Musical Context of Bach Cantatas
Motets & Chorales for 12th Sunday after Trinity
Readings: Epistle: 2 Corinthians 3: 4-11; Gospel: Mark 7: 31-37
Dates in the lifetime of J.S. Bach, including works composed for the event
Motets and Chorales for the 12th Sunday after Trinity (Trinity 12)
Douglas Cowling wrote (November 28, 2011):
THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS:
MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR THE TWELFTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
* BACH'S HYMN BOOK:
Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch des Gottfried Vopelius
Berlin: Merseburger, 1969.
ML 3168 G75
* BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION:
Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense"
ML 410 B67R4
Partial Index of Motets in ³Florilegium Portense² with links to online scores and biographies:
Dissertation on Bodenschatz Collection (downloadable):
* Lassus is one of the most important musicians of the 16th century and one of the most frequently performed composers by Bach¹s choirs. His motets were sung in Leipzig on eight Sundays: Christmas, Circumcision, Epiphany 4, Passion Sunday, Estomihi, Invocavit, Trinity 10 and Trinity 23.
Public domain scores of many of his motets can be downloaded at:
Lassus Catalogue of Works:
* There appears to be some patterning in the ³omni tempore² use of chorales in the Trinity season.
³Nun lob mein Seel² is prescribed for Trinity Trinity 12, Trinity 14 & Trinity 19
³Nun freut euch² on Trinity Trinity 12, Trinity 13, Trinity 17 & Trinity 18
* The use of the German Te Deum, ³Herr Gott dich loben Wir², as a general hymn is odd. Its normal place was at morning Matins (sung in St. Niikolai at 5 am) and on occasions of civic celebrations.
1) MOTETS for Introit, Before Sermon at mass and vespers for Choir II, and During Communion:
i) ³Domine in Adjutorium² (6 voices) Orlando di Lasso [Rolandus Lassus] (1532-94)
Text: Psalm 71
Haste thee, O God, to deliver me: make haste to help me, O Lord.
2 Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward and put to confusion that wish me evil.
3 Let them for their reward be soon brought to shame: that cry over me, There, there.
4 But let all those that seek thee be joyful and glad in thee: and let all such as delight in thy salvation say alway, The Lord be praised.
5 As for me, I am poor and in misery: haste thee unto me, O God.
6 Thou art my helper and my redeemer: O Lord, make no long tarrying.
Live streaming sample; (organ arrangement of motet)
Lassus: "Lauda Anima Mea" [from same collection as "Deus in Adjutorium"
ii) ³Domine in Adjutorium² (8 voices) Anonymous
2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore)
³Durch Adams Fall²
Johann Hermann Schein (Bach¹s predecessor)
³Cantoral² Hymn Book:
3) CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns:
"Nun lob mein Seel² [also Trinity 13, Trinity 17 & Trinity 18]
³Nun Freut euch² [Also Trinity 14 & Trinity 19]
³Herr Gott dich loben Wir² [German Te Deum]
Douglas Cowling wrote (November 29, 2011):
Motets & Chorales for Trinity 12 – CORRECTION
Lassus was one of the most important musicians of the 16th century and among the most frequently performed composers by Bach¹s choirs. His motets were sung in Leipzig on nine occasions annually: Christmas, Circumcision, Epiphany 4, Passion Sunday, Estomihi, Invocavit, Trinity 10, 12 and 23.
Chorales for 12th Sunday After Trinity
William Hoffman wrote (November 30, 2011):
Trinity 12 Chorales and Lessons
Bach's three surviving cantatas and their chorales for the 12th Sunday After Trinity represent an important shift in Trinity Time, from cautionary and didactic texts and related music to a respite and renewal of praise and thanksgiving, earmarks of the <de tempore> Christology of the first half of the church year. This change continued with a blend of both types of hymns with the final Trinity Time Sundays embracing popular transitional sacred songs at the end of the church year. This particular Sunday in <omnes tempore> time on the teachings and themes of the Christian Church stimulated Bach to compose music that reflected both the buoyancy of the appropriate chorales and the serendipitous occurrences of related festive events in Leipzig.
