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Cantata BWV 145
Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of March 26, 2017 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (March 26, 2017):
Easter Tuesday Cantata 145: “Ich lebe, mein Herze," Intro.

Bach’s problematic but engaging solo Cantata BWV 145 for the Easter Tuesday festival, “Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen” (I live, my heart, for your delight) is one of his shortest, lasting under 10 minutes, with two da-capo style arias, both dance-like and possibly parodied from a Cöthen congratulatory serenade, with a five-movement text of Picander involving two new recitatives and a closing chorale. The opening Jesus-Soul (tenor-soprano) duet and bass tutti aria (no. 3) with solo trumpet, “Merke, mein Herze, beständig nur dies” (Mark, my heart, constantly only this), possibly originated as mythological-character dances. The two recitatives (nos. 2 and 4) emphasize the day’s Gospel (Luke 24:36-47, Jesus appears to the disciples). The brief closing Easter chorale serves as a joyous congregational prayer, “Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag” (Here shining is the splendid day), with the closing 14th stanza of Nicolaus Herman’s 1560 Easter festival harmonized gospels’ synopsis, “Drum wir auch billig fröhlich sein” (Therefore we are rightly joyful).1

Cantata 145 survives only in a 19th century copy as part of a pasticcio cantata with an added opening chorale and fugal chorus, not by Bach. The opening four-part chorale, Caspar Neumann’s 1700 “Auf, mein Herz, des Herrn Tag” (Up, my heart, the Lord's day), melody “Jesu meine Zuversicht,” BWV 145/a, now is attributed to Emmanuel Bach (see Bach Digital, The fugal chorus "So du mit deinem Munde bekennest Jesum" was written by G. P. Telemann (TVWV 1:1350), see BWV 145/b / Anh. III 157 (c.1723). The music of both movements is found in the BGA Score Vocal & Piano and Score BGA (Ibid., Footnote 1) and a recording is found at The Picander five-movement musical sermon has many of the trademarks of his 1728-29 cycle from which only nine Bach cantatas are extant.2

Cantata 145 presumably was introduced on Easter Tuesday, 19 April 1929, at the early main service of the Nokolaikirche before the sermon (not extant) on the day’s Gospel (Luke 24:36-47) and Epistle (Acts 13:26-44, Paul preaches in Antioch) by archdeacon Friedrich Wilhelm Schütz (1677-1739), says Martin Pettzoldt in Bach Commentary, Vol. 2, Advent to Trinityfest.3 The texts for the day’s gospel and epistle in Bach’s time, in Luther’s 1545 translation and the English Authorised (King James) Version 1611, is found at The service Introit polyphonic motet is a setting of Psalm 16, Conserva me, Domine, Protect me, O God (KJV), says Petzoldt (Ibid.: 735), text found at

Cantata 145 with inserted, preceding opening chorale and chorus movements, scoring, text, key and meter (German text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW

