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Musical Context of Bach Cantatas
Motets & Chorales for 18th Sunday after Trinity

 

Readings: Epistle: 1 Corinthians 1: 4-8; Gospel: Matthew 22: 34-46

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

Motets and Chorales for the 18th Sunday after Trinity (Trinity 18)

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 7, 2011):
THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS:
MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR THE EIGHTEENTH 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:

As is common in the mid-Trinity season, Sundays share prescribed chorales. Further options are indicated in other sections of the hymn book. These options provoked a rare dispute between Bach and the ecclesiastical
authorities when a junior member of the clergy took upon himself the choice of hymns, a prerogative which belonged to the Cantor. Bach made a formal complaint.

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

³Confitebor Tibi in Organis² ­ (8 voices) ­ Melchior Vulpius
Biography: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Vulpius.htm

Sample: Comparable double-choir motet by Vulpius: ³Surrexit Christus²
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcsgeYkNNO0

2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore)

³Herr Gott der Einzger Gottes Sohn²
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale114-Eng3.htm

3) PULPIT & COMMUNION HYMNS:

³Hilf Gott we geht²

³Warum tobn dei Heiden²

³Dies sind die Heilge Zen Gebote² [also Trinity 13]

³Nun freut euch lieben Christen gemein² [also Trinity 12, 13]
Text: http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/Lieder/nunfreut.html

Additional Hymns in ³Of Christ¹s Life and Miracles² section of hymnbook

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 7, 2012):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< These options provoked a rare dispute between Bach and the ecclesiastical authorities when a junior member of the clergy took upon himself the choice of hymns, a prerogative which belonged to the Cantor. Bach made a formal complaint. >
I presume the emphasis is on *ecclesiastical*? We (or I, at least ) frequently discuss Bachs reputation for engaging in petty disputes, and whether or not that reputation is deserved. I think there has been far less emphasis in BCML diposts, to the distinctions between secular and civic authority, in Bachs world. Until Dougs post, I had understood (without a lot of thought) this particular dispute to be with civic authority. Perhaps because that is where the complaint was directed?

 

Introduction to BWV 96 -- Chorales, Lessons, Etc

William Hoffman wrote (April 29, 2012):
For the 18th Sunday after Trinity, the theme of "Love of God ("Gottlieb," "Amadeus") and Neighbor" and two early Lutheran hymns dominate Bach's two sole, extant, affirmative musical sermons: Chorale Cantata BWV 96, "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" (Lord Christ, God's Only Son) and alto solo Cantata BWV 169, "Gott soll allein mein Herze haben" (God shall alone my heart have). Both hymns are found in the Reformation's first Song Book of Johann Walther, 1524: first is the Kreutizger original 1524 Advent chorale for Cantata 96 and the Luther Pentecost hymn and (later) general Gradual Song, "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" (Now Let Us Pray to the Holy Spirit).

In both highly-appealing Cantatas 96 and 169, Bach uses well-known chorales, dance styles, and special instrumentation with certain literary techniques and musical devices (allusion, motto, parody) to covey a more gentle pietist portrayal of the Gospel teaching in his musical sermons. Yet the musical results are quite contrasting: Cantata 96 is a congregational celebration with a chorale chorus and arias for tenor and bass while Cantata 196 uses one intimate alto voice in proclamation and reflection, preceded by an extensive, introductory orchestral sinfonia with lilting organ obbligato.

Both chorales, with Latin and German folk origins, were mainstays in 20th Century Lutheran Hymn Books. "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" is known as "The Only Son From Heaven," No. 86 for Epiphany, with resemblance to the Christmas Hymn, "Of the Father's Love Begotten," and "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist," bases on the Latin Hymn, <Veni, Sancte Spiritus>, is known as "To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray," No. 317, with the theme of Christian Hope in the Lutheran Book of Worship (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1978.

The 18th Sunday after Trinity is the final Sunday of the six affirmative paired teachings of miracles and parables in the Trinity Time mini-cycle emphasizing the "Works of Faith and Love," that is, the meaning of being a Christian, says Paul Zeller Strodach, <The Church Year> (United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia PA, 1924: 216). This Sunday's Gospel (Matthew 22:34-46) is the affirmation of the Great Commandment to love God and its Christian corollary, also to love one's neighbor as one's self. It ends the six-Sunday cycle in the third quarter of Trinity Time, leading to the final quarterly cycle of the Church Year with its last things (eschatology) couched in symbols of the annual Coming and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

There is no cantata performance documented for the 18th Sunday After Trinity in the first cycle that fell on September 26, 1723. This was three days prior to the Feast of St. Michael on September 29, and the beginning of the three-week Leipzig Fall Fair, also when no work is documented. This is the only time when Bach failed to produce cantatas since he began his first Leipzig cycle on the First Sunday after Trinity, May 30, 1723, when the annual term of the Thomas School began. It is possible Bach did present the extant, festive motet Cantata BWV 50, "Nun ist has Heil" (Now Is the Salvation), that is best suited for this important civic/church feast. Complicating matters, Bach had no Weimar cantatas available for repreformance since he had been unable to produce monthly Sunday cantatas because of closed mourning periods during Trinity Time 1714 and 1715.

