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Musical Context of Bach Cantatas
Motets & Chorales for 1st Sunday after Trinity

 

Readings: Epistle: 1 John 4: 16-21; Gospel: Luke 16: 19-31

Dates in the lifetime of J.S. Bach, including works composed for the event

Motets and Chorales for the 1st Sunday after Trinity (Trinity 1)

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 17, 2011):
THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS:
MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

SOURCES:

* BACH'S HYMN BOOK:
Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch des Gottfried Vopelius (Leipzig 1682)",
Berlin: Merseburger, 1969.
ML 3168 G75

* BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION:
Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense"
Schünigen: Kaminsky,1927
ML 410 B67R4

NOTES:

* The introit was taken from the pre-Reformation feast of Corpus Christi which was celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday but abolished by Luther. The music was retained for that week.

* The Bodenschatz collection provides 1-4 motets for each Sunday After Trinity, although there are a fair number for which there is no provision. Discussion as we reach them.

* "Herr Jesu Christ" appears to have been the pulpit hymn for all of the two dozen Sundays after Trinity.

1) MOTETS for Introit, Before Sermon at mass and vespers for Choir II, and During Communion:

"Homo Quidam" (6 Voices) Melchoir Vulpius (1560-1615)
Text:
"A certain man organized a great dinner and sent his servant at the hour of dinner so that he said to his guests to come: Because everything is prepared. Come to eat my bread and to drink my wine that I prepared for you."

2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore)
"Es spricht der unweyson Mund" (Luther)
Text: http://tinyurl.com/3mt34z3

3) PULPIT HYMN:
"Herr Jesu Christ, dich uns wend"
Translation: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/l/j/ljcbpnow.htm

4) CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns:
"Weltliche Ehe und zeitliche Gut"
"Es war einmal ein reicher Mann" [lyrics based on introit text]
"Ach Gott vom Himmel sief darein" (Luther). CM: Ach Gott vom Himmel sief darein
[used in Cantata BWV 2 for Trinity 2]
"Kommt her"

 

Trinity Time Chorales

William Hoffman wrote (June 9, 2011):
Bach's main service cantatas during Trinity Time are musical sermons utilizing the important biblical teachings as found in the great variety of Lutheran chorales. Bach's fidelity to established hymns, especially those with well-known melodies and texts, is particularly evident in those hymns based on <omne tempore> Gospel and Psalm readings, as found in the Vopelius, <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) of 1682. These are found throughout the hymnbook for general usage, communion, weddings, and specific Christian themes as realized in Bach's Leipzig cantata cycles 1723-29, as well as in early organ chorale prelude instrumental settings and in later harmonized chorale settings.

The <omne tempore> common time of Epiphany and Trinity, focusing on the teachings of the Christian Church, emphasizes both general Christian themes, such as "Christian Life and Conduct" and "Trusting in God, Cross and Consolation," as well as New Testament teachings as shown in Doug Cowling's BCW THEMATIC PATTERNS IN BACH¹S GOSPELS: parables, miracles and other teachings: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Readings.htm,
scroll down to: Thematic Patterns in Bach's Gospels/Douglas Cowling wrote (May 3, 2011)

The First Sunday After Trinity Sunday, occurring before the mid-summer equinox in June, marked the beginning of the Trinity time half-year of church services, the beginning of Bach's first two cantata cycles, and the beginning of the Thomas School scholastic term. Thus, it was most fitting for Bach to establish a strong framework for his well-regulated church music with the use of appropriate and engaging chorales for his musical sermons.

Consequently, Bach produced music of great depth and breadth:

*His initial cantatas for the first seven Sundays After Trinity show great ambition, being in two parts or dual performances for full ensemble, with proclaiming choruses, instrumental introductions, and instructive and elaborate chorale settings with more familiar melodies found throughout Trinity time.

*The prescribed biblical readings and hymn music are revealed throughout the texts of the first or <alpha> cyclic cantatas with preparatory organ chorale preludes and free-standing, harmonized, four-part chorales.

*Thematic biblical teaching patterns are complemented with systematic and intentional use of familiar <omne tempore chorales> as Bach traverses the first four Sundays After Trinity with chorale cantatas in his second cycle drawn from the initial Trinity time designation in the hymn books. In addition, Bach at least once thereafter began a cantata cycle on the First Sunday After Trinity. "Bach apparently performed the entire annual cantata cycle `Das Saitenspiel des Herzens' by Stözel in 1735-36," says Christoph Wolff in the essay "Under the Spell of Opera? Bach's Oratorio trilogy" in <Bach Perspectives 8: J.S. Bach and the Oratorio Tradition>, ed. Daniel Melamed (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2011: 3), citing the recent St. Petersburg text booklet findings of Tatiana Schabalina in the <Bach Jahrbuch> 2008-10. Thus none of the chorale cantatas could have been repeated in the 1735 Trinity Time but could have been repeated in the 1732 Trinity Time.

