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Musical Context of Bach Cantatas
Motets & Chorales for 19th Sunday after Trinity

 

Readings: Epistle: Ephesians 4: 22-28; Gospel: Matthew 9: 1-8

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

Motets and Chorales for the 19th Sunday after Trinity (Trinity 19)

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 21, 2012):
THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS:
MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR THE NINETEENTH 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:

? No motets are listed for Trinity 19. Given the repetition of hymns across the mid-Trinity season, the motets for the preceding and succeeding Sundays may have been sung

* ³Nun Lob mein Seel² is a perennial favourite, appearing 6 times in the mid-Trinity season

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

No prescribed motets

2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore)

³Nun lob mein Seel den Herren² (Also Trinity 14, 12, 13, 17 & 18)
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale136-Eng3.htm

³Aus tiefer Not schrei ich² (also Trinity 21, 22)
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Aus-tiefer-Not.htm

³Aus tiefer Not last uns zu Gott²
Text: http://www.christliche-gedichte.de/?pg=10634

³O Herre Gott begnade mich²

 

Trinity Time Chorales BWV 48 -- Trinity 19 Chorales, Readings, Fugitive Notes

William Hoffman wrote (May 15, 2011):
Trinity 19

While the appointed New Testament lessons for the final quarter of Trinity Time are increasingly grim and harsh, Bach met the challenge in his cantata musical sermons, beginning with the initial 19th Sunday after Trinity: chorus Cantata BWV 48, "Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erosen?" (I, wretched mortal, who shall deliver me?); chorale Cantata BWV 5, "Wo sol lich fliehen hin? (Where shall I fly to?); and bass solo Cantata BWV 56, Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen" (I will the cross-staff gladly carry).

Bach employs various techniques and devices to engage the listener in all three works: a general shift from the problem to the solution (negative to positive) in the text and musical setting, the use of well-known chorales with mostly selective Catechism confessional stanzas to confront the listener with the Living Word of God, graphic and descriptive poetic texts, various biblical quotations and illusions, and the use of dance style and other musical techniques. Bach also uses elements of tonal unity and allegory in all three cantatas, with flat, descending keys established in g minor in the opening dicta, moving to Bb and Eb Major in the initial recitatives and all the arias, and returning to c and g minor in the closing recitatives and chorales.

The Trinity Time Christian teachings become increasingly austere and severe, as observed by John Eliot Gardner, in his recording notes to his Bach Cantata Pilgrimage 2000. "Now that we are approaching the end of the Trinity season, the thematic emphasis is on the thorny and intractable issues of belief and doubt. With autumn giving way to winter the character of the appointed texts for each Sunday becomes steadily grimmer, underlining the rejection of the world by the faithful and the prospect of eventual union with God - or the horror of exclusion. From week to week this dichotomy appears to grow harsher." Sources: BCW,
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV48.htm, Recordings No. 6, or
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Gardiner-P10c[sdg110_gb].pdf

The final quarter of the Trinity Time mini-cycles on the meaning of being a Christian emphasizes the "last things" (eschatology) couched in symbols of the annual Coming and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Says Paul Zeller Strodach, <The Church Year> (United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia PA, 1924: 239). The final cycle theme is the "Completion of the Kingdom of Righteousness" involving fulfillment and rewards. This Cycle of Last Things closes a complete year of instruction and emphasizes the promise/warnings of eternal life.

The lectionary of teachings continues the paired healing miracle in the Gospel, leading to the next Sunday's teaching parable of the marriage feast, with the positive advice found in the Epistle: Ephesians 4:22-28, the Old and New Man. Here is the contrast of the old man of the flesh and the new man of righteousness.

The Gospel, Matthew 9:1-8, is the Miracle of the Palsied Man (9:2, KJV): "And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee."

The Epistle, Ephesians 4:22-28, stresses, "Put on the new man" (KJV): Reject the old man of corrupt deceitful lust, renew the spirit of the mind, embrace the new man, like God, "created in righteousness and true holiness." Bear no false witness (8th Commandment), "for we are members one of another. [26] Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: [27] Neither give place to the devil. [28] Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."