This Sunday is a benchmark in the Christian Church second half-year of Trinity Time. It marks the mid-way point in this six-month period and begins the final quarter of the entire church year of 60 Sundays and feasts days. This change in emphasis may be due in part to this Sunday's proximity to the observance in Leipzig of the sacred festival of the annual inauguration of the Town Council, on the Monday following St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24. This Sunday afforded Bach the opportunity to use a cantata for double duty for both the Sunday main service as well as the Monday installation service of the municipal governing body -- and Bach's employer -- at the Nikolai Church in Leipzig.
This affirmative change of mood is found in English conductor and writer John Eliot Gardiner notes to his "Bach Cantata Pilgrimage" in 2000:
"We, on the other hand, had come to Köthen with a rarity - one of the most cheerful programmes of the whole Trinity season. After so many consecutive weeks of fire and brimstone and dire warnings against devilish temptations, forked tongues, false prophets and the like, it came as a huge relief to encounter three genial, celebratory pieces, one with an organ obbligato and two featuring Bach's talismanic trumpets and drums. Fears
that these C or D major trumpets-and-drums opening choruses might become slightly formulaic and repetitious are misplaced: in fact they are subtly differentiated in mood, texture and Affekt." ["Cantatas for the Twelfth Sunday After Trinity; Jakobskirche, Köthen"; BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Gardiner-P06c[sdg134_gb].pdf]
Bach produced three affirmative cantatas for the 12th Sunday After Trinity: the 1723 chorus Cantata BWV 69a, "Lobet den Heren, meine Seele" (Praise the Lord, my Soul); the belated 1725 chorale Cantata 137, "Lobe den Herren, den mächtgen König der Ehren" (Praise to the Lord, the Mighty King of Glory); and the 1726, alto solo Cantata BWV 35, "Geist und Seele wird verwirret" (Spirit and Soul Become Disordered).
The Leipzig Cantor was able to take a brief musician's holiday, so-to-speak, during the three-months of middle Trinity Time when there were no feast days between the Marian Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on July 2 and the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, opening the Leipzig Fall Fair on September 29. Gardner's observation reinforces Bach scholar Günter Stiller's characterization of this 12th Sunday After Trinity in the Leipzig chorale schedules as one containing "primarily hymns of praise and thanksgiving" (<JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig>, Concordia Publishing, St. Louis Mo, 1984: 244).
Scripturally and theologically speaking, this Sunday is grounded in the Gospel lesson, Mark 7:31-37, Jesus' first act of healing at the beginning of his ministry, involving the deaf man. This represents the positive teaching in the paired parable-miracle sequence of repentance and recovery for the 11th and 12th Sundays After Trinity. These two Sundays are a transition from the "New-Life-of-Righteousness" smaller Trinity cycle of six Sundays to the new cycle of "a group of Sundays whose teaching is preeminently practical in character and application. One may generalize and say that the <New Life of Righteousness> will show itself in the <Works of Faith and Love>; what it means to be a Christian," says Paul Zeller Strodach, <The Church Year> (United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia PA, 1924: 216). This teaching cycle of Sundays, continuing until the Feast of St. Michael at the end of September, is exemplified in this Sunday's Pauline Epistle Lesson, II Corinthians 3:4-11, "The Ministers of the New Covenant/Testament" (13:6) emphasizing orderly, spiritual instruction rather than the demands of literal, exclusive law (<Lutheran Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version>, Augsburg Press, Minneapolis, 2009: 1897f).
This shift also is reflected in the choice of chorales listed for this Sunday in <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch 1682> (NLGB), Bach's primary Lutheran hymnbook. As Douglas Cowling observers in the November 28 BCW Discussion:
"There appears to be some patterning in the ³omni tempore² use of chorales in the Trinity season.