Bach's texts and hymns for the First Sunday After Trinity, cast in the first four two-part Cantatas BWV 75, BWV 20, BWV 39, and 21 reveal an emphasis on Old Testament teachings as the foundation for the Christian Church with celebration and signing to the Lord, then the central message of Love as the Great Commandment in Christian teachings, and finally, the affirmation of the doctrinal Triune Church and Time through God the Creator, Jesus Christ the Redeemer, and the abundant and free grace of the Holy Spirit as Sanctifier.

1. Cantata BWV 75 <Die Elenden sollen essen, daß sie satt werden> (The poor shall eat as much as they want, Psalm 22:26); chorales No. 7 & 11, "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" (What God does, that is well-done);
2. Chorale Cantata BWV 20, <O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort> (O eternity, thou word of thunder);
3. Cantata BWV 39 <Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot> (Break your bread with the hungry; Isaiah 58:7-8); chorale, No. 7, D. Deicke "Kommt, laßt euch den Herren lehren" (Come let the Lord teach you); S.7: "Selig sind, die aus Erbarmen/Sich annehmen fremder Not," (Blessed are those who from pity/take to themselves the needs of others) based on the Beatitudes.
4. [Picander Text only: P42 <Welt, der Purpur stinkt mich an> (World, thy purple robe stinks on me); chorale, No. 5, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen? (Why should I myself then grieve?); S. 6, "Was sind dieses Lebens Güter?" [What are these life's goods]).

Here is an in-depth look at the chorales Bach uses in his Cantatas for the First Sunday After Trinity, including four-part chorales with elaborate interludes closing both parts of his first two Leipzig Cantatas BWV 75 and BWV 20, each totaling 14 movements. In addition, Bach uses the chorale "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" in two Chorale Cantatas (BWV 99 and BWV 100) as well as in four other Cantatas (BWV 98, BWV 144, BWV 12, and BWV 69a) and as a wedding setting and an organ chorale prelude.

Cycle 1 (1723)
05/30/23 Trinity +1 BWV 75/7, 8 & 14. Samuel Rodigast's c.1675 hymn, "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" is the title of three Bach Cantatas BWV 98I, BWV 99II, and BWV 100III. Each of the six stanzas begins with the dictum, "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" (What God does, that is done well). Part 1 of Cantata BWV 75 closes with the elaborated plain chorale with interludes, Movement No. 7 (Stanza 5): " . . . / Muß ich den Kelch gleich schmecken . . . Laß ich mich doch nicht schrecken" ( . . . / If I have to taste the chalice (New Covenant) . . . I shall not let myself be frightened). Part 2 begins with an orchestral sinfonia (No. 8) that sounds the chorale melody in the high solo trumpet. This version, transcribed for cello, opens the Yo-Yo Ma Sony CD 60681, "Simply Baroque II: Bach and Boccherini," with Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. Amazon.com

Cantata BWV 75 Part 2 closes with No. 14 (S.6): "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, / Dabei will ich verbleiben" (What God does, that is done well, / I shall keep to this thought). The closing plain chorales of both parts are the same setting with different texts. Stanza 6 also is found in closing four-part chorales in Cantata BWV 12/7 for Easter +3 and the same setting in Cantata BWV 69a/6 (Trinity +12), Cantata BWV 99/6 (Trinity +15), and Cantata BWV 100/6.

The settings of BWV 76/7=14 and BWV 99/6 are found in the current choir book, <Bach for all Seasons>, Chantry Music (Augsburg Fortress Press) 1999, for "General" and "Funeral (Cross & Comfort)." The biblical source cited is Romans 8:28-30, "The Future Glory" (King James version): 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

The American Lutheran hymnals cite the chorale as "Trust, Guidance," based on Deuteronomy 32:4: "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." (Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship, Marilyn Kay Stulken, Fortress Press 1981: 474).

The associated melody also is used with Stanza 1 as chorale fantasias to open Trinity Time Cantatas BWV 98I/1 for Trinity +21, Cantata BWV 99II/1 for Trinity +15, and BWV 100III/1, undesignated, as well as Cantata BWV 144/3 for Septuagesima Sunday (<omne tempore>) and chorale BWV 250 (wedding opening). Two chorale cantata settings are extant: BWV 99 with stanzas 2-5 paraphrased), and BWV 100 (pure-hymn cantata, no service designation; suggested for Trinity +15 or +21. The opening elaborate chorale chorus of Cantata BWV 99 also is used to open Cantata BWV 100.

According to the 1687 Nordhäuser Hymnal (BCW) Rodigast wrote this hymn to cheer his friend, Severus Gastorius, precentor at Jena, who had become seriously ill. Gastorius not only recovered, but went on to write the tune for Rodigast's words, based on an earlier tune by Fabricius. Composers Johann Pachelbel, Johann Gottfried Walter and Telemann used the hymn, as well as Bach students Kellner, J. L. Krebs, Homilius, Doles, and Kirnberger, primarily as chorale preludes. The six verses speak to affirmation, confidence, good health, fidelity, comfort, and assurance.

