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Cantata BWV 70
Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!
Cantata BWV 70a
Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of November 22, 2015 (4st round)

William Hoffman wrote (November 22, 2015):
Cantata 70, 'Wachet, Betet' Intro. & Late Trinity Chorales

Conflict between fear and hope, with the main theme of the Day of Last Judgment and the Second Coming of Christ, is the subject of an almost half-hour, two-part chorus cantata, BWV 70, Wachet! Betet! Betet! Wachet!” (Watch, pray, pray, watch), that premiered on the 26th and last Sunday after Trinity (and the close of the church year), November 22, 1723. Originally composed in Weimar as Cantata BWV 70a for the Second Sunday in Advent 1716, with chorus, four arias and plain chorale, the expansion with four recitatives and another plain chorale, BWV 70, has the same theme. Cantata 70 is one of Bach’s most engaging musical sermons with a joyous opening chorus, two popular, striking plain chorales to close each part, and four arias for each voice with obbligato instruments, alternating with four new dramatic recitatives for bass and tenor.1

Serendipity enabled Sebastian Bach, at the end of Trinity Time in late 1723, to assemble easily a musical sermon from an existing Weimar cantata with appropriate music having the general textual and biblical theme of the “Last Judgement.” Two-part Chorus Cantata BWV 70, “Wachet! Betet! Betet! Wachet!” uses three relevant, popular late Trinity Time chorale sources, two plain chorale settings closing each part, “Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele” (Rejoice greatly, o my soul), and "Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht, weil" " (I shall not leave my Jesus since), and an instrumental quotation, “Es ist gewißlich an der Zeit” (It is certainly time, Dies ire) in the dramatic Day of Judgement recitative (no.9). Further, Bach harmonized and utilized designated, well-known, free-standing chorales dealing with the last Trinity Time Sundays (for details, see Chorales below, with translations).

The solo trumpet plays a major role in five of the 11 movements: the opening chorus; succeeding dramatic recitative (no. 2),Erschrecket, ihr verstockten Sünder!” (Be frightened, you impenitent sinners!); the Day of Judgement bass recitative accompagnato (no. 9), “Ach, soll nicht dieser große Tag . . . In meinem Sinn / Viel Zweifel, Furcht und Schrecken” (Ah, should not this great day . . . [arouse] in my mind / much doubt, fear and panic); bass aria (no. 10), “Seligster Erquickungstag” (Blissful day of refreshment/new life), and the plain chorales concluding each part.

Biblical Text Meanings

Another important factor is the opening incipit, Jesus’ admonition to his disciples to “Watch and Pray,” just before his Passion begins, following his prophecies, especially the destruction of Jerusalem. It is found in Mark 14:33, “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is,” and in Luke 21:36, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of man.” During his Passion at night in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus repeats his admonition to some of his disciples when he finds them sleeping, in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.” Some of these references are found in the text.

The still-anonymous librettist took Frank’s emphasis on Luke’s account (Chapter 21) of the last days and judgement and used Matthew’s synoptic account (Chapter 25) of the last judgement in the four additional recitatives, says Francis Browne in his BCW English translation and “Note on the Text ( “Both the last recitative and aria are unexpectedly dramatic with their references to the last judgement, with the recitative using imagery from the epistle for the 26th Sunday after Trinity (2 Peter 3-13),” says Browne.

Browne summarizes Alfred Dürr’s comment (<Cantatas of JSB> 645) that “the expanded cantata text lacks the consistent exposition of a single idea and vacillates constantly between the fear of being inadequately prepared to the end of the world and the hope of one day be numbered among the elect. Some may feel this is a weakness, others may perhaps agree that Bach’s reworking of earlier material has led to a richer, more complex text to which Bach does full justice.”

<<The suggestion is sometimes made that Bach himself may have written the recitatives. This cannot be proved . It is perhaps more plausible that Bach consulted closely with the librettist since the setting of the recitatives - particularly movements two and nine - is particularly striking.

The opening chorus uses the ending of Luke’s Gospel for the 2nd Sunday in Advent (Luke 21: 25-36). With direct address to stubborn sinners and to those chosen by God the first recitative dramatises the scene evoked by Matthew’s account of the last judgement and the division of humanity into sheep and goats, those saved and those who are damned. The second aria for alto uses the images of Israel captive in Egypt and Sodom and Gomorrah threatened with destruction to portray the true nature of the world which should make us long for the last day. The second recitative deals with those aspects of us and the world which hinder our longing for heaven. Christ‘s words about his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane – the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak – are used. The soprano aria contrasts the certainty of Christ’s coming (Luke 21: 27) with what cynics say. The third recitative gives assurance that God thinks of those who serve him and the first part concludes with a more personal expression of the same idea using the fifth strophe of the anonymous hymn “Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele” (Freiburg 1620)

The tenor aria which opens the second part echoes Luke 21: 28 with its command to the faithful to hold up their heads. Both the last recitative and aria are unexpectedly dramatic with their references to the last judgement, with the recitative using imagery from the epistle for the 26th Sunday after Trinity (2 Peter 3: 3-13).>>

Bach readily expanded his standard six-movement Weimar Cantata BWV 70a, same title, into his favored two parts, inserting four alternating, didactic recitatives specifically addressing the new Sunday main service context and adding a plain congregational chorale to close Part 1, as well as an incisive chorale tune on the trumpet in the bass’ second recitative. It was Bach’s first use of a chorale quotation in a recitative, while before in Weimar he had used quotes in arias. In addition, Bach would use troped stanzas as duets with original poetry in recitatives in chorale cantatas in the second annual cycle. In addition, Bach had a wealth of chorale melodies and texts designated for the 26th Sunday after Trinity (see below).

The expansive first part was performed before the sermon of Superintendent Salomon Deyling (1677-1755) at the Nicholaikirche, says Martin Petzoldt in his BACH Commentary, Vol. 1, Trinity Sundays.2 In all, Bach’s 14 two-part (BWV 75, 76, 21*, 147*, 186*, and 70*) and double presentations (BWV 22-23, 24-185*, 179-199*, 181-18*, Anh.199-182*, 4-31*, 59-172*, 194-165*) in the first cycle (* = Weimar materials) were designed to be divided for performance before the sermon and either after the sermon or during Holy Communion distribution.

