Cantata BWV 93Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten
Discussions - Part 4
Continue from Part 3
Discussions in the Week of July 10, 2011
William Hoffman wrote (July 9, 2011):
Cantata 93: Trinity +5 Texts & Themes
For the BCW Discussion of the cantatas for the 5th Sunday after Trinity, beginning July10, below are four interesting topics:
I. Bach's two surviving cantatas, BWV 93 and BWV 88, and three cantata texts available from Salomo Franck, Erdmann Neumeister, and Picander for this Sunday;
II. Lutheran Church Year Traditions & Practices (5th Sunday after Trinity) and the Gospel;
III. The Propers for the 5th Sunday after Trinity;
IV Chorales for the 5th Sunday after Trinity;
I. Cantatas for the 5th Sunday after Trinity
Bach composed only two cantatas, for the chorale cycle No. 2, BWV 93, and BWV 88 for cycle No. 3, but there are three more cantata texts that were available to him or for the services for which he was responsible, from Franck for Cantata Cycle 1, a Neumeister text used in 1725 probably to a cantata by Telemann, and a Picander text for 1728.
A. Chorale Cantata BWV 93, <Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten> (Who only the loving God lets govern) (Leipzig, 1724, repeated 1732 or 1733), is a seven-movement work which uses all seven of Georg Neumark's popular 1657 consolatory hymn in structured and creative fashion, having text tropes with original poetry, possibly by Picander, and the melody presented by Bach, according to Charles S. Terry's study, BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Links/Links-Chorales.htm, scroll down to the On Line Library of Liberty, then scroll down to Cantata XCIII.
B. Rudolstadt Cantata BWV 88 <Siehe, ich will viel Fischer aussenden> (Behold, I will send many fishers forth), (Leipzig, 1726), from the 1703 Meiningen annual cycle text (reprinted 1726), two parts with opening Old Testament dictum (Part 1, Jeremiah 16:16) and Gospel dictum (Part 2, Luke 5:10); a festive SATB solo cantata (four arias and two recitatives with closing chorale for the full ensemble of pastoral instruments (pairs of horns in G and oboes d'amore and oboe and caccia (hunt) with strings and basso continuo, in single to triple sharp keys (G, D, A Major; e, b, f-sharp minor). The chorale is Stanza 7, <Sing, bet und geh auf Gottes Wegen,>
Sing, pray and go on God's way) of Neumark's chorale, <Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten>.
There may have been as many as three other opportunities for Bach to have presented cantatas on this Sunday in three other cycles, for a total of five possibilities:
C. For Cycle 1 in 1723, it seems that Bach and his still-unknown librettist focused their weekly cantata energies on producing two cantatas for the adjacent feast days of John the Baptist (June 24, BWV 167) and the Visitation of Mary (July 2, BWV 147 from Weimar) instead of on the Fifth and Sixth Sundays After Trinity, June 27, and July 4, respectively. Bach had available for the 5th Sunday after Trinity a cantata text of Salomo Franck from his 1715 annual cycle, <Evangelisches Andachtsopfer> (Evangelical Devotional Offerings), which Bach had used for the previous week in Weimar (July 14, 1717) to compose Cantata BWV 185, which he repeated the previous week in Leipzig, June 20, 1723. Thus no Bach work is extant for Cycle 1 in Leipzig.
D. For pre-Cycle 3, a libretto text book exists for the cantatas presented in the Leipzig main churches in mid 1725 for early Trinity Time from the Third to the Sixth Sundays After Trinity, June 17 to July 8, and the two intervening feasts of St. John and the Visitation of Mary, when Bach took his first break and probably was in Köthen. In the middle of that period, for the 5th Sunday after Trinity (July 1, 1725) the book lists the cantata, <Der Segen des Herrn machet reiche ohne Mühe> (The blessing of the Lord makes right without trouble), from Neumeister's first "modern" cantata cycle, <Geistliches Singen und Spielen> (Sacred Songs and Plays), Gotha 1711. Bach used the Neumeister 1711 cycle to compose Weimar Cantata BWV 18, <Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt> (As the rain and snow fall from Heaven) for Sexageismae Sunday.
