William Hoffman wrote (February 28, 2015):
Bach's uses of the chorale during the pivot time, or turn of the year (Turning Time) from the Christmas season to the Feast of Epiphany, January 6, showed great freedom. In fact, Bach could use Advent and Christmas hymns in his cantatas or musical sermons, based on the day’s Gospel or the theme of the service, for almost two months until February 2, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Bach also was able to use penitential hymns as well as songs of praise and thanksgiving, especially for the festive New Year’s (Holy Name or Circumcision of Jesus) and Feast of Epiphany. The other services during the period are the 1st Sunday after Christmas Day [Christmas + 1] or the alternate Sunday after New Year, also known as the 2nd Sunday after Christmas [Christmas + 2, New Year + 1].1
Bach’s choice of chorales in Leipzig initially was determined most by the listings in his hymn book, Das neu Leipziger Gesangbuch (NLGB) of Gottfried Vopelius, first published in 1682.2 The NLGB lists the hymns for the various services, usually including the “Hymn of the Day” (de tempore) and the hymns before the sermon and during the communion. For Christmas Time, the NLGB lists only the de tempore hymn as “Gelobet seist du Jesu Christ,” followed by all the other Christmas hymns without designation. Of the various chorales listed in the NLGB for Christmas, Bach set 11 and did not set seven (NLGB 14, 19, 22, 25, 27, 29, 39). The next listing are the five hymns for New Year’s (NLGB Nos. 44-48), without designation, all of which Bach used (see below) as well as “Gelobet seist du” and the other Christmas songs previously listed.
The designated New Years Day hymns in the NLGB (Nos. 44-48), all set by Bach, according to Günter Stiller's JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig,3 are the hymn of the day, “Das alte Jahr vergangen ist,” and the pulpit and communion songs, “”Helfft mir, Gotts Güte preisen,” “Jesu, nun sei Gepreiset,” “Hilff, Herr Jesu, lass gelingen,” and “Das neugeborne Kindelein.”
Eric Chafe emphasizes in "Aspects of the Liturgical Year" (pp. 11-23) in Analyzing Bach Cantatas, Bach's varied use in this period of chorales in a dualistic sense: blending birth and death, apocalypse and paradise, the church year divided into the time of Christ (de tempore) and the time of the church (omnes tempore), and what I suggest, the contrasts to weep and laugh and to mourn and dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4) in the three Passion closing choruses, and to deal with both the in-between times and the end-times (eschatology).
During the pivotal time or turn of the year, Bach was able to use general-use chorales for penitential services (“Du Friedefurst, “Jesu meine Freude,” and “Befiel du deine Wege”) and praise and thanksgiving, "Herr Gott, dich loben wir (Luther's Te Deum), as well as the Passion chorale melody, "Herzlich tut, much verlangen" closing the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248IV for the Epiphany Feast). The most popular chorales during Turning Time for the Sunday after Christmas and New Years Day, according to Stiller (Ibid.: 236) were: “Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren” (Psalm 103, NLGB 261, Christian Life & Conduct; Z8244), “Nun danket alle Gott” (NLGB 238 Christian Life & Conduct, Z5142), “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” (SaC, NLGB 289; Cross, Persecution; Zahn melody 533a).
The chorales specified for the services between the Sunday after Christmas and the Lenten season are not always listed in Lutheran hymn books Bach used to compose cantatas. The Feast of Epiphany or the appearance of Christ focuses on the visit of the Wise Men from the East. The three hymns found in the NLGB (no Bach settings) are “Hostis Heordes impie” (No. 49), Luther’s “Was fürchtst du Feind, Herodes, sehr” (How vain, the cruel Herod’s fear, No. 50), and Michael Weiß’ “Als Jesus geboren war zu Herodes Zeiten” (No. 51), as well as “Gelobet seist du” and the other Christmas songs previously listed.
Epiphany Festival Chorales
Organ chorale Prelude BWV 696, “Christum wir sollen loben schon” (formerly “Kirnberger Collection”) has an alternate title: “Was fürchtst du Feind, Herodes, sehr” (How vain, the cruel Herod’s fear) Fughetta. It “refers to Luther’s adaptation of the second part of the same Latin hymn [“A solis ortus cardine”], beginning ‘Hostis Heordes impie’,” says Peter Williams in The Organ Music of JSB.4 The first stanza reads:
Was fürchtst du, Feind Herodes, sehr,
daß uns geborn kommt Christ der Herr?
Er sucht kein sterblich Königreich,
der zu uns bringt sein Himmelreich.
The English translation is:
Why are you so afraid, for Herod?
That Christ the Lord comes born to us?
He seeks no mortal Kingdom,
He who brings his own Heaven to us (Willians: Ibid.: 258).
