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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
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz

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

 

Melody & Text: Zahn: 1689 | EKG: -

Melody:

This chorale melody is found on undated broadsides that appeared around the middle of the 16th century in Nürnberg. One of these is listed as coming from Nürnberg in 1561. The composer and/or text author is unknown. For many years it had been thought that Hans Sachs could have written both song and melody. The melody was noted on a manuscript from Crailsheim in 1565.

A version of this melody in a major key was located on a manuscript from Dresden. This is considered older than the melody associated with the chorale text and appears to confirm a secular origin for this melody.

Some of the sources from the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century tend to appear as follows:

Hans Leo Haßler shows us the shape and form of the melody as printed in Nürnberg, 1608:

Samuel Scheidt’s use of the melody goes back to the Görlitz Hymnal of 1611, although his settings were composed in 1650:

Although not as old as the previous, Johann Pachelbel demonstrates what the melody was like at the end of the 17th century at the time when Bach was just becoming acquainted with this melody:

 

Text: Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz

Poet unknown. The chorale text has a total of 14 verses of which Bach uses only 4 (1, 2, 3, and 11). The NBA KB I/22 p. 29 explains "Die seit Mitte des 17. Jahrhunderts geläufige Zuweisung des Liedtextes an Hans Sachs ist nach Albert Friedrich Wilhelm Fischer ["Kirchenliederlexikon" Gotha, 1878-1879, reprint Hildesheim, 1976, pp. 321-324] wenig wahrscheinlich." ["According to Albert Friedrich Wilhelm Fischer, it is rather improbable that Hans Sachs was the author of this chorale text despite the common assertion since the middle of the 17th century that he was."]

Category of Text:
Wider aller Welt Sorge [“Against All the Cares of the World”]
Vom christlichen Leben und Wandel [“About the Christian Way of Life and Its Changes”]

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by Bach:

Text: Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz | EKG:
Author: Anon (Once thought to be Hans Sachs)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

11

BWV 47

Mvt. 5

1726

94

333

94

-

F141:5

PDF

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

1

BWV 138

Mvt. 1

1723

-

-

-

-

A132:1

 

Mvt. 1 (Leusink) [ram]

2

BWV 138

Mvt. 2

1723

-

-

-

-

A132:2

 

Mvt. 3 (Leusink) [ram]

3

BWV 138

Mvt. 6

1723

-

-

-

-

A132:6

 

Mvt. 7 (MG) [midi] | Mvt. 7 (Leusink) [ram]

BWV 138: Older editions, including most older performing editions have treated the Bach's setting of the 2nd verse of this chorale as a separate mvt. while the NBA has included it as part of mvt. 2 (bass recitative). This has artificially increased the total number of mvts. in cantata BWV 138 to 7 whereas it should have only 6 mvts. according to the NBA. Among the various recordings of this cantata, Rilling, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Leusink and Gardiner list 7 mvts. while only Suzuki and Koopman have 6. The confusion regarding this matter extends even to the most recent edition of the BWV Verzeichnis (1998) which, on the same page refers to the appearance of the chorale in mvts. 1, 3 and 7 at the top of the page, but when displaying in notation the musical incipits of each mvt. it displays only 6, which are the mvts. as given by the NBA.

 

Untexted:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

-

BWV 420

-

?

145

331

145

-

F189:1

PDF

Chorale (MG) [midi]

-

BWV 421

-

?

-

332

300

90

F189:2

PDF

Chorale (MG) [midi]

-

BWV 421

Variant

?

299

332

300

-

F189:2

   

BWV 421: Breitkopf 299 is a later variant with changes made by either Johann Philipp Kirnberger or C.P.E. Bach.

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by other composers:

Hans Leo Haßler (1564-1612):
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, 4-pt. Setting (Nürnberg, 1608). See: Score

Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630):
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, SST, bc. (1626)
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, SATB bc. (1627)

Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654):
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz 3 different 4-pt. settings (Görlitz, 1650). See: Score
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, (setting unknown) (1657)
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz for 8 voices (double choir) and bc.
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz Chorale setting for STB, bc. SSWV 198

Johannes Jeep (1582-1644):
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz for 4 voices in L. Erhard(i), Harmonisches Chor- vnd Figural Gesangbuch (Frankfurt am Main, 1659)

Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703):
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, Chorale Prelude for Organ

Johann Michael Bach (1648-1694):
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, Chorale for organ

Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706):
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, 2 Chorale Preludes for Organ, T. 64, T. 65. See: Score

Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow (1663-1712):
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz Chorale Prelude for Organ

Georg Friedrich Kauffmann (1679-1735):
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz Chorale Prelude for Organ (Leipzig, 1733)

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767):
Warum betrübst du dich mein Herz (Neumeister), Cantata for ob, str, bc, 1:1500 (doubtful and misattributed work)
Mein Herz, warum betrübst du dich (?Rambach), hn, vn, va, bc, 1:1117 (the unique arrangement of the words might indicate that this is not a cantata necessarily based upon the chorale or its melody)

Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1780):
Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, Chorale Prelude for Organ

George Rochberg (1918-2005):
Cantio Sacra Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, transcription for small orchestra (after Samuel Scheidt) (1953)

 

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
Recordings | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Chorales in Bach Cantatas: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | 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 | 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]
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 20, 2006 ý15:00:33