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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
Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist / Du Lebensfürst, Herr Jesu Christ

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

 

Melody & Text:

Text (Text 1): Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist | EKG: 24

This text first appeared in Johann Ristís Himmlische Lieder (Erstes Zehn) (Heavenly Songs - The First Ten), which was printed in Lüneburg, 1641. This chorale text is categorized as a Christmas song.

 

Alternate Text (Text 2): Du Lebensfürst, Herr Jesu Christ | EKG:

This alternate text appeared in the same source as listed above, but seems not to have been associated with Johann Schopís melody for Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist until much later. The comprehensive Vopelius hymnal printed in Leipzig, 1682 (this hymnal in contrast to most other hymnals printed in Leipzig during Bachís tenure there actually contains chorale melodies and settings while most others simply give the chorale texts) lacks this chorale text while the Wagner hymnal from 1697 gives this text without the melody. The St. Georg hymnals printed in Leipzig in 1721 and 1730 for use in the Leipzig churches also contain this text. For some unknown reason, both the Dietel and Breitkopf (C.P.E. Bach) chorale collections of J.S. Bachís chorale settings incorrectly refer to Bachís setting of BWV 248/12 as Du Lebensfürst, Herr Jesu Christ despite the fact that the verse which Bach had set is verse 9 from Ristís Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist. However, both collections also contain the same harmonization with the correct text title as well.

 

Melody: Zahn: 5741 | EKG: 24

The composer of this chorale melody is Johann Schop (1641) who also wrote the melodies for Johann Ristís Sollt ich meinem Gott nicht singen?, Lasset uns den Herrn preisen, and O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort. Schop was Ristís principal collaborator in providing the music for Ristís song texts.

The EKG gives a slightly modified version that dates from 1687 and was modified by Wolfgang Karl Briegel.

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by Bach:

Text 1: Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist | EKG: 24
Author: Johann Rist (1641)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

9

BWV 248

Mvt. 12

1734

9
360

9
361

80

107
119

D7:12

PDF

Mvt. 12 (MG) [midi]

1-9

BWV 454

All

1736

-

-

-

-

F230

   

BWV 454: From the Schemelli Gesangbuch (No. 187), Leipzig, 1736; NBA No. 12.
The melody is not by J. S. Bach and there is very little evidence that Bach had anything at all to do with the figured bass line.
BWV 248/12: Both Breitkopf and Dietel incorrectly identify this chorale as Du Lebensfürst, Herr Jesu Christ. It is of interest, however that both Breitkopf and Dietel also repeat the same harmonization with the correct identification of the original setting by J.S. Bach
.

 

Text 2: Du Lebensfürst, Herr Jesu Christ | EKG:
Author: Johann Rist (1641)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

4

BWV 11

Mvt. 6

1735 ?

342

343

82

 

D9:6

PDF

Mvt. 6 (MG) [midi]

1-2

BWV 43

Mvt. 11

1726

102

102

81

107

A77:11

PDF

Mvt. 11 (MG) [midi]

BWV 43/11: Here Breitkopf incorrectly identifies the source as Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist.
BWV 11/6: The chorale title given is the incipit of verse 4
rather than that of the usual 1st verse.

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by other composers:

Dietrich Buxtehude (c1637-1707):
Du Lebensfürst, Herr Jesu Christ SATB 2 violins, 2 violettes, viola ,bc, BuxWV 22

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767):
Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist, Chorale prelude for organ in F major, TWV 31:54 (before 1768)
Ermuntre dich, mein schwächer Geist, sacred cantata for voice, chorus, 2 violins, cello & continuo, TWV 1:466a (1727)

Alexandre Pierre François Boëly (1785-1858):
Chorale, Ermuntre dich mein schwacher Geist

 

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 Professional 2008, Version 6.0.
Prepared by Thomas Braatz & Aryeh Oron (March 2008)

Chorales BWV 250-438
Recordings | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Chorales in Bach's Vocal Works: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Hidden Chorale Melody Allusions | Passion Chorale
Individual Recordings:
Hilliard - Morimur | Chorales - Matt | Chorales - Rilling | Preludi ai Corali - Quartetto Italiani di Viola Da Gamba
References:
Chorales BWV 250-300 | Chorales BWV 301-350 | Chorales BWV 351-400 | Chorales BWV 401-438
Texts & English Translations of Chorales:
Sorted by Title
Chorale Melodies:
Sorted by Title | 371 4-Part Chorales sorted by Breitkopf Number | Explanation
MIDI files of the Chorales:
Cantatas BWV 1-197 | Other Vocal Works BWV 225-248 | Chorales BWV 250-438
Articles:
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] | The History of the Breitkopf Collection of J. S. Bachís Four-Part Chorales [Braatz] | Chorale Melody Allusions in Bach's Vocal Works [Braatz]
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: żMarch 29, 2008 ż23:35:30