Other melodic references are found in the early chorale prelude collections, the Orgelbüchlein No. 112, "Christian Life and Conduct" (not set), and Neumeister chorale prelude (No. 69), BWV 1116. The chorale is not found in the 1682 <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) but is first found in the 1690 Nürnberg Gesangbuch. The chorale is listed as a Communion hymn for Trinity +12 in the Leipzig and Dresden hymn schedules; for Trinity +21, Cantatas BWV 98 and BWV 100 are appropriate, according to Stiller (see Bibliography)

Cycle 2 (1724)
06/11/24 Trinity +1 BWV 20, Johann Rist's 1642 chorale text, <O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort>, is found in the 1682 Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch as No. 1006 (shortened version, 12 of 16 stanzas printed; omitting the original Stanzas 4, 7, 8, 12). The associated chorale melodies are "Wach auf, mein Geist, erhebe dich" (1642 early version) and "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort" (1653 later. modified version set to Rist text), attributed, respectively, to composers Johann Schop and Johann Crüger. It is not cited in Stiller.

In Cantata BWV 20, there are three chorale uses in F Major: No. 1 chorale fantasia (S.1); No. 7 (S.11[8]) "Solang ein Gott im Himmel lebt" (As long as God lives in heaven); and No. 11 (S.16[12]) "O Schwert, das durch die Seele bohrt (O sword that pierces through the soul). The closing plain chorales of both parts are the same setting with different texts. The hymn also begins Cantata BWV 60 (Trinity +24, troped chorale with aria); is found in plain chorale BWV 397 in F Major (S. 13 [9], "Wach auf, o Mensch, vom Sündenschlaf" (Wake up, O Man, from the sleep of sin), which probably was used in the <St. Mark Passion>, BWV 247/30, where the apostles sleep in the Garden of Gethsemane; and as BWV 513, Anna Magdalena 1725 Notebook No. 42 (last item, p. 121) in F Major for soprano and basso continuo in Anna Magdalena's early handwriting.

Pre-Cycle 3 (1725)
06/05/25 Trinity +1 ?? repeat BWV 75a, No. 2, bass recitative: "Was hilft des Purpurs Majestät/ Da sie vergeht?" (What use are royal robes [lit.purple]/since they pass away?); No. 6, "Was Gott tut" (Rodigast, S.5); see Cycle 1 above, BWV 75/7. It is the only documented "repeat" performance of a cantata for the First Sunday After Trinity.

Cycle 3 (1726)
06/23/26 Trinity +1 BWV 39 /7. David Deicke's 1648 11-stanza hymn "Kommt, laßt euch den Herren lehren" (Come let the Lord teach you) is based loosely on the Beatitudes (Matthew, Chapters 5-7, Sermon on the Mount). Stanza 6 closes Cantata 39: "Selig sind, die aus Erbarmen/ Sich annehmen fremder Not" (Blessed are those who from pity / take to themselves the needs of others). The plain chorale is set to the popular melody, "Freu' dich sehr, o meine Seele" (Rejoice greatly, o my soul) originally anonymous, by Louis Bourgeois in 1551 and is a commentary to Psalm 42, found in NLGB 918. The BCW lists various alternative texts set to the melody and alternate Deicke Text 4 of 1648 is not found in the Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch (NLGB). Bach's melody use to the various alternate texts is found in seven <omne tempore> cantatas: oriDeicke Text 1, BWV 19/7 (S. 9, St. Michael) and BWV 70/7 (S. 10, Trinity +26); J. Heerman Text 2, "Zion klagt mit Angst und Schmerzen", BWV 13/3 (S.2, Epiphany +2); J. Heermann Text 3, "Treuer Gott, ich muß dir klagen," BWV 25/6 (S. 12, Trinity +14), BWV 194/6 (S. 6 & 7, Trinity Sunday); J. Olearius Text 5, "Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben," BWV 30/6 (S. 3, St. John Feast); P. Gerhardt Text 6, "Weg, mein Herz, mit den Gedanken," BWV 32/6 (S. 12, Epiphany +1).

Use of Alternate Melody (Zahn 1294) by Bach: BWV 1119 (Neumeister organ chorale prelude), "Wie ach ein Wasserquelle" (Orgelbüchlein No. 121, "The Word of God and the Christian Church," not set), and BWV 743 (miscellaneous organ chorale prelude, questionable authenticity). J.S. Bach use (doubtful): "Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele," Chorale Prelude for Organ, BWV Anh. 52 and Anh. 53 (recording: Stephen Rapp, "21 Newly Published Organ Chorales attributed to J. S. Bach," Raven CD OAR-420, 1998). Primary Source: www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Freu-dich-sehr.htm

