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Cantata BWV 189
Meine Seele ruhmt und preist
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Discussions in the Week of August 14, 2016 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (August 14, 2016):
Cantata 189, German Magnificat Paraphrase, Trinity 12 Music of Praise

In Bach’s time, the 12th Sunday after Trinity marked the midway point in omnes tempore (Ordinary Time) Trinity Sundays of the second half of the church year. Often coming toward the end of August, this Sunday of praise and thanksgiving also marks the midway point between two major, fixed feast day observances rare in Trinity Time: the Feast of the Visitation of Mary with its Magnificat canticle of praise (Luke, 1:46-55), and the Feast of Michael and All-Angels, September 29, with the defeat of sin and evil, that also marked the beginning of the celebration of the annual Fall Fair in Leipzig. A loose German paraphrase of the Magnificat, the tenor solo Cantata BWV 189, “Meine Seele rühmt und preist” (My soul praises and extols), attributed to Georg Melchior Hoffmann, emphasizes praise and is appropriate for the 12th Sunday after Trinity, as are pure-hymn chorale Cantatas BWV 117 and 100 (see below).

The 12th Sunday after Trinity often came in proximity to the annual Installation (Ratswahl) of the Leipzig Town Council, celebrated on the Monday following the feast of St. Bartholomew, on August 24. While technically a civic observance and not part of the church year, the Installation of Leipzig’s governing authority, and Bach’s employer, this event was held at the leading church, the Nikolaikirche, as a festive Mass with sermon and communion. Bach’s performance calendar strongly indicates that for the annual Town Council installation he presented a sacred cantata or music sermon virtually every year during his Leipzig tenure (1723-50), with the emphasis on psalms of praise and thanksgiving.

Bach produced three varied, affirmative cantatas for the 12th Sunday after Trinity: the 1723 chorus Cantata BWV 69a, “Lobet den Heren, meine Seele” (Praise the Lord, my Soul, Ps. 103:2); the belated 1725 chorale Cantata 137, “Lobe den Herren, den mächtgen König der Ehren” (Praise to the Lord, the Mighty King of Glory); and the 1726, alto solo Cantata BWV 35, “Geist und Seele wird verwirret” (Spirit and Soul Become Disordered). All three are appropriately celebratory: the first two, Cantatas 69a and 137, have trumpets and drums with a dual history for Sunday service and the Town Council installation, while Cantata 35 is scored for alto solo with flourishing organ concerto movements in one of Bach’s first transcriptions involving more intimate solo and duet cantatas for late Trinity Time in the 1726 third cycle.

Also appropriate for the 12th Sunday after Trinity, Bach could have used two other, later, undesignated pure-hymn chorale Cantatas, BWV 117, “Sei Lob Ehr dem Höchsten Gut” (Let there be praise and honour for the highest good), and BWV 100, “Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan III" (What God does, that is well done). Composed between 1728 and 1731, Cantata 117 uses the Johann Jakob Schütz 1763 nine-stanza, seven-line hymn of praise and thanksgiving, based on Moses' song of praise in Deuteronomy 32 (see BCML Discussions Part 3 (July 13, 2013), Composed between 1732 and 1735), Cantata 100 uses Samuel Rodigast’s 1675 popular affirmative six-stanza chorale (see BCML Discussions, 4th Round (April 26, 2015), While most appropriate for weddings, Cantatas 117 and 100 are liturgically acceptable for the 12th Sunday after Trinity, as music of praise and thanksgiving, says Martin Petzoldt in BACH Commentary, Vol. 3, Trinity Cantatas.1

Another cantata also appropriate for the 12th Sunday after Trinity is the apocryphal tenor solo Cantata BWV 189, “Meine Seele rühmt und preist” (My soul praises and extols) a paraphrase of Mary’s canticle of praise, Luke 1:46, says Patroldt (Ibid.: 347). Cantata 189 now is attributed to Georg Melchior Hoffmann (c1679-1715), Telemann successor as music director at the Leipzig Neue Kirche (1704-15). Cantata 189 librettist is unknown while also Hoffmann also is the composer of soprano solo Cantata BWV Anh. 21, "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn," known as the "Little German Magnificat,” using Martin Luther’s text.

