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Cantata BWV 111
Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of January 25, 2015 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (January 26, 2015):
Cantata BWV 111: “Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit," Intro.”

While many of Bach’s cantatas for Epiphany time have little direct reference to the day’s Gospel, the choice of chorales reflects often the utilization of pietistic Jesus hymns or chorales that affirm God’s protection in the face of death and the use of popular melodies. Such is the case with chorale Cantata BWV 111, “Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit” (What my God wants, may it always happen), based upon a personal Reformation Prussian Bar-form text and French lamento melody, prescribed and popular in Leipzig, hymns which Bach used often in his works for Epiphany Time and the succeeding pre-Lenten “gesima” Sundays. Into the typical symmetrical form Bach produces a highly accessible work that reflects the basic theme of salvation of the soul through death, found in the Epistle for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Romans 12:17-21 (Paul’s letter exhorting the congregation in Rome to “Overcome evil with good.”1

Cantata 111 begins with a thematically unified, affirmative opening chorale fantasia with joy motifs in the oboes; followed by a bass “Vox Christi” continuo aria, “Entsetze dich, mein Herze, nicht / [chorale] Gott ist dein Trost und Zuversicht” (Do not be terrified, my heart / [chorale] God is your consolation and confidence); and a vigorous, dance-like alto-tenor duet, “So geh ich mit beherzten Schritten” (Therefore I walk with emboldened steps). The recitatives support the central theme of affirmation in God while accepting death: alto (mvt. 3), “O Törichter! der sich von Gott entzieht” . . . Auch unser Denken ist ihm offenbar,” (O fool, who turns away from God . . . even our thoughts are known to him, and soprano (mvt. 5): “Drum wenn der Tod zuletzt den Geist / Noch mit Gewalt aus seinem Körper reißt, / So nimm ihn, Gott, in treue Vaterhände!” (Therefore when death finally / tears with force the spirit from its body, / then take it, God, in your fatherly hands!), arioso Adagio, 2 oboes, “O seliges, gewünschtes Ende!” (O blessed longed for end! The work closes with a simple plain chorale, affirmative prayer ending with “Amen” twice, “Noch eins, Herr, will ich bitten dich, . . . Laß mich doch nicht verzagen.” (Just one thing, Lord, I want to ask you, . . . let me not despair).

One of the keys to the success of Cantata 111 is its simple orchestration: two oboes, strings and continuo, without brass playing the cantus firmus. Instead of poignant oboes d’amore, bach choses plain oboes, using them judiciously in the opening fantasia and accompanying the soprano arioso. Bach successfully experiments twice, in the opening fantasia and succeeding bass aria, observes Klaus Hofmann his 2006 liner notes to the Masaaki Suzuki BIS recording of the complete Bach sacred cantatas.2 The opening fantasia functions on two highly successfully levels: the orchestra plays an oboe concerto while the chorus sings a motet. In the bass aria, Bach successfully inserts the opening line of the second stanza, “God is your consolation and confidence.”

First Performance, Biblical Readings

The first performance of chorale Cantata 111 was on January 21, 1725, at the early main service of the Nikolaikirche before the sermon of Superintendent Salomon Deyling (1677-1755), says Martin Petzoldt in the BACH Commentary, Vol 2, Advent to Trinityfest.3

Readings: Epistle: Romans 12:17-21 (Paul’s Letter: Overcome evil with good); Gospel: Matthew 8:1-13 (Miracle: The cleansing of the leper). Complete text is the Martin Luther German translation (1545), with the English translation Authorised (King James) Version [KJV] 1611; for complete texts, see BCW Readings,

Introit Psalm for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany was Psalm 13, Usquequo, Domine oblisvisceris (How long wilt thou forget me> (To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David), says Petzoldt (Ibid.: 461), which he calls “Gebet in Traurigkeit und Herzenangst (Prayer of mourning and heartfelt angst). There are several entries, including Josquin Des Prez,, Francisco Guerrero,, Adrian Willaert,, Benedito Marcello, (p.24), Antoine Brumel,,
Monteverdi, (p.7), Philippe de Monte,, as well as Palestrina, di Lasso, and Schütz.

