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Cantata BWV 89
Was soll ich aus dir machen, Ephraim?
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

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

William Hoffman wrote (October 29, 2015):
Cantata BWV 89, "Was soll ich aus der machen Ephriam, Intro., Trinity 22 Chorales

Intimacy, simplicity, and brevity within the context of a symmetrical form come to the fore with musical materials and techniques traced back to Weimar in Bach’s solo Cantata 89, “Was soil ich aus dir machen, Ephraim” (What am I to make of you, Ephraim?, Hosea 11.8) for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity, October 24, 1723. It was performed at the early main service of the Nikolaikirche before the sermon on the Gospel, Matthew 18:23-25, Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, by Superintendent Salomon Deyling (1677-1755)., says Martin Petzoldt in his BACH Commentary, Vol. 1, Trinity Sundays.1 The sermon is not extant.

In Cantata 89, lasting only 15 minutes, Bach eschews an opening, imaginative and complex chorus, setting instead a biblical dictum “Vox Christi”-style bass aria with solo horn/trumpet followed by the pairing of alto and soprano recitative-aria instead of his favored alto-tenor pairing and closing with an appropriate and closing with a brief plain chorale setting of the final stanza of a prescribed repentance hymn, Johann Heerman’s 1630 “Wo sol lich fliehen him?” (Where should I flee from here?), set to the 1607 popular melody “Auf meinen lieben Gott” (In my beloved God).2

The concept of the Vox Christi in Bach’s music originated in Weimar cantata libretti primarily written by court poet Salomo Franck, using biblical texts associated with Jesus Christ which Bach primarily set as ariosi or simple melodic lines with instrumental accompaniment. The sacred voice principal was associated with the simple, often pietistic expression of the duet involving Jesus as the bridegroom and the Soul as the bride in love duets dating to the previous century. While Bach perfected the Vox Christi idea in his Passion oratorios, particularly in the accompagnato passages spoken by Christ, he and other baroque composers, also influenced by dramatic operatic devices, set various solo numbers primarily in his third cycle of 1726-27 as well as on occasion in his paraphrases of personal expression in the internal movements of the chorale cantatas using poetic passages to interpret various stanzas normally set to hymn melodies.

The best known dialogue is Cantata 60, "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort" (O Eternity, thou word of thunder), between Fear (Soul) and Hope (Jesus) for the 24th Sunday after Trinity, BCML Discussion, Week of November 8. One of the earliest (?1713) is the soprano-bass dialogue (no. 7), “Ah Jesus, my rest, my light” in two-part chorus Cantata 21, “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis” (I had much affliction) for the 3rd Sunday after Trinity (June 13, 1723), BCML Discussion Part 7 (June 22, 2015), Other Vox Christi ariosi in the Weimar cantatas will be presented during the de tempore first half of the church year on the life of Jesus Christ, beginning with Cantata 61, “Nun komm der Heiden Heiland,” for the first Sunday in Advent, BCML Discussion, Week of November 29.

In the case of Cantata 89, the opening movement is a setting of the voice Old Testament law voice of Jehova, not Christ, who questions how to treat the northern Israeli town of Ephraim balancing mercy before justice, punishment with forgiveness, which suffers destruction like Sodom and Gomorrah. This is linked to the New Testament Gospel lesson for this Trinity 22 Sunday, Matthew 18”23-35, which deals with forgiveness, “exhorting Christians to show mercy towards others that God shows towards them” as the general idea of this cantata, says Malcolm Boyd in his essay on Cantata 89 in the Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach.3 “Following the arioso tradition,” says Boyd, “each clause of the text is set to new material, while the accompaniment of two oboes, horn, strings and continuo (the cantata’s full instrumental complement) is tightly constructed, with recurring motifs, and a formal [pulsating] ritornello at the beginning and end.” In addition, each phrase has pauses followed by repeated melodies with additional layered instrumental accompaniment and mottos or interval leaps as well as increasingly ornamented vocal passages.