In organ chorale Prelude BWV 696, “Bach keeps to the text Christum wir sollen loben schon as he does in the marvelous treatment of this chorale in the Orgelbüchlein” [No. 14, BWV 611), says Edouard Neis-Berger and Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Miscellaneous Compositions on the Chorale,” J. S. Bach Organ Works, Volume VI (G. Schirmer, New York, 1954: xlviif).
“Was fürchtst du, Feind Herodes, sehr” and its Latin original, “Hostis Heordes impie,” are works for the Epiphany Feast and listed as such in the NLGB, Nos. 49 (Hosti) and No. 50 (Was fürchtst du). Bach did not set either. The original “A solis ortus cardine,” is “divided into sections for different liturgical occasions: the first seven strophes were used for Christmas, the next four (beginning `Hostis Herodes impie') for Epiphany, and the following four (beginning `Katerva matrum personat') for the Feast of the Holy Innocents,” says Kim Patrick Clow (BCML Cantata 121 Discussions Part 3, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV121-D3.htm.) “Hostis Heordes” “was extracted from a much larger acrostic hymn on the whole life of Christ,” says Luther’s Works: Liturgy and Hymns.5 It has five stanzas on the Feast of Epiphany and then “It deals with the traditional themes of Epiphany: the Magi, the Baptism of Jesus, and the Wedding Feast of Cana.” Both “A solis ortus cardine” and “Hostis Herodes impie” share a closing Doxology (Christum, wir sollen loben schon, Stanza 8, Browne translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale002-Eng3.htm):
Praise, honour and thanks be said to you, Christ,
|who were born from the pure virgin,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit
from now until eternity!
As with his initial practices during the omnes tempore Trinity Time in the first cycle of 1723, Bach apparently had the freedom during the de tempore Advent to Trinityfest period to chose hymns appropriate for the particular service, in keeping with the theme or teaching of the Gospel reading. His basic goal seems to have been to use as great a variety of hymns as possible, beginnwith established chorales. This is reflected in his initial choice of printed libretti using traditional hymns of Erdmann Neumeister, Salomo Franck, Christisan Friedrich Hunold (Menantes), Georg Christian Lehms, and the so-called Rudolstdadt publication (1705/1726). During the chorale cantata cycle, Bach had the total freedom to choose the chorale and his treatment of the hymn in individual movements. Later, Bach was able to commission Picander (Christian Friedrich Henrici) and Mariane von Ziegler to create libretti to fill particular needs. Unlike his contemporaries Georg Philipp Telemann at Hamburg and Gottfried Heinrich Stözel in Gotha, Bach was unable to commission texts for progressive, enlightened literature or traditional Pietistic, original texts (not found in the NLGB) usually set to well-established, familiar hymn tunes.Bach made special, imaginative placement or utilization of chorales during the initial period of the church year, most notably in Cantata 122, “Das neugeborne Kindelein” (The newborn little child), in four movements in 1724 and a decade later in the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), using more contemporary hymns. Bach also relied on more contemporary practices found in various Dresden and pietist hymnbooks. Theologically and liturgically, Bach was able during transitional periods from one season to the next, to utilize chorales that dealt with the “beginning times,” the “in-between” or laminal times and the “end-times” or eschatological times.Besides the four varied uses of the melody in Cantata 122, Bach blended or overlapped chorales from one season to the next. Bach made affective use of two Christmas chorales, "Ich steh an deiner Kripen hier" and Ihr gestrin, ihr höhlen Lufte," in the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) for New Year's Day and the Feast of the Epiphany. He also used the Christmas chorale. "Das neugeborne Kindelein" as the basis for his chorale Cantata BWV 122 for the Sunday After Christmas, and the Christmas chorale, "Peur natus in Bethlehem" in Cantata BWV 65 for the Feast of Epiphany.During the pivotal time or turn of the year, Bach was able to use general use chorales for penitential services (Du Friedefurst, Jesu meine Freude, and Befiel du deine Wege) and praise and thanksgiving, "Herr Gott, dich loben wir (Luther's Te Deum), as well as the Passion chorale melody, "Herzlich tut, much verlangen" closing the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248). Further, the chorales specified for the services between Epiphany and the Lenten season were not always listed in Lutheran hymn books Bach used to compose cantatas. (Pivotal) Turning Time Chorales
Chorales for the turn of the year (Sundays After Christmas and New Years and the Feasts of New Year's Day and Epiphany) used in Bach’s works. Key: 3/6(PC18) = Cantata 3, Movement 6, plain chorale, 18th stanza, + or * = other liturgical use“Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” (Ah God, how many a heartache; M. Möller 1590, 18 stanzas, NLGB 533a, Cross & Persecution; Melody 2* (1455, anon., Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht II); BWV 58/1(aria,1*) SaNY 1727; BWV 153/9(PC11,12*) SaNY 1724; BWV 3, (CC, 1725*), Eph. 2+ 1725 “Befiel du deine Wege” (Gerhardt 1653; NLGB 329, mel Herzlich tut, Death & Dying, Hassler 1601); BWV 153/5(PC,1) SaNY 1724; “Das alte Jahr vergangen ist” (J. Steurlein 1588, NLGB 44, NY) BWV 288(6), BWV 289 (1, 2), BWV 614(OB), BWV 1091 (NC); German text is found on-line at Musicanet, http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/Lieder/dasaltej.html. There is Catherine Winkworth 1863 English translation of all six stanzas, “The Old Year Now hath Passed way,” Cyber Hymnal, http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/o/y/e/oyearnwp.htm.
