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Musical Context of Bach Cantatas
Motets & Chorales for 11th Sunday after Trinity

 

Readings: Epistle: 1 Corinthians 15: 1-10; Gospel: Luke 18: 9-14

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

Motets and Chorales for the 11th Sunday after Trinity (Trinity 11)

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 6, 2011):
THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS:
MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR THE ELEVENTH 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

Partial Index of Motets in ³Florilegium Portense² with links to online scores and biographies:
http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Florilegium_Portense

Dissertation on Bodenschatz Collection (downloadable):
http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi/Chaney%20Mark%20A.pdf?osu1180461416

NOTES:

* Like Trinity 9, no motets are listed for Trinity 11, unlike the preceding week, Trinity 10, which has four options. Given the generic, Oomnes tempore¹ texts of many of the Trinity season motets, Bach may well have chosen from the preceding Sunday¹s list.

* The chorales are less specifically prescribed for this Sunday, having all been options for earlier Sundays in the Trinity season.

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

No prescribed motets for Trinity 11

2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore)

"Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ²
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale111-Eng3.htm
Digital sample: http://ingeb.org/hymn_a.htm

3) CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns:

"Aus tiefer Not²
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale085-Eng3.htm
<http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale085-Eng3.htm>

"Herr Gott ich ruf zu dir²

³Ebarm dich mein² [also Trinity 3]

³O Herr Gott begnade mich² [also Trinity 3]

³Es ist das Heil² [also Trinity 6]
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale020-Eng3.htm
Digital sample: http://ingeb.org/spiritua/esistdas.mid

³Vater unser im Himmelreich² [also Trinity 5, Trinity 7]
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale049-Eng3.htm
Digital sample: http://ingeb.org/spiritua/vateruns.mid

 

Chorales and Sacred Texts for 11th Sunday After Trinity

William Hoffman wrote (November 8, 2011):
Bach's church music for the 11th Sunday after Trinity is grounded in traditional Lutheran teaching and music, with the dominant theme of repentance as part of the Lutheran concept of the "New Life of Righteousness." It is the last of the six Sundays of this Trinity Time conceptual cycle that began on the 5th Sunday after Trinity, preceded by the initial cycle dealing with "The Kingdom of Grace and the "Call" to enter therein.

The texts and chorales relate to the Sunday Gospel, Luke 18: 9-14, the "Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican," found only in the third Gospel. They show the contrast between the Old Testament law observance of the proud, priestly Pharisee and the Gospel of the humble Publican, a Roman contractor and servant, with his plea of mercy as a sinner as his justification. The parable of the two contrasting men also represents the Middle Trinity Time Gospel pairing of Jesus' parables and miracles, in this case with the Gospel for the subsequent 12th Sunday after Trinity: Mark 7: 31-37, "Miracle of the Deaf Man," the first of Jesus' healing miracles at the beginning of his public ministry. Thus the theme of repentance is couple with healing.

The Leipzig cantor presented four different cantatas between 1723 and 1726, utilizing a variety of texts and associated penitential chorales: Cantatas BWV 199 (soprano solo), BWV 179 (chorus), and BWV 113 (chorale cantata), as well as a Rudolstadt one-part cantata of cousin Johann Ludwig in 1726.

The titles of the cantatas and their chorales reveal various facets of humility, penitence and ultimate justification:

*Cantata BWV 199, "My heart swims in blood," with the hymn stanza "I, your troubled child, cast all my sins" from the hymn "Where should I fly from here";

*Cantata BWV 179, "See that your fear of God is not hypocrisy," to the opening hymn stanza, "I poor man, I poor sinner," set to the melody, "Who only the loving God lets govern";

*Cantata BWV 113, "Lord Jesus Christ, you highest good," with the closing Stanza 8, "Strengthen me with your joyful spirit"; and

*JLB-15, "Through thy recognition will he, my servant" with two different chorales: "Zion mourns with anxiety and pain" and stanza 10, "Therefore on you alone, Lord Christ, I rely" from "Where should I fly from here," also found in Cantata BWV 199.

Re-enforcing the theme of repentance is the central Christian doctrine of the Resurrection of Christ, found in this Sunday's Epistle, 1 Corinthians 15: 1-10, the Apostle Paul's testimonial of Christ's resurrection. Together with other readings, they

Attention is called to Francis Browne's 10/6, [BachCantatas] "BWV 199 Notes on the text"; BCW, http://webmail.earthlink.net/wam/msg.jsp?msgid=5090&folder=INBOX&isSeen=true&x=135458166.
"The tax collectors plea, "Gott sei mir Sünder gnädig" [God, be gracious to me, a sinner] is placed in the centre of the text as the turning point where anguish for sin turns to repentance and hope," found in No. 3, Recitative with strings, "Doch Gott muß mir gnädig sein" (But God must be gracious to me). Here is the Lutheran pivot point in many of Bach's Trinity Time cantatas, when the text shifts from the Law that condemns to the Gospel that redeems from the law's condemnation, often with tonal allegory key shifting upwards (anabasis).