A. Chorale plain (SATB).: “Auf, mein Herz, des Herren Tag / Hat die Nacht der Furcht vertrieben: Christus, der im Grabe lag, / Ist im Tode nicht geblieben. / Nunmehr bin ich recht getröst, / Jesus hat die Welt erlöst.” (Up, my heart, the Lord's day / has driven away the night of fear / Christ, who lay in the grave, / has not remained in death From now on I am wholly comforted / Jesus has redeemed the world.); D Major; 4/4.
B. Chorus in two parts (SATB; Tromba, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo): 1. SA duet & Bc in canon (mm 1-44), “So du mit deinem Munde bekennest Jesum, / dass er der Herr sei, / und gläubest in deinem Herzen, / dass ihn Gott von den Toten auferwecket hat” (If you proclaim Jesus with your mouth / that he is the Lord / and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead); 2. tutti fugue (mm 44-90), “so wirst du selig” (then you will be blessed); D Major; 3/4.
1. Aria (Duetto) free da-capo with ritornelli [Tenor (Jesus), Soprano (Soul); Violino solo, Continuo]: A. Tenor: “Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen” (I live, my heart, for your delight); Sopran: “Du lebest, mein Jesu, zu meinem Ergötzen”(You live, my Jesus, for my delight); Tenor: “Mein Leben erhebet dein Leben empor” (My life raises your life on high.); Sopran: “Dein Leben erhebet mein Leben empor” (Your life raises my life on high); B. Both: “Die klagende Handschrift ist völlig zerrissen, / Der Friede verschalt ein ruhig Gewissen / Und öffnet den Sündern das himmlische Tor.” (The complaining handwriting is completely torn up, / the peace provides a quiet conscience / and opens heaven's gate to sinners.); D Major; 2/4 dance style.
2. Recitativo secco [Tenor, Continuo]: “Nun fordre, Moses, wie du willt, / Das dräuende Gesetz zu üben, / Ich habe meine Quittung hier / Mit Jesu Blut und Wunden unterschrieben. / Dieselbe gilt, / Ich bin erlöst, ich bin befreit / Und lebe nun mit Gott in Fried und Einigkeit, / Der Kläger wird an mir zuschanden, / Denn Gott ist auferstanden.” (Now claim as much as you like Moses / that we should practise the threatening law, / I have my receipt here / signed with Jesus' blood and wounds. / And this is valid, / I an redeemed, I am set free / and live now with God in peace and unity. / The prosecutor will come to ruin in my case / for God is arisen.); Adagio, “Mein Herz, das merke dir!” (My heart, mark this for yourself!); b minor; 4/4.
3. Aria free da-capo with ritornelli (27 mm opening repeated) [Bass; Tromba, Flauto traverso, Oboe d'amore I/II, Violino I/II, Continuo]: A. Merke, mein Herze, beständig nur dies, / Wenn du alles sonst vergisst, / Dass dein Heiland lebend ist” (Mark, my heart, constantly only this, / if you forget everything else, / that your saviour is alive.); B. “Lasse dieses deinem Gläuben / Einen Grund und Feste bleiben, / Auf solche besteht er gewiss. / Merke, meine Herze, nur dies.” (For your faith let this / remain a firm foundation. / On such a base it stands secure. / Mark, my heart, only this.); D Major; 3/8 gigue-passepied or menuet.
4. Recitative secco [Soprano, Continuo]: “Mein Jesus lebt, /Das soll mir niemand nehmen, / Drum sterb ich sonder Grämen. / Ich bin gewiss / Und habe das Vertrauen, / Dass mich des Grabes Finsternis / Zur Himmelsherrlichkeit erhebt; / Mein Jesus lebt, / Ich habe nun genug, / Mein Herz und Sinn / Will heute noch zum Himmel hin, / Selbst den Erlöser anzuschauen.” (My Jesus lives / no one shall take this from me / And so I die without sorrow. / I am sure / and have confidence / that the grave's darkness / raises me to heaven's glory. My Jesus lives / I have now enough / My heart and mind / would go to heaven today / to look upon the redeemer himself.); A major to f-sharp minor; 4/4.
5. Choral plain [SATB; assumed Zink e Flauto traverso e Oboe d'amore I e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe d'amore II e Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo]: “Drum wir auch billig fröhlich sein, / Singen das Halleluja fein / Und loben dich, Herr Jesu Christ; / Zu Trost du uns erstanden bist. / Halleluja!” (Therefore we are rightly joyful / and sing halleluja well / and praise you, Lord Jesus Christ, / you who are arisen for our comfort. / Alleluia!); f-sharp minor Dorian; 4/4.

