Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

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

Musical Context of Bach Cantatas
Motets & Chorales for 9th Sunday after Trinity


Readings: Epistle: 1 Corinthians 10: 6-13; Gospel: Luke 16: 1-9

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

Motets and Chorales for the 9th Sunday after Trinity (Trinity 9)

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 17, 2011):


Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch des Gottfried Vopelius (Leipzig 1682)",
Berlin: Merseburger, 1969.
ML 3168 G75

Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense"
Schünigen: Kaminsky,1927
ML 410 B67R4

Dissertation on Bodenschatz Collection (downloadable)


* No motets are listed for Trinity 9, but the following week, Trinity 10, has four options. Given the generic, Oomnes tempore¹ texts of many of the Trinity season motets, Bach may well have chosen from the succeeding Sunday¹s list.

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

No prescribed motets for Trinity 9

2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore)

"Durch Adams Fall² [also Trinity 6, 12]

3) CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns:

"Es spricht den Ungewisse Mund² [also Trinity 1, 20]

"Welticher Ehr und zeitlicher Gut²

³Warum betrübst du²
Live streaming:


Trinity 9 Chorales

William Hoffman wrote (September 26, 2011):
As Bach moved further into the middle Trinity Time to compose cantatas for the church half-year, he already had used many of the designated chorales earlier in his cycles. Thus, he turned more to general chorales, especially those that were better known or were designated in hymnbooks for use in the <omnes tempore> time of the church year that emphasizes Christian teaching through Lutheran doctrine as well as devotional themes still found in today's hymnbooks.

While Bach's libretti texts for his three cantatas, BWV 105, BWV 94, and BWV 168, for the 9th Sunday after Trinity make little reference to the New Testament Gospel Lectionary of the Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16: 1-9), this may be due to several factors. First was the repeated use of -- and familiarity with -- topical themes and associated chorales at Trinity Time. Second could have been Bach's desire within a "well-ordered church music" and other traditional boundaries to utilize a wealth -- a breadth and depth -- of textual treatment, including established chorales with different melodies and texts variants. Third, as Bach sought fresh, innovative texts for varied musical treatment, he may have had the freedom to collaborate with his St. Thomas Church pastor, Christian Weiss Sr., as the two presented together their musical and preaching sermons in the same main service.

A summary of the chorales that Bach utilized offers evidence of his motives. He chose very accessible texts of popular hymn writers such as Johann Rist (Cantata BWV 105) that spawn chorales by other popular writers such as Ernst Christoph Holmberg with "Christ, the life of all the living" and the Fritsch-Heermann "O God, my faithful God." These led to the introduction of new melodies and texts, particularly in devotional hymnbooks as well as chorales that are still sung today in 19th century translations. The use of the chorale, "Was frag ich nach der Welt" (What ask I from the world), as the basis of Chorale Cantata BWV 94 in 1724 includes a special troped (interpolated) setting of the chorale, a technique Bach would continue 10 years later in the <Christmas Oratorio>. The penitential chorale, "Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut" (Lord Jesus Christ, Thou highest Good), that Weimar poet Salomo Franck used in the libretto to conclude Cantata BWV 168 stimulated Bach to set it as a chorale cantata, BWV 113, two Sundays later.

In all, Bach had previously set four of the five designated chorales for the 9th Sunday after Trinity: the confessional "Durch Adams Fall ist ganz vederbt" (Through Adam's fall is completely corrupted), Trinity 6; Martin Luther's "Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl" (The unknown mouth speaks well), Trinity 1; Michael Weiße's Reformation chorale, "Welticher Ehr und zeitlicher Gut" (Wordly glory and timely good), Trinity 1; and Hans Sachs' "Warum betrübst dich mein Herz" (Why grieve thee my heart), Trinity 7. While the designated Bohemian chorale "Menschenkind merk eben" (Here, o mortal being) was not set by Bach, it has a strong connection to the Moravian Weiße, four of whose 1531 published chorales were set by Bach as plain chorales: BWV 264, BWV 283, BWV 284, BWV 292 for Advent-Christmas, the Passion, Easter, and Trinity Time, respectively. All five chorales are found in the 1682 <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbook>, Bach's primary source for hymns used in his sacred vocal music.