Cantata 89 Movements, incipits, scoring, key, meter: text

1. Aria-Arioso sequential form [Bass; Oboe I/II, Corno, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo]: “Was soll ich aus dir machen, Ephraim?” (What am I to make of you , Ephraim?); c minor; 4/4.
2. Recitative secco [Alto, Continuo]: “Ja, freilich sollte Gott / Ein Wort zum Urteil sprechen” (Indeed God should freely / speak a word in judgement); g minor to d minor; 4/4.
3. Aria free da capo ternary (A-B-A’) [Alto, Continuo]: A. “Ein unbarmherziges Gerichte / Wird über dich gewiss ergehn” (A merciless judgement / will certainly be pronounced against you); B. “Die Rache fängt bei denen an, / Die nicht Barmherzigkeit getan” (Vengeance begins with those / who have not shown any mercy); d minor, 4/4.
4. Recitative secco [Soprano, Continuo]: “Wohlan! mein Herze legt Zorn, Zank und Zwietracht hin” (Well then! my heart sets aside anger, quarrels and discord); closing Adagio arioso on words “mich gläubig wende” (I turn in faith); F Major to Bb; 4/4.
5. Aria two-part with ritornelli [Soprano; Oboe, Continuo: A. “Gerechter Gott, ach, rechnest du? / So werde ich zum Heil der Seelen” (Just God, ah, are you calculating the total? / Then for my soul's salvation); B. “Ach! rechne mir die Summe zu!” (Ah ! count the sum of them to my credit!); Bb Major; 6/8 pastorale-giga form.
6. Chorale four-part [S, A, T, B; Oboe I/II e Violino I col Soprano, Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo): “Mir mangelt zwar sehr viel, / Doch, was ich haben will, / Ist alles mir zugute / Erlangt mit deinem Blute” Though I may indeed lack many things, / what I want to have / is all to my benefit, /gained for me by your blood); g minor, 4/4.

The text by an unknown librettist, possible Christian Weise, refers to the Sunday Gospel, showing “the antithesis brought to light within it between human guilt and divine grace,” says Alfred Dürr in the Cantatas of J. S. Bach.4

The opening is a biblical dictum to related words. “Of the four freely versified movements that follow, the first recitative-aria pair deals with the unpardonable sinfulness of man, who is himself not prepared to forgive (nos. 2-3), and the second with the divine Love manifest in Jesus’s sacrificial Death, which disposes of all guilt (nos. 4-5). The concluding chorale summarizes this contrast between human imperfection and divine grace . . . .”

Biblical Text and Sunday Gospel

The meaning of the opening text and its relevance to the Sunday’s Gospel is explained in scholar Hans-Joachim Schulze’s 2000 liner notes to Masaaki Suzuki’s BIS complete sacred cantata recordings (YouTube recording, ).5 <<The relevant Gospel text, from Matthew, Chapter 18, relates how Jesus tells the parable of the wicked servant — as an answer to Peter’s question: ‘Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?’ The cantata libretto is thus located in the area of conflict between ‘mercy before justice, of deserved punishment and merciful forgiveness. At the beginning is a dictum from Chapter 11 of the prophet Hosea: ‘How can I give you up, 0 Ephraim!... How can I make you like Admah! How can I treat you like Zeboim! My heart recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender.’ In this context ‘Ephraim’ is an abbreviation for the northern part of Israel, ‘Admah’ and ‘Zeboim’ are towns which, as mentioned in Deuteronomy, suffered the same fate - destruction — as Sodom and Gomorrha.

