Cantata BWV 119Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn
Discussions - Part 5
Continue from Part 4
Discussions in the Week of April 14, 2013 (3rd round)
Linda Gingrich wrote (April 15, 2013):
Introduction to BWV 119
The cantata for this week's discussion is another of the council election works, this time for Leipzig, BWV 116, *Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn*(Praise the Lord, Jerusalem). It was composed for the celebratory church service, held in the Nikolaikirche on Monday August 31, the first Monday after the 1723 election, just a handful of months after Bach took up his duties in Leipzig (June 1723). The librettist, author unknown, drew on various passages from the Psalms (Psalm 147:12-14 for no. 1, Psalm 85:10-11 for no. 2, Psalm 126:3 for no. 7), an oblique reference to Romans 13 for nos. 4 and 5, and Luther's German version of the Te Deum (1529) for the final choral, to craft a nine-movement libretto of praise and thanksgiving to God for the just-elected leaders, and prayers for protection.
Perhaps Leipzig's newly minted music director wanted to impress the city, for the instrumental ensemble is unusually large: 4 trumpets, drums, 2 recorders, 3 oboes, strings and a rather sizeable continuo section. Whether or no, the resulting work is grand and celebratory, and first performed at the Nikolaikirche rather than the larger Thomaskirche because visiting royalty attended there. More on this and other interesting insights can be
found at the Bach Cantatas web site: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV119.htm, and in Julian Mincham's commentary at: http://www.jsbachcantatas.com/documents/chapter-83-bwv-119.htm.
There are several aspects of musical allegory in Cantata 119 that I found most interesting, notably the overall tonal layout. No. 1, the festive French overture movement that first sends forth the call to praise, is in C, followed by a recitative/aria pair for tenor which ascends to G (from the neutral C to one-sharp G). These two numbers describe the happy land and happy city that God has blessed. The fourth-movement bass recitative returns to C as it speaks of the glorious city as God's inheritance. The first four movements, then, universally address happiness and blessing. Then comes a rather interesting dip into flat keys for numbers 5 (G minor) and 6 (F), an aria/recitative pair for alto and soprano. The alto aria speaks of God's authority granted to the city leaders as a gift, but carries a warning against forgetting this, and no. 6 offers thanks for this gift, even as it addresses the cares of leadership with prayerful sighs from the hearts of the citizens. Although there are positives in these
movements-God's gift, offering of thanks-both the warning and the burdens may account for the descent into flats. Chafe offers further insight (Analyzing Bach Cantatas, p. 40). He says that the flat tonalities, especially G minor, represent the idea that worldly government "is human, not divine," but sanctioned by God, hence the push/pull of thanksgiving and warning, burdens and blessings. For those who would like to read the entire passage from Chafe, see Cantata BWV 119 - Commentary: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Guide/BWV119-Guide.htm
The cantata then rises to C for the seventh movement, one of thanks for God's goodness, dips once more into F for no. 8, which offers one more "poor prayer," and then ascends to the final chorale Te Deum, or song of praise, in C.
The use of oboe da caccia in nos. 3 and 4 also caught my eye. Bach often allegorically associated this oboe with love; perhaps he was underscoring God's love for Jerusalem, a symbol for Leipzig. And I wish I had time and
space to address the fascinating use of instruments in the fourth-movement bass recitative, but perhaps that can be saved for discussion.
William Hoffman wrote (April 15, 2013):
Cantata 119: Early Leipzig Council Cantatas, Chorales
Early Leipzig Town Council Cantatas
A quarter century after composing his first Town Council cantata, BWV 71, "Gott is mein König" (God is my King), Bach as municipal music director in Leipzig in 1723 began the first of a series of as many as nine annual festive works that reveal a mastery of late German Baroque technique while still following his original model. With large orchestra, Psalm and chorale texts, and mixture of musical styles, Bach constructed the scaffolding of stirring introductory choruses and sinfonias with closing, summarizing harmonized chorales with trumpet flourishes - all the while transforming borrowed materials into new music and creating movements to become parodies such as the two in the <B Minor Mass>.