Cycle 4 (1729)
06/19/29 Trinity +1 P42 Welt, der Purpur stinkt mich an (World, thy purple robe stinks on me); No. 5, closing chorale, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?" (Why should I myself then grieve?); Why should I myself then grieve?); Text, Paul Gerhardt, 1653.
http://bitflow.dyndns.org/german/PaulGerhardt/Warum_Sollt_Ich_Mich_Den_Grämen.htm
S.10 of 12 stanzas, "Was sind dieses Lebens Güter?" [What are these life's goods]); associated melody adapted from D. Vetterer 1713, from J. G. Ebeling 1666). Also may be harmonized as S.6, closing chorale, in Pcander cycle, P-63/5, "Gott, du Richter, der Gedanken" (Trinity +19).
Bach's uses: Motet BWV 228 (S. 11 & 12 in soprano "du mist mein, ich bin dein" [your are mine, I am yours] in A Major), ? 1726. BWV 422, four-part chorale in C/G Major, ? after 1730; listed as hymn of "Trusting in God, Cross, and Consolation (Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 85), A Book of Chorale settings, No. 8, CD 92.085 (1999).
Same melody set to P. Gerhardt text, "Frölich soll mein Herze springen diese Zeit" (Joyfully shall my heart sopring up this time, 1656), as four-part chorale in Christmas Oratorio (Part 3, Adoration of the Shepherds), "Ich will dich mit Fleiß bewahren" (I will firmly cherish three), BWV 248/33 (248III/10), "Und die Hirten kehrten wieder um" (And the shepherds went back again), 1734.

"(W)e know concerning Leipzig, that the hymns of Paul Gerhardt did not achieve general significance until Bach's time, that is at the beginning of the thirties of the 18th century" (Stiller: 235). Only two Gerhardt service settings, pp. 71f and 104, are found in the Vopelius <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch>.



Music for the 1st Sunday after Trinity [with further commentary. Bach sets all of the service chorales as well as many NLGB hymns, including those as chorale cantatas (church year cycle 2) for the first four Sundays After Trinity: +1, BWV 20, "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerword" (see above); +2, BWV 2, "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein" (Chorales for Pulpip & Communion Hymns); +3, BWV 135, "Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder" (NLGB); and +4, "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ" (NLGB).

Motets and Chorales for the 1st Sunday after Trinity
Douglas Cowling wrote (April 17, 2011):
THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS:
MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

Sources:

* BACH'S HYMN BOOK:
Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch des Gottfried Vopelius (Leipzig 1682)",
Berlin: Merseburger, 1969.
ML 3168 G75

* BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION:
Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense"
Schünigen: Kaminsky,1927
ML 410 B67R4

NOTES:

* The introit was taken from the pre-Reformation feast of Corpus Christi which was celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday but abolished by Luther. The music was retained for that week.

* The Bodenschatz collection provides 1-4 motets for each Sunday After Trinity, although there are a fair number for which there is no provision. Discussion as we reach them.

* "Herr Jesu Christ" appears to have been the pulpit hymn for all of the two dozen Sundays after Trinity.

1) MOTETS for Introit, Before Sermon at mass and vespers for Choir II, and During Communion:

"Homo Quidam" (Gregorian chant responsory) (6 Voices) Melchoir Vulpius (1560-1615)
Biography: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Vulpius.htm

Text:
"A certain man organized a great dinner and sent his servant at the hour of dinner so that he said to his guests to come: Because everything is prepared. Come to eat my bread and to drink my wine that I prepared for you."

2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore)
"Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl" (The unknown mouth speaks well) (Luther) (NLGB 662); Set by Bach as BWV 308 (4-part chorale, Bb Major); melody, Johann Walter; text, after Psalm 14 (Human Wickedness), Martin Luther. www.bach-cantatas.com/INS/BWV308-00.htm. Listed as an <omne tempore> Psalm hymn (Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 82), A Book of Chorale settings, No. 5, CD 92.082 (1999).

Chorale Prelude, "Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl" (Rudorff Collection), BWV deest
^Kevin Bowyer, JSB Complete Organ Works, Vol. 14, Vol. 14: The Rudorff Chorales; Nimbus CD
^ Franz Haselböck, Organ Chorale From the Rinck and Rudorff Collections; Musical Heritage Society (Hänssler) CD 85295, 2006
Text: http://tinyurl.com/3mt34z3.htm

3) PULPIT HYMN:
"Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend" (Lord Jesus Christ, be present now):
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/winkworth/chorales.h013.htm
It is found in the NLGB 817, "Word of God and Christian Church"); text Duke Wilhelm II Saxe-Weimar (?) 1651; melody 1628, (3 verses & Doxology, NLGB 817). It is a Pentecost Festival hymn, one of four sung in every ordinary Sunday main service (<Leipziger Kirchen-Staat, Stiller: 117) and Sunday vespers opening hymn (Stiller 258); prayer and organ chorale interlude before the sermon (Williams: 297). Bach's uses are: a 4-part chorale BWV 332 (G Major, 8 bars); the organ chorale preludes: BWV 632 (Orgelbüchlein No. 49, Pentecost), BWV 659 (Great 18); and miscaellaneous preludes, BWV 709, 726, and 749.

4) CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns (found in <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch>, NLGB):

1. Weltliche Ehr und zeitliche Gut" (World honors and transient goods) is found in the (NLGB 642), text M. Weise 1531 (10 stanzas), melody M. Vulpius, Vögelin GB 1563; Bach's 4-part chorale setting, BWV 426 (C Major).

