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Motets & Chorales for 20th Sunday after Trinity


Readings: Epistle: Ephesians 5: 15-21; Gospel: Matthew 22: 1-14

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

Motets and Chorales for the 20th Sunday after Trinity (Trinity 20)


Trinity Time Chorales: Cantata 162: Trinity 20 Chorales, Scripture, Fugitive Notes

William Hoffman wrote (June 4, 2012):
All three Bach cantatas and their chorales composed for the 20th Sunday after Trinity -- BWV 162, 180, and 49 -- closely follow the Gospel and Epistle biblical teachings for this Sunday in settings that are affirmative, varied, and engaging, reflecting the Epistle emphasis on vigilance as shown in the Gospel parable of the marriage feast. The cantatas are: SATB solo Cantata BWV 162, "Ach! Ich sehe, jetzt, da ich zur Hockzeit gehe" (Ah, I see sow, as I to the marriage go); chorale Cantata BWV 180, "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele" (Arise thee, O loving soul); and soprano-Bass dialogue Cantata BWV 49, "Ich gehe und such emit Verlangen" (I go and seek with longing).

The lectionary teaching found in that Sunday's Epistle, Ephesians 5: 15- 21, emphasize achieving vigilance through moderation and circumspection as described in the Gospel, Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus' Parable of the marriage of the king's son and in inappropriately-dressed wedding feast guest (see BCW,

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. 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 promises/warnings of eternal life [ref.: Paul Zeller Strodach, <The Church Year> (United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia PA, 1924: 239)].

While the teachings in the final Trinity Time quarter of six Sundays are generally grim and harsh, this 20th Sunday after Trinity offers contrast and respite for the Christian believer. Bach responds accordingly with particularly compelling pastoral music reflecting vivid imagery. The Gospel of the Marriage Feast, "prompts many figurative references to the soul as bride, to travel, to clothing and to food, such as Jesus as the `bread of life', and Bach came up with three settings all marked in their way by this imagery, each one creating a distinctive sensuous atmosphere by means of scoring, vocal writing, special sonority, or a mixture of all three," says John Elliott Gardiner "Cantatas for the 20th Sunday after Trinity," notes to the Bach Pilgrimage 2000, in[sdg168_gb].pdf

Bolstering this is Bach's choice of quite appropriate, distinct, popular chorales that increasingly move towards the affirmative: "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" (All Men Must Die, Cantata 162), "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele" (Adorn thyself, O loving soul, Cantata 180), and "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" (How lovely shines the morning star, Cantata 49). All three hymns have endured through various usages in the Church Year, were translated by English writer Catherine Winkworth, and are still sung today. "Alle Menschen," known as "All Men Living Are But Mortal" is found in the Death & Burial section of the <The Lutheran Hymnal> 1941 Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (St. Louis, Concordia Publishing). "Schmücke dich" is used as two Communion hymns, "Now We Join in Celebration," No. 462, and a "Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness," No. 488 in the current American <Evangelical Lutheran Worship> hymn book (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2006). The same hymn book also lists "Wie schön leuchtet" twice in the <omne tempore> sections as "O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright," No. 308, "Time after Epiphany," and "O Holy Spirit, Enter In," No. 786, "Trust & Guidance."

As for the remaining texts of the three cantatas, Bach in 1716 utilized his talented Weimar librettist Salomo Franck for Cantata BWV 162, in 1724 the still-unknown Cycle 2 chorale cantata group utilitarian librettist in the last of four cycle texts for Cantata BWV 180, and a composite text using older poets and biblical quotations as assembled possibly by Picander in 1726 in Cantata 49. The Cantatas composed for the 20th Sunday after Trinity proved to be serendipitous for Bach.