Chorale Text & Melody

Text: Reformation poet Markgraf Albrecht von Brandenburg, 1547 hymn “Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit” (Mvts. 1, 6 unaltered), and the anonymous librettist (Mvts. 2-5, paraphrased). Cantata 111 German text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW Albrecht (1490-1568) BCW Short Biography is found at

“According to Günther Stiller (Johann Sebastian Bach and Liturgical Life in Leipzig),” 4 this hymn had been sung in Leipzig on the third Sunday after Epiphany ‘from time immemorial.’ Meanwhile, Bach continued to ignore the hymns designated for Epiphany as found in his hymnbook, Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch: Epiphany 3, “Ich ruf zu dir, herr Jesu Christ” and “Vater unser im Himmelerich” (Luther’s German, versified “Lord’s Prayer.” Perhaps he was satisfied to have used them prominently in the Trinity Time cantatas in the previous two years.

The process of collaboration between Bach and his presiding minister, Salomon Deyling, and presentation are suggested in Klaus Hofmann’s liner notes (Ibid). “It is likely that the hymns were selected in close collaboration with the minister. As a rule, the chosen chorales were appropriate for the day in question, especially for its gospel reading, which formed the basis of the sermon. We may assume that, in accordance with a late-seventeenth- century Leipzig tradition, the minister also commented on the hymn text and placed it in the context of the gospel reading for that day.”

The associated Claudin de Sermisy 1528 melody chosen by Albrecht was set by Bach noted in the Albrecht and two Paul Gerhardt texts, mostly to cantatas for the Epiphany and pre-Lenten seasons, including two chorale cantatas, BWV 111, and, a week later, BWV 92, “Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn” (I have surrendered to God's heart and mind), Septagesima Sunday 1725 (BCML Discussion, February 1, 2015), as well as the St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244.

Chorale Text, Abrecht “Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit,” 8 lines (Bar form, EKG 280) (Verses 1-3; 1547) / Anon (Verse 4; 1555), Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch 1682, No. 325, “Death & Dying,” hymn German text and Francis Browne English Translation, BCW It first appeared in 1547 on the death of Albrecht’s first wife. Claudin de Sermisy secular song, “Il me suffit de tous mes maulx” wapublished in Paris in 1529. In 1540 a contrafact of Claudin’s secular melody was accomplished in a Dutch verse form of Psalm 129 which was published in “Souterliedekens” in Antwerp in 1540. Duke Albrecht von Preußen wrote his chorale text in memory of the death of his wife, Dorothea. A fourth and final verse was added by an unknown author in Nürnberg in 1555. It was “first published as a broadsheet at Nurnberg c. 1554, and in Funff Schone Geistliche Lieder (Dresden, 1556),” says Charles Sanford Terry in Bach Chorals, Vol. 2, Cantatas & Motets.5 Details of the melody are found at BCW

Besides Cantata 111, Bach set the Albrecht hymn and de Sermisy related melody to the closing plain chorale, “Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit,” of Cantata BWV 72, “Alles nur nach Gottes Willen” (Everything according to God's will), for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, January 27, 1726, to a Salomo Franck text; as a plain chorale to the same opening stanza in Cantata 144, “Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin” (Take what is yours and go on your way, Matthew 20:14), for Septugesima Sunday, February 6, 1724, to an anonymous text (possibly Picander); and to the plain chorale with the same incipit in the St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244/25 (1727), after Jesus in the Garden of Gesthsemane says, “Mein Vater, ist's nicht möglich, dass dieser Kelch von mir gehe, / ich trinke ihn denn, so geschehe dein Wille.” (My father, if it is not possible that this cup should pass from me, unless I drink it, then your will be done. Mat. 26:39)

Chorale Melody (Zahn 7568): “Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit,” Composer: Claudin de Sermisy (1528). Sermisy (c1490 or c1495 to 1562) BCW Short Biography, The melody first appeared in print in a collection of secular songs for 4 voices entitled “Trente et quatre chansons…” printed by Pierre Attaingnant on January 28, 1528. BCW melody details are found at The full hymn text and melody were found in the Christliche und tröstliche Tischgesenge (Erfurt, 1572), by Joachim Magdeburg (?1525-after July 1587, see BCW Short Biography,

In the mid 1650s, the progressive poet Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676) published two texts to the melody which Bach used (see BCW melody details, above, Ibid.). In Text 2, “Barmherzger Vater, höchster Gott” (Merciful Father, highest God), Bach used the 9th verse, “Ich hab dich einen Augenblick, / O liebes Kind, verlassen” (I have for a moment, /my dear child, left you), as a plain chorale to close Cantata 103/6, “Ihr werdet weinen und heulen, aber die Welt wird sich freuen” (You will weep and howl, but the world will rejoice, John 16:20), for Jubilate (3rd Sunday after Easter), April 22, 1725, to a text of Christiane Mariane von Ziegler (1695-1760).6

Gerhardt Text 3 to the melody “Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit” was set by Gerhardt in 1647 to the text “Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn.” Besides chorale Cantata 92, Bach also set the 10th verse, “Ei nun, mein Gott, so fall ich dir” (Ah now, my God, may I fall), to close the festive chorus Cantata 65, “Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen” (They will all come from Sheba, Isaiah 60:6).