2. "Es war einmal ein reicher Mann" (There once was a rich man). (NLGB 630); "Schein, Cantional oder Gesangbuch Augspurgischer Confession (4, 5 ou 6 voix), Verlag des Autors; Leipzig 1627. Dédicacé au maire et au Conseil de Leipzig. Augmenté en 1645 : « mit 27 schönen Gsgn. vermehr », J. Schuste, Leipzig 1645": "Es war einmal ein reicher Mann, SATB" [lyrics based on introit (Gospel) text]: no Bach setting extant.

3. "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein" (Ah God, look down from heaven) (NLGB 660); text, Luther, Psalm 12 (Prayer for Help) (6 stanzas); melody, anonymous c.1410. [used in Chorale Cantata BWV 2/1,6 for Trinity 2]
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale026-Eng3.htm . Same associated melody with text, "Schau, lieber Gott, wie mein Feind (BWV 153/1, S.1, Sunday after New Year); with text "Wenn einer alle Ding verstünd (BWV 77/6, S.8, Trinity +13).

4. "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sonn" (Come here to me, said God's Son) (NLGB 622). Hymn, G. Grünwald 1530 to folksong c.1490; text Easter/Pentecost: (Mat. 11:28; 16 stanzas);
Bach usages: JLB 8/8 (S.14-16) E3; 86/3 (S.16) E5; mel. in 108/6, "Gott Vater, senden deine Geist" (S.10) E4; mel. in 74/8, "Gott Vater, sende deinen Geist" (S.2) Pentecost.

"Versage nicht, O Häuflein" (O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe, NLGB 823), <Stiller> 240, Dresden E3; BWV 42/4(S.1) E1, is Stanza 1 of the ?Fabricus text that may be a marching song of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. The melody is derived from "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn" (Dürr <JSB Cantatas> 297, Whittaker <JSB Cantatas> I:298 ref. Terry Bach's Chorales). Grunwald's text, "Kommt her zu mir," is based on Mat. 11:28, Jesus preaching. Thus the Fabricus texts and Grunwald tune have the related themes of comfort and peace.

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978, Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship), Hymn No. 361, "Do Not Despair, O Little Flock" (Community in Christ); text, Johann M. Altenberg, 1584-1630 (four stanzas); tune, "Kommt her zu mir," Nuernberg, 1534. I can't find the C.S. Terry reference, cited in Whittaker I:298: htttp//www.oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com. Previous two and succeeding Lutheran hymnals do not have this hymn.

Other hymns also related to Trinity +1 readings, found in NLGB

1. "Ach Herr mein Gott, straft mich doch nicht" (NLGB 648); not set by Bach

2. "Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder" (Ah Lord, poor sinner that I am), (NLGB 655); text (6 stanzas), Cyriakus Schneegaß (1597), based on Psalm 6; melody, H. Hassler "Befiehl du deine Wege" (Herzlich tut mich verlangen, Passion chorale) 1601; Bach usage: chorale Cantata BWV 135 (Trinity +3). Bach did not set the hymn as Orgelbüchlein Catechism chorale prelude No. 73, "Confession, Penitenance, and Justification" but did set the melody in the possibly very young Bach miscellanous organ chorale prelude BWV 742.

3. "Herr nicht schicke deine Rache" (652), not set by Bach

4. "Herr, straf' mich nicht in deinem Zorn" (O Lord, do not punish me in your anger) /Das bitt ich dich von Herzen," (NLGB 648); text, J. Crüger 1640 (6 stanzas; based on Psalm 6); melody unknown ?1640; Bach uasage: BWV 338 (A-Minor/Major); Listed as Psalm hymn (Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 82), A Book of Chorale settings, No. 5, CD 92.082 (1999).
4a. "Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn/großer Gott, verschone." (Do not rebuke me in your anger, Ps. 6:1) Text 1, J. G. Albinus (7 stanzas, 1676; based on Psalm 6), melody anonymous 1681; not set by Bach
4b. Listed in NLGB 648 as "Ach Herr mein Gott, straf mich doch nicht" and as "Herr, straf' mich nicht in deinem Zorn."
4c. Text 2: "Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit," J. B. Freystein (1695); Bach usage in chorale Cantata BWV 115/1(S.1),6(S.10( (Trinity +22).
Other composers who have set "Herr, straf' mich nicht in deinem Zorn" include: Schütz, Telemann and Knüpfer.

5. "Ich ruf zu dir Herr Jesus Christ" (I call to you, Lord Jesus Christ) (NLGB 627); text, J. Agricola by 1530 (5 stanzas), melody, J. Klug GB 1535; Bach's usages: Chorale Cantata BWV 1771/5 (Trinity +4); Cantata 185/6 (S.1) and 185/1 (melody in trumpet & oboe) (Trinity +4). Plain chorale BWV 1124, "Christian Life and Expectation" (Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 83), A Book of Chorale settings, No. 6, CD 92.083, 1999).
Stiller: ChThis hymn "is specifically assigned to this Sunday in the Leipzig and Dresden hymnals" (P. 242) and in Leipzig for the <omne tempore> Third Sunday After Epiphany (p. 238).