SATB Solo Cantata 162

Bach set the stage for all three cantatas for the 20th Sunday after Trinity with Cantata 162. Here, he was able to utilize his storehouse of Weimar church cantatas, usually deficient in Trinity Time sermon cantatas because of closed mourning periods in 1714 and 1715. For the first time since early Trinity Time 1723, Bach was able to revive a work with virtually no changes. This special-form cantata exemplifies both the intimate, graceful pastoral-dance musical character of many Weimar works, beginning with the bass (?Bridegroom) dictum modified da-capo wedding journey aria, now married to a vivid text that illustrates this Sunday's sermon.

For a wealth of information, see Julian Mincham's study of Cantata 162, BCW,

The text blends graphic, pietistic sentiments with old Testament illusions to God's heavenly throne and earthly footstool closing the prophet Isaiah (66:1) found in the opening proclamatory, festal tenor recitative and in the garments of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) in the closing ¾ time alto-tenor rondo duet. In the middle is the tempered, refreshing fountain of the soprano (?Bride) two-part aria in 12/8 pastorale-gigue style followed by the expansive alto tour-de-force imagistic recitative closing with the Revelation 19:9 affirmation to "worthily taste the Supper of the Lamb" [Biblical references, cited in Alfred Dürr, <Cantatas of JSB>: 585-88).

SATB solo Cantata BWV 162, "Ach! Ich sehe, jetzt, da ich zur Hockzeit gehe" (Ah, I see now, as I to the marriage go) was first performed on October 25, 1716, as part of Bach's monthly obligation to the Weimar Court. It was repeated with the addition of a slide trumpet reinforcing the viola part in the opening bass aria and in the Movement No. 6 melody in the closing four-part chorale, as part of Bach's first Leipzig cycle, on October 10, 1723. Both versions can be found in Ton Koopman's Amsterdam Baroque "Complete Cantatas" CD, Vol.3, Erato 1996.

Chorale `Alle Menschen müssen sterben'

The text is from Weimar Court poet Salomo Franck's 1715 "Evangelisches Andachts Opfer" (Evagelical Sermon Offerings) printed cycle, done in collaboration with Bach. It closes with the final Stanza 7 of the Johann Rosenmüller 1652 funeral text setting of "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" (All Men Must Die), also attributed to Johann Georg Albinius. Stanza 7 begins, "Ach, ich habe schon erblicket/ Diese große Herrlichkeit" (Ah, I have already glimpsed/ this great splendour). Francis Browne's 2009 English translation of the text is found in BCW, with the two associated melodies, titled "Jesu, der du meine Selle" (Jesus, Thou of My Soul).

The chorale "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" is found in <Das Neu Leipzig Gesangbuch> (NLGB) 1682 of Gottfried Vopelius as No. 383 under "Death and Dying" but is not designated as the hymn for any particular Sunday of the church year in Bach's favored hymn book.

The hymn is related to the various melodies and settings of "Jesu, der du meine Selle," discussed at length in the Thomas Braatz and Aryeh Oron 2006/08 BCW article, The original text of "Jesu, der du meine Selle" of Johann Rist is first found in 1641 and is usually listed as a "Jesus Hymn," a category of Epiphany Time <de tempore> hymns not found in the <NLGB>. The hymn as published in 1651 has the Rist text set to the melody known as "Alle Menschen müssen sterben," composed by Christoph Anton.

Chorale Melodies

The designated Melody No. 1 is found in three untexted organ chorale preludes attributed to Bach: Neumeister Chorale (No 70, 27 measures in B-Flat Major, "Death and Dying"), BWV 1117 (c.1700); Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book) Chorale, BWV 643 (Alio modo, Bar Form [4-4-8 measures], in G Major, "Death and Dying"), 1713-15; and the doubtful Miscellaneous Chorale, BWV 752, entitled "Jesu, der du meine Selle." Two sources Bach may have used for the melody are the 1681 Weimar Hymn Book and the 1714 Weißenfels Hymn Book, according to the BCW Braatz-Oron article.