The most likely candidate for the 5th Sunday after Trinity in 1725 is Telemann's Cantata TVWV 1:310, using the Neumeister text and composed in Frankfurt in 1719. The work has a brief opening chorus set to Proverbs 10:22, and can be found on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07mkNk0zdXQ. The seven-movement Telemann work includes a second chorus (No. 3), Bless he who the Lord feareth (Ps. 128:2), two arias, and, significantly, two <omne tempore>plain chorales: No. 5 the popular <Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten> (closing Stanza 7, "Sing, pray and walk on God's own pathways), and No. 7, "Aus meines Herzens Grunde" (From my very heart; S. 7, To this I say thus, "Amen"). For the latter chorale, Bach has two settings of J. Matthesius 1592 text, melody in the Hamburg 1598 <New Catechism Songbook>: in the St. John Passion, No. 26, and plain chorale, BWV 269 for Morning (Hänsler Complete Bach v.83). Neumeister's original text is found in Werner Neumann's <Sämtliche von JSB vertonte Texte>, Leipzig 1974: 106, 435.
Two texts in the 1725 libretto book also are from the Neumeister cycle, "Gelobet sei der Herr," der Gott Israel" (Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel; Luke 1:68) for the feast of John the Baptist, and "Wer sich rauchet" (He who avenges, Ecclesiasticus 28:1-2), for the 6th Sunday after Trinity, both also part of Telemann's 1719 cycle setting of Neumeister's text, TVWV 1:596, and TVWV 1600.
The other two texts were very popular and appropriate for their respective services, the <omne tempore chorale, Johann Agricola's "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ" (I call to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ) for the 3rd Sunday after Trinity, and Luther's German <Magnificat setting>, "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn" (My soul magnifies the Lord, Luke 1:47) for the Feast of the Visitation of Mary. Given that Bach as cantor was responsible (as he had been the previous two years) for the printing and distribution of the five-cantata libretto book to subscribing congregants four weeks prior to the 3rd Sunday after Trinity, it is highly likely that he worked closely with his second, Georg Balthasar Schott, music director of the progressive Leipzig New Church, who often presented popular Telemann Cantatas as well as the <Little German Magnificat> of his predecessor, Georg Melchior Hoffmann (1679-1715), New Church successor to Telemann in 1705 and whose work previously had beenattributed to Bach as BWV Anh. 21.
The composer of the 1725 chorale cantata, "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ," is a complete mystery to Bach scholars. They insist that Bach's pure hymn setting, Cantata BWV 177, dated "1732," was composed belatedly to fill the gap in the 1724 chorale cantata cycle for the 4th Sunday after Trinity, when that date coincided with the Feast of the Visitation on Sunday, July 2, 1724. Bach scholars are quick to point out that Cantata 177 is a working score composed in 1732, with its opening chorale fantasia in the Lombard rhythm, syncopated "Scottish-snap style" that Bach used beginning only in 1731. Perhaps Bach began composing Cantata 177 during Trinity Time 1724 as a pure-hymn work, set it aside and was unable to complete it in 1725. Bach did composed one pure-hymn cantata during the second cycle, BWV 107, for the 9th Sunday after Trinity, August 6, 1724.
E. The most intriguing situation regarding a libretto text for the 5th Sunday after Trinity is found in Picander's annual Cantata Cycle, <Kantaten Auf die Sonn- and Fest-Tage>, published in Leipzig on the Feast of St. John, June 24, 1728, for all coming 70 services of the chrch year, including all eight Sundays in Advent and Lent, the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany and the 26th Sunday after Trinity. Besides beginning the actual cycle in early Trinity Time, the publication, like the same time period in the 1725 Trinity Time libretto book, begins with popular incipits (titles), repeating "Gelobet sei der Herr" for St. John's Day, and <Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn> for Visitation (July 2).
Most intriguing of all is the title for the intervening 5th Sunday after Trinity, June 27, 1728: "In allen meinen Taten," (In all my deeds), the title of Paul Fleming's popular 1642 hymn text of submission and humility set in 1670 to Paul Gerhardt's 1648 Passion melody, "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen" (O world, I must leave thee), found in the 1682 <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB No. 640) for Trinity Time. The Picander libretto uses Stanza 1 for the opening movement and the final stanza 9, "So sei nun, Seele, deine und traue dem alleine" (Therefore, my soul, be true to yourself and trust him alone), as a plain chorale in the final movement, No. 5. Klaus Häfner's study, "Der Picander-Jahrgang," <Bach Jahrbuch> 61 (1965: 70-113), says that none of the three Picander texts with well-known incipit titles is related, respectively, to Bach's pure-hymn Chorale Cantata BWV 97 setting of all nine stanzas of "In allen meinen Taten," autograph date "1734" for unspecified church service; the Neumeister text of "Gelobet sei der Herr," or the G. M. Hoffman setting of the <German Magnificat> or Bach's setting, BWV 10, for Visitation 1724. Nor is there any parody (text substitution) relationship between movements in the three Picander texts and any known Bach cantatas, as there is in most of the nine extant Picander texts Bach set as cantatas.