The result was a special facet of Bach's "well-ordered church music to the glory of God." Although they could be considered "Gebrauch" or utilitarian music commissioned and conceived by formula for a special annual service, the Leipzig town council cantatas often served as a repertory to be repeated as well as to find new uses in both related celebrations and in the church year. The range of Leipzig works began with the exploration of form and content in Bach first years with Cantata 119, "Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn" (Praise the Lord, Jerusalem), and Cantata BWV 193, "Ihr Tore zu Zion" (Ye Portals of Zion), and his mastery around 1729 with Cantata BWV 120, "Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille" (God, one praises Thee in the stillness) and Cantata BWV 29, "Wir danken dir, Gott" (We thank Thee, God), as well as the final years of mostly repeats and parodies.
During Bach's first two years in Leipzig, the accounting of his production of Town Council cantatas shows all the marks of experimentation within a record that remains uncertain and lacking. Bach's initial effort, Cantata BWV 119, "Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn" (Praise the Lord, Jerusalem), shows the marks of his later works. The extended introduction is an iconic French Overture that has borrowed material in the choral B section while establishing a text using Psalms of Praise. Mature, alternating recitatives and arias utilize either Psalm text or new poetry specific to the Leipzig situation. Towards the end, Bach introduces another collective chorus as he did in Cantata BWV 71 and concludes with a harmonized statement of a popular Luther congregational chorale, as found in Bach's favorite hymnbook, <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) of 1682, that includes the music, usually Johann Hermann Schein's simple SATB settings of c1610.
Missing Music, Background
The original music is lacking for the Town Council cantatas of 1724 and 1725. In 1724, no cantata has been identified. It is possible that Cantata BWV 69a, "Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele I" (Praise the Lord, my soul), originally composed for the 12th Sunday after Trinity in 1723, was repeated at the council installation, Monday, August 28, 1724. It is based on a Friedrich Oswald Knauer published text. The original score no longer exists but extant is the full original Knauer text as well as the score of the final version and parts set of Cantata BWV 69, introduced for the 1748 council installation.
At this time, another candidate for the 1724 Leipzig council installation is Georg Philipp Telemann's festive "motet," "Der Herr ist König" (The Lord is King, Ps. 97), TVWV 8:6, originally composed for an unknown occasion. Aparts set copy in the hands of Bach and his students/copyists dates between 11 June 1724 and 6 May 1725. Two arias contain texts "recognizable as typical of cantatas for city council changes," observes Carsten Lange (Lionel Salter translation) in the Capriccio CD 1056 recording liner notes of the Hermann Max recording.
During Bach's second, chorale cantata cycle of 1724-25, when he composed new works weekly, on the 12th Sunday after Trinity, August 27, he presented no music. Apparently Bach was devoting his energies the previous week to preparing a council cantata (Ratswahl). During Trinity Time the next year, he began composing pure-hymn chorale cantatas to fill the gap in his second cycle. Bach composed Cantata BWV 137, "Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König" (Praise the Lord, the Mighty King), and presented it on August 19, the 12th Sunday after Trinity. On Monday, August 27 (the day after the 13th Sunday after Trinity), he presented Cantata BWV Anh. 4, "Wünschet Jerusalem Glück" (Wished-for Jerusalem Fortune). The music is lost but the Picander text survives and a recently discovered printed church textbook confirms that the work was presented on that date.
Bach seemed assured of producing effective musical materials for the required cantatas for each Sunday, as well as selective festival services during the week, while struggling to find appropriate texts for the first half of Trinity Time 1723. In all liklihood, Bach began early in his tenure to forge his first modern Town Council musical sermon to fit the special requirements for a non-liturgical annual service. Bach had no model town council texts from Erdmann Neumeister in Hamburg, Salomo Franck in Weimar, or the obscure Johann Oswald Knauer in Gotha. Instead, he apparently relied on his pastor, Christian Weiss the Elder at St. Thomas Church, with possible input from local poet and postmaster Picander, who had good relations with the Town Council.
The opening text was sure to please Bach's employer and the residents: Psalm 147, a <Laudate Dominum> in praise of God, with a special emphasis on the holy city of Jerusalem and God's temple. Particularly appropriate is the comparison of the Jerusalem to Leipzig with their gates (Leipzig has imposing towers where the statdtpfeifer [town pipers} played) and blessed children (Bach's boy-charges as the cantor at the Thomas School), as well as the peace assured by the Saxon Court in Dresden. Verses 12-14a are:
Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn,
lobe, Zion, deinen Gott!
Denn er machet fest die Riegel deiner Tore
und segnet deine Kinder drinnen,
er schadet deinen Grenzen Frieden.
