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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
Befiehl du deine Wege

Background | Melody 1 | Melody 2 | Use of the CM by other composers

 

Background:

Background on the organization of the chorale melodies in this group:

For this complex of texts and melodies connected with:

Befiehl du deine Wege, by Paul Gerhardt (1653)
Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, by Cyriakus Schneegaß (1597), based on Psalm 6
Herzlich tut mich verlangen, by Christoph Knoll (1611)
Ihr Christen, auserkoren, by Georg Werner (1648)
O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden, by Paul Gerhardt (1656)
Wie soll ich dich empfangen, by Paul Gerhardt (1653)
Lobet Gott, unsern Herren, by Author?

the NBA has created two main categories for the two chorale melodies involved:

Melody 1: Befiehl du deine Wege (I)
Melody 2: Befiehl du deine Wege (II)

 

Melody 1: Befiehl du deine Wege (I) | Zahn: 5385a | EKG: 435 (the latter with the chorale text “Herzlich tut mich verlangen”)

This melody was originally composed by Hans Leo Hassler as a secular, love song “Mein G’müt ist mir verwirret von einer Jungfrau zart” [“A young girl/woman (virgin) has tangled up all my thoughts and feelings”] that appeared in print in 1601.

It was Johann Mattheson who, in his ‘Critica musica’ (Hamburg, 1725) p. 314, complained about the poets who kept creating chorale texts, each with many verses, but not being concerned at all about the music (the melodies) which would be attached to these verses. These poets would simply indicate, without consulting any musician, “use the previous melody for this one” and then end up with 40 to 50 chorale texts all using the same melody as if the same melody were suitable in content or even rhythmic structure for all these chorale texts of differing content and nature.

Wondrous as it may seem, Bach used untexted chorale melodies such as “Befiehl du deine Wege” and expected his listeners (mainly one of the congregations in Leipzig where his cantatas were performed) to make the correct connections with one of the existing texts known to be linked to a wordlessly-played melody intended to call forth a certain picture, mood and/or emotion as referred to in a specific chorale text.

Older or Original Forms of the Melody:

The original combination of text and melody “Herzlich tut mich verlangen”.

An early form of “Herzlich tut mich verlangen”.

Johannes Crüger’s setting using this melody in 1640.

4-pt setting by Samuel Scheidt from 1650.

An early hymnal Bach may have used. The melody is indicated for use with “Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder” and “Herzlich tut mich verlangen

 

Bach’s Use of the Chorale Melodies with Specific Texts:

Text 1/1: Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder
Author: Cyriakus Schneegaß (1597), based on Psalm 6

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

1

BWV 135

Mvt. 1

1724

-

-

-

-

A100:1

-

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

6

BWV 135

Mvt. 6

1724

-

256

-

-

A100:6

PDF

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

 

Text 1/2: Befiehl du deine Wege
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1653)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

5

BWV 153

Mvt. 5

1724

21

160

21

-

F92:5
A25:5

PDF

Mvt. 5 (MG) [midi] | Mvt. 5 (Leusink) [ram]

1

BWV 244

Mvt. 44

1727?

87

159

80

-

D3:44

PDF

Mvt. 44 (MG) [midi]

BWV 153/5: Breitkopf 21 entitled Herzlich tut mich verlangen.
BWV 244/44: Breitkopf 87 entitled O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden.

 

Text 1/3: Herzlich tut mich verlangen | EKG: 435
Author: Christoph Knoll (1611)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

1

BWV 161

Mvt. 1

1715/16

-

-

-

-

A135:1

-

Mvt. 1 (YFM) [midi] | Mvt. 1 (RMM) [midi] | Mvt. 1 (Leusink) [ram]

4

BWV 161

Mvt. 6

1715/16

270

161

270

34

A135:6

PDF

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

BWV 161/6: Dietel 34 entitled Befiehl du deine Wege, Breitkopf 270 entitled Befiehl du deine Wege.

 

Text 1/4: Ihr Christen, auserkoren
Author: Georg Werner (1648)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

4

BWV 248

Mvt. 64

1734/35

-

-

-

122

D7:64

PDF | PDF s

Mvt. 64 (MG) short | Mvt. 64 (MG) qt [midi]

BWV 248/64: Dietel 122 entitled Ach Herr, mich armen Sünden.

 

Text 1/5: O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1656)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

6

BWV 159

Mvt. 2

1729

-

-

-

-

A50:2

-

Mvt. 2 (Leusink) [ram]

5

BWV 244

Mvt. 15

1727?

98

163

98

-

D3:14

PDF | PDF v

Mvt. 15 (MG) | Mvt. 15 (MG) ver [midi] | Mvt. 2 (Leusink) [ram]

6

BWV 244

Mvt. 17

1727?

98

-

-

-

D3:17

PDF

Mvt. 17 (MG) [midi]

1,2

BWV 244

Mvt. 54

1727?