The closing chorale of Cantata BWV 162 uses designated Melody No. 2 (1st Alternate). The melody source is unknown and its use is found only once in Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748), Chorale Prelude for Organ "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" (using Zahn 6783) in DDT 26/27, p. 32 (cited in Dürr, <Cantatas of JSB>: 589 and possibly known in Weimar c.1716).

Bach's other setting, Melody No. 3 (2nd Alternate), is found in the four-part plain chorale, "Alle Menschen müssen sterben," BWV 262 in D Major. The melodic source is Jacob Hintze, Berlin 1678. Bach did not harmonize this melody. "The NBA no longer recognizes this as a work by Bach. It is quite obviously a setting by Johann Pachelbel from 1683: Chorale Partita with 8 variations or `Partiten.' The set of variations is introduced by a 4-pt. setting that is authentically by Pachelbel (with a subtitle: "Jesu, der du meine Seele.")," says the BCW article. A recording of this simple harmonization, BWV 262, is found on YouTube:

Pachelbel Chorale

Chorale BWV 262 also is recorded in the Hänssler Complete Bach Edition, Book of Chorale Settings, CD Volume 85, "Dying, Death & Eternity," with translations of Stanza 1 as well as Stanza 4, "Dar wird sein das Freudenleben" (There [heaven] will be the joyful life). The <omne tempore> theme of Death & Dying" is the penultimate thematic section in the <NLGB> and features various death lullabies, similar in tone to "Jesu, der du meine Selle, that begin with graphic descriptions of death, moving from sadness to joy. The final thematic section is a summary of the hymn book, "Recent Days, Resurrection of the Dead, and Eternal Life."

Although the hymn was harmonized by Pachelbel (1653-1706), it has various connections to Bach and is possible that Bach used it, since it survived in Bach's "complete" chorale collection (1784-87), compiled by son Carl Philipp Emmanuel from his father's vocal works and published by Breitkopf in Leipzig. Bach's brother and teacher Johann Christoph (1671-1721) was a student of Pachelbel and also copied various organ works. This practice suggests that Bach may have composed a number of his free-standing, four-part chorale harmonization, BWV 252-439, not necessarily to close now-lost service cantatas but as organ introductions to chorale preludes (Pachelbel), as pedagogical compositions to guide less-talented organists similar to Bach's short chorale preludes (Wolff-Zepp, <The Organs of JS Bach>, Univ. of Illinois, 2012: xviii), and as templates particularly for service free-improvisation of talented organists on major instruments (IMHO).

Sebastian also used harmonized chorale settings of other composers in his works, mostly notably, "Welt Ade, ich bin deine Müde" (Welt, ade! ich bin dein müde" (World, farewell! I am weary of you) in then 1682 <NLGB> No. 372 (Death & Dying) publication of the Albinius/Rosenmuller 1649 text to the melody harmoniuzed by Rosenmuller. It also is known as "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" with "connections" to Rist's hymn "Jesu, der du meine Selle" as well as "Wachet doch, erwacht, ihr Schläfer" " (Wake up yet, awaken, you sleepers), says BCW (Ibid.) This setting closes Cantata BWV 27, "Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende!" (Who knows how near is my end), composed to a composite text for the 16th Sunday after Trinity in 1726.

Other Hymn Connections

There are three other documented Bach "connections" to the hymn "Alle Menschen müssen sterben," all dating to 1728-29, two in the published Picander Cycle of 1728 (not set by Bach) and one for a 1729 funeral service:

+Stanza 6, "O Jerusalem, du Schöne,/ Ach, wie helle glänzest du!" (O Jerusalem, you beautiful place,/ Ah, how bright you shine!), closes Picander Cycle Cantata P-70, "Kommt denn nicht mein Jesus bald? (Come then not my Jesus soon?), for the final Sunday (26th) in Trinity Time, November 21, 1728.