Bach’s sole Cantata BWV 70 for the 26th Sunday after Trinity on November 21 was not his last word for this extended Trinity Time final Sunday in the first church-year cantata cycle. This main service would take place in Leipzig during the rest of Bach’s 17-year tenure on an average of every three years: 1725, 1728, 1731, 1736, 1739, 1741, 1742, 1744, and 1747. It is documented that Bach repeated this joyous work on November 18, 1731, followed one week late with the new pure-hymn Chorale Cantata BWV 140, “Wachet auf” (Sleepers Awake), for the very rare, succeeding 27th Sunday after Trinity, on November 25, 1731.

Cantata 70 Weimar Origin

For the last (26th) Sunday after the Feast of the Holy Trinity, Bach possessed a striking chorus cantata originally composed for the Second Sunday in Advent in December 1716 at Weimar, but unplayable on the same Sunday three weeks hence during the closed Advent Time in Leipzig. Seven years previous, Weimar Court poet Salomo Frank had begun a cycle of musical sermons without recitatives that Bach promptly set on three successive Advent Sundays (BWV 70a, 186a, 147a) before ceasing further composition when he was denied the vacant post of Weimar Court Composer.

An unknown poet – possibly Bach himself, his St. Thomas pastor Christian Weiss Sr. or readily-available handyman and poetic cobbler Picander – in late 1723 provided the text for the four planned recitatives. The free-verses simply amplify the theme of the “Last Judgement” but “do not really follow any sort of logical thread or sequence,” observes Thomas Braatz in his BCW “Provenance” essay. “On the contrary, they jump back and forth between two thoughts: Concern about not being sufficiently prepared for the end of the world and the hope to be included among the chosen for whom the end time will be the beginning of true joy.” The surviving set of parts, the Franck text, Date of Composition, and Trumpet Parts are explored in Thomas Braatz’s BCW “Provenance” article (December 1, 2002), For a recording of the original version, BWV 70a, see Rilling,

The BCW Bach’s Lutheran Church Year, Readings for the Twenty Sixth Sunday after Trinityare: Epistle, 2 Peter 3:3-13 (Christ’s second coming; Gospel): Matthew 25:31-46, The Last Judgement, full text, see BCW The German text is that of Luther’s translation published in 1545, the English is the Authorised (King James) Version 1611.

The Introit Psalm is Psalm 126, In convertendo (When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, KJV), says Petzoldt (Ibid.: 685), which he describes as “The Christian sadness shall be transformed into joy. The full text is found at The best-known passage is verses 5-6: “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” The incipit is “Die mit Tränen säen,” and is the opening of the Johann Ludwig Bach Cantata JLB-8, for the Third Sunday in Easter (Jubilate) that Sebastian presented in 1726. It is also the text in the opening chorus of Brahms’ German Requiem.

Cantata 70 Movements, Scoring, Incipit (with Biblical quotations), Key, Meter:

1. Chorus in free da-capo style, opening sinfonia, imitation, instrumental dominance [SATB; Tromba, Oboe, Violino I/II, Viola, Fagotto e Continuo]: A, “Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!” (Watch! Pray! Pray! Watch!”); B. “Seid bereit / Allezeit, / Bis der Herr der Herrlichkeit / Dieser Welt ein Ende machet.” (Be ready / at all times /until the lord of glory / makes an end of this world; c Major, 4/4.
2. Recitative in dramatic accompagnato with arioso [Bass; Tromba, Oboe, Violino I/II, Viola, Fagotto e Continuo]: “Erschrecket, ihr verstockten Sünder!” (Be frightened, you impenitent sinners!); arioso, “Doch euch, erwählte Gotteskinder, / Ist er ein Anfang wahrer Freude” (But for you, chosen children of God / it is the beginning of true joy); F Major to a minor; 4/4.
3. Aria in three parts with ritornelli [Alto; Violoncello, Fagotto e Continuo]: A. Wenn kömmt der Tag, an dem wir ziehen / Aus dem Ägypten dieser Welt?” (When does the day come, when we depart /from the Egypt of this world?); B. “Ach! laßt uns bald aus Sodom fliehen, / Eh uns das Feuer überfällt!” Ah! let us quickly flee from Sodom, / before the fire overwhelms us!); C. “Wacht, Seelen, auf von Sicherheit / Und glaubt, es ist die letzte Zeit!” (Wake up, you souls, out of your complacency / and believe, this is the last time!); a minor, ¾ ?sarabande style.
4. Recitative secco [Tenor; Fagotto e Continuo]: “Auch bei dem himmlischen Verlangen / Hält unser Leib den Geist gefangen” (Even in our longing for heaven / our body holds the spirit prisoner); d minor to b minor; 4/4.
5. Aria in two parts with da-capo imitation and ritornelli [Soprano; Violino I/II, Viola, Fagotto e Continuo]: “Laßt der Spötter Zungen schmähen” (Let the cynics' tongues utter abuse); B. “Welt und Himmel mag vergehen, / Christi Wort muß fest bestehen” (Earth and heaven may perish, / Christ's word must stand firm); e minor; 4/4.
6. Recitative secco [Tenor; Fagotto e Continuo]: “Jedoch bei dem unartigen Geschlechte / Denkt Gott an seine Knechte” (Yet even among this ill-bred generation / God thinks of his servants); D Major to G Major; 4/4.