In anticipation of the Town Council Installation, the 12th Sunday after Trinity has biblical lessons and Lutheran chorales most appropriate to this time of praise and thanksgiving. Liturgically, this Sunday observed the Gospel lesson, Mark 7:31-37, Jesus' first act of healing at the beginning of his ministry, involving the deaf man. This represents the positive teaching in the paired parable-miracle sequence of repentance and recovery for the 11th and 12th Sundays After Trinity. These two Sundays are a transition from the "New-Life-of-Righteousness" smaller Trinity cycle of six Sundays to the new cycle of "a group of Sundays whose teaching is preeminently practical in character and application. One may generalize and say that the ‘New Life of Righteousness’ will show itself in the ‘Works of Faith and Love’; what it means to be a Christian," says Paul Zeller Strodach, in The Church Year.2 (United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia PA, 1924: 216). This teaching cycle of Sundays, continuing until the Feast of St. Michael at the end of September, is exemplified in this Sunday's Pauline Epistle Lesson, II Corinthians 3:4-11, "The Ministers of the New Covenant/Testament" (13:6) emphasizing orderly, spiritual instruction rather than the demands of literal, exclusive law (Lutheran Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version>, Augsburg Press, Minneapolis, 2009: 1897f). Martin Luther 1545 German translation and English translation of the Authorised (King James) [KJV] Version 1611, see BCW “Lutheran Church Year, Readings for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity,

The Introit Psalm is Psalm 34, Benedicam Dominum (I will bless the Lord at all times, KJV text,, says Martin Petzoldt in BACH Commentary, Vol. 1, Trinity Sundays. (Ibid.: 303) which he calls a “Note of thanks for God’s friendliness.” Bach also had the opportunity to use a polyphonic motet setting of Psalm 70, Deus, in Audutorium (Make haste, O God), perhaps the Orlando Lassus version. Lassus was one of the most important musicians of the 16th century and among the most frequently performed composers by Bach¹s choirs. His motets were sung in Leipzig on nine occasions annually: Christmas, Circumcision, Epiphany 4, Passion Sunday, Estomihi, Invocavit, Trinity 10, 12 and 23. (see BCW Motets & Chorales for the 12th Sunday after Trinity,

The Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch (NLGB) chorales for the 12th Sunday after Trinity. were the Hymn of the Day, “Durch Adams Fall,”, and the Pulpit and Communion Hymns were "Nun lob mein Seel den Herrn” (Now praise my soul, the Lord); “Nun Freut euch” (Now rejoice ye), translation, ; and “Herr Gott dich loben Wir” [Lord God, we praise thee, German Te Deum],

As was Bach's usual compositional practice during Trinity Time, he did not use these four designated NLGB Trinity 12 hymns in Cantatas BWV 69a, 137, and 35. Bach 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 four hymns for Trinity 12 are cross-references to the topics the "Cross" and "Persecution," as are cross-references for later Trinity Sundays 16-18.

Bach’s Trinity 12 Performance Schedule

1723-08-15 So - Cantata BWV 69a Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele (1st performance, Leipzig)
1724-08-27 So – no documentation of performance
1725-08-19 So - Cantata BWV 137 Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren (1st performance, Leipzig)
1726-09-08 So - Cantata BWV 35 Geist und Seele wird verwirret (1st performance, Leipzig)
1727-08-31 So - Cantata BWV 69a/3 Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele (2nd performance, Leipzig)
1728-08-15 So - Picander cycle text P-55 only, closing chorale, “O Gott, du frommer Gott”
1735-08-28 So - G.H. Stölzel: Befiehl dem Herrn deine Wege, und hoffe auf ihn (Psalm 37:5), Mus A 15:285 + Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich, Mus A 15:286.
Vocal works with no definite date
(1746-1747) - Cantata BWV 137 Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren (2nd performance, Leipzig)

Chorus Cantata 69a Details

Cantata BWV 69a, “Lobe den Heren, meine Seele” I (Praise the Lord, my Soul) was premiered on the 12th Sunday after Trinity, August 15, 1723, with an elaborate closing chorale setting of Samuel Rodigast’s popular, affirmative “Was Gott tut, das it wohlgetan” (What God does, that is done well). A variant version of Cantata 69, with a new chorale, was performed for the Town Council Installation on August 26, 1748. Meanwhile, for the Town Council installation on Monday, August 30, 1723, Bach introduced chorus Cantata 119, “Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn” (Praise, Jerusalem, the Lord, Ps. 147:12), details, BCML Discussions 4th Round (August 23, 2015),