6. "Mit dank wir sollen loben" (NLGB 659), not set by Bach

7. "In allen meinen Taten" (In all my deeds) (NLGB 640), text Paul Flemming 1642 (9 stanzas); Bach set the text to the familiar Passion melody "O Welt, ich muß dich lassen" (O world, I must leave thee), based on H. Isaac 1490 melody, "Innsbruck, ich muß dich lassen." Bach works: Cantata BWV 13/6 (Trinity +3), BWV 44/7 (Easter +6), the pure-hymn Chorale Cantata BWV 97, not assigned to a specific service. The associated melody of Johann Quirsfeld 1679 is found in the NLGB and was used as the opening hymn to church weddings, plain chorale BWV 367 in C Major ("Trust in God, Cross and Consolation," Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 85), A Book of Chorale settings, No. 8, CD 92.085 (1999).

8. "Nun danket alle Gott" (Now thank we all oun God) (NLGB 648). Hymn after sermon; text, Marin Rinckart 1636 (3 verses); melody, J. Crüger 1647. Stiller: hymn with main service festival <Te Deum> (p. 81f), after wedding service benediction (BWV 252 in G Major (S.1), p. 94, Hänssler V.83, "Praise & Thanks"), New Year's Day (chorale Cantata BWV 192 in G Major), and Reformation Festival (Cantata BWV 79/3 (S.1) plain chorale in G Major). Other Bach uses: BWV 386 in G Major, same as BWV Anh. 164/2 (S.3, transposed to A Major), (Hänssler V.83, "Praise & Thanks"); and organ chorale prelude BWV 657 (Great 18).

Selected Bibliography

BCW (Paul Gerhardt, Bach uses 22 hymns): www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Gerhardt.htm
Häfner, Klaus. "Der Picander Jahrgang," <Bach Jahrbuch> 61 (1975): 107.
Stiller, Gunther. <JSB & Liturgical Life in Leipzig>, Concordia, 1984.
Stinson, Russell. <Bach: The Orgelüchlein>, Oxford University Press, 1999.
Williams, Peter. <The Organ Music of JSB> (Second Edition), Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Wolff, Christoph. "The Neumeister Collection of Chorale Preludes from the Bach Circle," in <Bach: Essays on
His Life and Music>, Harvard University Press, 1991.
Vopelius, Gottfried, <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (1682); glossary, Jürgen Grimm, Berlin: Merseburger, 1969. ML 3168 G75

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 9, 2011):
The Week in Chorales

William Hoffman wrote:
< Bach's main service cantatas during Trinity Time are musical sermons utilizing the important biblical teachings as found in the great variety of Lutheran chorales. Bach's fidelity to established hymns, especially those with well-known melodies and texts, is particularly evident in those hymns based on <omne tempore> Gospel and Psalm readings, as found in the Vopelius, <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) of 1682. These are found throughout the hymnbook for general usage, communion, weddings, and specific Christian themes as realized in Bach's Leipzig cantata cycles 1723-29, as well as in early organ chorale prelude instrumental settings and in later harmonized chorale settings. >
Many thanks for this invaluable description of the bedrock of Bach's vocal and organ music. At some point, we will need to widen the perspective even further. Bach's working calendar called for music seven days a week. His choirs, like modern English cathedral choirs and Catholic monastic communities, sang daily services of varying degrees of musical elaboration.

We encounter this diurnal cursus principally through the feast days such as Michelmas (Sept 29) and Annunciation (Mar 25) which fell on weekdays and for which Bach was required to write a cantata. However, there were also major weekday celebrations of the mass, most notably on feasts of the apostles. The Saturday Vespers was also sung elaborately as the beginning of the Sunday celebration (the old First Vespers in pre-Reformation practice) We can only speculate that the music may have followed the pattern which Bach's Choir II used at the "other" church which didn't have the Sunday cantata.

Of particular interest here are the chorales which were sung at the weekday Catechism services. Bach's extensive organ music for these chorales suggests thathe weekday music must have been quite grand, befitting the cathedral-like status which St. Thomas', in particular, had in the city. The more I read about the context of Bach's music, the more admiration I have for his astonishing administration of well-regulated music. His encyclopedic knowledge of the tradition was matched by his encyclopedic working method.

William Hoffman wrote (June 10, 2011):
Trinity Time Chorales for Various Services

Douglas Cowling in the BCW June 10 posting, "The Week in Chorales," points out that Bach was required, as part of a well-ordered church music in Leipzig, to furnish music for every day of the week, particularly including weekday lesser feasts, vespers, and catechism services. Bach's numerous organ chorale preludes and free-standing chorales provided much material for these numerous, various events outside of the main service. The some 500 organ and four-part chorales especially fill large niches in this special music.

Bach's early <Orgelbüchlein> is a template for the church year with 164 chorales, beginning with the seasons of Advent through Easter and Pentecost for a total of 60 chorales, followed by 27 <omne tempore> catechism hymns, and the 87 <omne tempore> "ordinary time" themes of the Christian Church. Interestingly, while Bach set most of the seasonal hymns, he realized only four in the Catechism section and just six in the themes section, of a total of 45 actually set.