[variant of Luther's translation]
Praise, Jerusalem, the Lord,
glorify, Zion, your God!
For he makes firm the bars of your gates
and blesses your children within,
he creates peace within your borders.
[Francis Browne English translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV119-Eng3P.htm]
The music Bach chose was a French Overture with a regal, slow instrumental introduction, fugue and slow closing. It probably originated as the beginning of an instrumental suite Bach had composed previously in Köthen for the miniature French court of Prince Leopold. Like other music Bach borrowed for other Town Council Cantatas BWV 193, BWV 120 and BWV 69, it could have been presented on New Year's Day to observe the success of the court and the allegiance of its people. Other similar French Overtures included the stately introductions to Bach's Orchestral Suites Nos. 1, 3, and 4 (BWV 1066 & 1068-69), as well as the choral adaptation from a Köthen instrumental dance suite opening Cantata BWV 194, "Höchsterwünschtes Freudenfest" (Highest wished-for Joy-Feast), set to an original rather than biblical text, that served as a special cantata for a church/organ dedication, Trinity Sunday Festival, and Reformation Festival.
For the fugal section of the Cantata 119 French Overture, Bach judiciously chose to set the text in homophonic imitation but still struggled with the adaptation. The original autography score shows "all the characteristic corrections and various small compositional inconsistencies" and, in particular, "against all fugal conventions, displays all sorts of differences in the instrumental and vocal lines," says Klaus Hofmann in his 2001 recording linear notes to Masaaki Suzuki's Bach Collegium Japan BIS CD-1131. "A more detailed analysis, with reference also to the corrections in the autograph score, shows that Bach added the small opening ascending run (with which the theme normally begins) at a later stage, in order to lend the requisite emphasis to the first syllable of the word preise'." [See BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV119.htm, scroll down to Recording No. 9, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Suzuki-C16c[BIS-CD1131].pdf.]
Bach also makes reference to Jerusalem in two other Leipzig Town Council cantatas: "Wünschet Jerusalem Glück" (Wished-for Jerusalem Fortune), BWV Anh. 4, of 1725 (see Details, below), and in the tenor recitative, "O Leipzig, our Jerusalem, be content on your Feast-Day," in 1727 Cantata BWV 193, "Ihr Tore/Pforten zu Zion" (You gates/portals of Zion). Cantata BWV 193 marks the second use of Köthen music, followed by violin solo movements in Town Council Cantatas BWV 120 and BWV 29.
Cantata 119 Internal Movements
Cantata 119 continues with typical poetic text in the conventional sequence of proclamatory alternating recitatives and interpretive arias singing the basic thoughts conveyed in Bach's Leipzig Town Council cantatas: praise and thanksgiving to God, how blessed is the populace, the importance of higher authority first emphasized in Martin Luther's teachings, thanks to those of service, the continued obedience of the people, and a call for continued peace, prosperity, and good fortune. To these Bach provides appropriate instrumental accompaniment, beginning with the customary continuo-only and including trumpet flourishes in the bass recitative (No. 4, "So herrlich stehst du, liebe Stadt!" (How gloriously you stand, dear city!), the gentle recorder melodies in the alto aria (No. 5), "Die Obrigkeit ist Gottes Gabe" (Authority is a gift of God) - both reminiscent of Cantata BWV 71, as well as the oboes da caccia (hunting oboes) introduced in the lullaby of the tenor aria (No. 3), "Wohl dir, du Volk der Linden" (Happy are you, you people [of the city] of the linden trees), with its pastoral character. Showcasing each instrument in its unique environment, coupled with solo voice, is a Bach trademark in his vocal works created in Leipzig.
In Movement No. 2, "Gesegnet Land, glückselge Stadt" (Blessed land, fortunate city), the tenor recitative affirms the abundance God has granted the land, particularly in the paraphrase of Psalm 85 (Benedixisti, Domine; Bless us, Lord), verse 10: "er Güt und Treu einander lässt begegnen,/ Wo er Gerechtigkeit und Friede/ Zu küssen niemals müde" (he makes goodness and faith to meet together,/ where he makes justice and peace/ never weary of kissing). This same verse also is paraphrased in two Picander settings: No. 1, the recitative (Mvt. 3), Gott Lob!/ Der Herr hat viel an uns gethan!" (Praise God!/ The Lord hath much for us achieved), in the closing lines "Recht und Gerechtigkeit/ Hat biß hieher einander küssen" (Law and true righteousness/ Have until now here kissed each other), in the 1725 Town Council Cantata, "Wünschet Jerusalem Glück" (Wished-for Jerusalem Fortune), BWV Anh. 4; and No. 2, soprano aria (Mvt. ), "Heil und Segen" (Salvation and blessing): "Dass sich Recht und Treue müssen/ Miteinander freundlich küssen" (so that justice and loyalty must/ Kiss each other in friendship) of 1729 Town Council Cantata BWV 120, "Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille" (God, one praises Thee in the stillness).
