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Chorale Melodies: Sorted by Title | 371 4-Part Chorales sorted by Breitkopf Number | Explanation

Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works
Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein

Melody & Text | Use of the CM by Bach | Use of the CM by other composers | Footnotes

 

Melody & Text:

Melody: Zahn: 4431 | EKG: 177

This melody can be traced back to a secular song “Begierlich in dem Herzen mein” [“The lustful desires in my heart”] from about 1410. It appears for the first time connected to Martin Luther’s sacred chorale text based upon Psalm 12 in Johann Walter’s “Enchiridion” (zum schwarzen Horn) Erfurt, 1524.

In order to determine the original form of the melody without access to Walter’s “Enchiridion”, it is necessary to examine a number of sources which claim that they have cited the original melody.

The NBA gives the original melody from 1524:

Referring only to the year, 1524, Terry-Williams gives the picture of the melody:

The Bärenreiter Pachelbel edition and the EKG give the original source:

Martin Agricola, in 1544, uses the melody in a 4-pt. motet-like setting:

Also from 1544, Balthasar Resinarius uses the melody in a motet-like setting:

In 1586, Lukas Osiander, in a 4-pt. setting notates the melody::

Wolfgang Figulus (c. 1525 – c. 1588) [“Figulus (Latin) = “Töpfer” (real German family name) = “potter”] has a 3-pt. setting of this melody (Score sample not available)

Michael Praetorius (1571-1621), at the end of volume 3 of his “Syntagma musicum”[Wolfenbüttel, 1619], indicates that he has for sale printed music for “Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein” for 2 and 4 voices, but also larger festive settings for 2, 3, 4, 5 Chori (referring to choirs of instruments as well as voices) with 4, 6, 12, 16, and 20 voices (p. 204). (Unfortunately no score samples available)

Christoph Thomas Walliser (1568-1648): A setting of "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein" (no further details and no score sample available)

In his Görlitzer Tabulaturbuch from 1650, Samuel Scheidt gives the melody in a 4-pt. setting:

 

Text 1: Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein by Martin Luther (1523/24)

It first appeared in print with 6 verses in the “Achtliederbuch” in 1523/24, but was originally sung to the melody “Es ist das Heil uns kommen her” [Zahn 4430.] However, soon thereafter, the same 6 verses appeared in Johann Walter’s “Geystliche Gesangk Buchleyn” (1524) to another melody [Zahn 4432a]. The first time the text of all 6 verses was combined with the present melody used by Bach [Zahn 4431] was in the “Erfurter Enchiridion” also in 1524. This latter edition contained a 7th verse which does not occur in Bach’s music. Luther’s chorale text is a free adaptation in poetic form of Psalm 12. [1]

 

Text 2: Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind by David Denicke (1646)

David Denicke (1603-1680) was born in Zittau, Saxony, taught law at the Universities of Jena and Königsberg (Kalinengrad), was the private tutor of royalty at the Braunschweig Court in Herzberg (in the Harz region) in 1642 he became ‘Konsistorialrat’ (a high administrative position in the church) in Hannover and was also the Abbot in Bursfelde. There are still two of his chorale texts in the present-day EKG: “Herr, für dein Wort sei hochgepreist” and “Nun jauchzt dem Herren, alle Welt!

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by Bach:

Text 1: Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein | EKG: 177
Author: Martin Luther (1523/24)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

1

BWV 2

Mvt. 1

1724

-

-

-

-

A98:1

 

Mvt. 1 (CCARH) [midi] | Mvt. 1 (Leusink) [ram]

6

BWV 2

Mvt. 6

1724

262

7

262

26

A98:6

PDF

Mvt. 6 (CCARH) [midi] | Mvt. 6 (MG) [midi] | Mvt. 6 (Leusink) [ram]

 

Text 2: Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind EKG:
Author: David Denicke (1646)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

1

BWV 153

Mvt. 1

1724

3

3

5

-

A25:1
F3

PDF

Mvt. 1 (MG) [midi] | Mvt. 1 (Leusink) [ram]

The NBA has also recommended that verse 8 of Denicke’s chorale text O Gottes Sohn, Herr Jesu Christ be used for the untexted 4-pt. chorale setting of BWV 77/6. The 8th verse begins with “Herr, durch den Glauben wohn in mir.” This would be a replacement for Carl Friedrich Zelter’s choice: the 8th verse of Denicke’s chorale text Wenn einer alle Ding verstünd (1657.) That verse begins “Du stellst, mein Jesu, selber dich.” This latter chorale text does not appear in any of the hymnals that Bach might have used.