Chorale Cantata 96

Chorale Cantata BWV 96, "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" (Lord Christ, God's Only Son) is in traditional chorale cantata form for Cycle 2, with opening chorale fantasia chorus setting of the first stanza and closing (No. 6) with the harmonized chorale of the final (fifth) stanza, "Ertöt uns durch deine Güte" (Mortify Us Through Thy Goddness). In between are paraphrases of the other verses in alternating recitative-aria pairs. The verse paraphraser of Chorale Cantata 96 may be the librettist of the first group of chorale cantatas, still unidentified, who at this time was alternating writing texts with two other paraphrasers. This poet previously had written the texts of Cantata 78 (Trinity 14) and Cantata 8 (Trinity 16) and next would adapt the chorale stanzas of "Mache dich, mein Geist" for Chorale Cantata BWV 115 for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity, according to Arthur Hirsch's dissertation.

Chorale Cantata 96 was one of Bach's most popular. It premiered on October 8, 1724, and was repeated twice with instrumental changes, on October 24, 1734, possibly as part of a reperformance of the entire second cycle, and again on October 9, 1746 or October 1, 1747. There is no record that the St. Thomas pand former Bach student Christoph Friedrich Penzel copied the parts set and performed Cantata BWV 96 on October 12, 1755. At this point, it appears that Penzel ceased to copy and present Bach chorale cantatas regularly from the parts sets in the Thomas Church, pending the appointment of Bach successor Johann Friedrich Doles.

Julian Mincham notes the "carefree character" of Chorale Cantata 96 that Bach portrays with two techniques: "Technically, one of the ways in which Bach communicates positive expressions of this kind is through brilliant instrumentation. Another is the use of major keys" [BCW,
http://www.jsbachcantatas.com/documents/chapter-19-bwv-96.htm]. A third device is Bach use of dance style as found in two movements. The opening tutti chorus with an "unusual" (Mincham) 9/8 triple-time signature is a pastorale-gigue. The bass aria (No. 5, abbreviated da-capo), "Bald zur Rechten" (Now to the right . . . my straying steps turn) is literally presented as a ¾ time sarabande. For the gentle outdoor effect Bach uses sopranino recorder (or piccolo violin) or soprano recorder plus two oboes with the string band, while the horn (and trombone) sound the chorale melody. The piccolo recorder represents the twinkling Morning Star of the coming Jesus.

Chorale "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn"

The cantata text, "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn," is based on the 1524 Wittenberg five-verse hymn of Elisabeth Kreuziger (c.1500-35), wife of a Martin Luther pupil and preacher (Kaspar Kreuziger) in the initial "Wittenberg orbit" of reformers. As was often the practice at that time, the text is freely adapted and used from earlier Catholic sources: the Latin Christmas hymn by Aurelius Prudentius (c.348-413), "Corde natus ex parentis"> (Of the Father's Love Begotten). It "is the first Reformation chorale to draw on the late medieval tradition of Jesus mysticism that became prominent in succeeding generations" (BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Herr-Christ-einge.htm. Likewise, the melody is derived from a 15th century secular love song, "Mein Freud möcht sich wohl mehren" (My joy will most likely increase), as a contrafaction edited by Johann Walther.

As is also typical of many early Lutheran hymns, "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" found its niche in the liturgy and was adapted as choral settings by Hans Leo Hassler, Johann Hermann Schein, and Samuel Scheidt; organ settings of Scheidt, Johann Heinrich Scheidemann, and Sebastian Knüpfer, as well as Buxtehude, Johann Michael Bach, and Johann Pachelbel; and Bach contemporaries in Telemann cantatas and cousin Johann Gottfried Walther organ preludes.

The liturgical use of "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" is in the <omnes tempore> church year thematic time of Lutheran Justification, particularly in later, transitional Advent, Epiphany, and Trinity Times, where it is found in the Gottfried Vopelius <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> of 1682 as Hymn No. 231, along with other popular Justification chorales that Bach set, "Durch Adams Fall ist gantz verderbt" (By Adam's Fall All Is Corrupted), "Es ist das Heil uns kommen her" (Salvation Has Come To Us), "Nun freut euch lieben Christen gmein" (Now Rejoice, Dear Christians All), and "Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt" (God so loved the world).

The NLGB lists "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" as the Hymn of the Day for the 18th Sunday after Trinity and "which most often occupied the first or second position in the Leipzig and Dresden hymn schedules (in Bach's time), and also sung in Weißenfels on this Sunday," says Güther Stiller in <JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig> (St. Louis: Concordia, 1984: 243f). The NLGB Justification Hymns "Es ist das Heil" (No. 230) and "Nun freut euch" (No. 232) are also listed as Pulpit or Communion Hymns for his Sunday, as well as the Catechism Hymn, "Dies sind die heilgen zehn Gebot (These Are the Ten Holy Commandments, No. 170).