Of special note is the fugal tutti da capo chorus (No. 7), "Der Herr hat Guts an uns getan" (The Lord has done good things for us), that has overtones of Cantata BWV 71, with its added secular trumpet motif "commonly used at princely courts," says Hofmann (Ibid.), perhaps originating in a Köthen homage cantata.
Luther's German Te Deum
Cantata 119 concludes with the closing section, "Hilf deinem Volk, Herr Jesu Christ" (Help your people, Lord Jesus Christ), from Luther's popular German <Te Deum>, "Herr Gott, dich loben wir" (Lord God, we praise Thee), sung at joyous festivals [full text & Francis Browne English translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale036-Eng3.htm]. Bach's succeeding uses for this chorale are found in the New Year's Day Cantatas BWV 16, same dictum (1726) and Cantata 190, "Singet dem Herr nein neues Lied" (Sing to the Lord a new song (1724) and its 1730 Augsburg Confession Festival parody, BWV 190a, and the same ending stanza to close Town Council Cantata BWV 120 in 1728.
Because of the lack of space at the end of the autograph score of Cantata 119, only the chorale four vocal parts are found. Missing is the orchestral accompaniment in the score as well as the original parts set, both presumably inherited by Friedemann Bach. Probably missing were Bach's obbligato parts for trumpets and drums in special closing flourishes, also missing in Cantata BWV 120 but found in Council Cantatas BWV 29, BWV 69 and BWV 137, as well as chorales in the Christmas Oratorio. [Luther <Te Deum> chorale melody information, see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Das-Tedeum.htm
Information on the 1723 inaugural festival service sermon and preacher are found in Thomas Braatz' Cantata 119 BCW Provenance article, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/BWV119-Ref.htm: "The sermon for this occasion on August 30, 1723 was given by Friedrich Wilhelm Schütz (1677-1739) who was the designated preacher for Mondays in the Nicolai Church from 1721 to 1737. The sermon was based on Genesis 22:14. There is, however, no connection between the sermon text and the cantata text." Several printed texts of Bach's Town Council Cantatas survive in Picander's published poetry and the Leipzig archives, including the one for 1740, Cantata BWV Anh 193, "Herrscher des Himmels, König der Ehren" (Ruler of Heaven, King of Glory), with the preacher and biblical text identified, that as a lost parody has been reconstructed from the surviving text with the original music.
1724 Town Council
The record for the 1724 Town Council cantata and its associated music is incomplete and unresolved. The evidence - source critical, circumstantial, and collateral - suggests that two Bach cantatas having a close relationship to both the 12th Sunday after Trinity and the Town Council installation could have performed double duty: Cantata BWV 69 (a), "Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele I" (Praise the Lord, my soul), and Cantata BWV 137, "Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König" (Praise the Lord, the Mighty King).
The mystery remains regarding what music Bach composed in 1724 for the Town Council installation on Monday, August 28. Apparently he planned to compose no music for the previous day, the 12th Sunday after Trinity, August 27, since none exists and Bach would fill the gap the next year. Instead, he focused his energies on presenting music for the annual council inauguration. A serendipitous situation existed since Bach's surviving music for the 12th Sunday after Trinity are unusual cantatas of thanksgiving and praise in Trinity Time more appropriate for the council festivities.
Cantata BWV 69a, "Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele I" (Praise the Lord, my soul), was composed for and presented on the 12th Sunday after Trinity, August 15, 1723, as part of Bach's first cycle. The original score no longer exists but extant are the surviving parts and the original published Knauer text, as well as the score of the final version and parts set of Cantata BWV 69, a most convenient parody for the 1748 town council installation. The source critical evidence is the autograph score and parts set, based upon the paper watermarks and the handwriting identification of the known copyists as well as Bach's hand-written notations and corrections in the parts.