³Nun lob mein Seel² is prescribed for Trinity 12, 14 & 19
³Nun freut euch² on Trinity 12, 13, 17 & 18 (and 27)
* The use of the German Te Deum, ³Herr Gott dich loben Wir², as a general hymn is odd. Its normal place was at morning Matins (sung in St. Niikolai at 5 am) and on occasions of civic celebrations."
"THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS:
MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR THE TWELFTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY"
Previously, Trinity Time Sundays in the NLGB primarily listed repetitive liturgical (often Catechism) hymns and thematic sacred songs often emphasizing penitence, righteousness, and Psalm teachings. In succeeding Trinity Sundays in the NLGB these chorales are blended with previous Trinity Time hymns. The final seven Sundays of Trinity also incorporate timely chorales such as "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" (How lovely shines the Morningstar; NLGB 814, Miscellaneous chorales), "Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme" ("Sleepers Awake," NLGB 817, Miscellaneous) and "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" (A mighty fortress is our God, Reformation; NLGB 670), originally Luther's Psalm 46 setting)
For details of the Trinity Time Hymn of the Day, "Durch Adams Fall" (Through Adam's fall, NLGB 606, Catechism hymns) see BCW: "Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Motets & Chorales for 6th Sunday After Trinity," www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity6.htm
Pulpit, Communion Hymns
"Nun lob' mein' Seel', den Herren" (Now praise, my soul, the Lord, NLGB 686,) is based on Psalm 103, "Thanksgiving for God's Goodness." Bach's plain chorale usages include the Pivot Time (turn of the year) Cantata BWV 28/2 (Sunday After Christmas, 1725) and Motet BWV 225/2(3) (?New Years), as well as Cantata BWV167/5 (St. John the Baptist Feast, 1723), and four-voice chorales BWV 389 and BWV 390 [See BCW text and translation, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale136-Eng3.htm]
"Herr Gott, dich loben wir" (Lord God, we praise Thee) is Martin Luther's German <Te Deum> hymn (NLGB 478, liturgical hymn, thanksgiving & praise). Bach's uses are found in two New Year's Cantata BWV 16/1 (?1726), Cantata BWV 190/1,2 (1724, '36-40); Town Council Cantatas BWV 119/9 (1723) and BWV 120/6 (1728); and plain chorale BWV 390. [See text and translation, C.S. Terry [XXVIII.: Herr Gott, dich loben wir. Lord God, thy Praise we sing. - Martin Luther, The Hymns of Martin Luther  (The Online Library of Liberty)]
"Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein" (Now rejoice, dear Christians all, NLGB 616 is a Catechism communion hymn (Stiller <Ibid.>: 128). Martin Luther's 10-verse Advent hymn is a "ballad on Christ's Incarnation," later associated with Ascension and Sundays after Trinity" (Peter Williams, <Organ Music of JSB> 2nd ed., 2003: 476f); Bach's uses of Luther's associated melody are found in: the <Christmas Oratorio>, BWV 248/59 (IV/6) plain chorale set to Paul Gerhardt's 1653 Epiphany text, "Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier" (I stand on your manger here); as the trumpet tune in the arioso with chorale, "Ah, shall not this great day," in Cantata BWV 70, "Wachet? Betet" (Awaken, pray) for the last Trinity Sunday (26) in 1723; and in the Miscellaneous Organ Chorale Prelude, BWV 734. It is listed but not set in the <Orgelbüchlein>, organ chorale preludes, as No 85, for Communion. [See text and translation, C.S. Terry, I.: Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein. Dear Christians, One and All rejoice. - Martin Luther, The Hymns of Martin Luther  (The Online Linrary of Liberty)
As was Bach's usual compositional practice during Trinity Time, he did not use these four NLGB hymns in Cantatas BWV 69a, 137, and 35 for the 12th Sunday After Trinity. Bach did use them in other sacred works, including "Herr Gott, dich loben wir," in two Town Council Cantatas BWV 119, "Preise, Jeusalem, den Herrn" (Praise, Jerusalem, the Lord, 1723) and BWV 120, "Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille" (God, one praises Thee in the stillness), in 1728. In the NLGB, these four hymns for Trinity 12 are cross-references to the topics the "Cross" and "Persecution," as are cross-references for Trinity Sundays 16-18.