These three chorales, frequently sung in the early and middle Trinity Time, are replaced with Hymns of Christian Life and Hope for the final quarter of Trinity Time Sundays and are listed as the next thematic category in the NLGB, following Justification Hymns, and also are appropriate for the 18th Sunday After Trinity, according to the NLGB. These Hymns of Christian Life and Hope, NLGB Nos. 234 to 274, include Psalm Hymns, and are followed by the thematic categories of Persecution, Tribulation, and Challenges.

Besides setting the entire hymn "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" as Chorale Cantata BWV 96, Bach used the closing fifth verse in three other cantatas: BWV 132/6, "Bereite die Wege, Bereite die Bahn!" (Prepare the Way, Prepare the Road), for the 4th Sunday in Advent 1715, BWV 164/6, "Ihr, die ihr euch von Christo nennet" (You, who are yourselves after Christ called), for the 13th Sunday after Trinity in 1725, and chorale chorus closing Cantata BWV 22/5, "Jesus nahm zu zich die Zwölfe (Jesus Took With Him the Twelve), for Estomihi probe 1723. Bach also set the melody in two chorale preludes, BWV 601 and 698. For details of these two and other disputed organ chorales, see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity13.htm, Cantata BWV 164.

For the 18th Sunday after Trinity in 1725, which fell on September 29, one day after the Feast of St. Michael, Bach probably presented no cantatas. This was typical during Trinity Time 1725 when he probably presented only a handful of works for special events or to fill gaps in the previous two completed cantata cycles. No cantata is documented for the earlier feast day although Bach had available works from the two previous cycles as well as motet Cantata BWV 50, and works of Telemann that he had used at the beginning of Trinity Time in June 1725. In all likelihood, Bach had taken a break from weekly cantata composition, turning instead to the publication of keyboard Partitas for sale at the fair, the revisions of some of his organ chorale preludes, some occasional secular cantatas on commission, and the search for texts/music for his third cycle. This began on the first Sunday in Advent, Sunday, December 2, 1725, probably with the parodied Cantata BWV 36(d), "Schwingt freudig euch empor" (Swing Joyfully Into the Air).

Alto Solo Cantata 169

For the next 18th Sunday after Trinity, October 20, 1726, near the end of the third cycle, Bach used previous material now found in the Clavier Concerto BWV 1053 for Cantata BWV 169, "Gott soll allein mein Herze haben" (God shall alone my heart have). It is the second of six cantatas for solo voice, four of which use existing instrumental concerto music, for the shortened final quarter of Trinity Time. While the lack of choral writing (except for closing chorales), the reuse of music, and the perfunctory, cut-and-paste libretti all suggest Bach's flagging interest in periodic composition, his actual adaptation and response to the motto-like text from the opening statement shows considerable invention as well as transformation resulting in a greatly-engaging and -pleasing work about the love of God and neighbor. See John Eliot Gardiner's Bach 2000 Cantata Pilgrimage notes for Trinity 18, BCW,
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV169.htm, Recordings No. 20.

Like Chorale Cantata BWV 96 for the same Sunday in 1723, Bach found serendipity in Cantata 169 with positive music and engaging instruments in the organ obbligato opening da-capo pastorale-style sinfonia, the minuet music of the first aria (No. 3), motto . . . "I find in him the highest goal" to a possibly lost concerto movement, and the siciliano second aria (No. 5) with a new overlaid melody set to the text.


Chorale "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist"

Cantata 169 closes with an emphasis on the Second Commandment to love one's neighbor, as found in the third verse of Luther's 1524 "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" (Now Let Us Pray to the Holy Spirit): "Du süße Liebe, schenk uns deiGunst" (You sweet love, grant us your favour). Luther's four-stanza Gradual Song between the Epistle and Gospel lessons in the main service is found as a designated <de tempore> Pentecost Hymn in the NLGB No. 130. For further information, see Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nun_bitten_wir_den_Heiligen_Geist

Here is the full text of Luther's four stanzas with the <leisee> litany (refrain) "Kyrioleis" (Have mercy (http://oll.libertyfund.org/option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=754&chapter=87904&layout=html&Itemid=27)

1. Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist
Um den rechten Glauben allermeist,
Dass er uns behüte an unserm Ende,
Wann wir heimfahr'n aus diesem Elende.
Kyrioleis!

2. Du werthes Licht, gib uns deinen Schein,
Lehr' uns Jesum Christ kennen allein,
Dass wir an ihm bleiben, dem treuen Heiland,
Der uns bracht hat zum rechten Vaterland.
Kyrioleis!

3. Du füsse Lieb', schenk uns deine Gunst,
Lass uns empfinden der Liebe Brunst,
Dass wir uns von Herzen einander lieben
Und in Frieden auf einem Sinn bleiben.
Kyrioleis!