7. Chorale plain [SATB; Tromba e Oboe e Violino I col Soprano, Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Fagotto e Continuo]: “Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele” (Rejoice greatly, o my soul); G Major; ¾.
Part Two
8. Aria shortened da-capo [Tenor; Oboe, Violino I/II, Viola e Continuo]: A. “Hebt euer Haupt empor / Und seid getrost, ihr Frommen” (Lift up your heads / and be consoled, you devout people); B. “Ihr sollt in Eden grünen, / Gott ewiglich zu dienen.” (You are to flourish in Eden / to serve God for ever); G Major, 4/4.
9. Recitative in dramatic accompagnato with arioso [Bass; Tromba, Violino I/II, Viola e Continuo]: “Ach, soll nicht dieser große Tag, / Der Welt Verfall” (Ah, should not this great day, / the ruin of the world); arioso, “(Wohlan, so ende ich) mit Freuden meinen Lauf” [Come, in this way I end] (my journey with joy.); e minor to C Major; 4/4.
10. Aria in three parts without ritornelli [Bass; Tromba, Violino I/II, Viola e Continuo]: Adagio, “Seligster Erquickungstag, / Führe mich zu deinen Zimmern!” (Blissful day of refreshment/new life, / lead me to your chambers”; Presto, “Schalle, knalle, letzter Schlag, / Welt und Himmel, geht zu Trümmern!” (Resound, bang, last stroke / Earth and heaven, collapse in ruins!); C. “Jesus führet mich zur Stille, / An den Ort, da Lust die Fülle.” (Jesus leads me to calm, / to the place where there is fullness of delight); C Major, ¾.
11. Chorale plain in seven parts with independent upper strings [SATB; Violino I/II, Viola, Tromba e Oboe col Soprano, Alto, Tenore e Continuo]: “Nicht nach Welt, nach Himmel nicht / Meine Seele wünscht und sehnet / Jesum wünsch ich und sein Licht,” (Not for the world, not for heaven / does my soul wish and long, / I wish for Jesus and his light); C Major, 4/4.

Bach’s Motives, Methods, and Opportunities

Bach’s motives for providing a two-part joyous cantata, BWV 70, for the last Sunday of Trinity Time were serendipitous: he had appropriate music on hand that he needed to use and he had time to compose a transitional work into the new church year with its joyous festival for the First Sunday in Advent and the succeeding Christmas Festival. This process is explained in Klaus Hoffmann’s 2000 liner notes to Masaaki Suzuki BIS recording.3 “Though how meagre three weeks [of Advent] seem when compared with the cantor’s Christmas duties! So Bach extended his break by a week in that, for the First Sunday of Advent, he made use of the Weimar cantata Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61, and created further leeway by performing Christen, ätzet diesen Tag, BWV 63, which was a Weimar composition, on the First Day of Christmas. In this way he gained the time to compose his Latin Magnificat (BWV 243a) that traditionally formed part of the festive afternoon Vesper service on the First Day of Christmas in Leipzig, as well as time and energy for new cantatas for the second and thirds days of Christmas as well as for New Year’s Day 1724 (BWV 40, 64 and 190).

“This explains why, on this CD, the three cantatas from the end of the liturgical year of 1723 and the cantata for Second Day of Christmas are placed much closer together than the liturgical year would place them: chronologically the cantata-less Tempus clausum at Leipzig falls in between, whilst prior to and after that time, repeat performances took place of older cantatas from the Weimar period (BWV 61, 63). Strictly speaking, Bach’s extended ‘free’ period actually started somewhat earlier in that the cantata for 21st November 1723, Wachet! betet! BWV 70, was originally a Weimar cantata (BWV 70a). The original text, by the Weimar poet Salomo Franck, was considerably extended in Leipzig but the introductory choral, all the arias and the concluding choral from the Weimar cantata were all retained and Bach had only to write four new recitatives and a further chorale setting.”

TRINITY 26: Three Appropriate Chorales4

Bach reinforced the chorale closing the original Cantata BWV 70a, "Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht, weil" (I shall not leave my Jesus since) with its theme of “Death and Dying,” by adding another “Death and Dying” plain chorale to close the new Part 1, "Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele" (Rejoice greatly, o my soul), a Leipzig popular hymn paraphrase of Psalm 42, Quemodmodum (As the heart panteth after water, KJV), a particularly significant and meaningful psalm for Bach and his time.

To reinforce the Gospel theme of the Last Judgement, Bach literally uses the symbolic trumpet to play the “Last Judgement” chorale melody, ”Es ist gewißlich an der Zeit” (It is certainly time) accompanying the extended bass recitative/arioso of the new Cantata BWV 70, Movement No. 9: “Nicht nach Welt, nach Himmel nicht / Meine Seele wünscht und sehnet;” (Not for the world, not for heaven / does my soul wish and long). This is followed with the joyous original BWV 70a bass aria, “Seligster Erquickungstag,” (Blissful day of refreshment/new life,) with trumpet and strings, followed by the affirmative closing chorale, "Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht, weil."

Another “Death and Dying” chorale, “Alle Menschen müssen sterben” (All men must die), is found in Picander’s 1729 published church year text for the 26th Sunday after Trinity, Novembert 21, 1728. Cantata text P-70, “Kommt denn nicht mein Jesus bald?” (Come then not my Jesus soon?); closes with a chorale, No. 5, using the sixth stanza, O Jerusalem, du Schöne, / Ach, wie helle glänzest du! (O Jerusalem, you beautiful place, / Ah, how bright you shine!

Scholarly Commentary

Bach scholars Nicholas Anderson, Alfred Dürr, and Eric Chafe provide informative insight into Cantata 70 in Thomas Braatz’s “BCW Commentary” (November 25, 2002), Anderson offers an introduction to highlights of the movements, Dürr provides extensive analysis in the musical structure of the opening chorus and other movements, with special interest in the texts, and Chafe offers insight into imagery and biblical references.

Much insight into Bach’s motives is found in Peter Smaill’s Commentary (December 23, 2005), in BCML Discussion Part 2, <<After thirty years of returning to this Cantata, some new insights have emerged recently in my experience. Chafe is interesting on its place in anchoring the Trinity sequence which we have all been studying, the "season characterised by themes that involve antithesis, of which the most prominent are God's judgement versus His mercy and the qualities of tribulation versus consolation, fear versus hope, and faith versus doubt in the believer's conscience."

BWV 70 acts as a consummation in particular of the tension between judgement and mercy. Given its position at the end of the church year, and the call to preparation for the second coming, it is again a meditation on time - the end of the world, its recreation via the Saviour. ("...until the Lord of Lords makes an end of this world"). The key here is the power with which Bach dramatises in literally operatic style (the borrowing from Handel's "Almira"), the predicament of the person who can be defined as the leading actor in the Cantatas - "Ich", "I". The focus is on the sole Christian's relationship to the economy of salvation.

Chafe also points out the sense of journeying, the soul's pilgrimage from the sin-spots of Sodom and Egypt to the promised Eden.