It is quite possible that Bach much earlier then 1748 used the material of Cantata BWV 69a for the Town Council installation of 1724. The celebratory music for the Town Council in 1748 originally included an appropriate plain-chorale setting of "Was Gott tut, das ist wohl getan" (What God does, that is well-done), Samuel Rodigast's 1675 communion and wedding chorale (not in the NLGB), "Was Gott tut, das it wohlgetan" (What God Does, that is done well). Bach borrowed his hymn setting from the 1714 Weimar Jubilate Cantata 12.
Further, the pulpit and communion chorales designated for the 12th Sunday after Trinity, reflect Günter Stiller's characterization of this 12th Sunday After Trinity in the Leipzig chorale schedules as one containing "primarily hymns of praise and thanksgiving" (<JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig>, Concordia Publishing, St. Louis, 1984: 244), cited in BCW Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Motets & Chorales for 12th Sunday after Trinity, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity12.htm. They are:
+"Nun lob' mein' Seel', den Herren" (Now praise, my soul, the Lord, (NLGB No. 686,) is based on Psalm 103, "Thanksgiving for God's Goodness." Bach's plain chorale usages include the Pivot Time (turn of the year) Cantata BWV 28/2 (Sunday After Christmas, 1725) and Motet BWV 225/2(3) (?New Years), as well as Cantata BWV167/5 (St. John the Baptist Feast, 1723), and four-voice chorales BWV 389 and BWV 390 [See BCW text and translation, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale136-Eng3.htm]
+"Herr Gott, dich loben wir" (Lord God, we praise Thee) is Martin Luther's German <Te Deum> hymn (NLGB 478, liturgical hymn, thanksgiving & praise). Bach's uses are found in two New Year's Cantata BWV 16/1 (?1726), Cantata BWV 190/1,2 (1724, '36-40); Town Council Cantatas BWV 119/9 (1723) and BWV 120/6 (1728); and plain chorale BWV 390. [See text and translation, C.S. Terry [XXVIII.: Herr Gott, dich loben wir. Lord God, thy Praise we sing. - Martin Luther, The Hymns of Martin Luther  (The Online Library of Liberty, http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=754&Itemid=27
+"Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein" (Now rejoice, dear Christians all, NLGB 616 is a Catechism communion hymn (Stiller <Ibid.>: 128). Martin Luther's 10-verse Advent hymn is a "ballad on Christ's Incarnation," later associated with Ascension and Sundays after Trinity" (Peter Williams, <Organ Music of JSB> 2nd ed., 2003: 476f); Bach's uses of Luther's associated melody are found in: the <Christmas Oratorio>, BWV 248/59 (IV/6) plain choraleset to Paul Gerhardt's 1653 Epiphany text, "Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier" (I stand on your manger here); as the trumpet tune in the arioso with chorale, "Ah, shall not this great day," in Cantata BWV 70, "Wachet? Betet" (Awaken, pray) for the last Trinity Sunday (26) in 1723; and in the Miscellaneous Organ Chorale Prelude, BWV 734. It is listed but not set in the <Orgelbüchlein>, organ chorale preludes, as No 85, for Communion. [See text and translation, C.S. Terry, I.: Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein. Dear Christians, One and All rejoice. - The Hymns of Martin Luther  (The Online Library of Liberty,
As was Bach's usual compositional practice during Trinity Time, he did not use these NLGB hymns in Cantatas BWV 69a, BWV 137, and 35 for the 12th Sunday After Trinity. He did use them in other sacred works, including "Herr Gott, dich loben wir," in two Town Council Cantatas BWV 119, "Preise, Jeusalem, den Herrn" (Praise, Jerusalem, the Lord, 1723) and BWV 120, "Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille" (God, one praises Thee in the stillness), in 1728. In the NLGB, these hymns for Trinity 12 are cross-references to the topics the "Cross" and "Persecution," as are cross-references for Trinity Sundays 16-18.
