Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

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

Cantata BWV 169
Gott soll allein mein Herze haben
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of February 16, 2014 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (February 16, 2014):
Cantata 169, “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben”: Intro.

Borrowed orchestral material and a striking text in palindrome form are the features of Bach’s pleasing Cantata BWV 169, “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” (God alone should possess my heart), for the upbeat 18th Sunday after Trinity, with its emphasis on the Great Commandment of love. It was first performed on October 20, 1726, as part of his third annual cycle of church service cantatas and was the last in a series of his solo alto cantatas. The anonymous German text (Mvts. 2-6) is possibly by Christian Weise Sr., who preached the sermon that Sunday at the St. Thomas Church. Bach’s musical sermon closes (Mvt. 7) with a verse about love from Martin Luther’s "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" (Now Let Us Pray to the Holy Spirit).”

Cantata 169 is the second of six cantatas for solo voice, four of which use existing instrumental concerto music, for the shortened final quarter of Trinity Time in the third cycle. While the lack of choral writing (except for closing chorales), the reuse of music, and the perfunctory, cut-and-paste libretti all suggest Bach's flagging interest in periodic composition, his actual adaptation and response in Cantata 169 to the motto-like text from the opening statement shows considerable invention as well as transformation resulting in a greatly-engaging and pleasing work about the love of God and neighbor.1

In both highly-appealing Cantatas 96 and 169 for the 18th Sunday after Trinity, Bach uses well-known chorales, dance styles, and special instrumentation with certain literary techniques and musical devices (allusion, motto, parody) to covey a more gentle pietist portrayal of the Gospel teaching in his musical sermons. Yet the musical results are quite contrasting: chorale Cantata 96 is a congregational celebration with a chorale chorus and arias for tenor and bass while Cantata 196 uses one intimate alto voice in proclamation and reflection, preceded by an extensive, introductory orchestral sinfonia with lilting organ obbligato.2

Near the end of the third cycle, Bach in Cantata 169 used previous material, now found in the later (c1738) Clavier Concerto in E Major, BWV 1053, for Cantata BWV 169 with its positive lyrical dance-style music and engaging pastoral oboes. The first movement became the cantata opening da-capo sinfonia with organ obbligato motto and the slow second movement siciliano became the second worldly farewell aria (Mvt. No. 5) with a with a new overlaid melody set to the text and the organ obbligato acting in duet. The third and final movement of the concerto (originally probably for oboe or flute composed before Leipzig) became the opening sinfonia of Cantata 49 for the 16th Sunday after Trinity, two weeks prior. The da-capo first aria in Cantata 169, (No. 3) motto and statement, "I find in him the highest goal," probably came from “some lost instrumental work, possibly an Andante for clavier, says W. Gillies Whittaker in The Cantatas of JSB.3

Solo Cantatas and the 18th Sunday after Trinity

Julian Mincham’s Cantata 169 commentary (revised 2012), places the work in the context of the four authentic solo alto cantatas, especially in the third cycle, as well as the 18th Sunday after Trinity where only one other work, chorale Cantata 96, is found.4

<<This is the fourth and last of the four cantatas written for solo alto and the only one to end with a conventional four-part chorale. Contextual comments on these works may be found in chapter 19 dealing with C 170.
Three of these cantatas were composed within this third cycle and in the space of only three months. Their grouping might be evidence of a change of taste at Leipzig since no cantatas for alto are known to have been performed as a part of the first two cycles. Indeed, the solo cantata for any voice was uncommon, none appearing at all in the second cycle. It is possible that Bach did not re-use C 54 in the first cycle, composed several years before his Leipzig appointment, because he felt that it would not be well received.

Two of these cantatas (35 and 169) commence with long and impressive sinfonias, in each case adaptations from previously composed concerti. All three from this cycle make use of the organ as an obbligato instrument in the arias. One can only assume that this unusual decision was made because Bach found the counterpointing of the alto voice against certain organ registrations particularly attractive.