+On March 24, 1729, Bach's four-part "Köthen Funeral Music, BWV 244a, was presented along with four congregational chorales, including "Alle Menschen müssen sterben," at the memorial service for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen in the Reformed Municipal Church at Köthen. Is it possible Bach performed the Pachelbel organ partita chorale, BWV 262 (and variations) at this service at St. Jacob's Church on the cathedral organ? (Ref. Christoph Wolff, <Organs of JSB>, Univ. of Illinois Press, 2012: 40ff)

+Closing Stanza 7, "Ach, ich habe schon erblicket/ Diese große Herrlichkeit" (Ah, I have already glimpsed/ this great splendour), which also closes Cantata BWV 162 in 1723, is found in the published Picander Cycle Cantata P-33 "Fasse dich, betrübter Sinn" (Control yourself, troubled mind), for the Third Sunday after Easter (Jubilate), May 18, 1729.

Chorale Cantata 180, `Schmücke dich'

Chorale Cantata BWV 180, "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele" (Adorn thyself, O loving soul) explores and exploits Johann Franck's <omnes tempore> 1649 Eucharistic hymn in nine verses. Verses 2-7 address hunger and fear resolved in the Eucharist, says Peter Williams <Organ Music of JSB, 351f)), Johann Crüger melody 1649 (similar to Geneva Psalter tune. Bach uses pastoral recorder and oboes, plus the violoncello piccolo in all the other arias and recitatives to heavenly affect, bolstered by music of dance-like character. See Julian Mincham's study, BCW

Of the various forms of chorale cantatas, Cantata BWV 180 has the most typical. Bach sets the text to the melody in three movements: No. 1, the opening, extended chorale fantasia chorus, soprano melody; No. 3, soprano recitative, seven-bar secco introduction, followed the text of Stanza 4 sung to an ornamented melody with violoncello piccolo accompaniment; and No. 7, closing tutti four-part plain chorale, using the final Stanza 9. The remaining movements are set to close paraphrases of the original stanzas.

The hymn "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele" is not found in the <NLGB> or contemporary Leipzig hymn schedules, notes Günter Stiller (<Ibid., 248), but "was possibly also inspired for this Sunday by the Wagner hymnal (8 vols., Leipzig, 1697), throughout extolling the mystery of the Sacrament of the Altar." Another possible Bach source is the 1666 Arnstadt Hymn Book, with the hymn designated for Trinity 20 (Williams, <Ibid.>).

Hymn Sources & Themes

Bach's primary source for the hymn may have been the Weimar hymnbook of 1713 (Communion Hymn, 9 stanzas), says Anne Leahy, <JSB's Leipzig Chorale Preludes>, Contextual Bach Studies No. 3 (Toronto: Scarecrow Press, 2011, 59-78). The hymn has vivid imagery of the bride-bridegroom theme found in the Song of Songs, showing a strong relationship to the 20th Sunday after Trinity. The unification of the soul (bride) with Christ (bridegroom), known as the <unico mystica>, plays a major role in the hymn text and was particularly appealing to Lutherans, says Leahy. Lutheran theologian Heinrich Muller "compares human love with the love between Christ and the soul, showing how Christ's blood is part of the cleansing process," she says. This union and is the central theme of Luther's sermons for the 20th Sunday after Trinity, Leahy points out.

Besides the important themes of mystic union, bride and bridegroom, and the Eucharistic meal, Leahy notes (p. 66) the adornment (Schmück) or dressing of the soul as it prepares for the eternal union or marriage feast with Christ, especially in Bach's Weimar organ chorale setting of "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele," revised a quarter century later in Leipzig in 1739/42. In the Gospel reading for the 20th Sunday after Trinity, the Parable of the Marriage Feast of the King's Son (Matthew 22:1-14), one of the guests wears no wedding garment and the king directs his servants to cast him out into the darkness. Luther emphasizes that salvation is attained only through Holy Communion following the cleansing process. The Communion is a commemoration of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, therefore the utilization of the hymn in oratorio Passion settings.

