann soll es doch geschehen,
  • Wann kommt die liebe Zeit,
  • Dass ich ihn werde1 sehen
  • In seiner Herrlichkeit?
  • Du Tag, wann wirst du sein,
  • Dass wir den Heiland grussen,
  • Dass wir den Heiland kussen?
  • Komm, stelle dich doch ein!
  • B.G. ii. 40.

English translations of the Hymn are noted in the Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 984.

Form. Choral Fantasia (3 Trombe, Timpani, 2 Fl., 2 Ob., Strings, Continuo).

Edition: current; Page: [66]

cambridge: printed by john clay, m.a. at the university press

1

Albert Schweitzer, J. S. Bach (1911), trans. Ernest Newman, vol. i. 15.

1

P. 412.

1

See J. S. Bach’s Werke, vii, Choralgesange (Breitkopf & Haertel), Vorwort (1898). The enumeration only includes Bach’s simple, hymn-form, settings.

2

But see p. 44.

1

The suffixed numeral indicates the number of times Bach uses the hymn or melody. The capital shows where he uses it; M and J standing for the two “Passions,” C for the Christmas, and A for the Ascension Oratorio. A prefixed † indicates that Bach has illustrated the melody in his Organ Preludes, Variations, or Fantasias. A prefixed * indicates that the melody is treated in Bach’s Little Organ Book (Orgelbuchlein).

1

Melody quoted as “Es sind doch selig alle.”

2

In the Orgelbuchlein as “O Mensch, bewein’.”

3

In the Orgelbuchlein as “Helft mir Gott’s Gute preisen.”

1

Op. cit. vol. i. 16-22.

1

The English titles are those in the Elgar-Atkins edition of the Oratorio, published by Novello & Co.

1

1539 gefunden.

1

1630 scharff.

1

1630 Was ist doch wol die Ursach solcher Plagen?

2

1630 Ach Herr Jesu, ich hab dies wol verschuldet.

3

Sung to the words of the French chanson:

  • Il me souffit de tous mes maulx
  • Puis qu’ils m’ont liure a mort.
  • I’ay endure peine et trauaulx,
  • Tant de douleur et desconfort.
  • Que voules vous que ie vous face
  • Pour estre en vostre grace?
  • De douleur mon cœui si est mort
  • Si ne voit vostre face.
1

1554 allerbeste.

2

1554 Er trost die Welt.

1

1533 dicht.

2

1647 Ubelthaten.

1

1656 Weltgenrichte.

1

1656 mich.

2

B.G. xli. 201 prints the original closing Choral of Part I of the Oratorio, the sixth and last stanza of Christian Keimann’s (1607-62) Hymn, “Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht.” The melody is Andreas Hammerschmidt’s (1612-75). It is No. 247 of the Choralgesange.

1

No. 7 in Peters’ edition.

2

The English titles are those of the Rev. J. Troutbeck’s version, published by Novello & Co.

1

No. 9, Peters’ edition.

1

No. 15, Peters’ edition.

1

1647 Ubelthaten.

2

No. 20, Peters’ edition.

1

No. 21, Peters’ edition.

1

1531 Wart für uns zur Mitternacht.

1

No. 27, Peters’ edition.

2

1630 vermag es auszudenken.

1

No. 40, Peters’ edition.

1

No. 52, Peters’ edition.

1

No. 56. Peters’ edition.

1

No. 60, Peters’ edition.

2

1633 hin mich wende.

3

No. 65, Peters’ edition.

1

No. 68, Peters’ edition.

1

1571 An meinem End mein Seelelein.

2

1571 und mein.

3

Appendix A of the Bach-Gesellschaft Full-Score is a movement (Arie und Choral), in which the 33rd stanza (Jesu, deine Passion Ist mir lauter Freude) of Paul Stockmann’s “Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod” is set to Melchior Vulpius’ melody (see No. 11 supra). The movement was discarded by Bach in the later versions of the Oratorio.

1

The English titles are from the Rev. J. Troutbeck’s version, published by Novello & Co.

1

1524 Und nun.

1

It is printed as No. 298 of Ludwig Erk’s Choralgesange und geistliche Arien (Peters), 2 vols., 1850-65.

1

1641 du.

1

1653 heut.

1

1642 All mein.

2

1642 Mein Erlosung, Schmuck und Heil.

1

1642 nie mich.

1

1642 in.

1

Erk, op. cit., No. 272, prints the same version in A major.

1

The titles are those of Paul England’s version (Novello & Co.).

1

1714 wir ihn werden.