4. Du höchster Tröster in aller Noth,
Hilf, dass wir nicht fürchten Schand noch Tod,
Dass in uns die Sinne nicht verzagen,
Wenn der Feind wird das Leben verklagen.
Kyrioleis!

1. Now pray we all God, the Comforter,
Into every heart true faith to pour
And that he defend us, Till death here end us,
When for heaven we leave this world of sorrow.
Have mercy, Lord.

2. Shine into us, O most holy Light,
That we Jesus Christ may know aright;
Stayed on him forever, Our only Saviour,
Who to our true home again hath brought us.
Have mercy, Lord.

3. Spirit of love, now our spirits bless;
Them with thy own heavenly fire possess;
That in heart uniting, In peace delighting,
We may henceforth all be one in spirit.
Have mercy, Lord.

4. Our highest comfort in all distress!
O let naught with fear our hearts oppress:
Give us strength unfailing O'er fear prevailing,
When th' accusing foe would overwhelm us.
Have mercy, Lord.

Bach did three harmonized settings (all in A Major) of Luther's contrafaction of the Latin sequence, <Veni, sancte spirtus>. Besides the closing simple setting of Stanza 3 in Cantata 169/7, Bach also elaborately set Stanza 3 to close Part 1 of the 1736/7 wedding parody Cantata BWV 197, "Gott its unsre Zuversicht" (God Is Our Trust), as well as the untexted setting, BWV 385, that dates to c.1730 on stylistic grounds and may have been performed at a Pentecost service. In addition, Picander's 1728 cantata annual cycle text for the 18th Sunday after Trinity (September 26), "Ich liebe Gott vor allen Dinge" (I Love God Before All Things), also uses Stanza 3 but Bach did not set the libretto. Bach also designated Luther's hymn as a Pentecost service chorale prelude in his Weimar Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book), No. OB 45, but did not set it.

Other Bach Trinity 18 Opportunities

+For the 18th Sunday after Trinity on October 5, 1727, there was no performance during the mourning period of Sept. 7, 1727, to Jan. 8, 1728, for deceased Saxon Queen Christiane Eberhardine.

+On October 9, 1735, Bach probably performed a Stözel two-part cantata as part of the cycle "Saitenspiele des Hertzens" (Music Playing of the Heart), text by Benjamin Schmolck, with two chorale settings not identified.

+About Sept. 30, 1736, Bach may have performed Stözel's two-part cantata "Der Herr hat mir eine gelehrte Zunge gegeben" (The Lord Has Given Me a Learned Tongue) from the cantata cycle "Das Namenbuch Christi," (Book of Names of Christ), Schmolck text, No. 59. No musical source with chorales is extant.

Cantatas BWV 96 and 169 for the 18th Sunday After Trinity are positive contrast to the "Lutheran theological themes in this tail end to the liturgical year [that] frequently deal with Armageddon, with the Second Coming or with the promised `abomination of desolation'," says Gardiner. "So far it has eluded scholars whether Bach actively sought out cantata librettos that he deemed suited to solo vocal treatment for the six cantatas for solo voice he composed in the run-up to Advent 1726, and to what extent he might have intervened in their construction, or whether their texts were clerically imposed on him and, with their emphasis on individual piety, left him no option but to treat them as solo works."

 

Cantata BWV 96 - Introduction

William Hoffman wrote (September 28, 2014):
1st part of this message, see: Cantata BWV 96 - Discussions Part 4

Cantata 96, Part 2

The 18th Sunday after Trinity departs from the usual chorales about death to a special emphasis on the divine nature of Jesus Christ and the importance of his teachings through the importance of “Christian Life and Conduct” and their related teachings. Bach’s Chorale Cantata 96, “Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn” (Lord Christ, the only son of God), emphasizes light, particularly the importance of Jesus Christ as Savior and the greater emphasis on his Great Commandment and his kingdom. The motets and chorales Bach uses on this Sunday, along with his cantatas and related hymns, furthers these teaching in appealing musical terms
.

In context, “Fifth Sequence” of Trinity Time Cantatas, brings “alternation and unity,” says Linda Gingrich in her dissertation:1 The Cantatas are BWV 114, 96, 5 and 180 are “strings of cantatas chained together through allegorical tools.” (84) These cantatas emphasize “Christ’s divine nature” with musical representations of the cross hovering in the background.” (88). In Cantata 96 Bach uses the key of B flat major to connect from the key of g minor in the previous Cantata 114, where in (Mvt. 5), the alto aria, “Du machst, o Tod, mir nun nicht ferner bange” (You make me, O death, no longer afraid), in B-flat highlights the transformation from fear to trust in the Savior. In Cantata 96, “B flat reveals more of its metaphorical role, for it is used to point to Christ as the Son of Man, furthering its theological development.” Cantata 96 “is much concerned the light, the brightness and nature of Christ, and with heaven, perhaps an outgrowth, in part, of the slow shift away from death and resurrections themes of the sixteenth and seventeenth Sundays towards the emphasis of God’s kingdom typically broached on the twentieth Sunday.” The emphasis on Christ’s dual nature is sparked by the Gospel of the day, Matthew 22:34-46, in which “the Messiah is both David’s Son and David’s Lord,” meaning that Jesus is the Son of both God and man, hence the thrust of the libretto.”