There is no cantata for the eighteenth Sunday after Trinity in the first cycle and consequently there are only two extant works for this day, this and C 96 from the second cycle (vol 2, chapter 19). Superficially these works may seem to be very different but closer examination reveals that they have a great deal in common. C 96 praises Christ’s greatness, comparing Him to the morning star and seeking His guidance in following the path of righteousness. C 169 approaches the same theme from a more personal point of view as befits the solo setting----only God, in whom resides the Highest Good, remains in my heart----grant that we continue to be conjoined forever.

Thus neither cantata expresses the angst and torment that may be found elsewhere. Both are largely based on confident major modes, turning only to the shadowy minor in the final arias. There is an optimism centred in both works, the one from a communal, the other from an individual standpoint.>>

Cantata 169 movements, scoring,5 and text first line6 are as follows:

1. Sinfonia da-capo (Oboe I/II, Taille, Violino I/II, Viola, Organo obligato e Continuo);
2. Arioso [Alto, Continuo): “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” (God alone should possess my heart);
3. Aria da-capo (Alto; Organo obligato e Continuo): “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” (God alone should possess my heart); B. “Er liebt mich in der bösen Zeit” (He loves me in evil times);
4. Recitativo (Alto, Continuo): “Was ist die Liebe Gottes?” (What is the love of God?);
5. Aria (Alto; Violino I/II, Viola, Organo obligato e Continuo): “Stirb in mir, / Welt und alle deine Liebe” (Die in me / you world and all your loves;
6. Recitative (Alto, Continuo): “Doch meint es auch dabei / Mit eurem Nächsten treu!” (But keep in mind also / to be sincere with your neighbour!); and
7. Chorale (SATB; Oboe I/II e Violino col Soprano, Violino coll'Alto, Taille e Viola col Tenore, Continuo): “Du süße Liebe, schenk uns deine Gunst” (You sweet love, grant us your favour).7

Readings for the 18th Sunday after Trinity are: Epistle: 1 Corinthians 1:4-8 (Thanks for God’s grace); Gospel: Matthew 22:34-46 (The great commandment); Readings, see The Introit Psalm is Psalm 110, a David Psalm: “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (KJV, see, according to Martin Petzoldt.9

The cantata text is in palindrome or mirror symmetrical (pyramid) form (Petzoldt, Ibid.: 527). The opening sinfonia, is a declamation of the motto through the obbligato organ, related to the sermon exordium or introduction. The second movement recitative is the propositio or statement (proclamation), “God alone should possess my heart),” based on the biblical text directed to the world. The third movement aria, repeats and interprets the propositio, saying “God loves me, he has my whole heart.” The fourth movement recitative is the tractatio or expository treatment of the Gospel lesson, “What God’s love is.” The fifth movement, like the third, is an aria with a text that is a study, or applicatio of God’s love while the mortal world shall die. The sixth movement, like the second, is a recitative on loving God and neighbor, as the conclusio or summation. The seventmovement, like the first, is a special musical form, here a hymn reinforcing the emphasis on God’s love for one another.

The sermon (not extant) was preached at the first main service at the Thomas church by its pastor Christian Weise S (Petzoldt, Ibid.: 540). The theme sounded three times in the Cantata 169 second movement (recitative) motto refrain, Arioso, “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” (God alone should possess my heart), comes from Proverbs 23:26, “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” It is repeated as the dictum of the third movement da-capo aria, followed by the fourth movement recitative, beginning with 1 John 4:9 “What is Good’s love? This movement is the musical sermon proper. The biblical sources of the second and final aria (Mvt. 5), “Stirb in mir, / Welt und alle deine Liebe” (Die in me / you world and all your loves) are 1 John 2:17a, “And the World passeth away” and 1 John 2:15 (see Dürr commentary next paragraph). The second and final recitative (Mvt. 6), “Doch meint es auch dabei / Mit eurem Nächsten treu!” (But keep in mind also / to be sincere with your neighbour!), echoes the Gospel (Mat. 22:39a, “And the second is like unto it,” and Romans 13:10, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” The dictum of the closing chorale verse (Mvt. 7), “Du süße Liebe, schenk uns deine Gunst” (You sweet love, grant us your favour), is based on l John 4:9 and Romans 8:32c: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us” and “how shall he not with him also freely gives us all things?”