The final chorales seal this self-focusing dramatic impulse: "Freu dich, O Mein Seele" (Rejoice greatly, oh my soul) - and "Nicht nach Welt (...Not after this world, not after heaven does my soul desire and long". In both case it is the answered needs of the worshiper, and not the objects of glory pertaining to the Trinity, which are uppermost. In this context it seems potentially significant that the chorale tune "Meinen Jesu lass ich nicht," the Hammerschmidt setting associated with "Nicht nach Welt", formed the conclusion to part 1 of the SMP in Altnickol's score of 1729.

This Chorale must thus have meant a great deal to Bach as evidenced by the many other settings noted in the CM link to this website. The text by the fine poet Christian Keimann perhaps became known to Bach only on arrival in Leipzig in his momentous first year as it appears to be his first use of it.>>

Origin, Genesis, Handelian Elements

The origin, genesis, significance and Handelian elements are described in John Elliot Gardner’s liner notes to the 2000 Bach Cantata Pilgrimage on Soli Deo Gloria recordings.5 << Our programme in Lüneburg began with BWV 70 Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! in the musical form in which this cantata has survived – the expansion that Bach made for performance in Leipzig on 21 November 1723 (the Twenty-sixth Sunday after Trinity) of the shorter, six-movement Advent piece composed seven years earlier in Weimar (BWV 70a), of which only three upper string parts survive. No damage was done in the process to Franck’s libretto since the underlying theme of both Sundays (the coming of Christ and the Last Judgement) is virtually the same at this pivotal point in the year, the ‘old’ year referring to the time of Israel and the ‘new’ to the time of Christ’s life on earth. Franck postulates a progression from the time associated with ‘Egypt’ (the period of Israel’s captivity) to that of ‘Eden’ – from worldly torment to heavenly joy – which Bach mirrors in an upward modulatory trajectory by rising thirds (a – C – e – G). Beyond this, Franck and Bach together lay great emphasis on the juxtaposition between linear, human time and God’s eternal, immutable time. Through the addition of a second chorale and four recitatives (two secco, two accompagnato) paraphrasing the Gospel (Matthew 25:31-46), their original cantata now becomes a two-part work concerned with the opposition between destruction and restoration. Bach attempts the impossible: to overcome the sequential way in which musical (and therefore human) time unfolds by suggesting ways in which it is subordinate to, and subsumed within, God’s eternal time. Here and there he leaves hints of his preference for the latter, just as he does in his Actus tragicus and St Matthew Passion, not just in simplistic pictorial ways such as the sustaining of key words like ‘bestehen’ (literally to survive, metaphorically to remain steadfast) in the soprano aria (No.5), but by the boundless – in fact time-less – ways he sets about mining all the inventive possibilities contained within a succession of musical ideas.

The result is a unique fusion of prodigious music from two of his most fertile periods of cantata composition, those groundbreaking bursts he made in 1716 and 1723. One could pretend to notice the stylistic joins between the two versions and styles, but that would be disingenuous. In fact what is so impressive here is the convincing and dramatic way the first accompagnato (No.2, Leipzig) erupts out of the opening chorus (Weimar) and how the equally dramatic proclamation of the Last Judgement (No.9, Leipzig) is stitched so seamlessly on to the soothing aria (No.10, Weimar). Joshua Rifkin suggests that the trumpet part was added to the first cand last aria only for the Leipzig revival and that the oboe adds nothing substantial to the musical fabric of the first movement, even concluding that it sounds better with just strings, and that the dialogue between trumpet and voice in the tenth movement (bars 36-7) was just a lucky coincidence. Yes, well... Even allowing for the difficulties wind-players (probably playing at French Kammertonwith A=392 Hz) may have had in adapting to the organ pitch in Weimar, both trumpet and oboe play a crucial, jousting role in the opening movement and in Bach’s experimental alternations between orchestra alone, choir alone, then choir with accompanying orchestra and finally with voices incorporated within the repeat of the orchestral sinfonia. This technique (Choreinbau) is integral to Bach’s success in conjuring up before our eyes the terrifying moment (taken from Peter’s Epistle for the day) when ‘the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat’. That is before those of a numerological disposition begin to count up the recurrences of the up-and-down arpeggio figure in the trumpet line – a kind of reveille urging on the calls of ‘Wachet!’ – and find them to be fourteen, the symbolic number that stands for Alpha and Omega, a metaphor (derived from the Book of Revelation) for Jesus as the beginning and ending of existence. What strikes me most about the following accompagnato (No.2) for bass soloist, strings, oboe and trumpet, and its twin (No.9), is the operatic punch they both pack. Beginning with repeated semiquavers hammered out in Monteverdi’s stilo concitato (literally the ‘excited style’), they anticipate by many years the supremely operatic outbursts of two of Handel’s most formidable heroines, Dejanira the unhinged wife in Hercules (1745) (‘Where shall I fly?’) and Storge the outraged mother in Jephtha (1752) (‘First perish thou!’). But it is not merely their full-throttle openings that link these great scenas to Bach’s cantata: Bach is a match here for Handel in his powerful vocal declamation, the fine gradations of mood and the vividly supportive orchestral accompaniment he invents to portray the cateclysmic destruction of the world and, finally, the seraphic transition (from recitative to the bass aria, No.10) as Jesus guides the believer to complete ‘stillness, to that place of abundant joy’ (‘zur Stille, an den Ort, da Lust die Fülle’.) Even those Leipzig congregants most opposed to operatic music in church must have been stirred when they picked out the Advent chorale melody intoned by the lone trumpet above the mayhem of Armageddon – ‘Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit’, a hymn tune that became a talisman, a kind of Dies irae, during the Thirty Years’ War.>>

Handel Influences, Comparisons.

Influences of Handel have been suggested in Cantata 70, the soprano aria in Part 1 (no. 5), “Laßt der Spötter Zungen schmähen” (Let the cynics' tongues utter abuse), and the tenor aria opening Part 2 (no. 7), “Hebt euer Haupt empor / Und seid getrost, ihr Frommen” (Lift up your heads /and be consoled, you devout people). Here are Braatz’s thoughts: “[Notice that Dürr makes no reference to the type of claim that Simon Crouch ( picked up from some of the sources that Aryeh quoted: “The following soprano aria is more upbeat, with an insistent and very catchy violin accompaniment. Apparently this aria was borrowed by Bach from a bass aria in Händel's opera Almira, an early example of Bach absorbing Italianate influences into his music. A recitative and straightforward chorale setting end the first half of the cantata. The second half opens with a fine tenor aria which itself sounds slightly Händelian.”