“Das neugeborne Kindelein” (Schneegas 1597, mel. Vulpius 1609, NLGB 48, NY) BWV 122/1,2,4,6(1-4), SaCh 1724.
“Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ” (J. Ebert 1601, B. Gesius 1601, NLGB 322, Word of God & Christian Church); BWV 143/2(aria, 1),7(chs., 3), NY 1728-35, ?much earlier.
“Helft mir Gott's Gute preisen” (P. Ebert. b1569, mel. Figulus 1575, NLGB 45, NY); BWV 16/6(PC, 6), NY, 1726; BWV 28/6(PC,6), SaCh 1725.
“Herr Gott, dich loben wir” (Te Deum) (Luther 1529, mel. J.Klug 1535, NLGB 167 Apostles Feast); NY, TC*) BWV 16/1 (chs,1), NY 1726; BWV 190(a)/1,2 (chs,1), NY 1724; BWV 119/9, BWV 120/6 (PC, mel.), Town Council 1723, 1728.
“Hilf, Herr Jesu, laß gelingen” (J.Schop 1642, NLGB 47, NY), BWV 248IV/7(PC,15), NY 1735; BWV 344 (PC).
“Ich steh an deiner Kripen hier” (Gerhardt 1653), mel. “Nun freut euch,” BWV 248VI/6(PC,1), Eph. 1735.
“Ihr gestrin, ihr höhlen Lufte” (J Franck 1655), BWV 248V/11(PC,5), mel. “Gott des Himmels und der Erden,” SaNY 1735.
“Jesu du mein liebstes Leben” (J.Rist 1642, mel.?Bach), BWV 248IV/3,5(arioso,1), NY 1735; BWV 356 (PC, mel.J. Schop 1642).
“Jesu, meine Freude” (J. Francke, mel. J. Crüger 1653, NLGB 301, Cross, Persecution), BWV 358= possible use ?Picander 10(2) SaNY 1729.
“Jesu, nun sei gepreiset” (J. Hermann, mel. anon. 1591, NLGB 46); BWV 41/1(chs.,1), NY 1725; BWV 171/6(PC3), NY 1729= BWV 41/6(6); BWV 190/7(PC,2), NY 1724; 362(1).
Nun, liebe Seel, nun ist es Zeit (G.Weissel, 1642, mel. S. Calvisius “In dich hab’,” 1591) BWV 248V/4(PC,5), SaNY 1735.
“Nun lob mein Seel, den herren” (Poliander 1540, mel. J Kugelmann 1540, NLGB 261, Psalm 103), BWV 28/2(motet), SaCh.1725 [167/5(PC,5), John 1723; BWV motet 225/2(PC,3)] BWV 389(PC), BWV 390 (PC).
“Peur natus in Bethlehem” (Babst G.B.1545, NLGB 21a, Ch.) mel. “Ein Kind, geboren zu Bethlehem,” NLGB 21b, BWV 65/2(PC,3), Eph. 1724.
“Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind” (D. Denicke 1646, mel. anon. “Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein,” Luther Psalm 12 , 1524); BWV 153/1(chs.1), SaNY 1724; [see also “Befiel du deine Wege” (1563/5) and “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” (153/9).
Turning Time Chorales in the Orgelbüchlein (OB), numbered (Nos. 16-18), followed by hymns not in the OB.