Cantata 169 “movements 2-5 are concerned with the love of God and movements 6-7 with the love of one’s neighbour,” observes Alfred Dürr (Ibid.). Recitative No. 4 has an allusion to 2 Kings 2-11, in the Old Testament tradition that the “prophet Elijah did not die but was carried off the heaven alive in a fiery chariot. Love for God, the poet wants to say, conquers death itself and lets us partake eve of God’s kingdom here on earth.” The siciliano second aria (No. 5) is a paraphrase of 1 John 2:15-16, Dürr points out, advocating that Christians be engaged IN the world, not being simply OF the world or worldly first: ”Do not love the world, nor what is in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the life of pride – is not of the Father but of the world.”

Dürr suggests that the opening, repeated motto, “God alone should possess my heart,” was “clearly conceived by the composer, as well as the librettist, as the essence of the whole cantata, and the entire art of Bach as preacher is manifest in the constantly new light in which they occur is arioso, recitative and aria.” The siciliao second aria (No. 5) “ought to count as one of the most striking proofs of how a piece can gain rather than lose from its adaptation in the context of a new work. The revised version, grown beyond the original concerto movement, is undoubtedly one of the most inspired vocal pieces that Bach every wrote.”

Both Cantatas BWV 96 and 169 for the 18th Sunday after Trinity are a positive contrast to the "Lutheran theological themes in this tail end to the liturgical year [that] frequently deal with Armageddon, with the Second Coming or with the promised `abomination of desolation'," says conductor John Eliot Gardiner.10 "So far it has eluded scholars whether Bach actively sought out cantata librettos that he deemed suited to solo vocal treatment for the six cantatas for solo voice he composed in the run-up to Advent 1726, and to what extent he might have intervened in their construction, or whether their texts were clerically imposed on him and, with their emphasis on individual piety, left him no option but to treat them as solo works."

Gardiner: <<BWV 169 Gott soll allein mein Herze haben, the last and, to my mind, the most consistently beautiful of Bach’s cantatas for solo alto. Like BWV 35 of six weeks ago, it incorporates movements from an earlier instrumental concerto arranged for obbligato organ. Here it is the prelude and the second aria (No.5) which originated in the lost work, possibly for oboe, flute or oboe d’amore, that Bach later reworked as the familiar E major harpsichord concerto, BWV 1053 (it may also have resurfaced as a genuine organ concerto with Bach as soloist, written to inaugurate the new Silbermann organ installed in Dresden’s Sophienkirche in 1725). The extended opening sinfonia that includes three new, partly independent, parts for oboes, gives added weight to the cantata. The writing for obbligato organ is here so much more assured and convincing than in, say, “Vergnügte Ruh,” BWV 170. So far it has eluded scholars whether Bach actively sought out cantata librettos that he deemed suited to solo vocal treatment for the six cantatas for solo voice he composed in the run-up to Advent 1726, and to what extent he might have intervened in their construction, or whether their texts were clerically imposed on him and, with their emphasis on individual piety, left him no option but to treat them as solo works. In its devotional lucidity and outward simplicity the first vocal arioso must have appealed to even the most hair-shirted Pietist in Leipzig. It opens with a motto in the basso continuo that is then passed to the alto and acts like a rondo motif, framing the anonymous libretto’s extrapolation of the Sunday Gospel concerned with the love of God, and recurring in a freely inverted form at the start of the first aria (No.3), with its ornate organ obbligato continuing in minuet rhythm and in mainly diatonic tonality. A close collaboration between Bach and his librettist in the formulation of this motto, Dürr [Ibid.: 567] suggests, is the basis for creating an overarching unity flowing from a single, rhetorically-derived idea (propositio) that permits an implied dialogue between this figure – the repeated ‘God alone shall have my heart’ – and a gloss (confirmatio) given to it in recitative. It is a perfect example of Bach’s skill in following admonitions by contemporary music theorists to ‘grasp the sense of the text’ (Mauritius Vogt, 1719) with the goal of ‘refined and text-related musical expression... the true purpose of music’ (Johann David Heinichen, 1711). Its mood of gentle, insistent piety based on the observation of Christ’s twin commandments is in extreme contrast to Bach’s stern and unforgettably imposing laying down of these laws three years earlier in Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben, BWV 77 [Trinity +13, 1723].