Hymn Melody

There is a close relationship between the opening movement of the chorale Cantata BWV 180, firmly rooted in F and B-Flat Major, and the extended (127 measures), ornamental Great Organ Chorale in E-Flat Major on the hymn "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele," says Leahy (p. 69). There are striking similarities, particularly based on Bach's musical treatment of the text of Stanza 1 of Franck's hymn, emphasizing the text-music relationships. Meanwhile, there are various differences in the overall compositional methods of a cantata pastorale-gigue chorus in episodic ritornello form and embellished melodic treatment compared to manipulation of the cantus with modulation and contrapuntal harmony in the organ chorale prelude. "The idea of heavenly matters and salvation is not far from the surface in (Cantata) BWV 180," she observes. The dance-like 12/8 meter in four beats to a measure relates to the theme of eternal salvation. The sarabande in ¾ triple-time rhythm in the organ chorale prelude also contains numerous parallel harmonic intervals of thirds and sixths in the florid passages similar to the heavenly unity of the pairs of pastoral recorders and oboes in consonant third and sixths descriptive of love as mystical union, Leahy finds.

Here is Browne's interlinear English translation of Stanza 1:

Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele,
(Adorn yourself, O dear soul,)
Laß die dunkle Sündenhöhle,
(leave the dark den of sins,)
Komm ans helle Licht gegangen,
(come into the clear light,)
Fange herrlich an zu prangen;
(begin to shine with glory,)
Denn der Herr voll Heil und Gnaden
(for the Lord, full of salvation and mercy)
Läßt dich itzt zu Gaste laden.
(has now invited you as a guest.)
Der den Himmel kann verwalten,
(He who can reign in heaven)
Will selbst Herberg in dir halten.
(wants himself to make his dwelling in you.

"Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele" also is considered as a "Jesus Hymn," most notably in BWV 654(a), Organ Chorale Prelude, says Williams (Ibid.) and as a Passion hymn. As a Passion hymn it is found in the Brockes oratorio Passion Text of 1712 as one of the "Chorales of the Christian Church," and is used in two Telemann's Passions: Brockes Passion of 1716), No. 9. "Ach wie hungert meine Gemute" (Ah, how hungry is my nature, S. 3, "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele"); and "Seliges Erwägen" (Blessed Reflections) (1719), No. 2, "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele."

The hymn, titled "Deck Thyself, My Soul, With Gladness," is found in Catherine Winkworth's 1858 English translation of nine verses:

There are three other connections to the untexted Johann Crüger associated melody as found in organ compositions. The incomplete "Orgelbüchlein" (Little Organ Book) chorale prelude collection, composed primarily in Weimar, has "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele" as the last listing in the <omne> tempore. Appendix, No. 164, but it was not set by Bach. In all likelihood Bach developed the music for the extended "Great" chorale prelude collection, composed in Weimar and revised c.1740 in Leipzig in Bach's final decade. There are two Miscellaneous Organ Chorale prelude settings now attributed to the Bach student and gallant composer Gottfried August Homilius: BWV 759 and BWV Anh. II 74 (Emans 157?).

Chorale Cantata BWV 180 may have been reperformed on the 20thth Sunday after Trinity, October 31, 1734, possibly as part of performance of the entire second cycle. In 1725, the 20th Sunday after Trinity occurred on October 14 during Bach's third Trinity Time in Leipzig when he composed only a handful of new cantatas. It is doubtful that he presented any of his own music on this Sunday in 1725.

Soul-Jesus Dialogue Cantata BWV 49

Bach literally sets solo Cantata BWV 49, "Ich gehe und suche mit Verlangen" (I go and seek with longing) as a "Cantata Dialogus" (his description) between Bride (soprano, Soul) and Bridegroom (bass, Jesus). It utilizes another composite text near the end of the third Leipzig cantata cycle, for the 20th Sunday after Trinity, on November 3, 1726. Like previous cycle cantatas for late Trinity Time, Cantata 49 shows the influence of established cantata poets, particularly theologian Erdmann Neumeister with emblematic biblical references, and a closing, interpolated chorale, "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" (How lovely shines the morning star), as assimilated by Bach's textual collaborator (possibly Picander).