A work attributed to Bach in the 1770 Breitkopf catalog, BWV Anh. 1, <Gesegnet ist die Zuversicht> (How blessed is the confidence; trans. by Z. Philip Ambrose), possibly was composed by Georg Philipp Telemann for the 7th Sunday after Trinity, Cantata TVWV 1:616.
II. Lutheran Church Year Traditions and Practices
The 5th Sunday after Trinity often falls close to the Day of the Apostles Peter and Paul, June 29, known as the Apostles Day, usually after the summer equinox. In Leipzig, these saints days generally were observed on the actual day (Stiller: <JSB & Liturgical Life in Leipzig>, 1984: 57). The only saints' feast days to be observed with Bach's music were John the Baptist (June 24; BWV 7, 30, 167) and Michael (September 29; BWV 19, 50, 130, 149), as well as the half-holidays of Stephen, the first Christian martyr (December 26; BWV 40, 57), and the Evangelist (Gospel writer) John (December 27, BWV 151), which respectively coincided with the Second and Third Feast Days of Christmas. Thus, Luther's and the Reformation's themes of discipleship and service are paramount during this Trinity Time Sunday in the teachings of the Christian Church.
Historically, the Lutheran Mass Propers for this 5th Sunday after Trinity "closes the first of the smaller internal cycles within the Trinity Season. It may be called the cycle of the `Invitation,' or the `Call to the Kingdom of Grace'" (Paul Zeller Strodach, <The Church Year>, United Lutheran Pub. House 1924: 195ff). The focus of the first five Sundays After Trinity is on Martin Luther's principals of the individual's "Calling" or Vocation and "Grace freely given." The Calling (<Berufung>) is derived from Paul's Letter, 1 Corinthians 7:17: "But as God has distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches." A summary of the subject is found in http://www.modernreformation.org /default.php?page=article, Search: Our Calling and God's Glory by Gene Edward Veith. A noted 20th century Swedish theologian writing on <Our Calling> was Einar Billing.
The Calling was particularly relevant and crucial to the 20th Century German Lutheran Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer's <Cost of Discipleship>, of the individual's choice between "costly grace" or "cheap grace." Drawn from the "Sermon on the Mount," his 1937 study is a "compelling statement of the demands of sacrifice and ethical consistency from a man whose life (1907-1945) and thought were exemplary articulations of a new type of leadership inspired by the Gospel, and imbued with the spirit of Christian humanism and a creative sense of civic duty," says publisher Touchstone on Amazon.com.
The Propers readings of the Introit, Epistle and Gospel focus on Peter (Strodach, ibid.), the first leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Central is Peter's initial response in the Gospel Lesson, the Call to the Disciples and the Miracle of the Draught of the Fishes, Luke 5:7-8: "7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord," Peter's cry reflecting the Introit Antiphon plea of help from the Lord, while the Pauline Epistle I Peter 3:8-15, shows the Disciple's commitment to service, to follow Jesus.
Interestingly, the New Three-Year Lectionary readings primarily from the synoptic Gospels (A, Matthew; B. Mark; C, Luke) place the original single-year Lectionary Gospel Reading of Bach's day -- Luke 5:1-11 -- earlier in the Ordinary Time to the Fifth Sunday After Epiphany, that relates Jesus' call to the Disciples at the beginning of his ministry, the draft of fish and Peter's response. The Gospel for the other two years of the Fifth Sunday After Epiphany, cover a slightly later period: A. Matthew 5:13-20, Jesus' early preaching (Salt of the Earth, Light of the World, Law and Prophets) and B. Mark 1:29-39, Jesus healing the sick and departure from Capernaum. The original One-Year Lectionary in Bach's time for the same Fifth Sunday After Epiphany, Mat. 13:24-30, the Parable of the Weeds Among the Wheat) is now found in the A Year Lectionary, the 8th Sunday after Trinity (now called the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost).
The New Three-Year Lectionary is a much richer account of the Gospels, providing the best of the syn(read together) worlds of Matthew, Mark and Luke while accommodating John's unique vision of the Christus Victor. The New Lectionary preserves many of the original one-year <omne tempore readings> elsewhere in Epiphany and Trinity Time. Meanwhile, the <de tempore> section on the Life of Christ offers three and sometime four Gospel versions of the major events. How is the Gospel of John accommodated? One example is that the original One-Year Trinity Sunday reading, John 3:1-15 (Nicodemus, Son of Man) remains in the Three-Year Reading for the same Trinity Sunday (First Sunday After Pentecost) in the B section, instead of a reading from Mark, along with the A Matthew 28:16-20 (Great Commission to Baptize in the name of the Trinity), and replacing C. (Luke) is John 16:12-15 (Work of the Spirit in the Trinity).
