Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

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

Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten

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

 

Melody & Text: Zahn: 2778 | EKG: 298

Georg Neumark (1621-1681) documented first printing in “Fortgepflantzter Musikalisch-Poetischer Lustwald,” [Jena, 1657], but the origin of the text and melody can be traced back to Kiel in 1641. There is a very interesting story concerning the background to this particular chorale melody (and text).

Unfortunately, this article on Neumark’s life excludes any mention of his musical abilities as a musician and composer: 1. he played the viola da gamba excellently; 2. as a composer he was influenced by the works of Heinrich Albert. 3. he composed additional ritornelli for his songs, often scored for two violins and bc., but also choral works with instrumental introductions and ritornelli; 4. he composed dance mvts. with Polish-type dance rhythms changing from 4/4 in the ‘Vortanz’ to triple time in the ‘Nachtanz.

In the 19th century, Johannes Zahn collected 10 different chorale melodies that can be attributed to Georg Neumark. Two of these, the present one and another entitled “Ich lasse Gott in allem walten,” are considered to be of the highest quality in text and music and can easily be compared to the best efforts by Paul Gerhardt and Paul Flemming.

It would appear from the MGGI’s description of Neumark’s song collection from 1657, that the songs included instrumental ritornelli. It would be interesting to see and/or hear Neumark’s own ritornelli associated with his own famous chorale melody.


Dick Wursten kindly contributed these images as an answer to the wish expressed above.(February 2013)
 

Chorale Melody Sources:

The Original Source:
It is unclear what the original combination of melody and text from Kiel, 1641, looked like. Very likely it did not include a figured bc and/or instrumental parts. Perhaps it was in the form of an “Einzelblatt” [“broadsheet/broadside”] with only the melody and text.

The Jena, 1657 Source:
The following representations of this source claim to be true to the original.

This source is marked simply “Neumark, 1657” with the original words for the 1st verse underneath:

This is the same in a long line format:

The EKG presently still has the following version which is claimed to be in the original form (but may have been tampered with):

From Hymnals Bach May Have Used:
An important hymnal that contained both melodies and parts along with the chorale texts is the “Vopelius” Leipzig, 1682 edition. In this hymnal the melody appears as follows:

Another hymnal that Bach probably had used is the “Weißenfels, 1714” edition in which the melody appears with a 3/2 time signature:

 

Text 1: Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten by Georg Neumark | EKG: 298

Georg Neumark (1621-1681), who later in life was crowned as poet and held the position of court poet in Weimar, had composed the words and music to this famous chorale after having been attacked and robbed of everything that he possessed while traveling to the University of Königsberg (Kalinengrad) and, in the aftermath of this event, experiencing a difficult winter of deprivation until he finally found a position as a private tutor in Kiel at the end of December of 1641.

 

Text 2: Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende by Ämilie Juliane von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

Ämilie Juliane von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (1637-1706), by birth a countess who was born with the title Countess of Barby in 1637 as a refugee in the fortress Heidecksburg near Rudolstadt and died as Countess von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt in 1706. She is considered a forerunner of Pietism and wrote a number of chorale texts. This one is from 1686. The present EKG contains this chorale text with a different melody, but with the option that it might be sung to the melody of “Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten.

 

Text 3: Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder by Christoph Tietze (1663)

Text contained in the following hymnals that Bach may have had access to:
Wagner (1697), St. Georg (1721, 1730), Vopelius (1729/30, 1737), Dresden (1725, 1728, 1738). However, it was not present as yet in the extensive hymnal with music known as the Vopelius (1682.)

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by Bach:

Text 1: Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten | EKG: 298
Author: Georg Neumark (1641)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

2&5

BWV 21

Mvt. 9

1714

-

-

-

-

A99:9

 

Mvt. 9 (Leusink) [ram]

7

BWV 88

Mvt. 7

1726

104

368

104

-

A105:7

PDF

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

1

BWV 93

Mvt. 1

1724

-

-

-

-

A104:1

Mvt. 1 (Leusink) [ram]

2

BWV 93

Mvt. 2

1724

-

-

-

-

A104:2

 

Mvt. 2 (Leusink) [ram]

3~

BWV 93

Mvt. 3

1724

-

-

-

-

A104:3

 

Mvt. 3 (Leusink) [ram]

5

BWV 93

Mvt. 5

1724

-

-

-

-

A104:5

 

Mvt. 5 (Leusink) [ram]

6~

BWV 93

Mvt. 6

1724

-

-

-

-

A104:6

 

Mvt. 6 (Leusink) [ram]

7 & final

BWV 93

Mvt. 7

1724

-

369

-

-

A104:7

PDF

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

7 or last

BWV 197

Mvt. 10

1736-37

66

370

62

-

B16:10

PDF

Mvt. 10 (MG) [midi] | Mvt. 10 (Leusink) [ram]

BWV 197/10: Bach did not indicate which of the 3 chorale texts available to him he wanted with this CM. According to NBA KB the 7th or last verse of Neumark’s hymn is the best possible text to fit the missing text in this wedding cantata.