Hugely impressive, too, is the way Bach adds a brand new vocal line to his pre-existing siciliano for strings (No.5), the slow movement of his former oboe-or-organ-or-harpsichord concerto. With its theme of farewell to worldly life, its irregular prosody and rhyme scheme, it lends weight to David Schulenberg’s contention [Cambridge Composer Companions: JSB: 202] that the text ‘must have been written, or at least adapted, specifically for use in the present contrafactum’. It is almost as skilful, and every bit as felicitous, as his similar grafting of four new vocal lines onto the rootstock of his D minor harpsichord concerto in Wir mussen durch viel Truübsal, BWV 146. This richly extended rejection of worldly temptations in favour of God’s love is followed by a brief reminder of the second commandment (‘Treat your neighbour well!’) in recitative (No.6), included almost as an afterthought and offering a prelude to a congregational prayer on the same topic, the third verse of Luther’s ‘Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist’ (1524).

In his new Bach musical biography, Gardiner in the chapter on Collision and Collusion summarizes Bach’s text-setting. “The typical libretto of a Bach cantata has a moral that is fleshed out in a variety of forms.” In Cantata 169, “we find Bach approaching a text in his most collusive manner, formulating a rondo motif to match the motto-like phrase extrapolated from the Sunday Gospel.” “This is about as close as Bach ever came to a straightforward ‘setting’ of words, with music that matches every gesture and infleof the text in front of him.”

For the 18th Sunday after Trinity, the theme of "Love of God ("Gottlieb," "Amadeus") and Neighbor" and two early Lutheran hymns dominate Bach's two sole, extant, affirmative musical sermons: Chorale Cantata BWV 96, "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" (Lord Christ, God's Only Son) and alto solo Cantata BWV 169, "Gott soll allein mein Herze haben" (God shall alone my heart have). Both hymns are found in the Reformation's first Song Book of Johann Walther, 1524: first is the Kreutizger original 1524 Advent chorale for Cantata 96 and the Luther Pentecost hymn and (later) general Gradual Song, "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" (Now Let Us Pray to the Holy Spirit). 11

Chorale "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist"

Cantata 169 closes with an emphasis on the Second Commandment to love one's neighbor, as found in the third verse of Luther's 1524 "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" (Now Let Us Pray to the Holy Spirit): "Du süße Liebe, schenk uns dein Gunst" (You sweet love, grant us your favour). Luther's four-stanza Gradual Song between the Epistle and Gospel lessons in the main service is found as a designated de tempore Pentecost Hymn in Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch (NLGB No. 130) of 1682. 12

Bach did three harmonized settings (all in A Major) of Luther's contrafaction of the Latin sequence, Veni, sancte spirtus. Besides the closing simple setting of Stanza 3 in Cantata 169/7, Bach also elaborately set Stanza 3 to close Part 1 of the 1736/7 wedding parody Cantata BWV 197, "Gott its unsre Zuversicht" (God Is Our Trust), as well as the untexted setting, BWV 385, and, alternately, may have been performed at a Pentecost service. In addition, Picander's 1728 cantata annual cycle text for the 18th Sunday after Trinity (September 26), "Ich liebe Gott vor allen Dinge" (I Love God Before All Things), also uses Stanza 3 but Bach did not set the libretto. Bach also designated Luther's hymn as a Pentecost service chorale prelude in his Weimar Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book), No. OB 45, but did not set it.