Like previous Cycle 3 Trinity Time cantatas, the music also opens with recycled instrumental material from Bach's previous post at Köthen, here perhaps originating as the opening movement of a viola concerto.

Cantata 49 culminates in the final, seventh stanza of "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern": "Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh" (How full I am therefore of heartfelt joy), with its theme of eschatological expectation amid vigilance anticipating the new church year of rebirth and renewal. The first six lines in long notes in the soprano are inserted between the first two lines of the biblical dictum opening the final movement (No. 6), a love duet: "I have loved you forever, and [CHORALE <Stollen> A'A] How full I am . . . ] Therefore I draw you to me" (Jeremiah 31:3).

In the closing <Abegesang> imitating the Bar form chorale (B of AA'B), the bass bridegroom sings phrases of love to his bride who responds with the final four lines (B) of the chorale. They each quote a passage from Revelation: he who seeks entry into the eternal place of the mutual meal of fellowship and victory (Rev. 3:10), "I stand before the door"; she welcoming him as the "Crown of Joy," referring to the phrase "crown of life" in Rev. 2:10; and he responding with "Open up, my place of residence."

Other Biblical paraphrase references, also cited in Alfred Dürr, <Cantatas of JSB>: 592-97, are:
1. Bass aria, Song of Songs: "fairest bride" 5.2, "my dove" 6.9;
3. Soprano-Bass recitative duet: "Your Feast of fat things" (Isaiah 25:6, from A Hymn of Praise);
5. Soprano-Bass recitative: "betrothe myself in eternity" (Hosea 2:19, Covenant with Israel).

See Julian Micham's fascinating study of Cantata BWV 49n and comparisons with BWV 162 and 180:
Chorale `Wie schön leuchtet den Morgenstern'

"Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" with its utilitarian and cyclic influences is one of Bach's most utilized chorales in various formats. Its primary usage is for the 20th Sunday after Trinity, Stiller (Ibid, 246) points out, when it was "the hymn of the day in Leipzig and also enjoyed high priority in the Dresden hymn schedules around 1750." In the <NLGB> of 1682 it also is designated to be sung on the final 27th Sunday after Trinity. As hymn No. 313, it is found in the <omnes tempore> section, "Word of God & Christian Church," where it is described as the "wedding song of the heavenly Bridegroom of Jesus Christ," based on Psalm 45, <Ercutavit cor meum> (Mheart is stirring with a noble song) to King David, as well as Solomon's Old Testament book, Song of Songs.

The author of both the seven-stanza text and melody is Philipp Niccolai, dating to 1597. Francis Browne's BCW English translation is found in Bach utilized all the verses and the melody is found in Cantatas: BWV 1/1, BWV 1/6, BWV 36/4, BWV 37/3, BWV 49/6, BWV 61/6, BWV 172/6, BWV Anh 199/3 for Annunciation Advent, Ascension, Trinity 20, and Pentecost respectively; in plain Chorale BWV 436; and in Miscellaneous Organ-chorale: BWV 739.
Further information is found in Wikipedia:ön_leuchtet_der_Morgenstern.

Other Bach Trinity 20 Opportunities

+For the 20th Sunday after Trinity on October 19, 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 20th Sunday after Trinity, October 10, 1728, the Picander printed annual church cantata cycle, lists P-64, "Ach, rufe mich bald" (Ah, rest me soon), contains no closing chorale

+On the 20th Sunday after Trinity, October 30, 1735, Bach probably performed a Stözel two-part cantata as part of the cycle "Saitenspiele testeddes Hertzens" (Music Playing of the Heart), text by Benjamin Schmolck, with two chorale settings not identified.