Picander Annual Cycle

The plan for a complete cycle of texts by Picander, the surviving works and the characteristics of this cycle are discussed in Bach scholar Klaus Hofmann’s 2011 Introduction to Cantata 145 in the Masaaki Suzuki BIS complete cantata recordings.4 The characteristics involve the concise form, sparing use of choir, and incidence of paand other borrowing (see also below, “Emmanuel Bach’s Connection”). <<Among the most significant products of Bach research in the twentieth century was the realization that his church cantatas were not – as had long been supposed – composed gradually during his 27 years of work in Leipzig (from 1723 to 1750), but that the vast majority date from his first six years there, in other words between 1723 and 1728–29. At the end of this period, Bach’s attention turned to a church year cycle based on cantata texts by the Leipzig poet Christian Friedrich Henrici (1700–64). After studies at Wittenberg University, Henrici – who as a poet used the pseudonym Picander – settled in Leipzig, where he worked in postal and financial administration but also, especially, as the writer of occasional poems. His collaboration with Bach began in 1725, and would soon result in a very important work: the St Matthew Passion. Like that work’s text, those for the cantata year were specifically intended to be set by Bach. The cantata texts appeared in four volumes that were published quarterly, beginning in June 1728, for the congregation to follow.

Of the roughly sixty cantatas by Bach that will have been performed in the 1728–29 season in the Thomaskirche and Nikolaikirche, only nine have survived (and some of these only in fragmentary form). Three of the cantatas on this disc are among them [BWV 145, 149, 174]. In recent decades, the small number of surviving works has given rise to various speculations among Bach scholars that Bach might not have set the year’s full complement of texts. Nonetheless, the nine works that have chanced to survive are spread widely throughout the church year, which would suggest that Bach did indeed make a continuous series of settings. Moreover, the quarterly publication of the texts would certainly have been discontinued if Bach’s musical settings had not appeared, or had broken off early. We must therefore conclude that some fifty Bach cantatas from 1728–29 have been lost forever.

Among the peculiarities of this cantata year – as we can already discern from Picander’s texts – is the relatively concise form. The cantatas generally centre on two arias, linked by one or two recitatives, and a final chorale. A further distinguishing feature is the extremely sparing use of the choir: introductory choruses based on Bible quotations, as we find in many other Leipzig cantatas, are present only in those works destined for major church feasts – and not even in all of these. In addition, the nine surviving works display a peculiarity of a different kind: they contain a larger than average incidence of parody – in other words movements in which Bach did not compose entirely new music for Picander’s text, but combined the words with an existing composition. We also find other kinds of borrowing, such as the reuse of earlier instrumental movements as cantata introductions. It was apparently part of Bach’s and Picander’s plan that the music should contain as much as possible of valuable older pieces and, by integrating them into a cantata year, to give them an enduring function. The three Picander cantatas recorded here, too, display these features.>>

Cantata 145 Commentary

The status of Cantata 145, its pasticcio expansion, and the Picander six movements are explored in Hofmann’s liner notes (Ibid.). << “Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen” (I live, my heart, for your delight), BWV 145). To judge from the printed edition of Picander’s text, this cantata must have been performed on the third Easter day (19th April) in 1729 at the main church service in Leipzig. Neither Bach’s score nor the parts used at the first performance have survived; the cantata has come down to us only through a copy made in the nineteenth century, which contains a revised version intended for the first Easter day. In this version, Bach’s original is prefaced by two further movements: a four-part chorale verse beginning ‘Auf, mein Herz’ (‘Up, my heart’) and a duet followed by a chorale based on Romans 10:9: ‘So du mit deinem Munde bekennest Jesum’ (‘That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus). The second of these additional movements comes from an Easter cantata by Georg Philipp Telemann, whilst the introductory chorale movement is by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, who was presumably responsible for making the extended version of the cantata during his period as director of music in Hamburg (after 1768).

The gospel passage for Easter Tuesday, Luke 24: 36–47, describes the first appearance of the resurrected Jesus amongst the disciples, who thereby gain the certain knowledge that Jesus is indeed alive. This is Picander’s point of reference: the Christian’s certainty that Jesus is alive is the determining motif of the cantata, right from the first words of the introductory duet. This duet is in the tradition of classical dialogues between the faithful Soul and Jesus, in which the role of the Soul is (as usual) given to the soprano, but, in a break with convention, the words of Jesus are taken not by a bass but by a tenor. This peculiarity – together with the chamber-music-like structure of the movement – lend credibility to the suggestion that Bach may here have reused an earlier composition, possibly a congratulatory cantata from his Köthen period. It is generally believed that the second aria, too – ‘Merke, mein Herze, beständig nur dies’ (‘Mark, my heart, constantly only this’) – is a parody. Its minuet-like character and very bold, simple diction suggest a secular original; perhaps it came from the same source as the opening duet. With the simple concluding chorale, however, Bach’s cantata returns to the spiritual sphere in stylistic terms as well: it is a strophe from the well-known Easter hymn Erschienen ist der herr lich Tag (Appeared is the splendid day) by Nikolaus Herman (1560).
© Klaus Hofmann 2011