The recitative text that follows comments upon the Gospel passage for this Sunday, and applies the parable of guilt and release from guilt to human sins. The threat of punishment implied here becomes cin the following aria; the text of which is a passage from the Letter of James that is in turn closely associated with the Sunday Gospel: ‘For he shall have judgement without mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgement’ (James 2: 13). The last recitative signals a new beginning, its first verse containing an almost playful alliteration: ‘Wohlan! mein Herze legt Zorn, Zank und Zwietracht hin’ (‘Hark! My heart puts aside anger, contention and discord’). The certainty that sins, added up like debts, can be balanced out by the blood of Christ determines not only the end of the recitative but also the following aria text with its ‘Gerechter Gott, ach, rechnest du?’ (‘0 righteous God, do you keep a reckoning?’) and, moreover, also the final Chorale strophe, the seventh strophe of Johann Heermann’s song “Wo soll ich fliehen hin.”
Bach’s composition reflects very clearly the tension between the threat of punishment and forgiveness. Frightening rumblings in the bass region, glooming ascending minor triads from the strings and insistent sighing motifs from the oboes characterize the beginning of the first aria, the probing questions of which keep bringing the music to a standstill. The second part of this bass aria is livelier and more relaxed, where the text ‘aber mein Herz ist anders Sinnes’ (‘My heart recoils within me’) provides hope of change; the order of the obstinately recurring motifs thus becomes slightly less rigid. This lightening, however, is deceptive and does not last long; after this short recitative comes an alto aria that is dominated by a theme which, with its inexorable diction and the piercing sharpness of its semitone steps, vividly depicts the horror of the ‘unmerciful judgement’ threatened in the text. The inescapability of the situation is all the more evident because Bach here calls for only solo voice and basso continuo, thus creating the greatest possible concentration and, as it were, deliberately obstructs every possible means of evading the issue.

With the soprano recitative and aria, the gloom of the opening is left behind and vanquished. In particular the B flat major aria for soprano with obbligato oboe, ‘Gerechter Gott, ach, rechnest du’ (‘O righteous God, do you keep a reckoning?’), leads us to more welcoming pastures with its dance-like 6/8 metre and its softly flowing, almost song-like melody. The final Chorale -- with the melody “Auf meinen lieben Gott” -- also does nothing to hinder the breathing of a sigh of relief after a long period of despair. Not even the mention of ‘Tod, Teufel, Holl und Siinde’ (‘Death, the devil, hell and sin’) towards the end causes the simple harmonic textures to yield briefly to chromatic intensification.>> © Hans-Joachim Schulze 2000

Trinity 22 Cantatas & Chorales6

<<The over-arching Christian themes of late Trinity Time converge in the 22nd Sunday after Trinity, summarizing the Gospel parable and Epistle themes of life in the new Kingdom of Grace and Righteousness as declared in the Last Things when the penitent individual believer is urged to wait, watch and pray at the end of the church year.

The surviving works composed and presented by Bach are:

+Solo SAB Cantata BWV 89, Was soll ich aus dir machen, Ephraim?" (What shall I of thee make Ephriam?"); Leipzig, Oct. 24, 1723); details, BCW,
+Chorale Cantata BWV 115, "Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit" (Make thyself, my spirit, ready); Leipzig; Nov. 5, 1724; details, BCW, , See BCML Discussions, Part 5 (Nov. 2, 2014),; and Solo Cantata BWV 55, “Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht” (I, wretched man , I, slave of sin), Leipzig, Nov. 17, 1726; details, BCW, (See BCML Discussions, Part 4 (March 2, 2014),

Sacred Texts

The penitential teachings through music are reinforced in the intimate form of the two solo cantatas for this 22bd Sunday after Trinity, BWV 89, and 55, with forms and materials traced back to Weimar and reflecting a pattern in both the first and third Leipzig cantata cycles. Bach's choice of chorales, particularly for the chorale cantata of the second cycle, BWV 115, reveals a great freedom in the use of the particular texts and melodies for each of the three cantatas.

While the librettists of all three cantatas remain unknown, the results show a close collaboration with Bach in his crafting of three very distinctive works fusing text and music. For example, all three musical sermons are generally cast particularly in the first person singular of "I," "me" and "my" as well as the third and three persons singular of the Triune God of "he, "thee," and "thy."

The Lutheran Church Year Readings in Bach's time for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity were: Gospel: Matthew 18: 23-35, Parable of the unmerciful servant; Epistle: Philippians 1: 3-11. Paul's love for the Philippians. The full texts, based on German of Luther’s translation published in 1545 and the English is the Authorised (King James) Version 1611 is found at BCW,

The Introit Psalm 6 for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity is Domine, ne in fuore (Have mercy upon me, O LORD), says Martin Petzoldt in BACH Commentary (Ibid.: 609). He calls it the Prayer of Repentance for the health of the body and the soul. The full text of Psalm 6 is found at . Bach may have performed Psalm 6 Introit polyphonic motet settings of Claudio Monteverdi and Orlando de Lassus, as well as Johann Theile, from his edition of the Bodenschatz Florilegium Portense collection.7

Penitential Chorale "Wo soll ich fliehen hin?"