+About October 21, 1736, Bach may have performed Stözel's two-part cantata, "Wie sich ein Brautigan freuet über die Braut" (As the Bridegroom is joyous over the Bride," from the cantata cycle "Das Namenbuch Christi," (Book of Names of Christ), Schmolck text, No. 63. No musical source with the presumed chorales is extant.

In addition to the three Bach cantatas -- BWV 162, 180, 49 -- for the 20th Sunday after Trinity, one other,
Cantata BWV 45, "Es ist dir gesagt, Menschen, was gut ist" (It is told you, man, what is good), composed for the Eighth Sunday after Trinity, also is appropriate for this Sunday in the original single-year lectionary, according to the <Evangelisches Kirchen Gesangbuch> 1996, p. 76.

Other Trinity 20 Chorale Usages

Besides "Wie schön leuchtet den Morgenstern," The <NLGB > of 1682 lists the following chorales as designated for the 20th Sunday after Trinity:
+"Ach Gott von Himmel siehe darein" (Ah God, look down from heaven); details, BCW, Musical Context, Motets & Chorale, Trinity 2,
+"Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl" (The unknown mouth speaks well); details, BCW, Musical Context,
Motets & Chorales, Trinity 1,
+"Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt" (If God does not abide in us); details, BCW, Musical Context, Motets & Chrorales. Trinity 8,
+"Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme" (Sleeper's Awake); see Cantata BWV 140, for Trinity 27, BCW discussion, October 21, 2012.
+"Sie ist mir lieb, die werthe Magd" (Dear is to me the holy Maid); see <Hymns of Martin Luther>,

Bach's hymnbook reuses four hymns from early Trinity Time as familiar hymns are reused once again in late Trinity Time. Only one new hymn is introduced: "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" (Trinity 23 and 27). Two are repeated for Trinity 27: "Wie schön leuchtet den Morgenstern" and "Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme."

Cantatas 162, 180, 49: Provenance

The 1750 estate division of the manuscripts of Bach's vocal music shows a uniform pattern in the distribution of the three Leipzig church cycles of cantatas composed for the final quarter of Trinity Time. For the first cycle, presented in 1723-24, beginning with Cantata 48 for the 19th Sunday after Trinity, first-born son Friedemann received both the score and parts sets while none of the remaining music of Cycle 1 Trinity Time cantatas, including BWV 49, was found in the 1790 estate of second-born son Emmanuel. There is no deviation in the distribution of Cantata 180 in the so-called Chorale Cantata Cycle 2: Friedemann received virtually all the scores and step-mother Anna Magdalena the parts sets then given to the Thomas Church. In Cycle 3, beginning at the 13th Sunday after Trinity with Cantata 164, Emanuel received virtually all the scores and Friedemann the parts sets.

Subsequently, concerning the provenance of Cantata BWV 162, 180, and 49, there is no record for Cantata 162. The score of Cantata 180 was available for copying for a price in Leipzig publisher Breitkopf's initial catalog of 1761, presumably available from Friedemann's manuscript in Halle, who would have shared the payment. The Amalien Bibliothek in Berlin purchased a copy of the score. There is no record that former Bach student and Thomas Prefect Christoph Friedrich Penzel copied and performed Cantata 180. There is a score copy of Cantata 49 in the hand of Emmanuel's main copyist in Hamburg, H. Michel.


Cantata 162: Trinity 20 Chorales: Addendum

William Hoffman wrote (June 4, 2012):
In Cantata BWV 94, "Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen" (I go and seek with longing), the da-capo Part B middle section text, "Seines Heils Gerechtigkeit" (The justice of his salvation), in the soprano aria (No. 4), "Ich bin herrlich, ich bin schön" (I am glorious, I am beautiful), "is derived almost word for word from a [4-line] chorale verse (Leipzig 1638)," "Christi Blut und Gerechtigkeit" (Christ's Blood and Righteousness), says Alfred Dürr in <Cantatas of JSB>: 594.