Chorus Cantata BWV 105, Associated Chorales

For the first church-year cycle in 1723, chorus Cantata BWV 105, "Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht" (Lord, do not go into court with your servant) (1723) closes with the seven-voice setting of Johann Rist's chorale, "Jesu, der du meine Seele" (Jesus, it is by you that my soul), Zahn No. 6804. Bach chose the 11th stanza of the 12-stanza text of 1641, "Nun, ich weiß, du wirst mir stillen/Mein Gewissen, das mich plagt" (Now I know you will quieten/ my conscience, that torments me). The 1662 associated melody, <Praxis pietatis melica> (published in Frankfurt/Main), is realized in the elaborate closing Movement No. 6 that Bach scores for four voices (SATB) and three strings (two violins and viola), plus basso continuo. The strings support the voices with clusters of 16th note tremolos on the four-beat measures in in 4/4 for the first 5 ½ measures. Then, after the first ¾ measure interlude of silent voices to separate each line of text, the trebling becomes triplets on the four-beat measures in 12/8 time as Rist's message of confidence unfolds with the pace gradually slowing to the final cadence.

Francis Browne's English translation of Cantata BWV 105 is found at BCW:, with the following comment regarding Rist:
"The final chorale is the penultimate strophe of a hymn by Johann Rist written in 1641. It is aptly chosen and provides an appropriate conclusion for the cantata .
"Bach uses Rist in ten cantatas but it is difficult to share the enthusiasm of Bach's contemporaries for his writings. In <German Baroque Poetry> Robert M. Browning says of Rist: ` ..nonpoetry by a nonpoet, utilitarian, stolidly bourgeois, soporifically longwinded. Rist could turn a rhyme and construct a well made stanza as easily as eating pudding, and the wide popularity he achieved shows that he struck a common chord, but today his work is only of historic interest'."

Bach makes full-use of the Rist chorale in his chorale cantata BWV 78 for Trinity 14 a year later in 1724), with text and melody in No. 1, opening chorale chorus, and . 7, closing plain chorale (S.12).

Bach harmonizes the associated melody in three four-part plain chorales: BWV 352 in A Major, BWV 353 in G Minor, and BWV 354 in B-flat Major). All three settings are found in the Hänssler Complete Bach Edition. The melody came to be associated with two other chorale texts. "BWV Verzeichnis [Breitkopf & Härtel, 1998], asks the reader to make a `leap of faith' and equate (an equal sign `=' is used) the above melody (Rist, "Jesu, der du meine Seele") with "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" (All men must die) and "Wachet doch, erwacht, ihr Schläfer" (Wake up yet, awaken, you sleepers), see BCW:]. It appears that Bach set his thrice-used melody with the variant two-line ending to the seven-stanza Pasion chorale text, "Jesu, meines Lebens Leben" (Jesus, life of my life), by Ernst Christoph Homberg (1605-1681), published in 1659. Its associated melody, usually attributed to Homberg (with the same title), first appeared in <Das grosse Cantional>, Darmstadt, 1687 (Zahn No. 6779a), with the text of Albinus' "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" originally set as "Jesu, Meines Lebens Leben."

The plain chorales BWV 352 and 353 are found in the Hänssler edition Vol. 84 as <de tempore> (ordinary time) Jesus Songs. Hänssler edition Vol. 79 identifies BWV 354 as the Passion chorale found in Bach's "St. Mark Passion," BWV 247/36 to the Rist 1641 text (Wachet doch) and the <Praxis pietatis melica> 1662 melody. The stanza used in the "St. Mark Passion," "Man hat dich sehr hart verhöhnet" (Man has scorned you very hard) is Stanza 4 in the Homberg chorale cited above, "Jesu, meines Lebens Leben." In the Picander text, this chorale occurs after Mark 15:19 (same in Matthew 26:67), when Jesus is crowned with thorns and struck. See entire Holmberg original German text is found at BCW: It is a sestina that ends each of the first six stanzas with the line, "Liebster Jesu, Dank dafür!" (Dearest Jesus, thank thee) and closes the final stanza with the line "Will ich ewig dankbar sein" (will I always be thankful).