III. Propers for the 5th Sunday after Trinity
A. Introit: Psalm 27:1 (A Prayer of Praise): The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
Antiphon: Ps. 27: 7a, 9b, 1a: Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation; the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
B. The Collect or short general opening prayer is <Deus, qui dilgentibus >, originating from the Galacian Sacramentary: O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire," followed by the customary Trinitarian <Lesser Doxology, Gloria patri>. Some words were changed by the Reformers but reinstated by Vatican II in 1968 in the New Lectionary. http://www.liturgy.co.nz/reflection/6271662 c.html
C. Lesson, Ezekiel 36:22-28 (Blessing on Israel)
22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, `Thus says the Lord GOD: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. 23 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD," says the Lord GOD, "when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
D. Epistle: Epistle: 1 Peter 3: 8-15 Be patient in affliction
 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Trinity Time Gospel Patterns, Paired Miracles & Teachings (Douglas Cowing, BWC, Thematic Patterns in Bach's Gospels)
Trinity 5: Luke 5: 1-11 (The Call of the Disciples) +MIRACLE: draught of fishes
 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that
he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the
people out of the ship.
 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon (Peter), Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men (Mk. 1:17 [Mat. 4:19b] Come ye after [Follow] me and I will make you [to become] fishers of men). John 1:43b (no Miracle): "Follow me." Old Testament illusion: Jeremiah 16:16a: "Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they (the children of Israel) shall fish them.
 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
+TEACHING, Trinity 6: Matthew 5: 20-26: Agree with your adversary
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
[Lectionary: King James Version]
IV Chorales for the 5th Sunday after Trinity
The <omne tempore> chorale, "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten" (Who only the loving God lets govern), was one of Bach's favorites and one of his earliest uses in a cantata, perhaps dating to the lost 1709 Mühlhausen Town Council Cantata BWV Anh. 192. Found in the 1682 <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) as hymn No. 787 but not designated for particular services, Bach used the very popular Neumark tune and text in Chorale Cantata BWV 93, for the Fifth Sunday after Easter, the service designation found in the Leipzig, Dresden and Weißenfels hymn books of Bach's time, says Stiller (<JSB & Liturgical Life in Leipzig>: 242).
Bach's third Leipzig cycle two-part Cantata, BWV 21 "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis" (I had much affliction in my heart), was presented on June 13, 1723, the 3rd Sunday after Trinity. Composed in Weimar, it uses two stanzas of the popular chorale, Georg Neumark `s 1657 (7 verses) "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten" (Whoever lets only the dear God reign"). It is found in Movement No. 9, chorus (Psalm 116/7), "Sei nun wieder zufrieden" (Be satisfied again now, my soul), quote from Epistle (1 Peter 5:7), followed by the tenor chorale (S. 2) "Was helfen uns die schweren Sorgen?" (What help to us are heavy sorrows), the continued Psalm chorus response, "denn der Herr tut dir Guts" (for the Lord does good to you.). The soprano chorale setting of Stanza 5 concludes the movement: Denk nicht in deiner Drangsalshitze, / Daß du von Gott verlassen seist, (Do not think in the heat of your distress / that you have been abandoned by God).
The Neumark melody is found in the plain chorale, BWV 434 in A Major, "Trust in God," Hänssler complete Bach Edition V.85, and in the chorale prelude Orgelbüchlein, BWV 642, "Christian Life and Conduct." More about Bach's extensive use of this chorale, also set to two other texts, "Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende" (Chorale Cantata BWV 27 for Trinity +16) and "Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder" (Chorale Cantata BWV 55, for Trinity +22) -- neither in the NLGB -- will be found in the BCW discussion in three weeks (July 10) of Chorale Cantata BWV 93, as well as Rudolstadt Cantata BWV 88 for the following week (July 17). BCW text: www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale052-Eng3.htm
To Come: Doug Cowling's weekly exploration of THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS: MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY, Trinity Time chorales in the Bach's hymnbook, the 1682 <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch, and different text settings of Neumark's chorale melody, "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten," in Bach's cantatas.