Bach's Trinity 12 & Town Council Cantatas
In 1723, on August 15 (Trinity Sunday 12) Cantata BWV 69a, "Lobet den Heren, meine Seele" (Praise the Lord, my Soul), closed with Bach's plain-chorale setting of Samuel Rodigast communion and wedding chorale, "Was Gott tut, das it wohlgetan" (What God Does, that is done well). Serendipitously, Bach borrowed his setting from the 1714 Weimar Jubilate Cantata 12. Fifteen days later, on August 30, the Town Council, Cantata BWV 119, was premiered, closing with Luther's <Te Deum> chorale setting.
In 1724, on August 27 (Trinity Sunday 12) there is no documentation of any performance during the chorale cantata cycle. Likewise, the next day, Monday, August 28, there is no documentation for a Town Council cantata, although the possibility may exist that Cantata 69 was presented. The only extant extant score of BWV 69 is for the Town Council Installation, August 26, 1748, now with the closing communion and Psalm 67 chorale, Luther's "Es wohl uns Gott" (S.3) and song of thanksgiving [See: BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity2.htm, "Musical Context," "Chorales for the 2nd Sunday After Trinity," "Other Chorales" (Cantata BWV 76).
In 1725, on August 19 (Trinity Sunday 12), chorale Cantata BWV 137, "Lobe den Herren, den mächtgen König der Ehren" (Praise to the Lord, the Mighty King of Glory), is thought to have been presented. It is a <per omnes versus> (pure-hymn) setting of Joachim Neander's five-stanza chorale known in English as "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation" (ELW 858). It also is based on Psalm 103 (1-6) as well as Psalm 150. As Stiller notes (<Ibid>: 244), the Leipzig hymn schedules for this Sunday "do not contain the relatively new hymn of the time" (1680). Cantata 137 was presented belatedly in 1725 for Trinity 12 when Bach was not regularly composing in this Trinity Time. Bach's uses of this hymn text to the 1665 melody ("Hast du denn, Jesu, dein Angesicht; listed in Orgelbüchlein as Appendix No. 162, not set) are found in the plain chorale closing Cantata 57/8 (St. Stephen's Day, 1725 Lehms text). Bach repeated the closing plain chorale setting, BWV 137/5, to close the 1728 sacred Wedding Cantata, BWV 120a/8, "Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinge" (Lord God, Ruler of All Things; Stanzas 4 & 5), and transcribed the alto trio aria (No. 3) as the Schubler Organ Chorale No. 6, BWV 651, known as "Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel" (Are you coming now, Jesu, from Heaven). The text and Catherine Winkworth translation are found at http://cathythinks.blogspot.com/2007/02/praise-to-lord-almighty.htm. There is recent documentation that for the August 27 Town Council Installation lost Cantata BWV Anh 4, "Wünschet Jerusalem Glück" (Wished-for Jerusalem Fortune), to a surviving Picander text, was first performed, and was repeated on August 28, 1741.
In 1726, on September 8 (Trinity Sunday 12), Cantata BWV 35, "Geist und Seele wird verwirret" (Spirit and Soul Become Disordered) as performed as part of the third cycle to a Lehms text with no closing chorale. For the Town Installation almost two weeks previous, August 26, no Bach cantata is documented although it is possible that Bach may have repeated one of his appropriate, extant works, Cantatas BWV 119, 69, 137, or Anh. 4.