To close Cantata BWV 89, Bach choose Johann Heermann original 1630 penitential 11-stanza Catechism Confession chorale (text and melody), "Wo soll ich fliehen hin?" (Were should I flee from here?), setting in Movement 6 a four-part harmonization of Stanza 7, "Mir mangelt zwar sehr viel" (I do indeed lack many things). Bach's initial use of this popular <omne tempore> hymn, NLGB No. 182 (Trinity 3 Communion Hymn) had been on the 8th Sunday After Trinity, 13 weeks earlier, to close Cantata BWV 136, "Erforsche mich Gott, und erfahre mein Herz" (Search me God, and learn my heart), with Stanza 9, "Dein Blut, der edle Saft, / hat solche Stärk und Kraft" (Your blood, the noble liquid, /has such strength and might).

Earlier in Weimar Bach had set two other stanzas (11 and 3) of the Heermann text to a different, alternate Weimar melody not associated with the Heerman text in two Trinity Time Cantatas, BWV 162, (1715, Franck text, closing chorale) and BWV 199 (1714, Lehms text, soprano trio aria), and repeated both in 1723 for Trinity 20 and 23 respectively. A year after composing Cantata BWV 89, Bach in the 1724 chorale cantata second cycle set a paraphrase of the full hymn text in Chorlae Cantata BWV 5 for the 19th Sunday after Trinity. Francis Browne's BCW English translation of all 11 stanzas of the Heerman text, "Wo soll ich fliehen hin?," is found in

Various other hymns using the alternate text of "Auf meinen lieben Gott" have used the popular hymn of repentence melody, "Wo sol lich fliehen hin? All these are explained in the BCW Chorale, melody/text "Wo soll ich fliehen hin/Auf meinen lieben Gott", . Bach uses these variants in various <omne tempore> Trinity Time Cantatas BWV 5, 89 (Trinity 22), 136; 163, 199, 148/6 (Trin17); and untexted organ chorale preludes in BWV 646 (Schubler Chorale from a lost cantata) and BWV 694.]

Intimate Music

As the church year approached its end in late Trinity Time, Bach looked back in all three cantata cycles as he sought to fulfill his calling of a "well-ordered church music to the glory of God." That ordering involved the reuse of established forms, the setting of appropriate, established Lutheran hymns as a key component in the sacred cantatas, and the utilization of the most effective structures to engage his musicians and the Leipzig churches' congregations on particular Sundays.

For the remaining five weeks of Trinity Time in the first cantata cycle of 1723, Bach eschewed his three existing musical forms of opening collective choruses declaring the biblical dictum, turning instead to intimate, individual opening arias. Where Bach initially had employed large-scale forms featuring choruses in the first six Trinity Time services in two-part or double cantata presentations, in late Trinity Time he alternated chorus with solo cantatas, beginning with the 16th Sunday after Trinity, and turned exclusively to solo cantatas on the 22nd Sunday. This practice was entirely in conformance with the intimate Gospel teachings of the last Trinity Time Sundays, an observance employed during Bach's years in Weimar, and repeated in the third cycle of 1726.

Two musical elements Bach uses in the three Cantatas BWV 89, 115, and 55 to strengthen the sense of personal engagement are the use of dance style in arias of all three works and the solo horn in the first two. The cantatas and their dance-style movements are: BWV 89/5, 6/8 pastorale-giga for soprano with oboe. "Righteous God, ah, reckonest Thou"; BWV 115/2, 3/8 siciliano lullaby for alto, oboe and strings, "Ah, sleepy soul, why rest thou yet?"; and BWV 55/1, 6/8 pastorale-gigue lament for tenor, flute, oboe d'amore and srings, "I, poor man, I sin's slave." The solo horn reinforcing the melody, a Bach practice particularly in Trinity Time cantatas, is found in BWV/89, opening bass tutti ritornello aria and closing four-part chorale; and the same opening and closing movements of Cantata BWV 115, chorale fantasia and closing plain chorale.