Future Discussions: It would be interesting to examine various Bach writers' perspective on the "theme" of Bach cantatas for a particular service, especially those in the half-year Trinity Time of teachings of the Christian Church. This is most possible in the First and Third Cycles, recognizing that each extant libretto has a special perspective of the teachings of that day, as contrasted with the Second, Chorale Cantata Cycle which relies on hymn texts not always originally written for a particular service. There is only one Trinity Time Sunday (the 21st) that has cantatas extant from all four Leipzig cycles: BWV 109, BWV 38, BWV 38, and BWV 188.
For next week's BCW discussion, July 17, BWV 88, we can review the theme of the cantata from the historical perspective of various Bach writers such as Philipp Spitta, Albert Schweitzer, Friedrich Smend (available only in German), W. Gillies Whittaker, and Alfred Dürr.
Ed Myskowski wrote (July 11, 2011):
Introduction to BWV 93 -- Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten
This week we continue Trinity season cantatas with BWV 93, the first of two works for the 5th Sunday after Trinity.
Details of text, commentary, recordings, and previous discussion are accessible via
The link to commentary by Julian [Mincham] is especially recommended as an introduction to listening.
The BWV 93 page also has convenient access to notes from the Gardiner and Koopman (notes by Christoph Wolff) CD issues, via links beneath the cover photos.
Chorale texts are accessible via the BWV 93 home page, and the chorale melody is accessible via the chorale text page.
Douglas Cowling wrote (July 11, 2011):
William Hoffman wrote:
< For the BCW Discussion of the cantatas for the 5th Sunday after Trinity, beginning July10, below are four interesting topics:
III. The Propers for the 5th Sunday after Trinity;
A. Introit: Psalm 27:1
C. Lesson, Ezekiel 36:22-28 (Blessing on Israel)
D. Epistle: Epistle: 1 Peter 3: 8-15 Be patient in affliction
E. Gospel: Trinity 5: Luke 5: 1-11 (The Call of the Disciples) +MIRACLE: draught of fishes >
I am ensconced in cottage country at the moment and will send the titles of the prescribed motets next weekend. It's interesting to note that there are between 2 and 4 motets for each Sunday, not unlike the pattern of surviving cantatas. I wonder if there are parallel cycles here.
Just a small caveat that the lectionary citations are above are drawn from modern Lutheran calendars. Bach's lectionary had two readings with no Old Testament reading.
The settings of the Ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo & Sanctus) on lesser feasts of the Apostles and weekdays hasn't been studied much. In the Riemenschneider collection, there are elaborate harmonizations of the substitute chorales which Luther provided in the German Mass and which look like choir settings. I think it's possible that a setting of the mass for weekdays and/or secondary feast days could be assembled.
Ed Myskowski wrote (July 11, 2011):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Just a small caveat that the lectionary citations are above are drawn from modern Lutheran calendars. Bach's lectionary had two readings with no Old Testament reading. >
I trust I am not alone in appreciating regular contributions from Doug and Will, including the attention to detail.
Wills article last week re the Latin text settings, and associated discussion, was especially informative and appropriate for the BCW archives. I intended to mention that in my weekly reminder for BWV 93, better late than never.
Ed Myskowski wrote (July 11, 2011):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< The link to commentary by Julian [Mincham] is especially recommended as an introduction to listening. >
For example, re BWV 93/1:
<Is it too much to assume that the solid chords underpinning the chorale represent the sturdy, standing edifice and the constant movement of the violins and oboes the shifting sands? It is conjecture only; but it is so often the case with Bach that we find clear textual images embedded within, and sometimes wholly conditioning, the construction of the musical rhythms, melodies, structures and textures that encompass them.> (end quote)
Ed Myskowski wrote (July 11, 2011):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< The BWV 93 page also has convenient access to notes from the Gardiner and Koopman (notes by Christoph Wolff) CD issues, via links beneath the cover photos.
Chorale texts are accessible via the BWV 93 home page, and the chorale melody is accessible via the chorale text page. >
<In the first of his two Leipzig cantatas for this Sunday Bachs recipe in BWV 93 is to structure the entire work on a hymn assigned to Trinity 5, one of his clear favorites (and evidently a favorite of Brahms too, when he composed his German Requiem.)> (end quote).
Note that the chorale melody in this instance is directly accessible from the BWV 93 home page. I do not see Brahms included there, in the extensive list of use of the melody by other composers. Have I overlooked something?
William Hoffman wrote (July 13, 2011):
Cantata 93: Trinity +5 chorales, Texts, Themes
Here is my follow-up on Cantata 93, about chorales for the 5th Sunday after Trinity, then the original article on Texts and themes:
Popular Trinity Time Chorale, Different Texts
For the Early Trinity Time in Leipzig, Bach was able to exploit popular chorale tunes set to varied texts in order to engage the congregation's interests, especially with the use of Catechism and Psalm hymns.