 

Untexted:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

-

BWV 77

Mvt. 6

1723

253

253

6

10

A126:6

PDF

Mvt. 6 (MG) [midi] | Mvt. 6 (Leusink) [ram]

-

BWV 741

-

1700-17

-

-

-

-

K135

   

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by other composers:

Johann Steffens (1560-1616):
2 Chorale Preludes for Organ on Ach Gott vom Himmel, sieh darein

Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630):
Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein, cantata for 2 voices & continuo (Opella nova, Part 1, No. 19) (1618)
Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein, hymn for 4 voices (& continuo) (Cantional...) (1627)

Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672):
Ach Gott vom Himmel, sieh darein, for chorus & continuo, SWV 108 (Op. 5/12, Op. 14/12) (1628)

Johann Heinrich Scheidemann (1595-1663):
Ach Gott, Von Himmel Sieh Darein, Chorale for organ

Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706):
Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein, Chorale Prelude for Organ

Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow (1663-1712):
Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein, Chorale Prelude for Organ

Johann Nicolaus Hanff (1665-1711/12):
Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein, Chorale Prelude for Organ

Andreas Nicolaus Vetter (1666-1734):
Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein Chorale Prelude for Keyboard Instrument

Georg Friedrich Kauffmann (1679-1735):
Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein Chorale Prelude for Organ (Leipzig, 1733)

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767):
A Mass based on the chorale melody Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein TWV 9:1 (there are 11 such chorale-based Masses by Telemann for 4 voices and bc.)
Chorale preludes (2), for organ in A major (Ach Gott von Himmel sieh darein), TWV 31:43-44 (1735)
Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein (1748–9) Cantata for 4 voices, 2 oboes, strings, bc. TWV 1:14 (1748-1749)

Johann Tobias Krebs (1690-1762):
Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein, Chorale Prelude for Organ

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710-1784):
Ertönet, ihr seligen Völker, Cantata, F. 88 (BR F15) (parts by D. Stoppe; parody of cantata Act Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein)
Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein, Cantata, F. 96 (BR F19) (1752-1753)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791):
K 620 (1791) Act II Die Zauberflöte
Rocky landscape with two mountains, one gushing forth water, the other fire After a solemn introduction two Men in Armour sing a penitential chorale melody (‘Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh’ darein’) over nervous counterpoint, but the text foretells the triumph of the brave.
Source: Grove Music Online [Oxford University Press, 2005, acc. 9/9/05]

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847):
Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein for Mixed Chorus, Baritone Solo, and Orchestra (1832)
Use of Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein in no. 2 of Athalia, incidental music (for Jean Baptiste Racine's religious drama), Op. 74 (1845)
Contributed by André Papillon (May 2006)

Paul Müller-Zürich (1898-1993):
Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein, Choralfantasie for Organ with 2 Trumpets and 2 Trombones (1953)

Günter Raphael (1903-1960):
Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein Chorale Prelude for Organ, Opus 1 (1922)
Chorale Partita for Organ Ach Gott, vom Himmel op. 22

 

Footnotes:

[1] The original documents copied by copyists under Bach’s direction give the title without a comma, which is also true of many of the early sources. Editors, including the NBA, have attempted to make it agree with modern German orthography by including the comma after ‘Gott.”

 

Sources: NBA, vols. III/2.1 & 2.2 in particular [Bärenreiter, 1954 to present] and the BWV ("Bach Werke Verzeichnis") [Breitkopf & Härtel, 1998]
The PDF files of the Chorales were contributed by Margaret Greentree J.S. Bach Chorales
Software: Capella 2004 Software, version 5.1.
Prepared by Thomas Braatz & Aryeh Oron (September 2005)

Chorales BWV 250-438
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The Origin of the Texts of the Chorales [Schweitzer] | The Origin of the Melodies of the Chorales [Schweitzer] | The Chorale in the Church Service [Schweitzer] | Choral / Chorale [Terry]
Hymnals used by Bach | Abbreviations used for the Chorales | Links to other Sites about the Chorales

Chorale Melodies: Sorted by Title | 371 4-Part Chorales sorted by Breitkopf Number | Explanation

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Last update: ýSeptember 2, 2006 ý12:54:54