The ?Homberg melody "Jesu, meines Lebens Leben" is set to the Homberg original text in the current <Evangelical Lutheran Worship> hymnbook (Augsburg Fortress Press, 2006), as No. 339, "Christ, the life of all the living," for Lenten Time in the Catherine Winkworth 1863 English translation, see The only biblical text cited in Stanza 4 is the Passion account in Matthew 26:64-67 (King James Version):
64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,

Bach also used two other chorales attributed to Homberg. "Ist Gott mein Schutz und treuer Hirt" (If God is my protection and faithful Shepherd), is Stanza 4 of the 7-Stanza "Ist Gott mein Schild und Helfersmann" (God is my shield and helper) of 1659, harmonized in the closing plain chorale (No. 6) of Cantata BWV 85, "Ich bin ein gutter Hirt" (I am the Good Shepherd) for Misericordias Domini (2nd Sunday in Easter) 1725. The other is the seven-stanza sacred song (1659), "Jesus, unser Trost und Leben" (Jesus, our trust and life), set to the anonymous 1714 melody, "Auf, auf, weil der Tag erschienen" (Up, up, while the day is shining), and published in the 1736 Leipzig <Schemilli Gesangbuch> under the heading "Resurrection of Jesus Christ," BWV 475 [text and translation, BCW: ]. Homberg's biography is found at BCW: He and Rist were members of the Elbe Swan Order that Rist founded in 1660 (<Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship, Fortress Press, Philadelphia PA, 1981: 196f).

Both Jesus Hymns -- "Jesu, der du meine Seele" and "Jesu, meines Lebens Leben" - are the basis of organ chorale preludes attributed to Bach, although neither is found in the 1682 <Das Neu Leipziger Gesgangbuch> (NLGB) or is mentioned in Günther Stiller's <JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig>. There is one miscellaneous organ prelude setting of "Jesu, der du meine Seele," BWV 752, (Miscellaneous) formerly attributed to Bach. It is found in the Kevin Boyer Complete Nimbus CD Collection, 5700/1, two discs), as well as in Wolfgang Stockmeier Complete Edition, Vol. 18, Art & Music CD 20.1556.

There are two extant settings of "Jesu, meines Lebens Leben" that are attributed to Bach, probably composed in the first decade of the 18th century: BWV 1107, Neumeister Collection, and BWV deest, Rinck Collection, Emans 121 (NBA IV/10: 102). The Neumeister setting uses a different melody (W. Wessnitzer, 1661) that is "one of ten known for this (Holmberg) text," and "corresponds" only to three text lines in Zahn No. 6795, says Peter Williams in <The Organ Music of JSB>, 2nd edition (Cambridge Univ, Press, 2003: 560).

Chorale Cantata BWV 94, Associated Chorales

Chorale Cantata BWV 94, "Was frag ich nach der Welt" (What ask I from the world), composed in 1724 and repeated c.1734, uses the Ahasuerus Fritsch (1629-1701) 1679 Melody No. 3, "O Gott, du frommer Gott" (O God, Thou righteous God), set to the Balthasar Kindermann text (1644, 8 stanzas, each introduced with the dictum, "Was frag ich. . ."). It does not appear in the 1682 <New Leipzig Song Book> but is found in the Dresden hymn schedules, says Stiller in the <JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig> (p. 243), being the only chorale he cites for the 9th Sunday after Trinity.