Later, Bach would compose organ settings of 19 Catechism hymns in the <Clavierübung German Organ Mass> and the Great 18 <omne tempore> chorales, as well as some 200 free-standing vocal chorales, two-thirds of which are for the <omne tempore> time and are found mostly in the later hymnbooks of the 1730s.

Psalms play a major role in Bach's well-ordered church music. "Bach (incidentally with Luther) and an especially strong preference for the Old Testament Psalms," says Günter Stiller, <JSB & Liturgical Life in Leipzig>, Concordia, 1984: 215. "46 movements of his cantatas are settings of particular verses from the Psalms, and all of 26 cantatas begin with such verses. Besides these, the cantata texts contain additional quotations from the Psalms and clear allusions to Definite Psalms in at least 58 cases."


Doug Cowling [BachCantatas] Psalms in Bach's Hymn Book,
May 15, 2011, observes:

"I recently noticed that the Vopelius hymnbook lists a number of psalms for use at Communion: "Bey der Communion oder Gebrauch d. H. Abendmahls":

"Psalms 8, 15, 20, 23, 30, 42, 67, 84, 92, 103, 111, 117, 121, 146.

"It would be interesting to go through the list and see if anything corresponds to works of Bach. I can't ascertain if they are metrical versions.

"The one that jumped out at me was Psalm 117 which is "Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden" (Praise the Lord all ye nations), the shortest of psalms at two verses and which Bach (?) used entirely for his motet of the same name (BWV 230). Was Bach's motet written specifically as a Communion motet? It's liturgical context is otherwise unknown."

Of the 14 communion Psalms Doug Cowling lists, Bach set six. Bach cantata usage of communion Psalm texts are paraphrases, the best known being Chorale Cantata 112, "Der Herr ist meine getreuer Hirt," Muselin's popular chorale text paraphrase of the entire Psalm 23 (five verses set by Bach), <per omnes versus> in 1731 for Misericordias Domini (Second Sunday after Easter), his only chorale cantata setting for the Easter-Pentecost-Trinity Sunday season, except for Easter Sunday, Cantata BWV 4, "Christ lag in Todesbanden." The other communion settings are Psalm 67 (BWV 76/7), Psalm 103 (BWV 28/2), Psalm 121 (BWV 193/2), and Psalm 146 (BWV 143/1, 3, 5). Not found in Bach settings are: Psalms 8, 15, 20, 30, 42, 84, 111, and 117.

During communion in Leipzig, "a whole series of church hymns were sung, and of these, especially seven came to belong to the sanding set sung for generations during the distribution, namely":
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland,
Gott sei belobet und gebenedeiet,
Nun freut euch, lieben Christeng'mein,
Wo sll ich fliehen hin,
Es wolle Gotty uns gnädig sein,
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren,
Der Herr ist meine getreuer Hirt
.
(Stiller, JSB & Liturgical Life in Leipzig: 128.)

Hymns that definitely contain references to communion, Stiller points out (p.137f), include Philipp Nicolai's "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" (How lovely shines the Morning Star) that Bach used in six different cantatas, surpassed in usage only by "Was Gott tut, das its wohlgetan" (What God does, that is done well). Bach "specifically chose most of the hymns for his cantatas" from the hymn sections "Sacrament of the Altar" and "Concerning the Word of God and the Christian Church."

The other Psalms and their free-standing chorale settings are: Psalm 6 (BWV 338), 14 (BWV 308), 46 (BWV 80b, 303), 51 (BWV 305), 67 (BWV 323, 311, 312), 86 (BWV 372), 103 (BWV 390), 121 (BWV 427), 124 (BWV 258), 136 (BWV 286), 137 (BWV 267), 147 (BWV 374), 149 (BWV 411), 150 (BWV 1126).

Bach composed 16 free-standing plain Psalm Chorales:

1. An Wasserflussen Babylon (Psalm 137), Chorale Setting BWV 267, Chorale Prelude 653a
2. Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt (Psalm 124), BWV 258
3. Wo Gott zum Haus nicht gibt sein Gunst (Psalm 127), Chorale Setting BWV 438 and Chorale Prelude1123
4. Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl (Psalm 14), BWV 308
5. Gott sei uns gnadig und barmherzig (Psalm 67), BWV 323
6. Es woll uns Gott genadig sein (Psalm 67), BWV 312 and 311
7. Herr, straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn (Psalm 6), BWV 338
8. Lass, o Herr, dein Ohr sich neigen (Psalm 86), BWV 372
9. Wenn ich in Angst und Not (Psalm 121), BWV 427
10. Erbarm dich mein, o Herre gott (Psalm 51): Chorale Setting, BWV 305 / Chorale Prelude, BWV 721
11. Lobet den Herren, denn er ist sehr freundlich (Psalm 147), BWV 374
12. Danket dem Herren, denn er ist sehr freundlich (Psalm 136), BWV 286
13. Lobet Gott, unsern Herren (Psalm 150), BWV 1126
14. Singt dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Psalm 149), BWV 411
15. Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren (Psalm 103), BWV 390
16. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (Psalm 46), Chorale Setting, BWV 303 / Chorale Prelude, BWV 720 / Chorale Setting, BWV 80b

Of 24 tracks of free-standing chorales and organ preludes, eight are for omne tempore lesser festivals -- Marian, John and Michael -- the rest are psalm hymns, including those used in chorale cantatas. Psalms play a major role in the <omne tempore> cantatas for Trinity and Epiphany times, related to the Introit, Lesson, Gradual and Verse readings.