New Year (3 OB, 3 others):
16. BWV 613 — “Helft mir Gotts Güte preisen”; BWV 16/1(PC), 28/6(PC), SBCB32 (Z5267), see OB 93, Von Gott will ich nicht lassen
17. BWV 614 — “Das alte Jahr vergangen ist”; BWV 288-89(PC); BWV 1091, BWV deest (EOC
18. BWV 615 — In dir ist Freude (Z8537);
-- “Das Jesulein soll doch mein Trost” (New Year’s), BWV 702(KC)
-- “Jesu du mein liebstes Leben” (mel. ?JSB), BWV 356(PC)
-- “Jesu, nun sei gepreiset”; CC BWV 41(NY), BWV 362(PC), SBCB34-35 (Z8477a)
[Feast of Epiphany (Von den Weisen aus dem Morgenland, NLGB)
-- “Was fürchst du Fiend Herodes, sehr” (Z297), SBSC36; = “Christum wir sollen loben schon” (see OB 14)
AMB – Anna Magdalena Buch
AS = Alternate setting
CP = Chorale Partitas, BWV 765-771
Cü III = Clavierübung III (Mass & Catechism Chorales), BWV 669-689
D = Doubtful 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
Turning Time Introit Psalm Motets
The established polyphonic motet opening Introit Psalm setting in Bach’s time in Leipzig for Turning Time were Psalms 117, 34, 62, and 8, says Martin Petzoldt in Bach Commentary, Vol. 2, Advent to Trinityfest.5
Bach may have presented some of these motets, found in his motet collection, the Bodenschatz Florilegium Portense.6
The Introit Psalm for the Sunday after Christmas Day is Psalm 117, Laudate Dominum omnes gentes (O praise the Lord, all ye nations, KJV), says Richard Petoldt in Bach Commentary, Vol. 2, Advent to Trinityfest.7 The Gregochant was set as a polyphonic motet by Palestrina, Monteverdi, Praetorius, Schütz, and di Lasso, among others. It is possible that Bach may have presented one of these settings. Handel composed a multi-movement motet setting, HWV 237. The full text is found on-line at http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Psalms-Chapter-117/.
The Introit Psalm for New Year’s Day (or the Naming of the Lord) is Psalm 34, Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore (I will bless the Lord at all times, KJV), says Petzoldt, who calls Psalm 34 “Thanksgiving for God’s joyfulness.” It also is the Introit Psalm for the 12th Sunday after Trinity in Bach’s Leipzig. Motet settings of the chant are among the most popular and recorded, including settings of Lassus (5 vv 1562, 4 vv 1585, http://www.allmusic.com/artist/orlande-de-lassus-mn0001416262/compositions), Palestrina (5 vv, 1593, http://imslp.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_Giovanni_Pierluigi_da_Palestrina), Hieronymus Praetorius (SSTBB, 1622, http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Benedicam_Dominum_(Hieronymus_Praetorius); Henrich Schütz (STB 1629, http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Benedicam_Dominum_in_omni_tempore_(Heinrich_Schütz); Buxtehude (Adendmusik, BuxWV 113, http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2007/Nov07/buxtehude_7773182.htm; and Johann Rosenmüller (TTB,bc, http://www.discogs.com/Cantus-Cölln-Cantus-Cölln-Edition/release/3767272.
The Introit Psalm for the alternate Sunday after New Year (the Second Sunday after the Christmas Festival) is Pslam 62, Nonne Deo ? (Truly my soul waiteth on God, HJV). One of the so-called “morning psalms, 62-64), it was set as a polyphonic motet by Palestrina, http://imslp.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_Giovanni_Pierluigi_da_Palestrina; Heinrich Schütz, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Heinrich_Schütz; and Orlande de Lassus, http://www.classicalarchives.com/composer/2871.html. The full text is at http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Psalms-Chapter-62/.
The Introit Psalm for the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) is Psalm 8, Domine, Dominus noster (O Lord our Lord, how excellent in thy name in all the earth!, KJV). It was set as a polyphonic motet of Palestrina, http://imslp.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_Giovanni_Pierluigi_da_Palestrina; Orlande di Lasso, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W0N-bAo9n0; Jakob Hassler, http://www2.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Domine_Dominus_noster_(Jakob_Hassler); and Josquin Desprez, http://imslp.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_Josquin_Desprez.
1 William Hoffman wrote (July 2, 2009, Cantata 122, BCML Discussions Part 3, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV122-D3.htm): BWV 122: Pivot Time Chorales
2 NLGB, BACH'S HYMN BOOK: Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch des Gottfried Vopelius (Leipzig 1682),"Berlin: Merseburger, 1969. ML 3168 G75.
3 Stiller, JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig, English ed. with extensive footnotes (Concordia Publishing: St. Louis Mo. 1984: 236f).
4 Williams, Bach Organ Music, 2nd ed. (Cambridge Univ. Press 2003: 435f).
5 Luther’s Works, Vol. 53, Liturgy and Hymns; ed. Ulrich S. Leupold (Fortress Press: Philadelphia PA, 1965: 302f).
6 BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION: Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense" Schünigen: Kaminsky,1927; ML 410 B67R4.
7 Petzoldt, Bach Kommentar: Theologisch Musikwissenschaftlicke Kommentierung der Geistlichen Vokalwerke Johann Sebastan Bachs; Vol. 2, Die Geistlichen Kantaten vom 1. Advent bis zum Trinitatisfest; Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2007: 251, 275, 333, 367).