Recycled Materials

Another practice was Bach's use of existing materials, also in both the first and third cycles. In the first cycle, he reperformed some 17 Sunday solo and festive chorus cantatas created in Weimar and expanded three Advent works (BWV 70a, 186a, and 147a) for other Leipzig services. For the 22nd Sunday after Trinity, Bach selectively employed surviving Weimar music in Cantatas BWV 89 (alto aria, No. 3) and 55 (Nos. 3-5, aria-arioso-chorale) from a Passiontide cantata or the lost 1717 Weimar Passion, BC D-1, says Alfred Dürr in <The Cantatas of JSB>: 612, 618.

To accomplish this task of transforming old materials for new usage, putting old wine into new bottles, possibly with new text underlay (also called parody), Bach probably collaborated closely with the lyricist(s) of Cantatas BWV 89 and 55. Given the intimate nature of the texts and the adaptation of existing music, including Bach's special choice and use of chorales, it is possible that Bach in both cases selectively relied on his favorite text adapter, Picander. Bach already had used Picander lyrics as early as the 14th Sunday after Trinity in Cycle 1 (Cantata BWV 25), and at St. Michael's Festival in Cycle 3 (Cantata BWV 19).

Special Hymn Choices

"The Dresden hymn schedules for this Sunday (Trinity 22) had prescribed hymns of repentance in general but also, among other hymns, specific hymns of repentance, just as in the older Leipzig hymn books only hymns of repentance are assigned to this Sunday," says Günther Stiller in <JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig>, p. 246.

Bach's favorite hymnbook, <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) of 1682, lists six chorales to be sung for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity, with all repeats for this final Sunday in Trinity Time except for "Allein zu dir." Details of each chorale and Bach's uses are found in the BCW lists under "Musical Contexts for Chorales and Motets for Events in the Lutheran Church Year, beginning with the first Trinity Time Sunday listed for each chorale,

+"Erbarm dich mein, O Herre Gott" (Have mercy on me, O Lord God, penitential Psalm 51, Prayer for Forgiveness); NLGB Trinity 3, 11, 13, 14; Bach set the German text to Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater," BWV 1083, for Trinity Time.
+"O Herre Gott begnade mich" (O Lord God, pardon me, alternate setting of penitential Psalm 51); NLGB Trinity 3, 11, 13, 19; no Bach use is extant.
+"Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir," (From deep affliction I cry to Thee, penitential Psalm 130); NLGB Epiphany 4; Trinity 11, 19, 21; Bach's most notable use is in Chorale Cantata BV 38 for Trinity 21. Bach also set portions of the Psalm German text in his 1701 Mühlhausen memorial service Cantata BWV 131, "Aus der Tiefe(n) rufe ich zu dir" (Out of the depths I cry to Thee).
+"Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ," (On You alone, Lord Jesus Christ, Catechism Confession Hymn); NLGB Trinity 3, 11, 21, 24; Bach's most notable use is in Chorale Cantata BWV 33 for Trinity 13, 1724.
+"Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ" (I call to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ); Epiphany 3, 5, Septuagesimae; Trinity 2, 5, 6, 19, 21; Bach most notable use is in Chorale Cantata 177 for Trinity 4.
+"Vater unser in Himmelreich" (Lord's Prayer, Out Father in Heaven; Luther Catechism hymn); Epiphany 3, Septuagesimae; Trinity 5, 7, 11; Bach used the melody extensively in BWV 416 (4-voice plain chorale), 636 (Orgelbüchlein chorale prelude), 682-83 (Clavierübung III Catechism), and 737 (Miscellaneous organ chorale), as well as set to paraphrased texts of other writers in BWV 245/5 (John Passion), 90/5 (Trinity 25), Chorale Cantata BWV 101 (Trinity 10), and BWV 102/7 (Trinity 10).