Introduction to BWV 96 -- Chorales, Lessons, Etc2

<<William Hoffman wrote (April 29, 2012): For the 18th Sunday after Trinity, the theme of "Love of God ("Gottlieb," "Amadeus") and Neighbor" and two early Lutheran hymns dominate Bach's two sole, extant, affirmative musical sermons: Chorale Cantata BWV 96, "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" (Lord Christ, God's Only Son) and alto solo Cantata BWV 169, "Gott soll allein mein Herze haben" (God shall alone my heart have). Both hymns are found in the Reformation's first Song Book of Johann Walther, 1524: first is the Kreutizger original 1524 Advent chorale for Cantata 96 and the Luther Pentecost hymn and (later) general Gradual Song, "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" (Now Let Us Pray to the Holy Spirit).

In both highly-appealing Cantatas 96 and 169, Bach uses well-known chorales, dance styles, and special instrumentation with certain literary techniques and musical devices (allusion, motto, parody) to covey a more gentle pietist portrayal of the Gospel teaching in his musical sermons. Yet the musical results are quite contrasting: Cantata 96 is a congregational celebration with a chorale chorus and arias for tenor and bass while Cantata 196 uses one intimate alto voice in proclamation and reflection, preceded by an extensive, introductory orchestral sinfonia with lilting organ obbligato.

Both chorales, with Latin and German folk origins, were mainstays in 20th Century Lutheran Hymn Books. "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" is known as "The Only Son From Heaven," No. 86 for Epiphany, with resemblance to the Christmas Hymn, "Of the Father's Love Begotten," and "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist," bases on the Latin Hymn, <Veni, Sancte Spiritus>, is known as "To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray," No. 317, with the theme of Christian Hope in the Lutheran Book of Worship (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1978.

The 18th Sunday after Trinity is the final Sunday of the six affirmative paired teachings of miracles and parables in the Trinity Time mini-cycle emphasizing the "Works of Faith and Love," that is, the meaning of being a Christian, says Paul Zeller Strodach, The Church Year.3 This Sunday's Gospel (Matthew 22:34-46) is the affirmation of the Great Commandment to love God and its Christian corollary, also to love one's neighbor as one's self. It ends the six-Sunday cycle in the third quarter of Trinity Time, leading to the final quarterly cycle of the Church Year with its last things (eschatology) couched in symbols of the annual Coming and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

There is no cantata performance documented for the 18th Sunday After Trinity in the first cycle that fell on September 26, 1723. This was three days prior to the Feast of St. Michael on September 29, and the beginning of the three-week Leipzig Fall Fair, also when no work is documented. This is the only time when Bach failed to produce cantatas since he began his first Leipzig cycle on the First Sunday after Trinity, May 30, 1723, when the annual term of the Thomas School began. It is possible Bach did present the extant, festive motet Cantata BWV 50, "Nun ist has Heil" (Now Is the Salvation), that is best suited for this important civic/church feast as a per ogni tempo work for anytime. Complicating matters, Bach had no Weimar cantatas available for repreformance on the 18th Sunday after Trinity since he had been unable to produce monthly Sunday cantatas because of closed mourning periods during this part of Trinity Time 1714 and 1715.

Chorale Cantata 96


Chorale Cantata BWV 96, "Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn" (Lord Christ, God's Only Son) is in traditional chorale cantata form for Cycle 2, with opening chorale fantasia chorus setting of the first stanza and closing (No. 6) with the harmonized chorale of the final (fifth) stanza, "Ertöt uns durch deine Güte" (Mortify Us Through Thy Goodness). In between are paraphrases of the other verses in alternating recitative-aria pairs.

Julian Mincham notes the "carefree character" of Chorale Cantata 96 that Bach portrays with two techniques: "Technically, one of the ways in which Bach communicates positive expressions of this kind is through brilliant instrumentation. Another is the use of major keys, Chapter 19, Cantata 96, http://www.jsbachcantatas.com/documents/chapter-19-bwv-96.htm.4

For the 18th Sunday after Trinity in 1725, which fell on September 29, one day after the Feast of St. Michael, Bach probably presented no cantatas. This was typical during Trinity Time 1725 when he probably presented only a handful of works for special events or to fill gaps in the previous two completed cantata cycles. No cantata is documented for the earlier feast day although Bach had available works from the two previous cycles as well as motet Cantata BWV 50, and works of Telemann that he had used at the beginning of Trinity Time in June 1725. In all likelihood, Bach had taken a break from weekly cantata composition, turning instead to the publication of keyboard Partitas for sale at the fair, the revisions of some of his organ chorale preludes, some occasional secular cantatas on commission, and the search for texts/music for his third cycle. This began on the first Sunday in Advent, Sunday, December 2, 1725, probably with the parodied Cantata BWV 36(d), "Schwingt freudig euch empor" (Swing Joyfully Into the Air).