The 18th Sunday after Trinity is the final Sunday of the six affirmative, paired teachings of miracles and parables in the Trinity Time mini-cycle emphasizing the "Works of Faith and Love," that is, the meaning of being a Christian, says Paul Zeller Strodach, The Church Year (United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia PA, 1924: 216). This Sunday's Gospel (Matthew 22:34-46) is the affirmation of the Great Commandment to love God and its Christian corollary, also to love one's neighbor as one's self. It ends the six-Sunday cycle in the third quarter of Trinity Time, leading to the final quarterly cycle of the Church Year with its last things (eschatology) couched in symbols of the annual Coming and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

At the expense of repetition, here are Klaus Hofmann’s 2006 liner notes to the Misaaki Sazuki-BIS recording

Of Cantata 169:13

<<Among the multitude of forms and instrumental forces that we encounter in the almost 200 surviving church cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, the so-called ‘classical’ variety of Bach cantata for choir, several soloists and an colourful orchestra comprising wind instruments, strings and continuo stands at the opposite extreme from the solo cantata for a single voice. Cantatas of the latter type make up only a small minority of the total. From Bach’s Weimar period, only two such works survive – one for alto (Widerstehe doch der Sünde [Stand firm against sin], BWV54) and one for soprano (Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut [My heart swims in blood], BWV199). In Leipzig, Bach was initially frugal as regards new compositions in this genre. Only after he had produced what amounted to a kind of ‘standard repertoire’ of church cantatas in his first years of service there did he begin, in the summer of 1726, to explore new ground in various directions. Within the space of a few weeks he composed the three cantatas for alto on this disc, and these were followed in the subsequent weeks and months by five more solo works, including such splendid compositions as the bass cantatas Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen (I will the cross-staff gladly carry, BWV56) and Ich habe genung (I have now enough, BWV 82). In the three alto cantatas, Bach takes another step into the musical unknown: he increasingly uses instrumental movements in his cantatas, and is particularly fond of giving significant soloistic duties to the organ, an instrument that had hitherto only served to accompany the basso continuo. As has sometimes been suggested, this may have been a way of testing the mettle of his eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, then an adolescent.

The cantata “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben “for alto, concertante organ and orchestra (and four-part chorus in the concluding chorale), first heard at the main church service in Leipzig on 20th October 1726 (the eighteenth Sunday after Trinity), must have been immediately comprehensible for its audience in terms of its theological content. It refers to the gospel reading for that day, Matthew 22, 34–46, and thus to a text that was and remains of prime importance: the Pharisees ask Jesus the trick question: ‘which is the great commandment in the law?’, and Jesus answers: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’

Bach’s unknown librettist proceeds remarkably systematically. At first, principally in the first four blocks of text, he deals with the first of the two commandments – love of God – and then in the final recitative the love of our neighbour. One might suspect the anonymous poet to have been an experienced preacher: in the first two texts he makes repeated use of the words ‘Gott soll allein mein Herze haben…’ (‘God alone shall have my heart’), thereby establishing a motto, which makes a profound and lasting impression on receptive listeners. He then surprises them with the direct question ‘Was ist die Liebe Gottes?’ (‘What is the love of God?) in order to enlighten them with a series of terse answers.

At the beginning of the cantata Bach placed an instrumental movement, for concertante organ and orchestra, an arrangement of an older (lost) concerto movement in which the solo part would have been allocated to a violin or some other melody instrument. Nowadays we know this version of the movement only from Bach’s later arrange ment of it as part of the Harpsichord Concerto in E major, BWV1053. It would thus be unreasonable to expect the concerto movement to have a close connection with the content of the cantata. It is merely a piece of festive ornamentation that lends additional weight to the remainder of the work and, from a purely musical point of view, serves to some extent as a substitute for an introductory chorus.