Stiller (Ibid.) also notes that in the Dresden hymn schedules, "Aus tiefer Not" appears "only among the hymns of that day" (Trinity 22). Bach's employment of penitential chorale hymns for his three cantatas for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity also involved special circumstances and choices. While the general spiritual theme of repentance offered him myriad opportunities to select appropriate texts and melodies, Bach had exhausted his use of NLGB prescribed Trinity Time chorales by the 22nd Sunday in Trinity in all three cycles. As he had done previously, Bach turned especially to chorales found in Weimar and Gotha hymnbooks and in the Wagner Gesangbuch, based on various sources cited in Stiller (Ibid.), as well as numerous hymn books cited in the Neue Bach Ausgabe, according to the Thomas Braatz August 2005 BCW article, "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works/ Hymnals with which Bach possibly may have been acquainted,"

Newer Penitential Hymn for Chorale Cantata BWV 115

Having virtually exhausted the established chorale possibilities with penitential themes for Late Trinity Time, Bach in the second cycle of cantatas paraphrasing well-known chorales, turned to lesser-known but important newer texts written to established, popular melodies. This enabled him to set music to relevant new Lutheran writings related to orthodox <omne tempore> church teachings found in the actual sermons delivered after Bach's cantatas were presented in the main service. This practice also observed a contemporary trend in Luthern hymns favoring the restricted use of established melodies in order to enable congregations to sing chorales with new, relevant texts, rather than learning a proliferation of new melodies associated with the new texts. Thus, Bach increasingly used alterate texts and melodies in his chorale settings.

Such was the case with Chorale Cantata BWV 115, "Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit." Bach chose the 10-stanza penitential chorale text written in 1695 by Johann Burchard Frystein (1671-1718), who was influence by the pietists. It was set tothe anonymous 1681 folk dance melody, "Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn" (Do not punish me in your anger). Better known is the Johann Georg Albinius 7-stanza hymn paraphrase of Psalm 6, "Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn," written in 1655 and later set to the 1681 melody that is in bi-partite AB, partial da-capo form, best known in Handel oratorio arias. Neither hymn would be found in the NLGB of 1682. Bach did not set the Albinius hymn text although the melody was known by both titles and there are various English translations and uses of the Albinius hymn, best known being Catherine Winkworth's five-verse 1863 version, "Rise my soul to watch and pray." There is no BCW German-English texts of either the Frystein or Albinius texts but information on the melody and two texts is found at BCW,

Morning Hymn of Comfort

Tenor Solo Cantata BWV 55, "Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht" (I, poor man, I sin's slave) closes (Movement No. 5) with the four-part chorale, "Werde munter mein Gemüte" (Be alert, my soul), in Johann Rist 8-stanza text, set to the Johann Schoop 1642 melody. This <omne tempore> Morning Song of comfort is listed in the NLGB as No. 208. Bach harmonized Stanza 5, "Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen,/ Stell ich mich doch wieder ein;" (If I have ever abandoned you,/ now I come back again. Bach's other setting of the melody and the same stanza of the text is found in the St. Matthew Passion (Mvt. No. 40) plain chorale, just after Peter weeps bitterly and the alto aria "Erbarme dich" (Have mercy). Interestingly, the BWV 55/5 chorale setting is preceeded by the tenor aria and arioso both beginning with the dictum, "Erbarme dich" (Have mercy on my) and all three probably originated as Weimar Passion music.

In the Picander 1728 cantata cycle published text, P54, "Ich scheue mich, gerechter Gott" (I shy away, righteous God), for the 11th Sunday after Trinity, August 8, closes with Stanza 6 of "Werde munter mein Gemüte," "Laß mich diese Nacht empfinden /Eine sanft und süße Ruh;" (Let me experience this night/ a sweet and gentle rest;). Although Bach did not use this text, it appears that Picander, probably with the blessing of Bach and the Consistory, approved the text for publication.

The second and best-known text setting of the Schoop melody is Martin Jahn's 1671 18-stanza <omne tempore > Jesus Hymn, "Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne," ("Jesus, delight of my soul," better known in English as "Jesu Joy of man's desiring"), not found in the <NLGB>. Bach' set Stanzas 6 and 16 to the same four-part elaborate four-part chorale chorus closing Parts 1 and 2 (Movements 6 and 10) of the 1723 Visitation Cantata BWV 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" (Heart and Mouth and Dead and Life), in the coming BCW Discussion, December 9.