The English version of “Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit” is “The Will of God Is Always Best,” somewhat popular in the 19th century in some Protestant hymnals. The best on-line sources are: Cyber Hymnal,, and Hymnary,

Chorale Usages and Cantata 111 Fantasia

Bach’s use of the Bar-Form chorale in various works as well as in the opening Cantata 111 chorale fantasia are explained in Julian Mincham’s introductory Commentary, “Chapter 36 BWV 111 Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit,” <<Tempting as it is to launch straight into this energetic and commanding A minor fantasia, let us begin with the chorale which has an interesting and somewhat enigmatic history. It was traditional to sing it on the third Sunday after Epiphany, although Bach did not use it in the cantata for this day in the first cycle, C 73. However, four versions of it are readily traceable in Bach's choral works. Listeners familiar with the Saint Matthew Passion will recall it from Part 1 of that great work although close scrutiny reveals that its structure has been subtly altered. The harmonization has been changed but we would expect that. What is surprising is the different phrase configuration. That for the melody as used in C 111 is a mixture of two and three bar-phrases, a format that always seemed to interest and stimulate Bach. The pattern here is 2--3 (repeated)----3--2--2--3. However in the Passion all three-bar phrases have been condensed so that we end up with a succession of two-bar units.

Why should Bach have done this? The answer may lie in the different texts. The stanza used for the Passion (the same as that of the opening fantasia of C 111) is simple and direct----that which God determines must come to pass----He helps the faithful, treats us mercifully and so we trust in Him. This is an uncomplicated statement of faith and it may be that Bach felt that the four-square, direct melody constructed only of two-bar phrases was a suitable expression of it.

The stanza of the closing chorale of C 111 is slightly more complex----you will not deny what I ask, Lord, which is that You help and sustain me in times of temptation----help, so that we may glorify Your name, and grant this to us all. The mixture of phrase lengths renders the melody less clearly defined and certainly not as predictable. It now has a flowing and more human quality, not so easily articulated.

Interestingly, Bach makes use of both versions in other works; the Passion version may be discovered closing C 103 (chapter 45) near the end of this cycle, although there is no fantasia constructed from it. C 65 from the first cycle ends with the mixed phrase version slightly adapted, both harmonically and melodically.

But perhaps most surprisingly of all, Bach makes use of this same chorale in two adjacent cantatas performed a week apart in January 1725, Cs 111 and 92 (chapter 37). Consequently we have, and for the only time in the cycle, two neighbouring fantasias built upon the same melody. The miracle is that they are so vastly different in character.>>


What we discover in C 111 is another of those vital, dynamic, bustling Am movements which set the pulses racing (for purposes of comparison, Cs 178, 33 and 26 all have similar characteristics—see chapters 9, 13 and 25). The instrumental forces are modest but clearly sufficient, two oboes, strings and continuo. The opening bar sets the tone, mood and spirit of the entire movement.

The first three oboe notes, partially reinforced by the strings and spelling out a descending minor triad, would seem to represent God's power, might and resolve. The constant use of Schweitzer's three-note 'figure of joy' is then thrown around between oboes and upper strings, eventually to be taken up by the continuo bass. This results in an instrumental section of almost primeval force, developed entirely from the motivic seeds emerging from the very first bar; in fact the entire movement is wrought essentially from these simple ideas. And if that is not enough, we also find the musical shapes imbued with the most powerful of imagic connotations.

Bach's great genius lies his ability to create striking and original ideas of this kind and to develop their musical potential to the fullest possible extent whilst ensuring that they fully illuminate and colour the given text. It is this ability to communicate so much on so many levels that ensures that we keep revisiting his music.

And of course, as we discover more we are moved more, upon every renewal. The text requests that whatever God wills must come about----He helps and corrects us and He will not abandon those who trust Him. Bach does not ask for the soprano cantus firmus to be reinforced by a horn on this occasion, perhaps because the forces are relatively small and the lower voices lack complexity, playing a relatively subordinate role throughout They enter imitatively but with uncluttered lines of bare crotchets and quavers. The main movement is in the strings, which swirl in encompassing semi-quavers through and around the choral entries as if instilling them with God's spirit, strength and support.