This 1st opera by Händel is anything but very original. It is derives almost everything from other sources and influences among which can be mentioned: Steffani, Fedeli, Keyser who began the opera, but turned it over to Händel, Mattheson, and many others. Very likely Bach absorbed the Italianate influences directly from the same or similar sources that Händel did. Any question of copying or borrowing misses the mark entirely here.]>>

Beyond the text inference (”Lift up your heads”), the thesis that Bach borrowed from Handel was considered at length by W. Gillies Whittaker in the Cantatas of JSB (London: Oxford University Press, 1958: I: 110, 133, etc.).

Citing the writer “P. Robinson” in the Musical Times (May 1907) that Bach had “borrowed extensively” in Cantatas 21, 70 and others from Handel’s opera. While Whittaker eventually accepted the soprano aria, no other scholars seem to have accepted this. Interestingly, When Bach stayed in Lübeck in the winter of 1705, by coincidence, Handel’s opera was premiered at the Hamburg Opera in January 1706. Given the proximity, it is possible that Bach did hear the work. Scholar Peter Williams suggested an encounter in remarks at the American Bach Society Biennial Conference, “Bach and the Organ,” September 2013, in Rochester NY.

In addition to Peter Smail’s observation above, the scholar Alfred Mann has dealt with “striking parallels in the biographies” of Bach and Handel (“Missa and Messiah: Culmination of the Sacred Drama,” in A Bach Tribute: Essays in Honor of William H. Scheide (Bassel etc.: Bärenreiter etc., 1993: 173). Other possible connections include Bach’s familiarity with Handel’s “Israel in Egypt” and the Song of Miriam (the first music in the bible, Calov Bible), and the English composer William Croft’s St. Anne hymn, “O God our help in ages past,” and Bach’s “St. Anne” Prelude and Fugue in E-Flat.

Bach Favorite Chorale, ‘Freu dich sehr’

Part 1 of Cantata BWV 70 closes with Movement No. 7) the plain chorale in G Major (Bach addition 1723): Final verse (S. 10) of "Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele" (Rejoice greatly, o my soul, Psalm 42) “und vergiß all Not und Qual” (and forget all misery and torment). Christoph Demantius (1620), melody (Zahn 6543 in G Major) is set to the Louis Bourgeois chorale/Psalm melody for the Geneva Psalm 42 “<Ainsi que la biche rée>” (1550), based on the secular song, “<Ne l’oseray je dire>” (c1510); the hymn first published in Freiberg, 1620.

The hymn "Freu dich sehr” is an <omnes tempore> commentary to Psalm 42(1) ("A Prayer in Sickness," a David Psalm, <Beatus qui intelligent> [Happy are they who consider], found in the NLGB as No. 358 in the section "Vom Tod und Sterben" (Death and Dying). The previous verse, Stanza 9, Bach also set: “Laß dein’ Engel mit mir fahren” (Let your angel travel with me) closes Cantata BWV 19 for the Feast of St. Michael 9/29/26. Psalm 42 also was used in the main Leipzig services as a general <omnes tempore> Communion hymn. See Browne English translation of "Freu dich sehr”, BCW, Chorale melody and text information is found at BCW,

Bach harmonized the Bourgeois melody to five different cantata texts by other poets:

Text 2: Johann Heermann: Zion klagt mit Angst und Schmerzen (1636, NLGB Cross, Persecution & Challenge), BWV 13/3 alto aria, Eph.2, 1/13/26 (Lehms)
Text 3: Johann Heermann: Treuer Gott, ich muß dir klagen (1630, NLGB 297, Cross, Persecution, Challenge), BWV 25/6, Tr.14, 8/29/23; BWV 194/6, og. ded. 11/2/23
Text 4: David Denicke: Kommt, laßt euch den Herren lehren (1648, Beatitudes-Trinity, no NLGB), BWV 39/7 (Rudolstadt), Tr. 1, 6/23/26
Text 5: Johann Olearius: Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben (1671, no NLGB Baptist feast), BWV 30/6 (Picander), John, ?6/24/38
Text 6: Paul Gerhardt: Weg, mein Herz, mit den Gedanken (1647, no NLGB, Luke 15, Parable of Lost Sheep), BWV 32/6 (Lehms), Ep.1, 1/20/26: S. 12, “Mein Gott, öffne mir die Pforten / Solcher Gnad und Gütigkeit, (My God, open for me the gates / Of such grace and goodness,)
Also extant are four questionable settings of early “Freu dich sehr” Miscellaneous chorale preludes atributed to Sebastian Bach: +BWV Anh. 52 (G Major, 4/4 [12/8]; +BWV Anh. 53 (fugato, 2/2 alle breve in G Major); + BWV deest (Emans 72) manual 4/4 in F Major; + BWV deest (Emans 73), fragment (first 7 measures) 4/4 in G Major.

Another source for a chorale setting linked to Bach is the Sebastian Bach <Choral-Buch> (SBCB), c.1740, of some 200 chorales with incipits, divided as a hymn book by Church year usage, from Advent to Trinity Time themes. Like the 1736 <Schemelli Gesangbuch> of sacred songs, it contains the melody with figured bass. On Page 249, under the category “Last Judgement,” is the setting of “Freu dich sehr, o meine(r) Seele”

Chorale Melody ’Es ist gewißlich’

Cantata 70 Recitative No. 9. chorale melody of "Es ist gewißlich an der Zeit"; is a trumpet canto in No. 9, bass recitative with chorale trope, “Ach, soll nicht dieser große Tag,/ Der Welt Verfall” (Ah, should not this great day, the ruin of the world) in Cantata BWV 70 [Details, see below, NLGB Pulpit Hymn]. "Es ist gewißlich” also is found in the Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB, p. 258) under “Last Judgement.”