Chorale "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" Cantata 169 closes with an emphasis on the Second Commandment to love one's neighbor, as found in the third verse of Luther's 1524 "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" (Now Let Us Pray to the Holy Spirit): "Du süße Liebe, schenk uns deiGunst" (You sweet love, grant us your favour). Luther's four-stanza Gradual Song between the Epistle and Gospel lessons in the main service is found as a designated Pentecost Hymn in the NLGB No. 130. For further information, see Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nun_bitten_wir_den_Heiligen_Geist

Other Bach Trinity 18 Opportunities:

+For the 18th Sunday after Trinity on October 5, 1727, there was no performance during the mourning period of Sept. 7, 1727, to Jan. 8, 1728, for deceased Saxon Queen Christiane Eberhardine.

+On October 9, 1735, Bach probably performed a Stözel two-part cantata, “Der Herr hat mir eine gelehrte Zunge gegeben [Not extant] as part of the cycle "Saitenspiele des Hertzens" (Music Playing of the Heart), text by Benjamin Schmolck, with two chorale settings not identified.

+About Sept. 30, 1736, or later, Bach may have performed Stözel's two-part cantata "Der Herr hat mir eine gelehrte Zunge gegeben" (The Lord Has Given Me a Learned Tongue) from the cantata cycle "Das Namenbuch Christi," (Book of Names of Christ), Schmolck text, No. 59. No musical source with chorales is extant.

Cantatas BWV 96 and 169 for the 18th Sunday After Trinity are positive contrast to the "Lutheran theological themes in this tail end to the liturgical year [that] frequently deal with Armageddon, with the Second Coming or with the promised `abomination of desolation'," says Gardiner" (Ibid.). So far it has eluded scholars whether Bach actively sought out cantata librettos that he deemed suited to solo vocal treatment for the six cantatas for solo voice he composed in the run-up to Advent 1726, and to what extent he might have intervened in their construction, or whether their texts were clerically imposed on him and, with their emphasis on individual piety, left him no option but to treat them as solo works."

Motets & Chorales for Trinity 18

NOTES: As is common in the mid-Trinity season, Sundays share prescribed chorales. Further options are indicated in other sections of the hymn book, says Douglas Cowling in Motets and Chorales for Trinity 18, May 7, 2011 (Ibid.). These options provoked a rare dispute between Bach and the ecclesiastical authorities when a junior member of the clergy took upon himself the choice of hymns, a prerogative which belonged to the Cantor. Bach made a formal complaint.

MOTETS for Introit, Before Sermon at mass and vespers for Choir II, and During Communion from the Bodenschatz Florilegium Portense: 5 Mincham, The Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach: A listener and student guide, Revised 2014; Home Page, http://www.jsbachcantatas.com/index.htm. “Confitebor Tibi in Organis”  (8 voices)  Melchior Vulpius Biography: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Vulpius.htm. The opening polyphonic Introit motet for the 18th Sunday after Trinity is Psalm 110, Dixit Dominus (The Lord said unto my Lord), which also is popular at Vespers. Composers include Palestrina, Lassus, and Handel with a Dixit Dominus in April 1707 while living in Italy.

Bach’s hymn book, Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch lists the following for the 18th Sunday after Trinity, as well as a separate category of hymn, “Christian Life and Conduct.”6 HYMN OF DAY (de tempore): “Herr Gott der Einzger Gottes Sohn”; and PULPIT & COMMUNION HYMNS: “Hilf Gott we geht simmer zu,” Andreas Knophius, setting of Psalm 2, NLGB 242; no Bach setting extant. “Dies sind die Heilge Zen Gebote,” Luther Cathechism Commandments [also Trinity 13], NLGB 170. “Nun freut euch lieben Christen gemein” [also Trinity 12, 13], Justification, NLGB 232. As with three other Sundays in Trinity Time (omnes tempore, Ordinary Time); the NLGB includes a supplementary, compatible category for 18th Sunday after Trinity, “Christian Life and Conduct” (Nos. 235-240). The other Sundays are Trinity 12, “Cross & Persecution” (Nos. 275-304); Trinity 17, the Ten Commandments (Nos. 170-172), and Trinity 26 (Judgement Day, etc. Nos. 390-394). Under the NLGB “Christian Life and Conduct” there are Bach settings of “Kommt her zu mir spricht Gottes Sohn, “Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesus Christ,” “Nun danket alle Gott,” “In alllen meinen Taten” and Weltlich Ehrund Zeitlich Gut.” Various Lutheran hymnals in Bach’s time had similar categories, various as the “Commonweal” and “Christian Life.” The following Bach chorale settings are listed under related categories, beginning with the number from
Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book) OB, while those without OB are often found in the SG = Schmelli Gesangbuch 1735):

The Common Weal (Christian Life and Conduct)
OB87. “Wohl dem, der in Gottes Furcht steht” (Zahn 298?, Psalm 128, Luther); NLGB 269; harmony, Gesius 1605 (first melody, 1525)