Only once, on the fifth phrase, does Bach alter his strategy. This line of text reinforces our acknowledged need of God's succor and its particular significance leads Bach to set it differently. The strings cease their encompassing scales and join the oboes in throwing around the 'joy figure’ and the lower voices enter as one on solid, forceful block chords.

The objective is simply to ensure that this line stands out. Bach does a similar thing in the seventh choral entry of the fantasia of C 128 (chapter 46). Whether these changes were too subtle for the parishioners to detect on their first hearing of the work we shall never know. We can only be certain of the fact that Bach would not have made such alterations without good reason but just who might have detected and appreciated them, aside from the Lord, remains a matter of conjecture.

Before leaving this movement, note the directions of the motives used by the lower voices to introduce each chorale phrase: 1, 3, 6 and 7 use rising figures, 2, 4 and 8 falling. A symbol, perhaps of the balance of God’s justice in helping and correcting the deserving in equal measure?>>

Cantata 111 Movements, Scoring, Texts, Key, Meter:8

1. Chorus fantasia (Stanza 1 Unaltered), two parts with ritornelli, in imitation, dal segno orchestral introduction [S, A, T, B; Oboe I/II, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo]: A. Stollen 1, “Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit” (What my God wants , may it always happen); Stollen 2, “Zu helfen den'n er ist bereit, / Die an ihn gläuben feste.” (He is ready to help those / who believe firmly in him.); B. Abgesang, “Er hilft aus Not, der fromme Gott,” (He helps us in our poverty, the holy God); a minor, 2/2
2. Aria free da-capo (Stanza 2 paraphrased) with chorale interpolation, Stanza 2, Line 1 [Bass, Continuo]: A. “Entsetze dich, mein Herze, nicht / [chorale] Gott ist dein Trost und Zuversicht” (Do not be terrified, my heart / [chorale] God is your consolation and confidence); B. “Ja, was sein weiser Rat bedacht, / Dem kann die Welt und Menschenmacht / Unmöglich widerstreben.” (Yes, what his wise counsel plans / is for the world and men's might / impossible to oppose.); e minor 4/4.
3. Recitative secco (Stanza 2 paraphrased) [Alto], Continuo: “O Törichter! der sich von Gott entzieht” . . . Auch unser Denken ist ihm offenbar,” (O fool, who turns away from God . . . even our thoughts are known to him); b minor, 4/4/.
4. Aria da-capo (Stanza 3 paraphrased) (Duet) [Alto, Tenor; Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo]: A. “So geh ich mit beherzten Schritten” (Therefore I walk with emboldened steps); B. “Gott hat die Tage aufgeschrieben” (God has written down the days [of my life]; G major, ¾.
5. Recitative secco (Stanza 3 paraphrased) with closing arioso [Soprano; Oboe I/II, Continuo]: “Drum wenn der Tod zuletzt den Geist / Noch mit Gewalt aus seinem Körper reißt, / So nimm ihn, Gott, in treue Vaterhände!” (Therefore when death finally / tears with force the spirit from its body, / then take it, God, in your fatherly hands!), arioso Adagio, 2 oboes, “O seliges, gewünschtes Ende!” (O blessed longed for end!); F major to a minor; 4/4.
6. Chorale four-part (Stanza 4 unaltered [S, A, T, B; Oboe I/II e Violino I col Soprano, Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo: “Noch eins, Herr, will ich bitten dich, . . . Laß mich doch nicht verzagen.” (Just one thing, Lord, I want to ask you, . . . let me not despair); a minor, 4/4.
Cantata 111 is well-received in commentary citations of three writers, Albert Schweitzer, Woldemar Voigt, and Alfred Dürr, cited by Thomas Braatz’ Commentary, (February 1, 2003),

The chorale blends a popular Reformation hymn text and lamento melody, observes Hofmann in his notes (Ibid, see above). <<Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit (What my God wants , may it always happen), BWV111. Bach wrote the cantata “Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit” for the third Sunday after Epiphany in 1725, which that year fell on 21st January. The work is based on the hymn of the same name, still popular today, by Duke Albrecht of Prussia (1490-1568), the last grand master of the Teutonic Order, who introduced the Reformation in Prussia in 1525. The originally secular melody is by the Parisian cleric and conductor Claudin de Sermisy (c. 1495-1562).