Production Notes.
Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen, BWV 145. All the materials connected with the first performance of this work, including the full score as well as the parts, have been lost, and the work has been handed down in the form of a manuscript dating from the early 19th century. At the top of this manuscript is a four-part chorale and a movement based on a Telemann cantata. These do not form part of the work proper and are therefore not included here.
© Masaaki Suzuki 2011>>

Easter Tuesday Calendar, Chorales

Bach’s performance calendar in Leipzig for Easter Tuesday shows a light composing schedule with only two original works, Cantatas 134 and 145, both with borrowed materials and possibly the hybrid Cantata 158, “Der Friede sei mit dir” (Peace be unto you), the apostolic greeting in the day Gospel, Luke 24:36c, says Cantatas BWV 134(a), BCW “Discussions in the Week of March 27, 2016 (4th round),” Bach presented cantatas of cousin Johann Ludwig in 1725 and Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel in 1736. Bach reperformed Cantata 134 in 1731 and 1735.

Bach presented the following works for Easter Tuesdays:

4/11/1724 (1) BWV 134, Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß Chorus/parody; no closing chorale
4/3/1725 (2) (?4) Christ lag in Todesbanden repeat, and (?158) Der Friede sei mit dir, solo SB
4/23/1726 (3) (JLB11) Er machet uns ledenbid solo, J.L. Bach; no closing chorale
?4/19/1729 (4) BWV 145, P. 30 Ich lebe, mein Herz, in deinem Ergötzen chorus/borrowed;
3/27/1731 (BWV 134II) Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß repeat, revised
?4/12/1735 (BWV 134III) Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß repeat, revised.
4/3/1736 - Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel’s “Names of Christ” cycle: “Ich will euch nicht Waisen lassen, ich komme zu euch,” Mus. A 15:151 + “Ich will euch trösten, wie einseine Mutter tröstet,” Mus. A 15:152.

Günther Stiller5 lists three hymns in the Leipzig hymn schedules assigned for the Third Easter Day (Main and vesper services): “Ach bleibe uns, Hert Jesu Christ,” “Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag,” and “Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist.” Interestingly, Stiller (Ibid.: p. 87), identifies “Heut triumphieret Gottes Sohn” as the opening hymn in the morning and vesper services for Easter Tuesday and Ascension Day. Bach use of the triple-beat chorale “Erschienen ist der herrliche Tag” is found in two four-voice chorale settings in Cantata BWV 67/4 (S.1) Quasimodogeniti 1724 (?Christian Weise libretto), and in BWV 145/5 (S. 14), Easter Tuesday 1729 (Picander Text) and in chorale prelude BWV 629, Orgelbüchlein No. 38. It is found in Das neu Leipziger Gesangbuch of 1682 as an Easter hymn, No. 103. The 14-stanza text (AABB) and Paul Farseth’s English translations are found at BCW, and the Thomas Braatz and Aryeh Oron BCW melody (Zahn 1743) information at Nikolaus Herman (c1480-1561) BCW Biography, see

The Cantata 145 opening chorale setting of Emmanuel Bach is Caspar Neumann’s 1700 nine-stanza (ABABCC) Easter hymn, “Auf, mein Herz, des Herren Tag” (Up, my heart, the Lord's day). It was published in published in the Breslau Vollstandige Kirchen- und Haus-Music (Breslau, c. 1700) [music and harmonic analysis,]. The melody (Zahn 3432) is “Jesu, meine Zuversicht” (Jesus, my trust) of Johann Krüger, in Praxis Pietatis Melica (Berlin, 1653), set as a plain chorale, BWV 365 in C Major. Sebastian also set Neumann’s hymn, “Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben?” (Dearest God, when will I die?), as chorale Cantata BWV 8 for the 16th Sunday after Trinity 1724. Neumann (1648-1715) BCW Biography, see