Cantata Structures & Chorale Choices

While the librettists for the three cantatas cannot be identified, the structures are representative of each of the respective cycles -- chorus cantata, chorale cantata, and solo cantata. A cursory glance at the quite distinctive yet varied literary styles and biblical emphases in each cantata may suggest perfunctory textual devices. In the context of Bach's time and accepted practice, however, each work has a unique character in which music and text fit seamlessly and probably were widely accepted as musical sermons. The firm hand and compelling mind of their creator achieve quite distinctive works beyond their immediate and lasting appeal. The general direction of the three cantatas, BWV 48, 5, and 56, is toward the positive, as well as within each work, from the penitence of the corrupt sinner to the solace of the seeker to the quest for new life.

In his cantatas for later Trinity Time, Bach increasingly turned to other established hymn books to find newer chorales like those of Paul Stockman "and above all also hymns materials not liturgically established," says Günther Stiller's <JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig> (St. Louis: Concordia 1984: 248f). Stiller suggests that Bach often must have lacked suitable stanzas for his cantatas "and therefore naturally had to be free to choose other hymns in each case and also to combine corresponding stanzas meaningfully. But also in such cases Bach strove to put the traditional hymnic materials to use as much as possible, and in this effort various collections of hymns must have inspired him to find the right stanzas."
Stiller then cites the use of the Wagner hymnbook for chorales Bach used in the cantatas for the previous 18th Sunday after Trinity.

Bach was able to include these hymns in the varied and unusual text sources and references in the libretti written for him that became Cantatas BWV 48, 5, and 56 for the 19th Sunday after Trinity. Of particular nois Bach's use of the <Dresdner Gesangbuch> of 1725/36 for the Johann Heermann chorales harmonized in Cantatas 48 and 5, according to Stiller (Ibid.: 246) and conductor Gardiner (<Ibid.>). The Dresden hymnbook specified for this Sunday the congregational singing of "Hymns Concerning Repentance and Confession." Chorale Cantata BWV 5 is based on the repentance hymn "Wo soll ich fliehen hin?" with its associated melody, "Auf meinen lieben Gott."

New chorale sources were lacking in the <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> of 1682 that lists only one "new" chorale, "Aus Tiefer not laßt uns Gott," to be sung on the 19th Sunday after Trinity. Instead, the NLGB favors previous <omne tempore> Trinity Time themes and Psalm hymns to be sung at service: "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ" (I Call to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, No. 235, Christian Life & Hope), "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" (Out of the Depths I Cry to Thee, No. 270, Luther's setting of Psalm 130, <de profundis>), "Nun lob mein Seel den Herrn" (Now Praise My Soul the Lord, No. 261, Psalm 103, Bless the Lord, O My Soul), and "O Herre Gott begnade mich" (O Lord God, Have Mercy on Me, No. 257, Psalm 51, Have Mercy on Me).

The new hymn, "Aus tiefer Not laßt uns Gott," NLGB No. 179, "From the Holy Catechism" (A Song of the Bohemian Brothers), has a text that "is different and the melody may be as well" from Luther's "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" (BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Aus-tiefer-Not.htm, citing a Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau chorale prelude). Both are hymns of "Confession, Penitence & Justification."
Although Bach did not set "Aus tiefer Not laßt uns Gott," he did set in Cantata BWV 48 the next two penitential hymns in the NLGB, "Ach Gott und Herr," No. 180, and "Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut," No. 181, as well as No. 182, "Wo soll ich fliehen hin?," as Chorale Cantata BWV 5.


Cantata Characteristics

Cantata BWV 5 "In its exegetical unfolding (it) corresponds to the pattern of [Cantata 48] `Ich elender Mensch', establishing a correlation between the palsied man and the sin-burdened soul in its first three movements, and describing the extension of Christ's forgiveness to believers in the last four numbers," says Gardiner. Both cantatas follow the traditional Lutheran pattern of problem turning to solution in virtually the same seven-movement form: opening chorus and closing chorale with alternating pairs of recitatives and arias. While Cantata 48 inserts an additional four-part chorale as the third movement, Cantata 5 instead has an additional (soprano) recitative (Movement No. 6) and restates the chorale melody in the oboe in the alto recitative (Movement No. 3).

In contrast, the two Cantatas, BWV 5 and 24, have different musical treatment of the texts and the different thematic emphasis of the two chorales, the penitential "Wo soll ich fliehen hin?" and the comforting solace of "Herr Jesu Christ, ich schrei zu dir," says Gardiner.