74

162

74

-

D3:54

PDF

Mvt. 54 (MG) [midi]

9

BWV 244

Mvt. 62

1727?

89

164

-

-

D3:62

PDF | PDF v

Mvt. 62 (MG) | Mvt. 62 (MG) ver [midi]

BWV 244/15: Breitkopf 98 vel BWV 244/17.
BWV 244/17: Breitkopf 98 Same title.
BWV 244/54: Breitkopf 74 Same title.
BWV 244/62: Breitkopf 89 Same title.

 

Text 1/6: Wie soll ich dich empfangen
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1653)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

1

BWV 248

Mvt. 5

1734/35

344

165

345

-

D7:5

PDF

Mvt. 5 (MG) [midi]

BWV 248/5 = Breitkopf 344 entitled O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden.

 

Untexted:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

-

BWV 25

Mvt. 1

1723

-

-

-

-

A129:1

-

Mvt. 1 (Leusink) [ram]

-

BWV 127

Mvt. 1

1725

-

-

-

-

A49:1

-

Mvt. 1 (Leusink) [ram]

-

BWV 161

Mvt. 1

1715/16

-

-

-

-

A135:1

-

Mvt. 6 (YFM) [midi] | Mvt. 6 (RMM) [midi] | Mvt. 6 (MG) [midi] | Mvt. 1 (Leusink) [ram]

-

BWV 270

-

?

285

157

286

62

F92:1

PDF

Chorale (MG) [midi]

-

BWV 271

-

?

366

158

367

143

F92:2

PDF

Chorale (MG) [midi]

-

BWV 727

-

Weimar

-

-

-

-

K109

-

 

-

BWV 742

-

1700/17

-

-

-

-

K173

-

 

BWV 161/1: Version A (Sesquialtera ad continuo- an organ stop is added - the right hand plays the melody).
BWV 270: Dietel 62 Befiehl du deine Wege, Breitkopf 285 Same Title.
BWV 271: Dietel 143 Befiehl du deine Wege, Breitkopf 366 Same Title.
BWV 727: Title: Herzlich tut mich verlangen, Chorale Prelude for Organ
BWV 742: 1700/1717 (Neumeister collection), Chorale Prelude for Organ, Title: Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder.

 

Melody 2: Befiehl du deine Wege (II) | Zahn: 5393 | EKG: 294

The composer of this melody has been identified as Bartholomäus Gesius (Gese) who first used with the chorale “Lobet Gott, unsern Herren”, a rhymed version of Psalm 150. He based this melody in part upon the Geneva Psalm 128 „Bien-heureux est quiconques” by Louis Bourgeois as contained in “Pseaulmes cinquante de David”, Geneva, 1547. The version by Gesius supporting the chorale text “Lobet Gott, unsern Herren” first appeared in “Enchiridion” in Frankfurt on the Oder in 1603.

Curiously, the Stollen of this melody is, for all practical purposes, the same one which appears in Thoinot Arbeau’s “Orchésographie” as a Pavan in 1589. Arbeau explains “Pavans are also used in masquerades to herald the entrance of the gods and goddesses in their triumphal chariots or emperors and kings in full majesty.” [Philip Heseltine (1894-1930), also known under his composer name as Peter Warlock, has an orchestrated version of this Pavan in his “Capriol Suite” (1927).]

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by Bach:

Untexted:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

-

BWV 272

-

?

339

32

340

-

F136:2

PDF

Chorale (MG) [midi]

-

BWV 1126

-

?

-

-

-

-

 

-

 

BWV 272: probably from a lost cantata; Breitkopf 339 has the title Befiehl du deine Wege.
BWV 1126: probably from a lost cantata; untexted with the title: Lobet Gott, unsern Herren first published in 1985 and known temporarily as Breitkopf Anhang 9 until the BWV 1126 number was assigned.

 

Use of the Chorale Melodies by other composers:

Dietrich Buxtehude (c1637-1707):
Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, Chorale Prelude, BuxWV 178.

Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706):
Herzlich tut mich verlangen, Chorale from Chorale Partita.

Georg Friedrich Kauffmann (1679-1735):
Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, Chorale Prelude for Organ (Leipzig, 1733).

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767):
Oratorio Der Tod Jesu, TWV 5:6 (1755) makes use of the CM for its first chorale Du Dessen Augen flossen
Conributed by Johannes Waldschütz (April 2012)

Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748):
Herzlich tut mich verlangen, 5 Chorale Preludes for Organ.

Johann Christoph Altnikol (1720-1759):
Befiehl du deine Wege, motet for SATB chorus, motet for SATB chorus
Conributed by Johannes Waldschütz (April 2012)

 

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 (January 2006 - April 2012))
Thanks to contrbutors: Johannes Waldschütz
(April 2012)

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. Bach’s 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: ýApril 14, 2012 ý21:28:23