Foremost was the <omne tempore> chorale, "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten" (Who only the loving God lets govern), was one of Bach's favorites. He first utilized it in Cantata BWV 21, Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis" (I had much affliction in my heart), for the 3rd Sunday after Trinity in 1723. For the 5th Sunday after Trinity 1724, Bach composed an entire Chorale Cantata BWV 93, based on all seven stanzas, and two years later on the same Sunday he presented the Rudolstadt Cantata BWV 88, closing with the final stanza of this affirmative hymn.
Later, Bach harmonized the melody in the four-part plain chorale, BWV 434 in A Major, "Trust in God," Hänssler complete Bach Edition V.85. He also used it in the chorale prelude Orgelbüchlein, BWV 642, "Christian Life and Conduct," as well as three other organ preludes, BWV 647, 690, and 691. The popular melody is found with three different hymn texts in eight Bach cantatas: BWV 21 (Weimar 1714), BWV 27, BWV 93, BWV 88, BWV 179 (Trinity Time in Leipzig 1723-27); BWV 166 (Easter +4, 1724); BWV 84 (Septuageisma 1727); and BWV 197 (wedding cantata, Neumark text altered).
The seven-verse text by Georg Neumark (1621-1681) was published with its melody in 1641. Neumark was a well-traveled writer and composer who spent his last years at Weimar. The two most extensive sources for his hymn are BCW Chorale Melody: http/www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Wer-nur-den-lieben-Gott.htm and Peter Williams, <The Organ Music of J. S. Bach> 2nd ed. (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003: 312f.
The BCW article traces the development of the original melody as well as the three texts to which the melody has been set. Neumark's hymn is found in the 1682 <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) as No. 787 but not designated for particular services. Besides the original Neumark text, the BCW article discusses the other two text settings: Ämilie Juliane von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt's 12-stanza "Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende" (Who knows how near to me is my end) and Christoph Tietze's "Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder" (I, poor man, I, poor sinner,) -- neither hymn found in the 1682 NLGB but later used in services in Bach's time in Leipzig.
Williams (p. 312) points out in his study of the Neumark hymn that "The MELODY has both duple and triple time forms, versatile and much used." The BCW study shows the various triple forms of the melody. Bach sets all seven plain chorales in common duple time, as well as the movements of the Chorale Cantata BWV 93, including the soprano-alto duet later adapted as an organ chorale prelude in trio-sonata style (see next paragraph).
Bach used the very popular Neumark tune and text most extensively in all seven movements of his Chorale Cantata BWV 93, for the 5th Sunday after Trinity 1724, the service designation common in Bach's time. Bach later transcribed as an organ prelude the middle movement soprano-alto duet with the melody in the violins and viola (Stanza 4), "Er kennt die rechten Freudenstunden" (He knows the right hours of joy) as the third of the six <Schübler Chorales>, BWV 647, published in 1746. Bach's other extant cantata for the 5th Sunday after Trinity, BWV 88 in 1726, also closes with a four-part setting of the last stanza of the Neumark hymn, "Sing, bet und geh auf Gottes Wegen" (Sing, pray and go on God's way).
Two stanzas of the hymn (No. 2 and 5) are found in Bach's Leipzig first cycle two-part Cantata, BWV 21 "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis" (I had much affliction in my heart): Movement No. 9, chorus (Psalm 116/7), "Sei nun wieder zufrieden" (Be satisfied again now, my soul), quote from Epistle (1 Peter 5:7), followed by the tenor chorale (S. 2) "Was helfen uns die schweren Sorgen?" (What help to us are heavy sorrows), the continued Psalm chorus response, "denn der Herr tut dir Guts" (for the Lord does good to you.). The soprano chorale setting of Stanza 5 concludes the movement: Denk nicht in deiner Drangsalshitze, / Daß du von Gott verlassen seist, (Do not think in the heat of your distress / that you have been abandoned by God).
Cantata BWV 197 for a sacred wedding c.1736-37 closes with a plain chorale of Neumark's hymn in a paraphrase adaptation of the last stanza (possibly by Picander), "So wandelt froh auf Gottes Wegen" (So travel happily on God's way).
Three Bach cantatas use the Neumark melody set to the Ämilie Juliane 1686 text of "Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende" (Who know how near is my end): BWV 27 for 16th Sunday after Trinity 1726 opens with a chorale fantasia set to the first stanza; Cantata BWV 84 for Septuagesima Sunday 1727, closes with a plain chorale setting of Stanza 12; and the first stanza in the plain chorale, closing Cantata BWV 166 for the 4th Sunday After Easter 1725.