Bach literally takes a third tack in his solo Cantata BWV 56 in the third cycle for the same Sunday gospel musical sermon: "Bach takes his lead from the first verse of the Gospel for the day [Matthew 9:1], `And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.' Following a medieval tradition, Bach treats the course of human life allegorically as a sea voyage, a nautical Pilgrim's Progress," says Gardiner. "No stranger himself to life's tribulations, Bach has left us several memorable evocations of adversity, yet none more poignant than this cantata."


Chorus Cantata 48

Bach's first endeavor for the 19th Sunday after Trinity in Leipzig was the Chorus Cantata BWV 48, "Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erosen?" (I, wretched mortal, who shall deliver me?), premiered on October 3, 1723 with the text of an unknown poet. For the full text and Francis Browne's English interlinear form translation, see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV48-Eng3.htm.

Cantata 48 uses three chorales: an opening dictum chorus with instrumental chorale and two four-part chorales. In Movement No. 1, a chorale chorus, trumpet and oboe play the chorale melody, Bartholomäus Ringwaldt's 1588 penitential chorale text and associated melody, "Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut" (Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Highest Good, NLGB <omnes tempore> No. 181). The melody is harmonized in the closing chorale, No. 7, set to the anonymous 1620, "Herr Jesu Christ, ich schrei zu dir" (LJC, I Cry to Thee, NLGB No. 341, Death & Dying), using Stanza 12, "HJC, einiger Trost," (LJC, Sole Comfort). The complete 12-stanza text and Francis Browne's English translation are found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale041-Eng3.htm. For details of Bach's use of the hymn, see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity9.htm, Solo Cantata 168

Another chorale is harmonized in Movement No. 3, the Martin Rutilius 1604 (or Johann Major 1613) hymn, "Ach Gott und Herr" (Ah God and Lord, NLGB No. 180, Catechsim confession chorale), using Stanza 4, "Solls ja so sein" (Shall It Yea Then Be), set in Bb Major to the 1625 Leipzig melody of an anonymous composer when the final four verses were added to the original six (See the full text with Francis Browne's English translation, in BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale043-Eng3.htm. Bach also harmonizes this hymn in the plain chorale BWV 255 in C Major that is found in the Hänssler CD complete Bach edition, chorales, Volume 85 under "Justification & Penence." The hymn tune also is set as chorale prelude BWV 714 in B minor/Major in alle breve 2/2 time. Two miscellaneous chorale settings, BWV 692 and 693 are now attributed to Bach's Weimar relative and associate, Johann Gottfried Wather (See, Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works, BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Ach-Gott-und-Herr.htm).

Around 1713, when Bach began his Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book) collection of chorale preludes for church services, he listed "Ach Gott und Herr," as No. 71 in the <omne tempore> Catechism section, under the heading "Confession, Penitence and Justification." He did not set the hymn then as part of the collection and likewise the other hymns found in Cantatas BWV 48 and 5: "Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut," OB No. 72; "Wo soll ich fliehen hin?," OB No 74. He also did not set "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir," OB No. 67.

Biblical references in Cantata 48 are: Movement No. 1, dictum, Romans 7:24; No. 4. Jesus "works wonders among the dead" (Ps. 88:10) and "shows His power in the weak" (2 Corinthians 12:9); No. 2, Gospel, alto recitative, corrupt old body; No. 4, alto aria, two-part with ritornello, the soul shall be spared (passapied-menuet style); No. 5, tenor recitative, the healing power of Jesus (Psalm 88:10 and 2 Corinthians 12:9); and No. 6, tenor aria "Vergibt mir Jesus, meine Sünden " (Forgive me, O Jesus, my sins).