Bach’s introductory chorus proceeds to some extent on two synchronous structural levels. One is that of a concerto movement for two oboes, strings and continuo, in which clearly defined thematic material presented at the outset by the orchestra is developed. The other level is that of the choir, and here Bach follows the formal principle of the traditional church motet: the hymn melody is in long note values in the soprano, and the three lower voices accompany in a strictly imitative setting, the theme derived from the beginning of each line of the

song. The only exception is the line ‘Er hilft aus Not’ (‘He helps us out of our distress’), where Bach sets the parts homophonically; at the same time he explores the emotional meaning of the text with harmonic darkenings. The particular intensity of the music comes from the skilful overlapping of two types of movement that are as different from each other as can be imagined.

In a sense the bass aria also represents a formal experiment, albeit one for which Bach’s librettist is principally responsible: into this da capo aria, as the second line, we find the chorale quotation ‘Gott ist dein Trost und Zuversicht’ (‘God is your comfort and confidence’). Bach treated it as a variation of the corresponding line of the melody, and also associated the librettist’s free continuation, ‘und deiner Seelen Leben’ (‘and the life of your soul’), with the hymn tune. No doubt the Leipzig audience will have recognized the textual and melodic quotations.

The alto and tenor duet, which deals with the ‘heartened’ progress even towards one’s own death, exudes Christian optimism founded on the promise of resurrection and eternal life, but in purely musical terms remains an unusual construction that requires elucidation or even deciphering. The continuo’s pedal points that resolve in dotted rhythms (later also in the second violin and viola) are slightly puzzling: are they perhaps an image of the ‘beherzten Schritte’ (‘heartened steps’)? The sudden, irascible broken chords from the first violin are also

striking: do they have a particular meaning? And then we find motoric semiquaver figures, moving within a small compass, in the lower register of the first violin – do these refer to the text, maybe to the idea of writing (‘Gott hat die Tage aufgeschrieben’ [‘God has written up the days’])? Here Bach’s music poses questions that

still remain unsolved.

The soprano recitative ends with an arioso filled with longing for death. The cantata ends with the last strophe of the hymn in a simple but powerful four-part setting.>> © Klaus Hofmann 2006

Further comments

+Peter Smaill, (February 18, 2007), BCML Discussions Parts 2,

“The duet BWV 111/4 is considered by Nicholas Anderson (in Boyd) to reflect Italian influence, particualrly that of Agostino Stefano, who worked in Germany (“melodic lyricism and certain structural features”9 ). This connection was also made regarding the duet "Wir eilen" from BWV 78, and there is a textual reason for thinking the compositions related: BWV 111/4 "So geh ich mit behertzen schritten" ("So walk I with emboldened steps"); and BWV 78/2 "Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen schritten" ("We hasten with weak yet eager steps")

Here I wonder what Bach and his librettist intend by using a duet - to recall the Duke following his wife to the grave? More likely a subtle reference, even though the first person is used, to the image of the "walk with God" which frequently is a religious concept from the Psalms onwards.”

+Alfred Dürr commentary cited in Braatz Commentary above (Ibid.)
After the plain secco recitative of mvt. 3, a melodic, dance-like duet (mvt. 4) features an extensive ritornello for strings that stands out because of its dotted rhythms as well as the pedal point which express the “beherzten Schritte” [“emboldened steps.”] There are occasional ‘cloudy spells’ in the harmony when the words, “zum Grabe” [“to the grave”] and “des Todes Bitterkeit” [“the bitterness of death”] are sung, but these spells quickly clear up again, and, because of the contrast that has been achieved, the return to the impression of joyful determination becomes yet stronger than it was at first.

+W. Gillies Whittaker in the Cantatas of JSB10 also has positive comments about Cantata 111. “”One stands ever in awe of Bach’s marvelous inventive powers; no problem seems too great for him to solve, except the mixture of recitative and chorale so foten met with this type of cantata.” “The alto recitative [mvt. 3] again rouses one’s amazement at the genius of Bach, who, with the same material, can present endless variety and continual charm.”

Epiphany 3 Cantatas

Bach’s cantatas for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany represent works for four cycles: BWV 73 Herr, wie du willt, so schicks mit mir (Leipzig, 1723); BWV 111 Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit (Leipzig, 1725); BWV 72 Alles nur nach Gottes Willen (Leipzig, 1726); BWV 156 Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe! (Leipzig, 1729).