The two arias form a contrasting pair. The first, which like the opening arioso begins with the words ‘Gott soll allein mein Herze haben’ (‘God alone shall have my heart’), presents its text – with out attempting to interpret it – in conjunction with an organ part that takes virtuosity to the utmost. The second, ‘Stirb in mir’ (‘Die within me’), a yearning farewell to everything that is earthly, is among the most expressive movements that Bach ever wrote, and simultaneously one of the most remarkable from a technical viewpoint. This movement too has its roots in the lost concerto that we know only from its later harpsichord version. For the cantata Bach to some extent divided the solo line into two parts: the original, which he assigned to the organ, and the vocal line, which is derived from it but is now of course dominant. It therefore seems to be teased by its instrumental twin, which

sometimes has the same material and sometimes goes its own way.

The four-part concluding chorale, a strophe from Martin Luther’s hymn Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist (Now we ask the Holy Spirit, 1524), is a prayer for fortitude in the love of God and of our neighbour. © Klaus Hofmann 2007

Trinity +18 Opportunities

While only two Bach cantatas, BWV 169 and 96, are extant for the positive 18th Sunday after Trinity, Bach found other opportunities to present music on that Sunday. These include two works of Gottfried Heinrich Stözel at Gotha, and two reperformances of Cantata 96.

There is no cantata performance documented for the 18th Sunday After Trinity in the first cycle that fell on September 26, 1723. This was three days prior to the Feast of St. Michael on September 29, and the beginning of the three-week Leipzig Fall Fair, also when no work is documented. This is the only time when Bach failed to produce cantatas since he began his first Leipzig cycle on the First Sunday after Trinity, May 30, 1723, when the annual term of the Thomas School began. It is possible Bach did present the extant, festive motet Cantata BWV 50, "Nun ist has Heil" (Now Is the Salvation), that is best suited for this important civic/church feast.

[Complicating matters, Bach had few Weimar middle-late Trinity Time cantatas available for repreformance in the first Leipzig cycle in 1723. He was unable to produce monthly Weimar Sunday cantatas in 1714-16 because of these factors: court poet Salamo Franck’s inability to produce a series of librettos for Trinity Time cantatas in

1714 (Trinity+ 11 to 23); a closed mourning period in 1715, August 11 to November 3 (Trinity+ 15 to 23), for Bach’s friend and colleague, Weimar Prince Johann Ernst; and Bach’s reluctance in 1716 to produce monthly cantatas for the Eighth and 12th Sundays after Trinity, despite the availability of Franck church-year cycle texts published in 1715.]

For the 18th Sunday after Trinity in 1725, which fell on September 29, one day after the Feast of St. Michael, Bach probably presented no cantatas. This was typical during Trinity Time 1725 when he probably presented only a handful of works for special events or to fill gaps in the previous two completed cantata cycles. No cantata is documented for the earlier feast day although Bach had available works from the two previous cycles as well as motet Cantata BWV 50, and works of Telemann that he had used at the beginning of Trinity Time in June 1725. In all likelihood, Bach had taken a break from weekly cantata composition, turning instead to the publication of keyboard Partitas for sale at the fair, the revisions of some of his organ chorale preludes, some occasional secular cantatas on commission, and the search for texts/music for his third cycle. This began on the first Sunday in Advent, Sunday, December 2, 1725, probably with the parodied Cantata BWV 36(d), "Schwingt freudig euch empor" (Swing Joyfully Into the Air).