In its form, Cantata BWV 48 is the first cantata in Alfred Dürr's second group of Cycle 1 works that has a structure of biblical words, recitative, chorale, aria, recitative aria, and closing chorale. This group involves five other, later cantatas with double plain chorales in one part: BWV 40 and 76 for Christmas 2 and 3), BWV 135 for the Sunday after New Year, BWV 65 for the Feast of Epiphany, and BWV 67 for the First Sunday after Easter (source: <The Cantatas of JSB> (London: Oxford University Press, 2005: 27)

Dürr classifies two other types of cantatas structures Bach composed for the 1723-24 first Leipzig cycle: first group of nine cantatas with biblical words, alternating recitatives and arias, and closing chorale for the services for Trinity 8-14 and 21-22, the First Sunday after Easter involving Cantatas BWV 136, 105, 46, 179, 69, 77, 25, 109, 80 and 104;

The third group of 10 cantatas in t<de tempore> section of the first cycle (biblical words, aria, chorale (sic?), recitative, aria, and chorale) were composed for Septuagesima Sunday, Feast of the Purification, Easter Monday to the Sunday after Ascension (except Easter Tuesday and Easter Sunday 2) and Reformation Day.

Thus, Dürr categorizes by cantata structures 25 of the some 58 cantatas presented in the first cycle. The remainder have other structural forms, notably in early Trinity Time are two-part cantatas and shorter cantatas that are part of a double cantata service (before and after the sermon), as well as hybrid works and expansions of some 20 cantatas original composed in Weimar and presented throughout the first cycle.


Chorale Cantata 5

In the Chorale Cantata BWV 5, "Wo sol lich fliehen hin? (Where shall I fly to?), the Johann Heermann 1630 text is set to the J. H. Schein 1627 associated melody "Auf meinen lieben Gott" (Of my loving God, NLGB No. 99, Persecution, Tribulation & Challenge). It was introduced on October 15, 1724 and used the melody the opening fantasia chorus, the alto recitative (No. 4) and the closing chorale (No. 7), S.11, "Führ auch mein Herz und Sinn" (Lead then my heart and mind). The text also has free paraphrases of two succeeding stanzas in the three recitatives and two arias. For the cantata text with Francis Browne's English translation in interlinear format, see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV5-Eng3.htm.
For the Francis Browne translation of the original 12-stanza hymn, from which Cantata BWV 5 paraphrases Stanzas 2-5 and 6-11, see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale021-Eng3.htm.

The libretto is by an unknown poet, from the first group of Cantatas (78, 8, 96 previous Sunday), Harald Streck (<Die Verskunst in den poetischen Texten zu den Kantaten J.S. Bachs>, diss., University of Hamburg, 1971) dissertation), cited in Arthur Hirsch, "JSB's Cantatas in Chronological Order Texts by Bach" (BACH, July 1973: 19, 25).

Chorale Cantata BWV 5 was reperformed between 1732 and the beginning of 1735, according to source-critical evidence, most likely on the 19th Sunday after Trinity, October 24, 1734, possibly as part of performance of the entire second cycle.

In 1725, the 19th Sunday after Trinity occurred on October 7 during Bach's third Trinity Time in Leipzig when he composed only a handful of new cantatas. The most recent composition was BWV 164, "Ihr, die ihr euch von Cristo nennet" (possibly begun in Weimar in 1715), introduced on August 26, 1725. There is no record that Bach composed a new cantata for the Feast of St. Michael on Friday, September 29, beginning the Leipzig Fall Fair. Bach's only other new composition was chorus Cantata BWV 79, "Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild" (God the Lord Is Son and Shield) for the Feast of the Reformation, on Wednesday, October 31, 1725, which is part of Bach's third Leipzig cycle.


Solo Cantata 56

Bass Solo Cantata BWV 56 "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen" (I will the cross-staff gladly carry) was first performed on October 27, 1726 (Cycle 3) and is based on a libretto for this Sunday in Erdmann Neumeister first cantata cycle 1700/04. Dürr cites the various biblical references in the Neumeister text: Revelation 7:17 & 7:14, God wipes away tears, Movement No. 1 aria and No. 4 recitative; No. 2, recitative, Matthew 9.1 (ship voyage), and Hebrews 13.5 from Joshua 1.5 on steadfastness; and No. 3, da-capo trio aria, Isaiah 40:31, "Those who wait upon the Lord shall gain new strength so that they mount up with wings like an eagle . . . ." For the full text and Francis Browne's English translation in interlinear format, see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV56-Eng3.htm.