Cantata 69a was repeated at least once in 1727 and then altered for a Town Council installation and possibly other civic events. It shows Bach’s mastery of compositional technique, as well as possible adaptation from previous sources. All three Trinity 12 cantatas (BWV 69a, 137, and 35) are highly affirmative and in keeping with the change in middle Trinity Time mood from penitential to affirmative, with appropriate pulpit and communion hymns, with the repetition of these types of chorales. This Sunday focuses on the second of the paired Gospel parable-miracle teachings with Mark 7: 31-37, Miracle of Deaf Man. Two of these works (BWV 69a and 137) may have been conceived for double duty for a Sunday service and the festive annual town council installation.

Lasting about 20 minutes, Cantata 69a continues the established chorus cantata (A) mirror form of the first cycle found in seven consecutive cantatas for early-middle Trinity time from the eighth through the 14th Sundays after Trinity Sunday festival: extended opening chorus with biblical quote (Psalm 103.2), alternating recitatives and arias (SATB), and closing plain chorale (Score, BGA The movements are: 1. Chorus (tutti): “Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele” (Praise the Lord, my Soul); two-part double fugue. 2. Recitative (soprano): “Ach, daß ich tausend Zungen hätte!” (Ah, if only I had a thousand tongues!). 3. Aria da-capo (alto, oboe, violin): “Meine Seele, / auf, / erzähle”), Was dir Gott erwiesen hat!” (My soul, / arise, / tell / what God has shown to you!); 9/8 gigue style. 4. Recitative (tenor): “Gedenk ich nur zurück” (When I only think back to), with closing arioso. 5. Aria (bass, oboe d’amore, strings): “Mein Erlöser und Erhalter” (My redeeemer and support); two-part with ritornelli, ¾ sarabande style. 6. Chorale: Was Gott tut . . . darbei will ich verbleiben” (What God does . . . (I shall keep to this thought).

Cantata BWV 69a, “closes with Bach’s plain-chorale setting of Samuel Rodigast 1676 communion and wedding chorale, “Was Gott tut, das it wohlgetan” (What God Does, that is done well). Bach set closing Stanza 6. Rodigast chorale text and translation, Francis Browne, BCW Cantata 69a is the first Bach new composition in the first annual cycle where the librettist is identified and has the Type A mirror image form of chorus, two recitatives and two arias and a chorale. This form, coincidentally is found in the Johann Oswald Knauer (1690-?) annual 1720-21 Gotha cycle.

The text of the present cantata is taken from a yearly cycle of cantata texts published in Gotha. The author was probably Johann Oswald Knauer and the cycle seems to have been written for Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel, Kapellmeister in Gotha and brother in law of Knauer. The texts were popular and fairly widely used. Johann Friedrich Fasch, who was one of Bach's rivals for the post at Leipzig and from 1722 was the Kapellmeister at Zerbst, set the complete cycle of texts and Stölzel probably did the same.

Knauer’s text is based on the gospel for the 12th Sunday after Trinity, Mark 7:31-37, Jesus’ healing of a deaf mute. This particular miracle is seen as symbolic of God’s constant activity and care on man’s behalf and we are therefore enjoined to praise God. The original text had ten movements and was intended to be performed in two parts, before and after the sermon. Bach uses only six movements to make the text more concise and in keeping with the other cantatas he was producing for this period of the church’s year.