This focus on the Gospel's answer to the Law's question is "fundamental to Lutheran Theology" and is one of Bach's "Theo-Musico Hermeneutics," says theologian and scholar Robin Leaver ["Motive and Motif in the Church music of JSB," in <Bach> essays, edited by Ya Tomita, Ashgate, Burlington VT, 2011): 120ff]. "The theological distinction between law and gospel frequently provides the ground plan for a good many of Bach's cantatas." The other three hermeneutics or explanatory devices, says Leaver, involve the Doctrine of the Trinity, the theme of Discipleship, and the use of the chorale melody. "Again and again in Bach's vocal wor, he underscores Christological meaning by adding a further musical dimension to the text being set. Frequently he will use a chorale melody to achieve this end," Leaver observers.

The 11th Sunday after Trinity, closes the six-Sunday Trinity Time internal cycle of the "New Life of Righteousness." The previous five Sundays after Trinity had focused on the "New Life of Righteousness" in Jesus, replacing the Old Righteousness of the Law of the Scribes and Pharisees; the "holding out" for a "better righteousness"; adding to it the "gift of God"; warning of the false doctrines and prophets; and exhorting to that new life the necessity of faith, loyalty, fidelity, and stewardship [Paul Zeller Strodach, <The Church Year>, United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia PA, 1924: 211].

Here are the four Cantatas, BWV 199, BWV 179, BWV 113, and JLB-15 with summaries of their chorales:

1. BWV 199 "Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut" (My heart swims in blood); performances, 8/12/1714 (C Minor version), 1718-22 (?violin=soprano), and 8/8/1723 (D Minor version) is a soprano solo cantata with strings, and basso continuo. Cantata BWV 199 is set to a Georg Christian Lehms 1711 text (Movements Nos. 1-5, 7-8. Movement No. 6 is soprano chorale trio aria, chorale text of Johann Heermann (1630) the 11-stanza penitential and general communion hymn, "Wo soll ich fliehen hin" (Where should I fly from here). It is listed in the <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB, 1682) as No. 182, a Buß Lied (Repent Song), and specifically as a communion hymn for the 3rd Sunday after Trinity. The soprano sings Stanza 3, "Ich, dein betrübtes Kind,/ Werf alle meine Sünd" (I, your troubled child, cast all my sins). The associated chorale melody in the Thuringian variant is "Wo soll ich fliehen hin"/"Auf meinen lieben Gott" (In my beloved God), a penitential (Confessional Catechism hymn. For further details, see BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity8.htm, Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Motets & Chorales for 8th Sunday after Trinity]

2. BWV 179 "Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei" (See that your fear of God is not hypocrisy) was first performed on a double bill with Cantata BWV 199 on 8/8/1723. It is a chorus cantata (2 oboes, 2 oboes da caccia, strings, bc) (19 minutes), possibly set to a Christian Weiss Sr. text. The chorale text author is Christoph Tietze (1663), "Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder" (I poor man, I poor sinner). The Gospel reference is Luke 18: 13b, when the Publican says: "God be merciful to me a sinner."
This <omnes tempore>7-stanza general plea for mercy is not found in the <NLGB>. Further details are found in the recent BCW discussions of Chorale Cantata BWV 93 (Trinity 8) and Cantata BWV 88 (Trinity 9). For the text, see BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale025-Eng3.htm. The chorale melody (<omnes tempore>) is Georg Neumark's (1657) "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten" (Who only the loving God lets govern). [See, BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity5.htm, Chorales for the 5th Sunday after Trinity (Cantata BWV 93)]

3. BWV 113 "Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut" (Lord Jesus Christ, you highest good), first performed 8/20/1724 is chorale cantata using the text and melody of Bartholomäus Ringwaldt; Buß Lied (Repent Song), NLGB No. 181 (general <omnes tempore> penitential hymn [See, BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity9.htm, Solo Cantata BWV 168, Associated Chorales.]