Dürr notes (p.582) that the "unknown poet of this exceptionally well-written text" utilized a printed Neumeister text also adapted in Cantata BWV 27, "Wer weiß, wie nah mir mein Ende" (Who knows how near is my end), presented three weeks earlier for the 16th Sunday after Trinity. As Bach neared the end of his third cantata cycle, he seems to have been challenged to find new poetic sources as well as chorale stanzas, having exhausted the printed texts from Rudolstadt and Georg Christian Lehms, as well as Neumeister, Salomo Franck, and Johann Friedrich Helbig. At this point in the fall of 1726, Bach turned to Picander for new texts later printed in the 1728-29 cycle. Bach also may have relied on Picander for the adaptation of the two existing Neumeister texts during the remaining Trinity Time that involve mostly solo cantatas often using existing instrumental materials from Bach concerti.

The closing chorale, No. 5, Johann Franck 8-stanza 1653, "Du, O schones Weltgebäude" (Thou, O Beautiful Adobe of Earth), uses Stanza 6, "Komm, O Tod, du Schlafes Bruder" (Come thou, O death, Sleeps Brother). Johann Crüger's associated 1649 melody is not used elsewhere in Bach's cantatas but is harmonized in plain chorale BWV 301 in D minor (NLGB No. 385, Death & Dying), listed under Christian Life & Hope in the Hänssler Complete Bach Edition of chorales, Vol. 83.

The closing Stanza 8 of "Du, O schones Weltgebäude," ?"Doch weil ich die Friedensauen" (Yet Will I the Peace Meadows) is listed as the final chorale, Movement No. 5, in the Picander 1728 complete cantata cycle text, P-40, "Ich klopf an deine Gnadentüre (I pulsate at Thy Grace). Seven stanzas in German are found at http://www.christliche-gedichte.de/?pg=11867.


Other Bach Trinity 19 Opportunities

+For the 19th Sunday after Trinity on October 12, 1727, there was no performance during the mourning period of Sept. 7, 1727, to Jan. 8, 1728, for deceased Saxon Queen Christiane Eberhardine.

+For the 19th Sunday after Trinity, October 3, 1728, the Picander printed annual church cantata cycle, lists P-63, "Gott, du Richter, der Gedanken" (God, Thou Judge, of Thoughts), closing (Movement No. 5) with the Paul Gerhardt 1656 chorale, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?" (Why should I myself then grieve?), S. 6, "Satan, Welt, und ihre Rotten" (Satan, World, and your kind). Associated melody adapted by Leipzig poet Daniel Vetterer 1713, from J. G. Ebeling 1666).

+A tantalizing fragment of a cantata inscribed in Bach's hand for the 19th Sunday after Trinity, presumably for October 23, 1729, is listed as BWV Anhang (Appendix) Anh. 2, no title, involving the opening sinfonia of six measures in Bb Major in 6/8 time, scored for SATB, violin concertante, strings and basso continuo. It is found on the backside of the manuscript score of Bach's Motet BWV 226, "Der Geist hilf unsre Schwacheit auf" (The Spirit hold up our Infirmity), for a funeral on October 24, 1729. Dürr cites this "[Untexted Fragment] BWV Anh, I 2 BC A147" with the extant music in his <The Cantatas of JSB> (<Ibid.>: 584f). The music, like the opening fantasia chorus of chorale Cantata 5 has dance character.

"It is questionable whether this sketch may be linked with Picander's text for this Sunday from his cycle of 1728-29," Dürr says. Further, the harmonization of chorale, BWV 422, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?," is in the unrelated key of C/G Major. Dürr assumes that Bach began the cantata composition (in October 1729) but ceased and began composing the motet for the coming funeral. At this time, Bach had ceased regular service composition, having assumed the directorship of the secular Leipzig Collegium musicum in the late spring of 1729 when he composed his last sacred Cantata BWV 174, "Ich liebe den Hochsten von ganzem Gemute," for Pentecost Monday, June 6, 1729, using a Picander 1728 printed text.
Bach's next documented church cantata composition is BWV 192, "Nun danket alle Gott" (Now Thank We All Our God" for the Reformation Festival, October 31, 1730.

+On the 19th Sunday after Trinity, October 16, 1735, Bach probably performed a Stözel two-part cantata as part of the cycle "Saitenspiele testeddes Hertzens" (Music Playing of the ), text by Benjamin Schmolck, with two chorale settings not identified.