Other Bach Trinity +18 Opportunities [revised]

+For the 18th Sunday after Trinity on October 5, 1727, there was no performance during the mourning period of Sept. 7, 1727, to Jan. 8, 1728, for deceased Saxon Queen Christiane Eberhardine.
+ On September 26, 1728, there is no record that Bach set Picander’s published text, P-61,” Ich liebe Gott vor alle Dinge.”
+ Probably on October 24, 1734, chorale Cantata BWV 96 received its second documented perforrmance.
+On October 9, 1735, Bach probably performed a Stözel two-part cantata as part of the cycle "Saitenspiele des Hertzens" (Music Playing of the Heart), text by Benjamin Schmolck, with two chorale settings not identified.
+About Sept. 30, 1736, Bach may have performed Stözel's two-part cantata "Der Herr hat mir eine gelehrte Zunge gegeben" (The Lord Has Given Me a Learned Tongue) from the cantata cycle "Das Namenbuch Christi," (Book of Names of Christ), Schmolck text, No. 59. No musical source with chorales is extant.
+ Finally, on October 1, 1747, Cantata BWV 96 received its third performance.


1 Cantata 169, BCW Details & Complete Recordings, Scoring: Soloist: Alto; 4-part Chorus (for the final chorale); Orchestra: 2 oboes, tenor oboe (taille) in pastorale style, 2 violins, viola, obbligato organ, continuo.
2 Materials cited on chorale Cantata 96, "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" (Lord Christ, God's Only Son), and solo alto Cantata 169, especially their early affirmative chorales and other characteristics, as well as the meaning of the 18th Sunday after Trinity, is found at BCW, “Musical Context: Motets & Chorales for 18th Sunday after Trinity,”
3 Whittaker (New York: Oxford University Press, 1959: I:250.
4 Mincham commentary, see
5 Score Vocal & Piano [1.65],; Score BGA [2.20 MB],; Autograph Score (Facsimile): D B Mus. ms. Bach P 93 (BWV 169: Mvts.) [Bach Digital].
6 Cantata 169 Francis Browne English translation, BCW
7 BCW References: BGA: XXXIII (BWV 161-70; Franz Wülner, 1887), NBA KB I/24 (Cantatas for the 18th Sunday after Trinity; Matthias Wendt, 1991), BC A 143, Zwang K 155; First Published: BG, 1887; Autograph score (facsimile): Berlin, Staatsbibliothek; Provenance (Thomas Braatz, 2002, BCW
8 Dürr, cited in Cantatas of JSB (Oxford University Press, 2005: 567): Epistle, “Paul gives thanks for the blessing of the Gospel at Corinth”; Gospel, “Jesus names the first commandment as the love of God and of one’s neighbor [Cantata 169 text emphasis]; he questions the Pharisees over the Christ, who is called both David’s Son and David’s Lord.”
9 Petzoldt, Bach Commentar, Volume 1: The Sacred Cantatas of the Sundays after 1-27; Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2004: 513). Petzoldt, citing the Johann Olearus sermon for the 18th Sunday after Trinity, describes the Introit Psalm 110 as “Weissagung von Christo, unserm Könige, Prepheten und Hohenpriester” (Prophecy of Christ, our King, Prophet, and High Priest); the Epistle, “Danksagung zu Gott für die erwiesene Gnade” (Thanksgiving to God for the proven grace), and the Gospel: “Vom vornehmsten Gebot; Christus Davids Sohn” (The distinguishing commandment; Christ as David’s Son).
10 Gardiner's Bach Cantata Pilgrimage liner notes 2009,[sdg159_gb].pdf, Recording details, BCW,
11 Both chorales, with Latin and German folk origins, were mainstays in 20th Century Lutheran Hymn Books. "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" is known as "The Only Son From Heaven," No. 86 for Epiphany, with resemblance to the Christmas Hymn, "Of the Father's Love Begotten," and "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist," bases on the Latin Hymn, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, is known as "To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray," No. 317, with the theme of Christian Hope in the Lutheran Book of Worship (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1978).
12 For further information, see Wikipedia
13 Hofmann liner notes,[BIS-SACD1621].pdf, Recording details, BCW


Cantata BWV 169: 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


Back to the Top

Last update: Sunday, May 28, 2017 07:08