Variant settings are found in the plain chorales in Cantata BWV 154/3 for the First Sunday after Epiphany 1724, and Cantata BWV 146/8 for Jubilate Sunday (Easter 3) 1726. Bach set the Schoop melody, known as "Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne," as four-part chorales BWV 359 and 360 and as Neumeister organ chorale prelude BWV 1118 (c.1700). For details BCW, Bach could have utilized these two choral settings to particular stanzas for any Trinity Time Sunday service, based upon the paeticular New Testament Lessons and the sermon.

Other Bach Trinity 22 opportunities:

+On November 9, 1727, there was no performance during the mourning period of Sept. 7, 1727, to Jan. 8, 1728, for deceased Saxon Queen Christiane Eberhardine.
+On October 24, 1728, Picander Cycle Cantata P-66, "Geduldig, mein Gott, geduldig"; closes (Mvt. No. 5) with chorale, "Ach Gott und Herr" (Ah, my Lord and God); Stanza 3, "Zu dir flieh ich," (To you I fly).
For details, see BCW, BCW, Trinity 19 chorales & Motets (not posted yet), Cantata 48/3, NLGB No. 180, Catechism hymn. The hymn is listed as No. 84 in the < Orgelbüchlein> chorale preludes for Catechism confession but not set by Bach.
+ On November 21, 1734, chorale Cantata BWV 115, may have been reperformed, possibly as part of performance of the entire second cycle. (six Sundays after Epiphany, only 22 Sundays after Trinity)
+On Trinity, November 6, 1735, Bach probably performed a Stözel two-part cantata, "Lernet von mir, denn ich bin sanftmütig, [Not extant], as part of the cycle "Saitenspiele testeddes Hertzens" (Music Playing of the Heart), text by Benjamin Schmolck, with two chorale settings not identified.
+About October 28, 1736, Bach may have performed a Stözel two-part cantata, from the cantata cycle "Das Namenbuch Christi," (Book of Names of Christ), Schmolck text, No. 64. No musical source with the presumed chorales is extant.


During Bach's lifetime or the first 50 years after his death in 1750, there is no record of reperformances of any of the three Cantatas BWV 89, 115, and 55 for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity. In all likelihood, Bach's sons and supporters found little opportunity to present intimate cantatas for late Trinity Time, other than festive works for St. Michael's Day, September 29, and Reformation Day, October 31.


1 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: Commentary, 613.
2 Cantata 89 Details and Revised and Updated Discography, Scoring: Soloists: Soprano, Alto, Bass; 4-part Chorus; Orchestra: horn, 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, continuo. Score Vocal & Piano [1.10 MB],, Score BGA [1.20 MB], References: BGA XX/1 (Cantatas 81-90, Wilhelm Rust 1872), NBA KB I/26 (Trinity 22 Cantatas, Andreas Glöckner 1995), Bach Compendium BC A 155, Zwang: K 48.
3 Boyd, ed., OCC: (Oxford University Press: New York, 1999: 509).
4 Dürr; revised and translated by Richard D. P. Jones (Oxford University Press, New York, 2005: 609f)
5 Schulze notes,[BIS-CD1081].pdf; BCW Recording details,
6 Original Source, Trinity Time Chorales: Cantata 89: Chorales for 22nd Sunday after Trinity, William Hoffman wrote (July 30, 2012), BCW “Musical Context of Bach Cantatas, Motets & Chorales for 22nd Sunday after Trinity,”
7 BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION: Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein " Schünigen: Kaminsky, 1927 ML 410 B67R4; Partial Index of Motets in Florilegium Portense with links to online scores and biographies.

Aryeh Oron wrote (October 29, 2015):
Cantata BWV 89 - Revised & updated Discography

The discography pages of the Solo Cantata BWV 89 "Was soll ich aus dir machen, Ephraim?" (What am I to make of you , Ephraim?) for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity on the BCW have been revised and updated.
The cantata is scored for soprano, alto & bass soloists; 4-part chorus; and orchestra of horn, 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola & continuo. See:
Complete Recordings (11):
Recordings of Individual Movements (5):
The revised discography includes many listening/watoptions to recordings directly from the discography pages, just below the recording details.

I also put at the BCW Home Page:
2 audios and 1 video 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 89 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 89: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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


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Last update: Sunday, May 28, 2017 05:11