There is one setting of Neumark's melody to the first stanza of the 1663 Christoph Tietze text, "Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder" (I, poor man, poor sinner) in the concluding harmonized chorale of Cantata BWV 179 for the 11th Sunday after Trinity 1723.
Leipzig Main Service Chorales
While the Neumark hymn is not assigned to any Sunday in the 1682 <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB), it was designated for the 5th Sunday after Trinity "in the Leipzig and Dresden hymn schedules of the day, as well as in Weißenfels was assigned to this Sunday," says Günter Stiller in <JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig>: 242. The NLGB listing of chorales appropriate for this Sunday has the early Trinity Time featured chorale, "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ> (I call to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, NLGB 627), and introduces
1. Another Catechism chorale, Luther's "Vater unser im Himmelreich" (NLGB 505, The Lords Prayer -- Our Father in the heavenly kingdom),
2. Two other Psalm chorales:
A. Luther's setting of Psalm 124, "Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit" (If God were not with us at this time, NLGB 696), and
B. Johann Kolrose three-verse setting of Psalm 134 "Wo Gott zum Haus nicht gibt sein Gunst" (Where God to the house gives not his goodwill. NLGB 701).
Martin Luther's 1539 poetic setting of the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:2-4) has nine six-line stanzas: introduction, the seven petitions, and the closing Amen. It is probably based upon a Middle Ages secular melody published for the first time by Valentine Schumann in 1539. In the 1682 NLGB "Vater unser im Himmelreich" is appropriate for the following Sundays: Epiphany +3, Septuagesima, Lent 1, Easter +6, and Trinity +7, 11, and 22. Like the Neumark hymn, "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten," the Schumann melody has two succeeding <omne tempore >text settings, Martin Moller's 1584 "Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott" (Take from us, you faithful God) and Johann Heermann's 1630 "So wahr ich lebe, spricht dein Gott" (As truly as I live, says your God)
Bach set the Schumann melody in the four-part chorale, BWV 416 (Trust in God, Hänssler Complete Bach Edition, v. 85), as well as organ chorale preludes BWV 636 (Baptism, <Orgelbüchlein>), BWV 682 (Catechism, <Clavierübung>) and BWV 737 (miscellaneous chorales). Bach has two variant settings of the plain chorale to Luther's Verse 4 (Thy will be done), the earlier version of the chorale in the St. John Passion (SJP No. 5), now listed as BWV 416, and the c.1740 SJP version, both in D Minor.
The best source on the history of "Vater unser im Himmelreich" is BCW Chorale Melody: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Vater-unser-im-Himmelreich.htm. The Moller seven-sanza text setting, "Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott," is founding the Chorale Cantata 101 for the 10th Sunday after Trinity in 1724 as well as the closing chorale (stanza 7) in Cantata 90 for the 25th Sunday after Trinity 1723. Verses 6 and 7 of Heerman's seven-stanza setting of <So wahr ich lebe, spricht dein Got> is found in the closing chorale of Cantata 102, for the 10th Sunday after Trinity 1726.
The two <omne tempore> Psalm hymns for the 5th Sunday after Trinity, "Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit" (Psalm 124) and "Wo Gott zum Haus nicht gibt sein Gunst" (Psalm 134) are lesser known.
Luther's version of Psalm 124, also appropriate in the NLGB for Epiphany +4 and Trinity +23, to the Johann Walter 1524 melody became the subject Chorale Cantata BWV 14, "Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit," for the designated Fourth Sunday After Epiphany in 1735. At that time, Bach filled a void in his chorale cantata cycle and added a second work for that <omne tempore> Sunday because of the serendipitous existence of the libretto chorale text paraphrase by the still unknown author who in 1725 wrote the libretto before realizing that no such Sunday existed, instead being the first pre-Lenten Septuagesima Sunday, Jan. 28, with Easter occurring on the earliest date possible, April 1.