The text of the opening movement comes from Psalm 103 and introduces the theme of praise as a response to the goodness of God. Knauer has the aria next but Bach follows with a shortened adaption of the recitative, where the emphasis placed on praising God with a thousand tongues can be understood as an allusion to the healing of the deaf mute. The second recitative (no. 4) begins as in Knauer but then is changed radically to make a closer connection to the text of the gospel by the quotation of the word “Ephphatha” used by Christ. The following bass aria has little in common with Knauer but the concluding choral strophe is identical, the sixth verse of the well-known hymn by Samuel Rodigast (1675): Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan.>>

In 1724, on August 27 (Trinity Sunday 12) there is no documentation of any performance during the chorale cantata cycle. Likewise, the next day, Monday, August 28, there is no documentation for a Town Council cantata, although the possibility may exist that Cantata 69a was presented again. The only extant score of BWV 69 is for the Town Council Installation in 1748, now with the closing communion and Psalm 67 chorale, Luther’s “Es wohl uns Gott” (S.3) a song of thanksgiving [See: BCW, “Musical Context,” “Chorales for the 2nd Sunday After Trinity,” “Other Chorales.”

Chorale Cantata Cantata 137

In 1725, on August 19 (Trinity Sunday 12), chorale Cantata BWV 137, “Lobe den Herren, den mächtgen König deEhren” (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.” It also is based on Psalm 103:1-6) as well as Psalm 150. Cantata 137 was presented belatedly in 1725 for Trinity 12 when Bach was not regularly composing in this Trinity Time. Bach’s uses of this hymn text is set to the 1665 melody “Hast du denn, Jesu, dein Angesicht.”

The use of trumpets and drums in the opening chorale fantasia and closing plain chorale, as well as the tenor aria (Mvt. 4) with trumpet playing the chorale melody is rare in Bach’s chorale cantatas, as is the use of all five stanzas unaltered with no internal recitatives. “The employment of the text of a chorale without recitatives of biblical orientation or arias of poetic reflection is relatively rare in Bach’s total output of cantatas; extremely rare are cantatas, like this one, that employ only the stanzas of the hymn and use the associated melody in every movement,” says Robin A. Leaver in his monolgue on Cantata 137 in the Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach.3 “Being closely based on the text and melody of this hymn of praise meant that the cantata could be used on occasions other than the 12th Sunday after Trinity.”

Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren (Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation), BWV 137. The cantata Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren was probably first performed at the Leipzig church service on the 12th Sunday after Trinity in 1725, which that year fell on 19th August. There is, however, some evidence that suggests that it was actually composed some months earlier for Midsummer, 24th June (Feast of John the Baptist). Both the text, which focuses entirely on praise and thanks, and the magnificent orchestral scoring with trumpets and timpani are much better suited to the gospel passage for Midsummer (Luke 1: 57–80) with its account of the birth of John the Baptist and Zechariah’s song of praise (‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel’) than to the passage for the 12th Sunday after Trinity, in which the story of the healing of a deaf and dumb man (Mark 7: 31–37) sets the tone.

In each of the five movements the hymn melody is allocated a specific role. In the introductory chorus, as a soprano cantus firmus, it forms a contrast with a lively ritornello theme, first heard from the orchestra. The opening motif of this theme is then taken up by the alto, tenor and bass; combined with new wording, it serves as a fugato introduction to the first, second and fourth lines of the text. The third line, ‘Kommet zu Hauf’ (‘All draw near’) is an exception: here the polyphonic choral writing yields to a block-like, chordal texture as a musical image of the masses of the people. In the alto aria (which Bach re used in an organ transcription in the col ection Sechs Choräle von verschiedener Art [Schübler] in 1748–49) the cantus firmus appears in a highly coloured form, in 9/8-time and in the dominant key of G major, surrounded by agile violin figures by means of which Bach takes up the image of the‘Adelers Fittichen’ (‘under his [the eagle’s] wings’). By using the parallel key of E minor, the duet follows on from the G major of the alto aria; the minor key is moreover motivated by the keyword ‘Not’ (‘need or grief’).

There is recent documentation that for the August 27, 1725, 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. Cantata BWV Anh. 4 closes with “Verlieh uns Frieden,” Martin Luther’s German setting of the Latin Mass Proper closing litany,< Dona nobis pacem> (Grant us peace). It is based on the Ambrosian fourth century hymn, <Veni, redepmtor, genitum> (O come, redeemer of the earth), first found in the 1530 Nürnberg hymnbook, and his translation of the Latin antiphon chant text, <Da pacem Domine> (Grant peace, Lord), published by Luther in 1531. In the <Deutsche Messe> (German Mass), Luther’s hymn occurs after the closing <Benediction> and intonation of< Da pacem> (Robin A. Leaver <Luther’s Liturgical Music>, Eerdman’s Publishing, 2007: 218). C.S. Terry text and translation:

Alto Solo Cantata 35 Details

In 1726, on September 8 (Trinity Sunday 12), Cantata BWV 35, “Geist und Seele wird verwirret” (Spirit and Soul Become Disordered) as performed as part of the third cycle to a Georg Christian Lehms 1711 text with no closing chorale. For the Town Installation almost two weeks previous, August 26, no Bach cantata is documented although it is possible that Bach may have repeated one of his appropriate, extant works, Cantatas BWV 119, 69a, 137, or Anh. 4. The text is by Lehms (1684-1717), the court poet and librarian at the Darmstadt court.

Bach must have acquired this book soon after publication since he used it for some cantatas written during his Weimar period (Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199, Widerstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54). He made extensive use of Lehms' texts again in Christmas 1725/January 1726 (BWV 110, BWV 57, BWV 151, BWV 16, BWV 32 and BWV 13) and in the following summer wrote two cantatas for solo alto: BWV 170 and the present text. It emplys obbligato organ in “conversational galant” manner and has two arias in dance style siciliano and menuet. Its origin and genesis derives from much earlier borrowed instrumental concertos and sonatas in Köthen and Weimar. Questions remain. Just how many of the movements are based on preexisting works? Why does Cantata 35 have two instrumental sinfonias introducing the two parts, performed before and after the sermon (a rare Bach form in Trinity Time)? Was the unfigured organ part for his adolescent first son Emmanuel or for himself? Was Bach motivated to compose so many solo cantatas in the third cycle because he lacked competent resources or was he returning to the Italian style, without biblical dictum and sometimes closing four-part chorales?

Notes on the text (Francis Browne). In BWV 35 Lehms uses madrigalian verse throughout, with no biblical words [dictum] or chorale and as was customary for him the text makes close reference to the gospel of the day - Mark's account of Jesus' healing of a deaf and dumb man (Mark 7: 31-37). The intimate nature of Lehms' afternoon texts is shown at once in the opening aria [Movement No. 2] by the reinterpretation of Jesus' physical healing of a deaf mute in terms of the amazement the 'Volk' feel before God which makes them in turn deaf and dumb. In the following recitative the soloist using the pronoun “I” and so speaking for the people articulates their reaction to God's wonder, mentioning the healing of the deaf and dumb more directly. The second aria [Mvt. 4] uses the phrase that concludes the gospel narrative- 'God has done all things well' - adding to it a reference to Lamentations 3:23: His love, his faithfulness are renewed for us every day. The second recitative was probably performed after the sermon [Part 2, Mvt. 6], and so acts as the applicatio, the drawing of conclusions for everyday life. God is asked to apply the miracle to the “ganz verstockte Herz” [whole stubborn heart] of each of us, opening ears and loosening tongues, so that we may becomes his heirs. The idea of our heavenly inheritance leads to the concluding aria [Mvt. 7] which expresses the desire to be free from the suffering of this world and to praise God in heaven.>>

In 1727, on August 31 (Trinity Sunday 12), the quartet da-capo tenor aria, BWV 69a/3, “Meine Seele, Auf, erzähle, Auf, erzähle, Was dir Gott erwiesen hat!” (My soul, arise, tell what God has shown to you!)was revised and possible performed (See Thomas Braatz’ BCW “Provenance” article, ). It is doubtful that Bach regularly performed service cantatas at this Trinity Time, as was the case at Trinity Time 1725. Instead, Bach had begun to compose sporadically a few cantatas from the Picander cycle (BWV 157 and 84), as well as Cantata BWV 193, “Ihr Tore (Pforten) zu Zion” (Ye Doors/Portals of Zion), with no closing chorale, text probably by Picander, for the annual Town Council Installation, on August 25, 1727, six days prior to Trinity Sunday 12.