[Edition Bachakademie, Hänssler CD, Vol. 82 (Rilling)
A Book of Chorale-Settings for Incidental Festivities, Psalms
Chorale from BWV 80b
Chorales: BWV 258, 267, 280, 286, 303, 305, 308, 309, 311, 312, 323, 324, 326, 337, 338, 372, 374, 376, 382, 390, 411, 438, BWV 1123, 1126
Choral Preludes: BWV 616, 653a, 677, 685, 720, 721, 732, 733]

Of the six Orgelbüchlein Martin Luther Psalm Chorales (none set), Bach later would set all as chorales:
1. Psalm 12, "Ach Gott vom Himmel, siehe darein," in Chorale Cantata 2 for the First Sunday After Trinity as a Pulpit or Communion Hymn;
2. Psalm *14, "Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl," as a plain chorale setting BWV 308, Hymn of the Day for the First Sunday after Trinity;
3. Psalm *46, "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott," reformation, best known as Chorale Cantata 80 for Reformation; 4. Psalm *67, "Es wolle Gott uns gnädig sein"; in Cantata 76 for the Trinity +23, plain chorales closing Parts 1 and 2, and 9/6, 311, 312
5. Psalm 124, Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, Chorale Cantata BWV 14 for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
6. Psalm 124, "Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt," set as the Chorale Cantata 178 (Trinity +8), Luther colleague Justus Jonas' 1524 eight-stanza setting, also set as a plain chorale, BWV 258, and the recently discovered setting of the anonymous 1528 melody as an organ chorale prelude, BWV 1128.

Bach also set one of two other Luther Psalm chorales: "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" (of the depths I cry to Thee) the <de profundis" (Psalm 130) as Chorale Cantata BWV 38 for Trinity +21, as well as the organ chorale preludes BWV 686 Clavierübung (Catechism), and BWV 1099 (Neumeister). The melody is listed in the Orgelbüchlein as an <omne tempore> Catechism chorale, No. 67, "Confession, Penitence, and Justification," but not set. There is no extant Bach setting of Luther's "Wohl dem, der in Gottes Furcht steht (Psalm 128), 1524, 5 stanzas, Psalm: "Beati omnes, qui timet dominum" (The Reward of Obedience to the Lord), melody, "So man singet das Lied," by S. Johannis Hus.

Bach in his cantatas observed the following lesser festivals and occasions: St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, December 26, with Cantata BWV 57, and St. John the Evangelist, December 27, in BWV 151, with texts by Lehms in the third cycle of 1726; "per ogni tempo> (anytime) Cantatas BWV 21 and 51; the undesignated pure-hymn Chorale Cantatas BWV 97, BWV 100, BWV 117 and BWV 192; the Town Council annual installation sacred Cantatas, BWV 29, 69, 119, 120, 193, presented on the Monday following St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24; and four special-events lost, parodied cantatas: the 1730 Augsburg Confession 200th Anniversary three-day celebration with lost parodied Cantatas BWV BWV 190a, Anh. 4a, and BWV 120b, as well as Cantata BWV 248a, possibly for a Thanksgiving service in 1734.

As for evening vespers and related Catechism services, Lutherans did not simply set entire Psalms motets, as Catholics Monteverdi and Vivaldi did, for vespers. Lutherans were deliberately, intentionally selective and didactic. Special vespers were held during the closed times of Advent and Lent, on the evenings preceding major festivals, and for established Saturday and extended Sunday vespers. The essential source is Stiller (pp. 111, 113), with editor Robin Leaver's "Appendix of Sources" (p. 258f). The vespers began with a Latin introit followed by the canticle response "Gloria patri, et filio . . . ", followed by appropriate motets, with responsories and antiphons as well as an appropriate festival or service German hymn, the German Magnificat or a Latin Magnificat motet, concluding with a Benediction and the hymn "Nun danket alle Gott." The regular Sunday vesper hymn was "Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend" (Lord Jesus Christ, be present now), which also is the Pulpit Hymn for the First Sunday After Trinity.

Catechism prayer services were held "in connection with the great prayer services on Tuesdays in St. Nicholas and Fridays in St. Thomas. These included sung hymns, questioning of the Catechism, a sung Litany, and another hymn, Collect and Benediction.

Thus it is quite possible that many of the "free-standing" some 185 four-part plain chorales, BWV 253-438, were presented at vespers as well as concluding the main Sunday service (Hauptgottesdienst).

 

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Last update: ýSeptember 10, 2011 ý09:48:40