88. “Wo Gott zum Haus nicht giebt sein’ Gunst” (Psalm 127), NLGB 268 Zahn 305; BWV 438(PC), BWV 1123(MC); Walther, LV 64*

Christian Life and Experience (Hope)
89. “Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh’ allzeit”; (NLGB 325, Death & Dying); PC BWV 111/6, 72/6, BWV 144/6 (Eph.), 244/31; Walther, LV 114*
90. “Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn”; (NLGB 234, Christian Life, Z2496); BWV 74/8(PC); 108/6(PC); Walther, LV 35*
91. BWV 639 — Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ’: CC BWV 177(Tr.4), BWV 1124(PC)
92. “Weltlich Ehr’ und zeitlich Gut” (Zahn 4977; NLGB 240); BWV 426(PC)
93. “Von Gott will ich nicht lassen”; See OB 16, BWV 613; BWV 658a(18)* (NLGB 310 Word of God); BWV 417-419(PC)
94. “Wer Gott vertraut” (NLGB 276 Persecution, Z8207): BWV 43(PC); Zachow, LV 13*
95. “Wie’s Gott gefalhrist zu seinlt, so gefällt mir’s auch” (Zahn 7574) (NLGB 280 Persecution; Johann Friedrich of Saxony, 1554); melody “Was mein Gott will”; See OB 89
96. “O Gott du frommer Gott” (various melodies); BWV 399(PC), BWV 767(MC)*, BWV 1125(PC)
-- “Alles ist an Gottes segen”; BWV 263(PC)
-- “Auf, auf, mein Herz, und mein ganzer Sinn”; BWV 268(PC)
-- “Beglücket Stand getreuer Seelen”; BWV 442(SG)
-- “Beschränkt, ihr,Weisen dieser Welt”; BWV 443(SG)
-- “Das walt mein Gott”; BWV 291(PC)
-- “Dich bet ich an, mein höchster Gott”; BWV 449(SG), BWV deest (Wiemer 6, PC)
-- “Du, o schönes Weltgebaude”; BWV 301(PC)
-- “Es kostet viel, ein Christ zu zein”; BWV 459(SG)
-- “Es glänzet ser Christen in wendiges Leben”; BWV 456(SG)
-- “Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht, weil”; BWV 380(PC)
-- “Nun danket alle Gott (Thanks, Wedding, Reform.); BWV 657(18), 252(WC) 386(PC); 192(CC)
-- “O liebe Seele, zieh die Sinnen”; BWV 494(SG)
In time of trouble (Christian Life & Conduct, Ob) (Praise & Thanks) (Cross, Persecution & Challenge, NLGB)
97. “In dich hab’ ich gehoffet, Herr” (Psalm 31); see OB 98, BWV 640
98. BWV 640 — “In dich hab” (alio modo); BWV 244/3(PC), 247/5=1089(PC), BWV 717(MC)*
99 . “Mag ich Unglück nicht widerstahn(Zahn 8113); Pachelbel, PWC 241100*
100. BWV 641 — Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein/Vor deinen Thron tret ich; BWV 668(18); BWV 431-32(PC)
101. “An Wasserflussen Babylon” (Psalm 137); BWV 653a(18)*; BWV 267
102. “Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz”; CC BWV 138; BWV 420(PC), BWV 421(PC)=Anh. 159/2(motet); Pachelbel, PWC 483*
103. (Riemenschneider or Zahn 7578) “Frisch auf, mein’ Seel’, verzage nicht” (Cheer up, my soul, fear not) (NLGB 283, Persecution, Z7578 J.H. Schein), [cf. Versage nicht, o frommer Christ, NLGB 282, Tr. 15, Z1712]; or "Versage nicht, O Häuflein klein" (O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe, NLGB 317, God’s Word & Christian Church), melody from "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn" (Mat. 11:28, peace & comfort); See OB 90
104. “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid”; PC BWV 3/6, 153/9, 44/4; Walther, LV 68*
105. “Ach Gott, erhör’ mein Seufzen und Wehklagen”; BWV 254(PC); Krebs, Krebs-WV 513*
106. “So wünsch’ ich nun ein’ gute Nacht” (Zahn 2766, NLGB 387, Psalm 42, Death & Dying), Philipp Niccolai 1638;
[“So wünsch ich mir zu guter Letzt”; Johann Rist (1641), melody, anon (1736), BWV 502 (SG, Dying), BCW,
107. “Ach lieben Christen, seid getrost” (Riemenschneider 31); melody, “Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt” (Z7569), BWV 256(PC)
108. “Wenn dich Unglück thut greifen an” (Zahn 499; NLGB 285 Pdersecution; melody “Wen wir in höchsten Nöthen sein,” Z500); BWV 1104(NC)*, also BWV 641(OB); cf. "Vor deinen Thron tret' ich hiermit," BWV 668(G18)
109. “Keinen hat Gott verlassen” (first letter of each verse spells out Katerina, apparently); (NLGB 291, Persecution); BWV 369(PC)=?247/41
110. “Gott ist mein Heil, mein’ Hulf’ und Trost” ((Zahn 4421, no NLGB); BWV 1106(NC)*
111. “Was Gott thut, das ist wohlgethan, kein ein(z)ig Mensch ihn tadeln kann” (Riemenschneider 45 or Zahn 2524, no NLGB), Michael Altenberg (1584-1640); see http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Altenburg; BWV 1116(NC)*
112. “Was Gott thut, das ist wohlgethan, es bleibt gerecht” (no NLGB); CC BWV 99, CC BWV100, BWV 340(PC)=12/7=69a/6; BWV 250(wedding), 100/6=75/7
113. BWV 642 — “Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten”; CC BWV 93, BWV 434(PC), BWV 647(SC)=CC BWV 93/4, BWV 690-91(KC)
--- “Auf mein Herz, des Herren Tag/“Jesu, meine Zuversicht”; BWV 145/1(PC); see Easter
--- “Den Vater dort oben”; BWV 292(PC)
--- “Gott lebet noch”; BWV 320(PC), BWV 461(SG)
--- “In allen meinen Taten”; CC BWV 97(?wedding), BWV 367(PC)
--- “Lobet den Herren, den Mächtigen König”(Praise & Thanks); CC 137(Tr.12)
--- “Nun danket alle Gott” (Praise & Thanks); CC BWV 192(?Ref.), BWV 252 (EC, wedding), BWV 386(PC), BWV 657(18)
--- “Sei Lob und Her dem höchsten Gut”; CC BWV 117, BWV 251 (EC, wedding)
--- “Steh ich bei meinem Gott”; BWV 503(SG), BWV deest (Wiemer 14, PC)
--- “Vergiß mein nicht, daß ich dein nchtvergesse”; BWV 504(SG)
--- “Warum soll ish mich denn grämen”; BWV 228/2(motet), BWV 422(PC)
--- “Was betrübst du dich, mein Herz”; BWV 427(PC)
--- “Was willst du dich betrüben” (mel. “Von Gogt will ich nicht lassen); CC BWV 107
--- Was bist du doch, o Seele, so betrübet”; BWV 435(PC)
--- “Was willt du dich, o meine Seele, kränken”; BWV 424(PC)
--- “Wer Gott vertraut, hat wohl gebaut”; BWV 433(SG)
--- “Wohl dem, der sich auf seinen Gott” (Trust), CC 139(Tr.23); mel., “Machs mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt,” See OB 138