In 1728, on August 15 (Trinity Sunday 12), Picander hoped that Bach would use his published text P-55, “Ich bin wie einer, der nicht höret” (I am as one who does not hear) using Stanza 9 of the closing chorale, “O Gott, du frommer Gott” (O God, Thou very God). Picander also listed Stanzas 5 and 9 for Trinity 9, P-52, and Trinity 14, P-57, respectively, suggesting the possibility that this Morning chorale, NLGB 564, was increasingly used in middle Trinity Time in the late 1720s in Leipzig. On August 30, Bach probably presented Cantata BWV 120, “Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille” (God, one praises Thee in the stillness) for the Town Council Installation, probably to a Picander text.

Chorale Cantata 117 Text

Pure-hymn chorale Cantata BWV 117, "Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut!" (Let there be praise and honour for the highest good), is quite versatile. It could have been performed at weddings, at the Reformation Festival and other special services, and for the 12th Sunday after Trinity. Its author is Johann Jakob Schütz (1640-1690), Schütz' 1673 hymn, "Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut!," is based on Moses' song of praise in Deuteronomy 32, and was published in his "Christliches Gedenkbüchlein zur Beförderung eines anfangenden neuen Lebens," says Francis Browne, BCW Discussion 2 leader,, May 18, 2008. The full nine-stanza text and Browne's English translation is found at BCW,

Browne cites Hans-Joachim Schulze (p.558), ?<Die Bach-Kantaten:Einführungen zu sämtlichen Kantaten Johann Sebastian Bachs> (Leipzig/Stuttgart, 2006) and quotes the Deuteronomy passage: "Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: 3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God" [Authorized Version]. "Schulze notes that the hymn was included among songs of praise and thanksgiving in contemporary and later hymnals, and in some was assigned to a specific date, the 12th Sunday after Trinity," says Browne (Ibid. BWV 117). "Dürr [Ibid.: 785] however notes that the hymn "was customary at weddings, and there is good reason to believe that, like BWV 97, BWV 100, and BWV 192, this cantata was written for a wedding service."

Chorale Cantata 1004

The final product of Bach’s interest in Samuel Rodigast’s chorale, pure-hymn Cantata 100, “Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan” (What God does, that is done well), is his most lavish and joyous, observes Klaus Hofmann’s 2012 liner notes to the Masaaki Suzuki BIS complete cantata recordings. <<This cantata from 1734–35, based on the well-known hymn by the poet Samuel Rodigast (1649−1708) is the last of three works bearing the same title: in 1724 Bach had written a chorale cantata for the fifteenth Sunday after Trinity (BWV 99), and in 1726 his cantata for the 21st Sunday after Trinity had started with the first strophe of this hymn (BWV 98). The setting from 1734–35, another chorale cantata, differs fundamentally from its elder sister because not just the outer movements but also the inner ones (Nos 2–5) are based on the original wording of the hymn (most of the chorale cantatas from 1724–25 used adaptations).

Unlike its similarly named predecessors, this cantata does not provide any information as to its purpose. Its lavish scoring, however, suggests that it was written for a particularly festive occasion. For the introductory chorus, Bach reused the first movement of the 1724 cantata, expanding the score to include timpani and a pair of horns. The hymn melody is in the soprano, which always enters first and is then accompanied by very simple writing for the three lower vocal parts. The orchestra has an especially prominent role in the musical events, with one small but colourful group of instruments – flute, oboe d’amore, first violin and continuo – that regularly stands apart from the rest.>>

The chorale text of Cantata 100 is based on Deuteronomy 32:4 5 (KJV): “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” The sources of the popular incipit were a conflation of several psalms, says Martin Petzoldt in Bach Commentary, Vol. 1 (Ibid.: 338), The psalms (KJV) are: 37:5, “Commit the way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass”; 111:3, “His work is honorable and glorious; and his righteousness endureth forever”; 116:12, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?”; and 13:6, “I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully to me.”