Bach's setting of the melody and text are found in four varied movements of Cantata BWV 94:
*Movement No. 1, a chorale fantasia chorus opens in D Major in 4/4 time with SATB, flute, 2 oboes, strings, and basso continuo, singing Stanza No. 1) the melody as a canto in the soprano;
*Movement No. 3, a chorale with recitative in G Major uses Stanza No. 3); "Die Welt sucht Ehr' und Ruhm" (The world seeks honor and glory), in 3/8 tempo (2 oboes d'amore, tenor, basso continuo), with the tenor arioso introducing the first two verse lines with embellished Fritsch melody, followed by lines of tenor secco recitative in 4/4 tempo, interspersed with the remaining six lines in the style (as a forerunner) of the 1734 <Christmas Oratorio>, BWV 248, interpolated soprano chorale ("Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ") with the bass recitative as Movement No. 7, "Er ist auf Erden kommen arm" (He has on earth come poor);
*Movement No. 5 is a bass aria with basso continuo in G to D Major in 4/4 tempo with a chorale trope (interpolation), as in Movement No. 3, singing Stanza No. 5, "Die Welt bekümmert sich" (The world is troubled); and
*Movement No. 8, the closing plain chorale in 4/4 tempo with tutti forces (as in Movement No. 1 in D Major) uses the last two stanzas: Stanza No. 7, "Im Hui muss sie verschwinden" (In a flash it must vanish) and Stanza 8, "Mein Jesus ist mein Leben" (My Jesus is my life).

Francis Browne's BCW English translation of the Cantata BWV 94 text and notes are found at:

Today, the Fmelody is set to the original eight-stanza text of Johann Heermann (1585-1647) in the current <Evangelical Lutheran Worship> hymnbook (Augsburg Fortress Press, 2006), as No. 806, "O God, my faithful God," under "Commitment, Discipleship," in the Catherine Winkworth 1858 English translation of six of the eight original stanzas (omitting Stanzas Nos. 5 and 6), see: There are three variant settings of the melody and Bach employs them in Cantatas BWV 45, BWV 64, BWV 94, and BWV 133 (<Hymnal Companion>, <Ibid.> p. 521. More information about the chorale, "O Gott, du frommer Gott," is found in: Musical Context: Motets & Chorales for 8th Sunday after Trinity, BCW

Solo Cantata BWV 168, Associated Chorales

Cantata BWV 168, SATB solo "Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort" (Make accounting, thunderous words) (1725). Weimar poet Salomo Franck uses the Bartholomäus Ringwaldt (c.1530-1599) eight-stanza 1588 penitential chorale, "Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut" (Lord Jesus Christ, Thou highest Good). Bach set Stanza 4 to the ?Ringwalt associated melody (Dresden Gesangbuch 1593) as a four-part plain chorale in B Minor, "Stärk mich mit deinem Freudengeist" (Strengthen me with your joyful spirit), closing Cantata BWV 168, Movement No. 6. The Ringwaldt chorale is found in the 1682 New Leipzig Song Book as No. 520 for early Trinity Time but is not designated as a hymn for any particular Sunday in the church year.

Other Bach uses of this <omnes tempore> chorale are:
*Chorale Cantata BWV 113 in B Minor, for the 11th Sunday After Trinity 1724;
*The melody only in two duet movements (Nos. 2 & 4) of the 1707 memorial Cantata BWV 131, "Aus der Tiefen, rufe ich, Herr, zu dir" (Out of the Depths I cry to The, Oh Lord), setting of <Nunct dimmitis> (Psalm 130);
*Plain chorale, BWV 334 in G Major; and
*Melody only in the opening chorale chorus, "Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen" (Miserable man that I am, who will free me; Francis Browne BCW), set as Chorale Cantata BWV 48 in G Minor for the 19th Sunday after Trinity 1724 and cited for that Sunday in Stiller's book (p. 252f).

For the same 9th Sunday after Trinity in 1726, Bach had available the Rudolstadt text, "Wer sich des Armen erbarmet," but there is no evidence he set it as an original cantata or used a Johann Ludwig Bach setting. Bach already had on hand Cantata BWV 168 from the same Sunday the previous year. Eventually, he designated Cantata BWV 168 for his third annual cantata cycle with the score and parts set going to his son, Emmanuel, as he did the same cycle cantatas for Trinity 4, 10, 11, and 12 in the 1750 estate division. It is possible that Bach repeated Cantata BWV 168 on August 18, 1726, during Trinity Time, when he primarily presented solo cantatas without elaborate choruses.

Picander in his 1728 published annual cycle, designated for the 9th Sunday after Trinity the cantata text P-52, "Mein Jesu, was meine, ist alles das" (My Jesus, what is mine is all this). It closes with Movement, No. 5, the plain chorale "O Gott, du frommer Gott," using Stanza 5, "Laß mich mit jedermann/ In Fried' und Freundschaft leben" (Let me with everyone live in peace and friendship." Picander also used two other stanzas in two cantata texts for the 12th and 14th Sundays after Trinity 1728. For further details, on the chorale, See Cantata BWV 94 above.