 

Text 2: Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende
Author: Ämilie Juliane von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (1686)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

1

BWV 27

Mvt. 1

1726

-

-

-

-

A138:1

 

Mvt. 1 (Leusink) [ram]

12

BWV 84

Mvt. 5

1727

112

373

112

30

A43:5

PDF

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

1

BWV 166

Mvt. 6

1724

204

372

204

-

A71:6

PDF

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

 

Text 3: Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder
Author: Christoph Tietze (1663)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

1

BWV 179

Mvt. 6

1723

338

371

339

75

A121:6

PDF

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

 

Untexted:
Originally as vocal works or contained in them or supporting them, but appearing as instrumental settings or parts:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

4

BWV 93

Mvt. 4

1724

-

-

-

 

A104:4

 

Mvt. 4 (Leusink) [ram]

?

BWV 434

-

?

146

367

146

47

F205.1

PDF

Chorale (MG) [midi]

-

BWV 642

-

1714

-

-

-

 

K71

 

Chorale (MG) [midi]

-

BWV 647

-

After 1746

-

-

-

 

K24

 

Chorale (MG) [midi]

?

BWV 690

-

?

-

-

-

 

K127

 

Chorale (MG) [midi]

-

BWV 691

-

?

-

-

-

 

K99

 

Chorale (MG) | Chorale (MG) orn [midi]

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by other composers:

Johann Samuel Welter (1650-1720):
Cantata Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten for C., A., T., B., 2 Violins, 2 Va. da gamba, Violone, Bc-Organo

Georg Böhm (1661-1733):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten , Chorale Prelude for Keyboard

Georg Friedrich Kauffmann (1679-1735):
A Chorale Prelude for Organ on “Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten” in 3 sections with two marked “Alio modo” contained in “Harmonische Seelenlust” [
Leipzig, 1733]. See: Score Sample from Part 3

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767):
Cantata Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten (1722)

Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten a Chorale Prelude for Organ

Gottfried Kirchhoff (1685-1746):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, Chorale Prelude for Organ (with the cantus firmus appearing unembellished in the pedal in the style of Johann Pachelbel.)

Johann Peter Kellner (or Keller) (1705-1772):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, Chorale Prelude for Organ

Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1780):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, Chorale Prelude for Organ

Gottfried August Homilius (1714-1785):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, Chorale Prelude for Organ

Johann Philipp Kirnberger (1721-1783):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten , Chorale Prelude for Organ

Johann Balthasar Kehl (1725-1778):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, Chorale Prelude for Organ, contained in Erste, Zweyte, Dritte, Vierte Sammlung einiger variirender Choräle [Nürnberg, 1764]

Michael Haydn (1737-1806):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten for 2 Sopranos and Orchestra(?) (c1795)

Franz Anton Rösler (also known as Francesco Antonio Rosetti) (1750-1792):
Chorale Setting of Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt (probably for brass instruments) lost

Friedrich Wilhelm Berner (1780-1827):
Chorale Prelude for Organ on Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten contained in 8 Choralzwischenspiele

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, Chorale Cantata for Solo Voice, Chorus, Strings and Continuo (1829)

Franz Liszt (1811-1886):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten Nr. 11 of the Zwölf alte deutsche geistliche Weisen (1878-1879) for Piano.

Gottfred Matthison-Hansen (1832-1909):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, Paraphrase for Organ op. 37

Friedrich Wilhelm Franke (1862-1932):
Chorale Variations on Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten

Georg Schumann (1866-1952):
Variations on Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 24

Curt Doebler (1896-1970):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, Cantata for mixed choir a cappella

Alfred von Beckerath (1901-1978):
Chorale Fantasia on Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten for Organ

Willy Burkhard (1900-1955):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, Partita for Organ (1932)

Ernst Pepping (1901-1981):
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, Partita for Organ (1932)

 

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 - May 2009)
Thanks to contributors:
Dick Wursten (February 2013)

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 [A. Schweitzer] | The Origin of the Melodies of the Chorales [A. Schweitzer] | The Chorale in the Church Service [A. Schweitzer] | Choral / Chorale [C.S. Terry] | The History of the Breitkopf Collection of J. S. Bach’s Four-Part Chorales [T. Braatz] | Chorale Melody Allusions in Bach's Vocal Works [T. Braatz]
Hymnals used by Bach | Abbreviations used for the Chorales | Links to other Sites on the Chorales

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

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: February 25, 2013