The Rodigast chorale was one of Bach’s favorites. It is set as the incipit for three cantatas, BWV 98, 99, and 100, usually designated for Trinity Time, with chorus Cantata 98 for the 21st Sunday after Trinity, 1726 (3rd cycle), and chorale Cantata 99 (with paraphrased internal movements of 1724) for the 15th Sunday after Trinity. Cantata 100 and Cantata 177 are listed for the 12th Sunday after Trinity, on the basis of textual reference to that Sunday’s Gospel (Mk. 7:31-37) and Epistle (2 Cor. 3:4-11), says Petzoldt (Ibid: 303). “Was Gott tut” is often considered a general chorale (per ogni tempo, for any time) because of its application throughout the church year in various hymnals as well as Bach’s unaltered use of the same chorale chorus or plain chorale in various works. For example, Cantata 100 uses the opening chorale chorus from Cantata 99 of 1724 and closes with the same chorale chorus that closes Part 1 of Cantata 75, Bach’s first church-year work for the 1st Sunday after Trinity 1723.” First performed about 1734, Cantata 100 “was revived on several occasions (c. 1737 and c.1742), ” says Alfred Dürr in the Cantatas of JSB.6

Solo Tenor Cantata 189

The German Magnificat is paraphrased in the tenor solo Cantata BWV 189, "Meine Seele rühmt und preist" (My soul magnifies and praises), probably Georg Melchior Hoffmann, The text author is unknown while the music for flute, oboe and basso continuo is quite engaging. Details, BWV, recording,

1. Aria da capo with ritornelli (Tenor; flute, oboe, basso continuo): A. [v46] “Meine Seele rühmt und preist / Gottes Huld und reiche Güte.” (My soul praises and extols / God’s grace and rich goodness.); B. [v47] “Und mein Geist, / Herz und Sinn und ganz Gemüte / Ist in meinem Gott erfreut, / Der mein Heil und Helfer heißt.” (And my spirit / Heart and mind and whole nature / rejoice in my God / Who is called my salvation and helper; B-flat Major; 4/4.
2. Recitativo secco [Tenor, basso continuo: Introduction, “Denn seh ich mich und auch mein Leben an, / So muß mein Mund in diese Worte brechen:” (For when I consider myself and also my life, / Then my mouth must break forth in these words); [v49] “Gott, Gott! was hast du doch an mir getan!” (God, God! How much you have done forme!); “Es ist mit tausend Zungen / Nicht einmal auszusprechen. / Wie gut du bist, wie freundlich deine Treu, / Wie reich dein Liebe sei.” (With a thousand tongues / It could not once be expressed, / How good you are, how friendly in your faithfulness, / How rich your love.); Closing, “So sei dir denn Lob, Ehr und Preis gesungen.” (Then let glory, honour and praise be sung to you.); B-flat Major; 4/4.
3. Aria [Tenor, basso continuo): [v52] “Gott hat sich hoch gesetzet / Und sieht auf das, was niedrig ist.” (God has placed himself on high / And looks down on all that is lowly.); “Gesetzt, daß mich die Welt / Gering und elend halt / Doch bin ich hoch geschätzet / Weil Gott mich nicht vergißt.” (Supposing the world considers me, / As slight and pitiable, / Yet I am highly treasured / Since God does not forget me); G minor; 4/4.
4. Recitativo secco [Tenor, basso contnuo]: “O was für große Dinge / Treff ich an allen Orten an, / Die Gott an mir getan, / Wofür ich mich mein Herz zum Opfer bringe; / Er tut es, dessen Macht / Den Himmel kann umschränken, / An dessen Namen Pracht / Die Seraphim in Demut nur gedenken.” (O what great things / I meet with everywhere / That God has done for me, / So that in response I am led to make an offering of my heart / He does this, whose might / Can encompass heaven, / On the glory of whose name / The Seraphim can only think in humility.); “Er hat mir Leib und Leben, / Er hat mir auch das Recht zur Seligkeit / Und was mich hier und dort erfreut, / Aus lauter Huld gegeben.” (He has given me life and limb, / He has given me also the right to blessedness, / And all that gives me joy in this world and the next / From pure mercy.); G minor; 4/4.
5. Aria [Tenor, flute, oboe, basso contnuo): “Deine Güte, dein Erbarmen, Währet, Gott, zu aller Zeit.” (Your goodness, your mercy / Lasts, God, at all times); [v54] “Du erzeigst Barmherzigkeit / Denen dir ergebnen Armen.” (You show mercy / To the poor who are devoted to you.); B-flat Major; 4/4.