4. For the 11th Sunday after Trinity in 1725 (August 12), no performance is documented.

5. On 9/1/1726, Bach performed Cantata JLB 15, "Durch sein Erkentniss wird er, mein Knecht" (Through its recognition will he, my servant), to a Rudolstadt text. It has two chorales. Movement No. 7b has the hymn text "Zion klagt mit Angst und Schermez" (Zion mourns with anxiety and pain), NLGB 294, a "Klag und Buß Lied" (Lament & Repent Song). The hymn also was set for the <omnes tempore> Second Sunday after Epiphany in Cantata BWV 13/3, alto aria, Stanza 2) to the associated melody, "Freu dich sehr o meine Seele (Rejoice greatly, o my soul). The closing chorale, Movement No. 8, is "Wo soll ich fliehen hin"/"Auf meinen lieben Gott"; text (Stanza 10): "Darum allein auf dich,/ Herr Christ, verlaß ich mich" (Therefore on you alone, Lord Christ, I rely). See Cantata BWV 199 above for details.

In addition, for the 11th Sunday after Trinity in 1728 (August 8), the Picander published cycle lists Cantata P-54, "Ich scheue mich, Gerechter Gott" (I shy away, righteous God) to the Johann Rist chorale "Werde munter mein Gemüte" (harmonized in plain chorales BWV 359-60). It is listed in the <NLGB> as No. 208, "Morgengesänge (Morning Song), melody to various texts. The Cantata text closes with Stanza 6, "Laß mich diese Nacht empfinden/ Eine sanft und süße Ruh" (Let me experience this night/ a sweet and gentle rest. Although Bach did not set this text, it appears that Picander, probably with the blessing of Bach and the Consistory, approved the text for publication.

In summary, the cantatas Bach presented or considered for the 11th Sunday after Trinity in Leipzig between 1723 and 1728 are a balance between law and gospel, moving toward the affirmative, as are the Trinity Time chorales prescribed for the 11th Sunday after Trinity in Leipzig which Bach did not use in the cantatas he presented on that Sunday. They rely primarily on repentance hymns prescribed in the Dresden hymn schedules for this day, observes Günther Stiller, <JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig>: 243f.

Trinity Time Chorales Repeated

"The chorales are less specifically prescribed for this Sunday, having all been options for earlier Sundays in the Trinity season, observes Douglas Cowling's 10/6, [BachCantatas] Motets & Chorales for Trinity 11;BCW: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/35726.

In <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (1682), for the 11th Sunday after Trinity, four thematic chorales featured in previous Trinity Time Sundays are listed, as well as the repeat appearances of two Trinity Time Luther Catechism chorales: the penitential hymn setting of Psalm 130, the <De profundis>, "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" (Out of the depths I cry to thee), and the setting of the Lord's Prayer, "Vater unser im Himmelreich" (Our Father in the heavenly kingdom).

1. "Erbarmdich mein, o Herre Gott," Psalm 51 (Prayer for Forgiveness), NLGB 256, (Tr. 3, 13, 14, 22)
2. "O Herre Gott begnade mich," Psalm 51 meditation, NLGB 257 (Tr, 13, 19, 22)
3. "Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (Catechism-Confession), NLGB 178 (Tr. 3, Tr. 22, Tr. 24)
For Bach's uses of these chorales, see BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity3.htm; Motets & Chorales for 3rd Sunday after Trinity, CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns.

4. "Es ist das Heil uns kommen her" (It is the salvation that comes to us); omnes tempore proclamation) NLGB p. 230 (no hymn number) (Eph. 4, Setuagesima; Tr. 6, 13, 18), see BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity6.htm; Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Motets & Chorales for 6th Sunday after Trinity, Hymn of the Day.

5. "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" (Tr. 1, 19, 21), NLGB No. 270; Motets & Chorales for 6th Sunday after Trinity, William Hoffman wrote (June 10, 2011), Trinity Time Chorales for Various Services:
`Bach also set another Luther Psalm chorale: "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" (Out 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.' See, BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity1.htm,

6. "Vater unser im Himmelreich" (Tr. 7, 15, 25), NLGB No. 175; see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity7.htm, Motets & Chorales for 7th Sunday after Trinity.

 

Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Table of Motets & Chorales for Events in the Lutheran Church Year

Lutheran Church Year: Main Page and Explanation | LCY - Event Table | LCY 2000-2005 | LCY 2006-2010 | LCY 2011-2015
Sundays & Holidays in the Lifetime of J.S. Bach | Performance Dates of Bach’s Vocal Works
Readings from the Epistles and the Gospels for each Event | Motets & Chorales for Events in the LCY
Discussions: Events in the Lutheran Church Year: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Readings from the Bible

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Last update: żNovember 27, 2011 ż10:21:37