`Lobet den Herrn'
In 1725, on August 19 (Trinity Sunday 12), chorale Cantata BWV 137, "Lobe den Herren, den mächtgen König der Ehren" (Praise to the Lord, the Mighty King of Glory), is thought to have been presented. It is a <per omnes versus> (pure-hymn) setting of Joachim Neander's five-stanza chorale known in English as "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation" (ELW 858). It also is based on Psalm 103 (1-6) as well as Psalm 150. As Stiller notes (<Ibid>: 244), the Leipzig hymn schedules for this Sunday "do not contain the relatively new hymn of the time" (1680). Cantata BWV 137 was presented belatedly in 1725 for Trinity 12 when Bach was not regularly composing in this Trinity Time. Cantata BWV 137 was previously identified as music for both Trinity 12 and the Town Council in the Hänssler Complete Bach Cantatas recording and Teldec Volume 6 Bach-Edition of Ratswahlkateten (see BCW, Cantata BWV 137 Recordings Nos. 11, 13: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV137.htm
Bach's uses of this hymn text to the 1665 melody ("Hast du denn, Jesu, dein Angesicht; listed in Orgelbüchlein as Appendix No. 162, not set) are found in the plain chorale closing Cantata 57/8 (St. Stephen's Day, 1725 Lehms text). Bach repeated the closing plain chorale setting, BWV 137/5, to close the 1728 sacred Wedding Cantata, BWV 120a/8, "Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinge" (Lord God, Ruler of All Things; Stanzas 4 & 5), and transcribed the alto trio aria (No. 3) as the Schubler Organ Chorale No. 6, BWV 651, known as "Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel" (Are you coming now, Jesu, from Heaven). The text and Catherine Winkworth translation are found at http://cathythinks.blogspot.com/2007/02/praise-to-lord-almighty.htm. There is recent documentation that for the August 27 Town Council Installation lost Cantata BWV Anh 4, "Wünschet Jerusalem Glück" (Wished-for Jerusalem Fortune), to a surviving Picander text, was first performed, and was repeated on August 28, 1741, with mostly a changed central recitative.
`Wünschet Jerusalem Glück' in 1725
Meanwhile, Bach presented "Wünschet Jerusalem Glück," BWV Anh. 4, but virtually all the music is lost. Details are found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWVAnh4.htm. The Picander text shows a full festive work of six movements: opening chorus, aria, recitative, arioso, aria, and closing chorale. The surviving text and Z. Philip Ambrose translation is found at http://www.uvm.edu/~classics/faculty/bach/XVIa.html.
Cantata BWV Anh. 4 ends (No. 6) with Bach's plain chorale setting of Luther's "Verlieh uns Frieden gnädiglich" (Grant us peace, in Your mercy; Da pacem Domine), 1529; NLGB No. 306/1, Word of God & Christian Church. Bach's setting may be found in two cantatas also composed earlier in 1725, BWV 126/6 (Sexagesima) or BWV BWV 42/7 (Easter 1), both in aeloian mode, compatible with the festive key of D Major. The full two-stanza text with closing "Amen" is:
Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich,
Herr Gott, zu unsern Zeiten;
Es ist doch ja kein andrer nicht,
Der für uns könnte streiten,
Denn du, unser Gott, alleine.
Grant us peace, in your mercy,
Lord God, in our time;
there is indeed no one else
can fight the fight for us
except you alone, our God.
Gib unsern Fürst'n und aller Obrigkeit
Fried und gut Regiment,
Dass wir unter ihnen
Ein geruh'g und stilles Leben führen mögen
In aller Gottseligkeit und Ehrbarkeit.
Grant to our Princess and all those in authority
peace and good government
so that we among then
may lead a calm and peaceful life
in all godliness and honesty.
[Francis Browne translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV126-Eng3P.htm
Interestingly the 1725 text substitute the words "unserm Könige" (our King) in place of "unsern Fürst'n" (our Princess), above. Also of note is the fact that Luther did not choose the plainsong melody of the Latin antiphon, <Da pacem Domine>, but rather his favorite Latin melody, <Veni redemptor genitum>, says Robin Leaver in <Luther's Liturgical Music> (Eerdmans Publishing: Grand Rapids MI, 2007: 202). The NLGB lists the hymn under "The Word of God & Christian Church," No. 306, with only Luther's first stanza; the seonc apparently was added by regal authority, using Zahn melody No. 1945b.
"The hymns suggested in the Dresden hymn schedules for the Festival of the Election of the Council, "Es wohl uns Gott genädig sein" and "Verlieh uns Frieden gnädiglich," are used in two cantatas [BWV 69/6 and Anh. 4/6] by Bach for this festival," says Stiller, Ibid.: 248
Both these chorales will be taken up again during the BCW Weekly Discussion, May 5, with Cantata BWV 29.
Continue on Part 6
Cantata BWV 119: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6