GLOSSARY

AMB – Anna Magdalena Buch
AS = Alternate setting
CP = Chorale Partitas, BWV 765-771
Cü III = Clavierübung III (Mass & Catechism Chorales), BWV 669-689
D = Doubutful work of JSB
KC = Kirnberger Chorales, BWV 690-713
MC = Miscellaneous Chorale Preludes, 714-64, etc.
NC = Neumeister Chorale Collection, BWV 1090-1120
OB = Orgelbüchlein Collection, BWV 599-644
PC = Plain Chorale, BWV 250-438, etc., c.1730
SBCB = Sebastian Bach’s Chorale Buch c.1740
SC = Schubler Chorales, 645-50 1746
SG = Schmelli Gesangbuch 1735
18 = Great 18 (Leipzig) Organ Chorale Collection, BWV 651-668
CH = Communion (& vespers) hymn
GH – Gradual Hymn (between Epistle & Gospel), Hymn de tempore
PH = Pulpit Hymn before sermon
CC = Chorale Cantata, (CC) = Chorale Chorus
EC = Elaborated Chorale setting
OC = Organ Chorale
EOC = Emans Organ Chorales = NBA KB IV/10 (2007)
NLGB = Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> 1682 (Gottfried Vopelius)
Z = Johannes Zahn Melody Catalogue

FOOTNOTES


1 Gingrich dissertation, The seen and the unseen: Hidden allegorical links in the Trinity season chorale cantatas of J. S. Bach, D.M.A., University of Washington, 2008, 146; 3303284: 84, 88). (http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/pqdtopen/doc/251359759.html?FMT=AI.)
2 BCW Musical Context: Motets & Chorales for 18th Sunday after Trinity, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity18.htm.
3 Strodach, “Studies in Epistles, Gospels” (United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia PA, 1924: 216).
4 Mincham, The Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach: A listener and student guide, Revised 2014; Home Page, http://www.jsbachcantatas.com/index.htm.
5 BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION: Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein " Schünigen: Kaminsky,1927 ML 410 B67R4; Partial Index of Motets in Florilegium Portense with links to online scores and biographies: http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Florilegium_Portense and http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Florilegium_Portense; Dissertation on Bodenschatz Collection.
6 NLGB, BACH'S HYMN BOOK: Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch des Gottfried Vopelius Leipzig 1682)", Berlin: Merseburger, 1969. ML 3168 G75)..

 

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

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Last update: ýNovember 11, 2014 ý07:58:53