Chorale ‘Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht’

Cantata BWV 70, No 11 is plain chorale closing Part 2, earlier the closing chorale in Cantata BWV 70a/6, Christian Keymann, verse 5 of "Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht, weil" (I shall not leave my Jesus since) 1658: “Nicht nach Welt, nach Himmel nicht / Meine Seele wünscht und sehnet;” (Not for the world, not for heaven / does my soul wish and long;); NLGB 346, Death & Dying, melody Zahn 3449, Composer: Andreas Hammerschmidt (1658); Text, Christian Keymann (1658), 6 stanzas. “Meinen Jesum laß ich” nicht” ” also is found in the Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB, p. 242), under the category “Death and Dying.” Bach set this chorale for various <omnes tempore> Epiphany and Trinity Time cantatas as well as plain chorale closing Part 1 of the 1735 version of the St. Matthew Passion. Text and English translation, Frances Browne, BCW: Chorale Melodies (alternate texts), BCW:

The Appendix to the 1994 < Evagelisches Kirchen Gesangbuch> (EKG) lists the following as appropriate for the Next to the Last Sunday in Trinity Time, BWV 70 (Trinity 26), as well as BWV 94 (Trinity 9), BWV 105 (Trinity 9), and BWV168 (Trinity 9). The three Cantatas BWV 94, 105, and 168 for the 9th Sunday after Trinity, have the austere message, based on the Gospel Parable of the Unjust Steward, to keep accounting of one’s life and be watchful of the impending Last Judgement.

Hymns & Organ Chorale Preludes

Bach wasn’t through providing music for late Trinity Time. It is quite possible that he repeated Cantata BWV 70 several more times on this appointed final Sunday of the Church Year. It is documented that about 1730 Bach also composed several harmonized, free-standing plain chorales mostly listed under the last hymnal category of “The Last Judgement, Resurrection of the Dead, and Eternal Life” (Vom Jüngsten Tage, Aufferstehung des Todten und ewigen Leben) in the Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) of 1682), and discussed below. They are: Trinity 26 Hymn of the Day, “Es wird schier der letzten Tag herkommen” in e minor, BWV 310; "Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein" (alternate title “Es ist gewißlich an der Zeit,” Trinity 26 Pulpit Hymn) in G Major BWV 388, as well as the same double title in B-Flat Major, BWV 307; ”Gott hat das Evangelium” (Mat. 24), Erasmi Alberi, Magdeburg; Leipzig 1638), Last Days, 14 stanzas, NLGB No. 390 melody Zahn 1788 in E Major, BWV 319 – all “Last Judgement” chorales; and Trinity 26 Communion Hymn, “Gott der Vater wohn uns bei” in D Major, BWV 317. It is even possible that Bach substituted one or more of these harmonized hymns in further reperformances of Cantata BWV 70.

In addition, Bach had on hand early organ chorale preludes, including ”Ach Gott tu dich erbarmen” in G Major, ending in D Major, BWV 1109, found in the early Neumeister Collection; the double title "Nun freut euch/Es ist gewißlich” Miscellaneous Chorale in G Major, BWV 734; the questionable Miscellaneous Chorale, “Es ist gewißlich” in G Major, BWV 755, in G Major; and Gott der Vater wohn uns bei,” Miscellaneous organ chorale prelude BWV 748(a) in D Major; as well as the four questionable organ chorale settings of “Freu dich sehr, O Meine Seele” (Death & Dying) in G Major, BWV Anh. 52 and 53, and <Deest> (Emans 72 and 73).

Trinity 26 Assigned Hymns

The <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> of 1682 (NLGB), Bach’s favored hymn book in Leipzig, lists the following Chorales to be sung on the 26th Sunday after Trinity: Hymn of the Day (<de tempore>, Gradual Song between the readings of the Epistle and the Gospel): +“Es wird schier der letzten Tag herkommen” (Lo, the final day is fast approaching), NLGB 393 (Judgment Day/Doomsday, Resurrection of the Dead, and Eternal Life), has text and melody of Michael Weisse, 20 stanzas (Zahn melody 1423). This is one of the few Trinity Time Hymns of the Day that is assigned only to one other Sunday (Trinity 25, Pulpit hymn) and is not well-known, although the theme Judgement Day is significant. The Source is the Bohemian Bretheran (and martyrs) <Kirchengeseng> church songbook of 1580 (see Wackernagel, p. 253); Text and English translation, Michael Carver, Hymnoglypt 2009/12,, scroll down to last entry. “The tune (in d minor), later known as the proper for this hymn, in the aforementioned hymnal is named ‘Ach, Gott, man mag wohl in diesen Tagen’ (Ah, God, one may well in this day).”

Es wird schier der letzte Tag herkommen
denn die Bosheit hat sehr zugenommen;
was Christus hat vor gesagt,
das wird jetzt beklagt.

Lo, the final day is fast approaching,
Sin increasing, wickedness encroaching:
Now with grieving we behold
What the Christ foretold.

“Es wird schier der letzten Tag herkommen,” Plain Chorale, BWV 310 (BC F64.1, Breitkopf 238, Richter 94) in e minor. Recordings, BCW, Chorales BWV 250-438, Conducted by Helmuth Rilling,; CH-12, Hänssler Edition Bachakademie Vol. 85; “A Book of Chorale-Settings for Trust in God, Cross & Consolation / Justification & Penance / Dying, Death & Eternity / In the Evening.” “Es wird schier der letzten Tag herkkommen” also is found in the Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB, p. 259), under the category “Last Judgment.”

Requiem ‘Dies ire’ Hymn setting

+”Es ist gewißlich an der Zeit” (It is certainly time, NLGB Puplit Hymn) is Bartholomäus Ringwaldt’s 1582 seven-stanza setting of the Latin <Requiem, Dies ire> sequence. It is found in the NLGB 390 (p. 996), in the last of the Trinity Time <omnes tempore> topics, “Judgement Day.” Its only specific listing in the NLGB as a service hymn is for the 25th Sunday after Trinity. “This hymn was sung in Leipzig and Dresden as the hymn of the day for this Sunday,” says Günther Stiller in< JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig> (St. Louis MO, Concordia Publishing; 1984: 252). Text and translation,

It is sung to the Joseph Klug/Martin Luther 1529 melody, also set to the Martin Luther popular <omnes tempore> Catechism Communion text, "Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein" (Now rejoice ye, dear Christians all) often known by the alternate title “Es ist gewißlich an der Zeit,” appears in the NLGB as No. 232 as a Catechism “Justification” text following Catechism Communion hymns. In addition, “Es ist gewißlich an der Zeit” is found in the Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB), Page 258 a (Zahn melody 4429), under “Last Judgment.”