The BCW Text & Translation of Luther's "Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit," http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale088-Eng3.htm, lists another chorale melody, "Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt" that is the alternative melody to Luther's text of Psalm 124, harmonized by Bach as the plain chorale BWV 257 in A Major but with the incipit "Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit." Coincidentally, Luther translation collaborator Justus Jonas in 1524 also wrote a hymn version of Psalm 124 (later set to a melody found in the 1535 Joseph Klug Gesangbuch), and Jonas' text fits exactly with Luther's Psalm 124 hymn text. Apparently Jonas originally used Walther's melody but changed to the Klug melody. This would explain the incorrect incipit of chorale BWV 257. The only recording is in the Teldec "Complete" Bach Edition, Vol. 7/2, "Motets, Chorales, Songs." The BCW "Translation" just cited has no translation of the three stanzas. Here is Francis Browne's translation of stanzas 1 and 3 of Luther's text, from Cantata BWV 14, for (No. 1) the opening chorale fantasia chorus and the closing four-part chorale (No. 5):
1. Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit,
If God were not with us at this time,
So soll Israel sagen,
so should Israel say,
Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit,
if God were not with us at this time,
Wir hätten müssen verzagen,
we would have had to lose heart
Die so ein armes Häuflein sind,
since we are such a poor little flock
Veracht' von so viel Menschenkind,
despised by so much of mankind,
Die an uns setzen alle.
Who all set themselves against us.
5. Gott Lob und Dank, der nicht zugab,
Praise and thanks to God, who did not allow
Dass ihr Schlund uns möcht fangen.
That their throats should seize us.
Wie ein Vogel des Stricks kömmt ab,
As a bird escapes from the snare
Ist unsre Seel entgangen:
our soul has got away
Strick ist entzwei, und wir sind frei;
The snare is torn in two and we are free
Des Herren Name steht uns bei,
The Name of the Lord stands by us
Des Gottes Himmels und Erden.
of the God of heaven and earth.
BCW Francis Browne translation
Text (German): http://www.christliche-gedichte.de/?pg=10983
Psalm 124, Thanksgiving for Israel's Deliverance
1 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say;
2 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
3 Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
4 Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
5 Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
6 Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
7 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
(King James Version)
Only two harmonization's of the Psalm 127 hymn "Wo Gott zum Haus nicht gibt sein Gunst" are extant: BWV 438 in F Major and BWV 1123 in G Major, recently discovered in the 1735 chorale manuscript collection of Bach student J. L. Dietel 1735. The Johann Kolrose five-stanza setting and melody originated in 1625.
1. Wo Gott zum Haus nicht gibt sein Gunst,
so arbeit' jedermann umsonst;
wo Gott die Stadt nicht selbst bewacht,
so ist umsonst der Wächter Macht.
2. Vergebens, dass ihr früh aufsteht,
dazu mit Hunger schlafen geht
und eßt eur Brot mit Ungemach;
denn wem“s Gott gönnt, gibt er“s im Schlaf.
3. Nun sind sein Erben unsre Kind,
die uns von ihm gegeben sind;
gleichwie die Pfeil ins Starken Hand,
so ist die Jugend Gott bekannt.
4. Es soll und muß dem g'schehen wohl,
der dieser hat sein Köcher voll;
sie werden nicht zu Schand noch Spott,
vor ihrem Feind bewahrt sie Gott.
5. Ehr sei Gott Vater und dem Sohn
samt Heilgem Geist in einem Thron,
welch's ihm auch also sei bereit
von nun an bis in Ewigkeit.
Psalm 127, God's blessings in the home
1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
(King James Version)
Other Early Trinity Time Chorales
Other Early Trinity Time Psalm Chorales, in addition to those designated for particular services, are found under the hymnbook heading "Concerning the Word of God and the Christian Church":
A. NLGB 698 Psalm 124 "Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt" (If God the Lord is not with us), Psalm 124, Justus Jonas melody, later set to three other texts. Bach Chorale Cantata BWV 178 for the 8th Sunday after Trinity 1724, Cantata BWV 114/7 for the 17th Sunday after Trinity 1724 (melody only). Bach also set three other texts to the popular melody.
B. NLGB 686 Psalm 103, "Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herrn" (Now praise, my soul, the Lord); Johann Gramann (Poliander) 1540 text (5 stanzas), Johann Kugelmann 1540 melody. C. S. Terry says, <Bach uses the melody also in Cantatas BWV 17/7(Tr.+14)*, 28/2(Xmas Sun.)=231, 29/(Council)8*, 51/4(Tr.+15), 167/4,5*(John) in Motett BWV 225, "Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied," and in the so-called Motett BWV 231, "Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren." Other harmonisations of the tune are in the Choralgesange, BWV 389 (4/4), 390 (3/4) in C Major17/7. The variations of the original melody which appear in Bach's versions are found in texts within sixty years of the publication of the tune in 1540.> * Plain Chorale. Source: BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Links/Links-Chorales.htm, scroll down to The On Line Library of Liberty. It is quite possible that Bach used the two plain chorales for the recommended 5th Sunday after Trinity or at other Trinity Times.
Cantata BWV 93: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4