Note on the text [Francis Browne]: “This cantata, once ascribed to Bach, is now thought to be by Georg Melchior Hoffmann.He was a Dresden musician who succeeded Telemann as musical director at the Neue Kirche in Leipzig in 1704 and remained there until his early death at the age of about 30 in 1715. It was included in the earlier Bach Gesellschaft edition (XXXVII: 215, Alfred Dörffel, 1991), but found no place in the Bach-Neue-Ausgabe. It was written for the Feast of the Visitation and the unknown author of the libretto has based his text on a loose paraphrase of the Magnificat.”

Where the Magnificat translation of Martin Luther, “Meine Seel erhebt den Herren” (My soul praises the Lord) is complete and literal, the paraphrase in Cantata 189 is selective, using only five of the original Luke 1 ten verses: 46 [And Mary said,] My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour, 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name, 52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree, and 54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy.

In Cantata 189, the opening da capo aria, with the first two verses, 46 and 47, and the repeat of the first verse, is the most literal setting and adds the phrase, God “Der mein Heil und Helfer heißt” (Who is called my salvation and helper), the salvation reference a theme in several psalms, notably Psalms 27:1, 62: 6-7. The first recitative (no. 2) is a special Song of Praise that is appropriate for the 12th Sunday after Trinity, with emphasis on what God has done (God’s work), Deuteronomy 32:4 and Psalm 111:3, and concluding with “Lob, Ehr und Preis gesungen.” (glory, honour and praise be sung), Psalm 150. The central tenor aria (no. 3) begins with verse 52, “Gott hat sich hoch gesetzet / Und sieht auf das, was niedrig ist.” (God has placed himself on high / And looks down on all that is lowly), with interpretive phrases of the lowly and the conclusion that God “mich nicht vergißt” (does not forget me), references Psalm 13:1 and expressed in the alto aria [9(27)], “Mein Heiland, dich vergeß ich nicht” (My Saviour, I will forget thee not) from the St. Mark Passion, at the end of the Last Supper and just before the disciples sing a hymn of praise. The second recitative (no. 4) is another original song of thanks for what God has done, including “life and limb,” “blessedness” and “joy” “from pure mercy.” The closing aria recalls God’s “Güte” (goodness) and “Erbarmen” (mercy), Psalm 23:6, and concludes with a paraphrase of Luke 1:54: “Du erzeigst Barmherzigkeit / Denen dir ergebnen Armen.” (You show mercy / To the poor who are devoted to you.).

The Magnificat text (Luke 1:46-55) is as follows (KJV): 46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. 53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; 55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.


1 Martin 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: 303.
2 Paul Zeller Strodach, in The Church Year: Studies in Introits, Collects, Epistles and Gospels (Philadelphia PA: United Lutheran Publication House, 1924: 216).
3Robin Leaver, “Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren” OCC: JSB (Oxford University Press, 1999: 269).
4 Source materials, Cantata 100 BCML Discussions Round 4,
5 According to Marilyn Kay Stulken, Hymnal Companion to The Lutheran Book of Worship (Philadelphia PA: Fortress Press: 1981: 474).
6 Alfred Dürr, Cantatas of J. S. Bach, revised and translated by Richard D. P. Jones (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005: 792).

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 16, 2016):
Cantata BWV 189 - Revised & updated Discography

Cantata BWV 189 "Meine Seele rühmt und preist" My soul praises and extols) was composed by Georg Melchior Hoffmann in Leipzig for the Feast of Visitation of Mary or for the 12th Sunday after Trinity. The work was included in the first edition of Bach Works (BGA) in 1891 and continued to be attributed to J.S. Bach until the late 1950's. The charming cantata is scored for tenor soloist; recorder/flute, oboe, violin, & continuo.

The discography pages of BWV 189 on the BCW have been revised and updated. See:
Complete Recordings (31):
Recordings of Individual Movements (3)
The revised discography includes many listening/watching options to recordings directly from the discography pages, just below the recording details.

I also put at the BCW Home Page:
2 audios & 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 are the most comprehensive discography of the cantata. If you are aware of a recording of BWV 189 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 the current discussion of the cantata in the BCML (th round):



Cantata BWV 189: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Part 1 | Part 2 | Discussions of Non-Bach Cantatas: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Georg Melchior Hoffmann: Short Biography
Cantata BWV 53 | Cantata BWV 189 | Little Magnificat BWV Anh 21

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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Last update: Monday, September 11, 2017 15:22