Other Chorale Settings

Bach set the Ringwaldt text, “Es ist gewißlichan der Zeit,” to music once as a plain chorale but utilized the melody (Zahn 4429a) four other times:

1. In the four-voice plain chorale setting of B-flat Major, catalogued as BWV 307, found in the Hanssler Complete Bach Edition (Volume 85, Dying, Death & Eternity);
2. As a trumpet canto in No. 9, bass recitative with chorale trope, “Ach, soll nicht dieser große Tag,/ Der Welt Verfall” (Ah, should not this great day, the ruin of the world) in Cantata BWV 70, “Wachet! Betet! Betet! Wachet!” (Watch, pray, pray, watch) for the 26th Sunday after Trinity, November 21, 1723.
3. With the melody in the tenor voice in the early, Miscellaneous Organ Chorale, BWV 734 in G Major, with the double title of “Es ist gewißlich an der Zeit” and "Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein." (Editions of the music, for two manuals, also include the melody and figured bass with the pedal playing the bass line);
4. In the four-voice plain chorale, BWV 388, in G Major, with the title "Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein."
5. In the four-voice early questionable Miscellaneous Organ Chorale, BWV 755, in G Major, similar in style to the Neumeister Collection, and identified as “Es ist gewißlich an der Zeit”;

Bach also designated "Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein" as No. 85, as Catechism Communion hymn, listed but not set in the <Orgelbüchlein> (Little Organ Book) chorale preludes composed in Weimar.

NLGB Trinity 26 Communion Hymns

+”Gott der Vater wohn uns bei” (God, the Father, stay with us; NLGB 139, Trinity Sunday Hymn of the Day (Gradual between Epistle and Gospel readings), has a Johann Walter melody 1524 (Zahn 8507), Luther text 1524 (3 stanzas); Bach set as plain chorale BWV 317 in D Major, and as an early Miscellaneous organ chorale prelude BWV 748(a) in D Major. The hymn also is listed in the <Orgelbüchlein> as No. 52, for Trinity Sunday, but not set. It is found in the Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB), Pages 86-87.
Text and English translation:
God, the Father, with us stay
Refrain: All our sins O take away, Us dying, cheer and cherish. From the power of hell defend; This grace to us be granted: Upon thee to be planted, In heartfelt faith undaunted,
View on

+”Komtt her zu mir, spricht Gott’s Sohn” (Come here to me, said God's Son) (NLGB 234, Christian Life and Conduct, Trinity 1, Communion Hymn). Text, G. Grünwald 1530 to folksong c.1490 ((Zahn 2496) ; text Easter/Pentecost: (Mat. 11:28; 16 stanzas); Bach Easter season cantata usages: BWV 74/8 (S.2), Pentecost; JLB 8/8 (S.14-16) Easter 3; melody in plain chorale, BWV 108/6, "Gott Vater, senden deine Geist" (God Father, send Thy Spirit) (S.10), Easter 4; and BWV 86/3 soprano aria melody (S.16), Easter 5. It is found in the Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB), Page 193 (Zahn 2496c), as a Communion Hymn. Francis Browne BCW text and translation:
"Verzage nicht, O Häuflein" (O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe, NLGB 317, Word of God & Christian Church, no Zahn melody listed), <Stiller> 240, Dresden hymn for Jubilate Sunday; BWV 42/4(S.1) E1, is Stanza 1 of the ?Fabricus text that may be a marching song of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. The melody (Zahn 2496) is derived from "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn" (Dürr <JSB Cantatas> 297, Whittaker <JSB Cantatas> I:298 ref. Terry Bach's Chorales). Grunwald's text, "Kommt her zu mir," is based on Mat. 11:28, Jesus preaching. Thus the Fabricus texts and Grunwald tune have the related themes of comfort and peace. Verzage nicht” is not found in the Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB).

Other NLGB Last Days Hymns for Trinity 26

The NLGB hymns for the 26th Sunday after Trinity list “Other Jüngsten Tage,” etc chorales (Judgement Day, Resurrection of the Dead, and Eternal Life) that may be sung:

+”Gott hat das Evangelium gegeben” (God gave us the Gospel) (Mat. 24), NLGB 390, Judgment Day, text and melody, Erasmus Alber, Wittenberg, 14 stanzas; listed as Communion Hymn for the 25th Sunday after Trinity (melody Zahn 1788). Bach’s only extant use is as a plain chorale, BWV 319, in e minor, found in the Hanssler Complete Bach Edition (Volume 83, Christian Life and Conduct). Recording (BWV 319): Text and English singable poetic translation:

Gott hat das Evangelium
Gegeben, dass wir werden fromm;
Die Welt acht' solchen Schatz nicht hoch,

Der mehrer' Theil fragt nichts darnach,
Das ist ein Zeichen vor dem jüngsten Tag. (S. 1)
Man fragt nicht nach der Guten Lehr;
Der Geiz und Wucher noch viel mehr
Hat überhanden genommen gar.
Noch sprechen sie: Es hat kein G’fahr!
Das ist ein Zeichen vor dem jüngsten Tag! (S. 2)
Man rühmt das Evangelium:
Und wohl doch niemand fromm.
Fürwahr, man spott den lieben Gott;
Noch sprechen sie: Es hat kein Noth! (S. 4)
Darum, komm, lieber Herre Christ!
Das Erdreich überdrüssig ist,
Zu tragen solchen Höllerbrand!
Drum mach einmahl mit ihn ein End;
Und lass uns sehn den lieben jüngsten Tag! (S. 14)

God gave us the Gospel unto men
That they might worthy be of Him;
Of little count the world it recks,
Mor let God’s word its conscience vex,
So we may know the Day of Doom is near! (S. 1)
To words of truth man gives no heed,
His mind is bent oin gain and greed,
And all that to the flesh is dear.
He rashly deems there’s northing to fear.
So may we know the Day of Doom is near! (S. 2)
The Gospel’s praise is on man’s lips,
But sin’s sweet honey each one sips.
Thus God they shame in very deed,
For better doing find no feed.
So may we know the Day of Doom is near! (S. 4)
So then, Lord Jesus Christ, do Thou appear,
And from the earth right swiftly clear
A race of sinners justly banned!
The hour’s at hand, there end is planned.
Come then and speedy dawn, O God’s Great Day! (S. 14)

[English Translation, Charles S. Terry, <The Four-Part Chorales of JSB> (London: Oxford Univ. Press, Reprint 1964: 122)

”Gott hat das Evangelium gegeben” is listed in Bach’s <Orgelbüchlein> chorale preludes under “Death and the Grave” (/Dying, Death & Eternity),” as No. 141 (Last Days) but not set by Bach. It also is found in the Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB), Page 253 (Zahn 1788), as a Last Judgement hymn.