Designated Chorales for Trinity 9

Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Motets & Chorales for 9th Sunday after Trinity (source, Douglas Cowling)

2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore): "Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt" (Through Adam's fall is completely corrupted), also is designated for Trinity 6, 12 in the NLGB, No. 606. For details, see BCW:

3) CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns:

A. "Es spricht den Ungewisse Mund" (The unknown mouth speaks well) also is designated for Trinity 1, 20 in the NLGB, No. 662. See BCW: Text: .

B. "Welticher Ehr und zeitlicher Gut" (Wordly glory and timely good), also is designated in NLGB 642 as a pulpit and communion hymn for the 1st Sunday after Trinity. The 1531 text of Michael Weiße (10 stanzas) is found in the first Moravian hymnbook edited by Weiße, using the melody by Melchior Vulpius first published in the Vögelin Gesangbuch of 1563. BWV 426 in C Major; not recorded in the Hänssler Complete Bach Edition of chorales, Vols. 82-85.
Weltlich Ehr' und zeitlich Gut,
Wollust und aller Übermuth
Ist eben wie ein Gras;
Alle Pracht und stolzer Ruhm
Verfällt wie ein' Wiesenblum;
O Mensch, bedenk' eben das
Und versorge dich doch bass.

(German text: BCW,

Worldy honours and transient possessions,
Pleasure and haughty pride
Are simply like a blade of Grass,
Dazzling glory and proud renown
All vanish like a meadow flower.
O man, bear this in mind,
And procure things that are better.

(English Translation: Teldec "Complete" Bach Edition, seven CDs 257112, Vol. 5)

Bach set four other plain chorales to texts of Weiße: BWV 264, BWV 283, BWV 284, BWV 292
[See BCW Biography:]:
*BWV 264 in G Major, "Als der gütige Gott/ Vollenden wollt' sein Werk," NLGB No. 16, for Advent-Christmas Time, (Hänssler Complete Bach Edition, Vol. 78);
*BWV 283 I E Major, "Christus, der uns selig macht" (<Patris sapienta>), possibly from the <Weimar Passion, BC D-1/6; NLGB Nos. 148 & 151, Passiontide; "Dying" (Hänssler Vol. 85); Bach use also as plain chorales in <St. John Passion>, Nos. 15 and 37; and organ chorale preludes BWV 620 (Orgelbüchlein), BWV 747 (Miscellaneous),
*BWV 284 in C Major, "Christus ist erstanden/ Hat überwunden," NLGB No. 306, for Easter Season (Hänssler Vol. 80);
*BWV 292 in C Major, "Den Vater dort oben," NLGB No. 600, <omnes tempore> (Trinity Time); "Praise and Thanksgiving" (Hänssler Vol. 83).

C. "Warum betrübst dich mein Herz" (Why grieve thee my heart), also Trinity 7 and 15]; see BCW: Live streaming:

D. "Menschenkind merk eben" (Here, o mortal being) was not set by Bach. It appears in the NLGB No. 17 in the Advent-Christmas section. Here is information from Matthew Carver, Hymnoglypt:

"Here is my translation of the old Bohemian Brethren hymn "Menschenkind, merk eben" which was included in ELKG and probably left unconverted to English because of its "falling" endings. . . Catherine Winkworth has created considerable poetry, however, in her translation of "Gottes Sohn ist kommen."
"The melody is the proper "Menschen, merk eben," later renamed for its association with the more successful hymn "Gottes Sohn ist kommen," a text (by J. Roh) which did not appear until 1544. It was an adaptation by Michael Weiße of an ancient 12th century melody and was used for the first appearance of his hymn in his Bohemian Brethren Hymnal of 1531, where it is called "Ave Hierarchia"."

The translation of all 15 stanzas (© 2008 Matthew Carver) is found in:


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

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

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links


Back to the Top

Last update: ıSeptember 30, 2011 ı10:46:15