Bach’s Leipzig performance calendar:

1724-01-23 So - Cantata BWV 73 Herr, wie du willt, so schicks mit mir (1st performance, Leipzig)
1725-01-21 So (Letzter So.n.Epiph.) - Cantata BWV 111 Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit (1st performance, Leipzig)
1726-01-27 So - Cantata BWV 72 Alles nur nach Gottes Willen (1st performance, Leipzig)
1727-01-26 So – no record
1729-01-23 So - Cantata BWV 156 Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe (1st performance, Leipzig (?)
1735-01-23 So 3.So.n.Epiph. no record
1736-01-22 So 3.So.n.Epiph./Letzter So.n.Epiph. no record
1748-01-21 So - Cantata BWV 73 Herr, wie du willt, so schicks mit mir (2nd performance, Leipzig) (or 1749)
1749-01-26 So Letzter So.n.Epiph.


1 Cantata 111, BCW Details & Discography,
2 Hofmann notes,[BIS-SACD1501].pdf; BCW Recording details,
3 Petzoldt, Bach Kommentar: Theologisch Musikwissenschaftlicke Kommentierung der Geistlichen Vokalwerke Johann Sebastan Bachs; Vol. 2, Die Geistlichen Kantaten vom 1. Advent bis zum Trinitatisfest; Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2007: 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Commentary 461-464; Cantata 111, original Albrecht hymn text and Cantata 111 text, 472-477, Commentary, 476-483).
4 Stiller, ed. Robin A. Leaver (Concordia Publishing: St. Louis, 1985: 238).
5 Terry, The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Cantatas and Motetts (Cambridge University Press, 1915-1921). 3 vols. Vol. 2; (patience!), scroll down to Cantata CXI.
6 See Gerhardt BCW Short Biography,, and von Ziegler BCW Short Biography,
7 Mincham, The Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach: A listener and student guide, Revised 2014; Home Page,
8 Scoring, Soloists: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass; 4-part Chorus; Orchestra: 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, continuo. Score Vocal & Piano [2.02 MB],, Score BGA [2.34 MB], References: BGA: XXIV (Cantatas 110-119, Alfred Dörffel, 1876), NBA KB I/6 (Cantatas for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Ulrich Leissinger, 1996, Bach Compendium BC A 36, Zwang: K 109. Provenance, Thomas Braatz (February 1, 2003),
9 “Was mein Gott will,” essay, Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach, ed. Boyd, Malcolm (Oxford University Press: New York, 1999: 508).
10 Whittaker, The Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach (Oxford University Press: London, 1958: II:402, 405).

Luke Dahn wrote (January 27, 2015):
The seven extant 4-part Bach chorale settings of the tune "Was mein Gott will, das gscheh allzeit" are presented in the linked document below. All settings have been placed in the same key, arranged chronologically, and aligned for easy comparison. Also included is the hymn as it appears in Vopelius's 1682 Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch, though in modernized notation:

Perhaps most interesting is the comparison between BWV 111.6 (from the cantata currently under discussion) and BWV 92.6 since the latter was first sung on 28 January 1725, just one week after the former.

The two settings are quite different, especially harmonically. In fact, BWV 92.6 stands furthest apart in this respect from all six other settings and from the hymn as it appears in the NLGB. With BWV 111.6 fresh in the ears of his church members from the previous Sunday, one can only imagine Bach's desire to present a dramatically new setting of the tune for BWV 92.

Aryeh Oron wrote (January 28, 2015):
Cantata BWV 111 - Revised & updated Discography

The discography pages of the Chorale Cantata BWV 111 "Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit" for 3rd Sunday after Epiphany on the BCW have been revised and updated.
The cantata is scored for soprano, alto, tenor & bass soloists; 4-part chorus; and orchestra of 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, continuo. See:
Complete Recordings (11):
Recordings of Individual Movements (6):
The revised discography includes many listening/watching options to recordings directly from the discography pages, just below the recording details.

I have also added to the movement pages of this cantata an option to move back and forth between the movements and to each movement page the text and relevant portion of the BGA score. See:

I also put at the BCW Home Page:
2 audios and 2 videos of the cantata. A short description below the audio/video image is linked to the full details at the discography pages.

I believe this is the most comprehensive discography of this chorale cantata. If you are aware of a recording of BWV 111 missing from these pages, or want to correct/add details of a recording already presented on the BCW, please do not hesitate to inform me.

You can also read on the BCW William Hoffman's detailed introduction to this week's discussion of the cantata in the BCML (4th round):


Cantata BWV 111: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Main Page | Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion
Discussions of General Topics: Cantatas & Other Vocal Works | Performance Practice | Radio, Concerts, Festivals, Recordings


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