There are two organ chorale settings of ”Gott hat das Evangelium gegeben” (both in A Major) in the complete Neumeister Collection in the Christmas section that are now attributed to Johann Michael Bach (1648-1694): JMB 6 (I, Page 10, no concordances), and JMB 7(II, concordances previously attributed to Pachelbel as PWC 174). They are published in J. M. Bach <The Complete Organ Chorales> with the Christoph Wolff “Preface” (Hänssler Verlag, Neuhausen Stuttgart, HE 30.650, 1988). Recording (JMB7/PWC174),

+”Fritsch auff (Fruh auf) und lasst uns singen” (Rise up and let us sing); (NLGB 392, Judgement Day) of Johann Rist (1607-1667), set by Heinrich Scheidemann (1595-1663), Hamburg (SSATB), 10 stanzas (melody Z8552a) was not set by Bach and is not found in the Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB). English translation: (Melodie: Nun lob mein' Seel' den Herren” (Zahn 8244)

“O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort” (O Eternity, thou thunderous word) of Johann Rist, was one of Bach’s favorite hymns but otherweise of little interest. It was not popular among Bach’s predecessors and was not a hymn designated for any main service in the NLGB, where it was listed third from last under the heading of “Judgement Day, Resurrection of the Dead, and Eternity.” As such, it was one of seven under that heading that could be sung during the 26th Sunday after Trinity. Meanwhile, Bach set “O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort” at least four times: to begin the dialogue Cantata BWV 60 of the same name for the 24th Sunafter Trinity, 1723, in Bach’s cycle; as Chorale Cantata BWV 20 (same title) to open the chorale cantata cycle for the First Sunday after Trinity in late 1724; as a sacred song in the Anna Magdalena Songbook of 1725, BWV 513, No. 42; and in the Garden of Gethsemane scene in the <St. Mark Passion,” BWV 247/30, of 1731.

Two other hymns in the NLGB:

+”Herzlich tut mich erfreuen” (O, how my heart rejoices) has a text and tune by Luther colleague, Johann Walther (1496-1570), published in his sacred song book, <Ein schöner Geistlicher und Christlicher newer Berckreyen>, Dresden 1552, 33 stanzas. It is listed in NLGB as No. 395, 25 stanzas (no Zahn melody listed; from original Greek, then German folk song) and is described as “Christ-like and trusting thought and poetry on the account of the fear of the Judgement Day and Eternal Life.” It is not found in the Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB). See BCW Biography,

Music: German Text (9 stanzas only): (no English translation found). Not to be confused with the Passion chorale, “Herzlich tut, mich verlangen,” or the altered 19th century melody found in English language Lutheran hymnals, set to a new text, “Day of Resurrection”.

+”Ach Gott tu dich erbarmen” (O God! Have mercy”; M Münzer text c.1550, S. Calvisius melody in G Major, 1597; NLGB 396, Judgement Day, Erasmus Alber, Judgement Day, 12 stanzas Zahn 7228c. Found in Straussborg Songbook 1616. Bach’s connections involve three listings: Neumeister Chorale, BWV 1109, four-part chorale with interludes (long fore-imitations) in 3/2 in D Major; Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB), Page 254-55 (Zahn melody 7228), as a Judgement Day hymn; and <Orgelbüchlein> No. 142, Death and the Grave (Day of Judgement), not set by Bach. It also is found in the Sebastian Bach Choral-Buch (SBCB), Page 255-55, as a Last Judgement hymn

Ach Gott, tu dich erbarmen,
durch Christum deinen Sohn,
über reich und über armen,
hilf, dass wir busse tun,
und sich ein jeder erkennen tut,
ich fürcht, Gott hab gebunden ein rut,
er will uns damit strafen,
den hirten mit den schafen,
es wird ihm keiner entlaufen.

Oh, God have mercy
through Christ your Son,
on both rich and poor;
help us, in dealing with our penalties,
to realize our part in creating them.
I fear that God has bound a switch
with which he chastens us,
as a shepherd does with his sheep,
no one can escape his justice.

--Tr. Composite [source NA]


1 Cantata 70 BCW Details and revised and updated Discography
Score Vocal & Piano [2.45 MB],, Score BGA [3.89 MB], References: BGA XVI (Cantatas 70-79, Wilhelm Rust 1868), NBA KB I/27 (Trinity 23-27 Cantatas, Alfred Dürr, 1968, Bach Compendium BC A 165, Zwang K 52.
2 Petzoldt, Bach Kommentar: Die geistlichen Kantaten des 1. Bis 27. Trinitas-Sontagges, Vol. 1; Theologisch Musikwissenschaftlicke Kommentierung der Geistlichen Vokalwerke Johann Sebastan Bachs, Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2004: 693).
3 Hofmann notes, BCW[BIS-CD1111].pdf; BCW Recording details,
4 Original source materials, BCW “Musical Context of Bach Cantatas, Motets & Chorales for 26th Sunday after Trinity,”
5 Gardner notes,[sdg162_gb].pdf; BCW Recording details,

Aryeh Oron wrote (November 25, 2015):
Cantata BWV 70 - Revised & updated Discography

The discography pages of the Solo Cantata BWV 70 "Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!" (Watch! Pray! Pray! Watch!) for the 26th Sunday after Trinity on the BCW have been revised and updated.
The cantata is scored for soprano, alto, tenor & bass soloists; 4-part chorus; and orchestra of trumpet, oboe, bassoon, 2 violins, viola & continuo (with organ). See:
Complete Recordings (25):
Recordings of Individual Movements (11):
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 and 2 videos of the cantata. A short description below the audio/video image is linked to the full details at the discography pages.

I believe this is the most comprehensive discography of this solo cantata. If you are aware of a recording of BWV 70 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 recent discussion of the cantata in the BCML (4th round):


Cantata BWV 70: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements from
Cantata BWV 70a: Details
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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


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