In 1727, on August 31 (Trinity Sunday 12), the quartet da-capo tenor aria, BWV 69a/3, "Meine Seele, Auf, erzähle, Auf, erzähle, Was dir Gott erwiesen hat!" (My soul, arise, tell what God has shown to you!) was revised and possible performed (See Thomas Braatz' BCW "Provenance" article, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/BWV69-Ref.htm). It is doubtful that Bach regularly performed service cantatas at this Trinity Time, as was the case at Trinity Time 1725. Instead, Bach had begun to compose sporadically a few cantatas from the Picander cycle (BWV 157 and 84), as well as Cantata BWV 193, "Ihr Tore (Pforten) zu Zion" (Ye Doors/Portals of Zion), with no closing chorale, text probably by Picander, for the annual Town Council Installation, on August 25, 1727, six days prior to Trinity Sunday 12.
In 1728, on August 15 (Trinity Sunday 12), Picander hoped that Bach would use his published text P-55, "Ich bin wie einer, der nicht höret" (I am as one who does not hear) using Stanza 9 of the closing chorale, "O Gott, du frommer Gott" (O God, Thou very God). Picander also listed Stanzas 5 and 9 for Trinity 9, P-52, and Trinity 14, P-57, respectively, suggesting the possibility that this Morning chorale, NLGB 564, was increasingly used in middle Trinity Time in the late 1720s in Leipzig. On August 30, Bach probably presented Cantata BWV 120, "Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille" (God, one praises Thee in the stillness) for the Town Council Installation, probably to a Picander text.
Other Town Council Cantatas and Chorales
Picander also has been associated with texts for succeeding Town Council Cantatas:
*BWV 216a, "Erwählte Pleißenstadt" (Chosen Pleisse [River] Town; secular text only) for ?8/29/1729;
*BWV Anh. 3, Gott, gib dein Gerichte dem Könige (God, give Thy Judgement to the Kings; text only) for 8/28/1730; Paul Gerhardt chorale canto, "Wach auf, mein Herz" (Wake up, my heart) with recitative in Movements 3 and 5;
*BWV 29, "Wir danken dir, Gott" (We thank Thee, God), of 8/27/1731; with closing plain chorale, "Nun lob, mein seel' (Now, praise, my soul);
*BWV 248a, no text, music survives as BWV 248/VI, possibly for 8/30/1734; closing chorale chorus melody, "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" (From me heart I am longing).
BWV Anh. 193, "Herrscher des Himmels, König der Ehren" (Ruler of Heaven, King of Glory); text survives (no chorale), parody reconstruction Gustav-Adolph Theil, Forberg Musikverlag, Bonn, 1983), performed on August 29, 1740.
Thus Bach continued until his death in 1750 to present annual cantatas for the Inauguration of the Town Council in late August, using chorales of Praise and Thanksgiving, chorales that remain popular today and are still found at the end of Lutheran hymn books.
William Hoffman wrote (November 30, 2011):
Chorales for Trinity 12: addition
Cantata BWV Anh 4, "Wünschet Jerusalem Glück" (Wished-for Jerusalem Fortune), to a surviving Picander text, was first performed, and was repeated on August 28, 1741.
Cantata BWV Anh. 4 closes with "Verlieh uns Frieden," Martin Luther's German setting of the Latin Mass Proper closing litany, <Dona nobis pacem> (Grant us peace). It is based on the Ambrosian fourth century hymn, <Veni, redepmtor, genitum> (O come, redeemer of the earth), first found in the 1530 Nürnberg hymnbook, and his translation of the Latin antiphon chant text, <Da pacem Domine> (Grant peace, Lord), published by Luther in 1531. In the <Deutsche Messe> (German Mass), Luther's hymn occurs after the closing <Benediction> and intonation of <Da pacem> (Robin A. Leaver <Luther's Liturgical Music>, Eerdman's Publishing, 2007: 218). Bach may have reused one of the two plain chorale 1725 closing settings in chorale Cantata BWV 126 for Septuagesima Sunday or Cantata 42 for the First Sunday After Easter (Quasimodogeniti). C.S. Terry text and translation: XXVII.: Verleih’ uns Frieden gnädiglich. In these our Days so perilous. - Martin Luther, The Hymns of Martin Luther  (The Online Library of Liberty)
Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Table of Motets & Chorales for Events in the Lutheran Church Year