+About October 7, 1736, Bach may have performed Stözel's two-part cantata, "Ich bin ein Gast Gewesen" (I am surely a guest) from the cantata cycle "Das Namenbuch Christi," (Book of Names of Christ), Schmolck text, No. 62. No musical source with the presumed chorales is extant.


Chorale, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?"

The chorale, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?," is not found in the <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> of 1682, since it was too recent, but was popular in Bach's time as an <omnes tempore> hymn under the heading, "Trust in God, Cross, and Consolation." Bach's sole harmonization, BWV 422, four-part chorale in C/G Major, ?c.1730, is found in the Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 85), A Book of Chorale settings: "Trust in God, Cross, and Consolation," No. 8, CD 92.085 (1999).

The chorale also is designated in the Picander cycle for the First Sunday after Trinity, June 19, in Cantata text P42, "Welt, der Purpur stinkt mich an" (World, thy purple robe stinks on me); No. 5, closing chorale, Stanza 10, "Was sind dieses Lebens Güter?" (What are these life's goods?);

The best source for Gerhardt and this chorale, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?," is <Paul Gerhardt, The Singer of Comfort, Hope, and Peace in Christ: His Life and Summaries of Seventeen of His Hymns>, http://www.evangelischeandacht.org/Gerhardt-Book.pdf. The article observers that:
"Paul Gerhardt based this hymn of joy on Psalm 73 [Truly, God is good to Israel], especially verses 23-26.
`Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.'"

Bach used two stanzas of the chorale in his Motet BWV 228, "Furchte dich nicht" (Do not fear), ?funeral, Feb. 4, 1726: Movement No. 2, Chorus SATB (Do not fear) with soprano chorale, V. 11 and 12, "Herr, mein Hirt, Brunn aller Freuden!" (Lord, my Shepherd, source of all joys!), and "Du bist mein, weil ich dich fasse" (You are mine, since I seize you). Francis Browne English translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV228-Eng3.htm.


Bach set the associated Ebeling/Vetterer melody of "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?," to another Gerhardt text, "Frölich soll mein Herze springen diese Zeit" (Joyfully shall my heart soaring up this time, 1656), as four-part chorale in the <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), December 27, 1734.

The chorale, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?," is found in two recent American Lutheran hymnbooks: the 1941 Missouri Synod <Lutheran Hymnal> (St. Louis: Concordia), No. 523, "Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me" (S. 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10-12, John Kelly translation 1867) under the heading "Cross and Comfort," and restored in the current <Evangelical Lutheran Worship> hymnbook (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2006), No. 273, "All My Heart Again Rejoices" (Catherine Winkworth 19th century alternate translation), in the Christmas section.


Provenance

There is no evidence that any of the three Cantatas BWV 48, 5, and 56 for the 19th Sunday after Trinity was repeated in the first 50 years after Bach's death. They so represent a stable estate distribution of the manuscripts to Bach's two eldest sons, Friedemann and Emmanuel. In the first cycle, Friedemann initially received the score and parts set of Cantata BWV 48. Chorale Cantata BWV 5 was divided with the score going to Friedemann and the parts set to step-mother Anna Magdalena. In the third cycle, Cantata BWV 56 was divided with the score going to Emmanuel and the parts set to Friedemann.

In the first Leipzig cantata cycle of 1723-24, the division of scores and parts sets, from the beginning of the church year on the First Sunday in Advent, alternated between the two sons in the <de tempore> first half of the church year. At Trinity Time, however, it appears that Friedemann received both the scores and parts sets for alternate Sundays with the sons dividing scores and parts on the alternate Sundays. While the two shared the third cycle, Emmanuel keeping all the initial scores and Friedemann the parts sets, at Trinity Time Friedemann again received about half the scores and parts sets and they divided the others.

It is assumed that Friedemann's position as music director at pietist Halle favored that arrangement. Friedemann was required to present new music on feast days and he sparingly used the Trinity Time music. Emmanuel, as keyboard accompanist, composer, and teacher, at the Pottsdam Court of Friedrich the Great, had little use for Dad's sacred music, until he assumed the Hamburg Music Director's post succeeding his Godfather, the late Georg Philipp Telemann in 1768.

 

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

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Last update: ŭAugust 23, 2012 ŭ13:13:07