The stanza "is based on `In Christi Wunden schlaf ich ein' [I Sleep in Christ's Wounds], a hymn ascribed to Paul Eber" (1511-1569), according to <The Hymnal Companion to "The Lutheran Book of Worship" (LBW> (Philadelphia PA: Fortress Press, 1981). It is LBW hymn No. 302, "Jesus, Your Blood and Righteousness," set to the melody, "O Jesu Christe, wahres Licht" (O Jesus Christ, True Light), originally found in the <Nürnberg Gesangbuch 1676>, and now found as the last hymn in the LBW section, "Justification," followed by hymns of "Repentence and Forgiveness." Paul Eber's short biography is found in BCW,

The hymn "In Christi Wunden schlaf ich ein" is found in the Vopelius <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> 1682, as No. 357 (source, Leipzig 1638), in the section on "Death and Dying," with three stanzas related to Eber's 1564 seven-stanza text, "Wann wir in höchsten Nöthen sein" (We Are in Utmost Need), with no information on the melody.

The anonymous tune, "O Jesu Christe, wahres Licht," first appeared in 1676 with Martin Behm's hymn "O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht" (O Jesus Christ, My Life's Life), originally in quadruple meter and assigned as Zahn No. 535, says <The Hymnal Companion to the LBW, <Ibid.>: 364). Following Bach's use of the first stanza of "Christi Blut und Gerechtigkeit," set to an original melody in Cantata BWV 49/4 in 1726, the Eber first stanza and associated anonymous melody were set in 1739 to a 33-verse, 4-line hymn of Moravian hymn writer Count Nicholaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-60) of Dresden. In 1740, English Methodist hymn writer John Wesley (1703-1791) published his free translation, "Jesus, Your Blood and Righteousness," in "Hymns and Sacred Poems," omitting nine verses.

Francis Browne's BCW interlinear English translation of the entire movement:

Ich bin herrlich, ich bin schön,
(I am glorious, I am beautiful,)
Meinen Heiland zu entzünden.
to kindle my saviour's love.
Seines Heils Gerechtigkeit
(The justice of his salvation)
Ist mein Schmuck und Ehrenkleid;
(is my adorand robe of honour;)
Und damit will ich bestehn,
(and with these I shall pass the test)
Wenn ich werd im Himmel gehn.
(when I shall go to heaven.) d.c.

Here is the original version and Dürr's translation (<Ibid.>), in interlinear format:

Christi Blut und Gerechtigkeit
(Christ's Blood and Righteousness)
das ist mein Schmuck und Ehrenkleid,
(That is my adornment and robe of honor)
damit will ich vor Gott bestehn,
(With these shall I come through before God)
wenn ich zum Himmel werd eingeh
(when I am bound for heaven.)

Observes Masaaki Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan, Liner Notes of BIS cd recordings of the Bach cantatas, Volume 50: "In the soprano aria `Ich bin herrlich, ich bin schön' (`I am glorious, I am beautiful') it is as if the bride is looking at herself in the mirror, and sees her self dressed with unsurpassable beauty in `Seines Heils Gerechtig keit' (`The justice of His salvation'). This is also exquisitely accompanied by the sound of the oboe d'amore and violoncello piccolo, in a movement full of contrapuntal artfulness which includes
multiple stretti based on the opening of the main theme" (BCW,[BIS-SACD1941].pdf

Thus, Bach and his librettist utilized hymn texts in cantata arias, as well as chorale text interpolations and biblical allusions. While Bach scholars have devoted considerable efforts to finding the sources of biblical references and chorales, less has been used to find the sources of chorale references in arias and choruses. An exception is the work of author Norman Carrell, <Bach the Borrower>, preface by Basil Lam (London: Allen & Unwin, 1967). Much in need of updating and virtually ignored by established Bach scholars, his exhaustive study of parody, contrafaction, and instrumental borrowings also lists Bach's uses of various chorale stanzas as a form of varied text underlay.


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

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Last update: ýAugust 23, 2012 ý13:13:53