Three facts about the surviving Bach cantata materials for Easter Tuesday show that there is no separate primary chorale specified for the third day of the Easter Festival, that Bach omitted chorales from his first cycle Cantata BWV 134 and JLB-11 in the third cycle; and that it appears for the second cycle that Cantata BWV 158 was presented on a double bill, with a repeat of Cantata 4, “Christ lag in Todesbanden,” on April 3, 1725 at the University Church. The brief (10-minute) hybrid old-new Cantata BWV 158, “Der Friede sei mit dir” (Peace be with you), Christ’s greeting to his disciples, blended old music from a Weimer Purification work (Nos. 2-3) with newly-composed music (No. 1 recitative and 4 plain chorale). Cantata 158 closes with the fifth verse of “Christ lag,” “Here is the true Easter lamb.” This collateral evidence could suggest that Bach had no need to compose a chorale cantata for this feast day.

There is only a slight possibility that Bach considered Stolzhagen’s six-verse “Heut triumphiret Gottes Sohn” as a chorale cantata. In Leipzig it was the Introit Hymn for the Easter Festival and the Vespers Hymn for Ascension Day. Bach first set the chorale as an <Orgelbüchlein> prelude, BWV 630(a) (Ob. No. 39) in its earliest Easter setting (1708-12). The third stanza is found in the Easter Monday “lost” Emmaus Cantata BWV Anh. 190/6, “Ich bin ein Pilgrim auf der Welt” (I am a pilgrim in the world; 1729 Picander text only) and is quite possibly the four-part setting, BWV 342. The full six-verse German hymn text is found in

Bach’s Köthen Vocal Repertory

The source of the two free da-capo arias in Cantata 145 could be a Köthen serenade composed for the birthday of Prince Leopold, December 10, most likely in 1721. The “conjecture can neither be confirmed nor refuted,” says Alfred Dürr.6 In the Cantata 145/1 Jesus-Soul duet, in addition to the “characteristic splitting up of the text,” “all the characteristics of a secular cantata-duet are present here, notably the euphonious parallel writing for the voices and the clearly periodic phrase-structure, to which even the imitative passages are readily subordinated.”

The bass aria (no. 3), “Merke, mein Herze, beständig nur dies” (Mark, my heart, constantly only this), seems a parody with its “dance-like style, the periodic phrase-structure of its themes, and the extended opening ritornello” but also the “discrepancies within the text,” Dürr (Ibid.: 288) citing the opening line substituting “beständig” with “merke” (mark). The dance-like character is a passepied, says Malcolm Boyd in his Cantata 145 essay in Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach (1999:234), with the aria “ample ritornellos, and high [bass] tessitura, which imported bass virtuoso J. G. Riemenschneder could have sung.7

Beyond the appealing, parodied pastoral works Bach adapted in 1724 for the Easter, Pentecost and Trinity Sunday festivals, (BWV 66a, BWV 134a, BWV 173a, BWV 184a, BWV 194a), the overall Bach Köthen 1718-23 cantata picture is still greatly fragmented, with only remnants and suppositions based on scattered source-criticial, circumstantial and collateral evidence. The picture for the annual New Year's secular serenades, one quarter or six works, is the most substantial:

1/1/18 ?BWV Anh. 197 "Ihr wallenden Wolken"; lost, no text, incipt cited in Forkel estate 1819.
1/1/19 BWV 134a "Die Zeit, die Tag, die Jahre macht"; reconstructed from BWV 134, C. F. Hunold (1681-1721 text)
1/1/20 BWV Anh. 6 "Dich loben die lieblichen Strahlen der Sonne"; Hunold text only, no music
1/1/21 BWV 194a ?"Hochsterwünschtes Freudenfest"; no text, 6 dance arias in BWV 194
1/1/22 BWV 184a "Erwünschtes Freudenlicht"; 5 mvts. survive in BWV 184 (no print text extant)
1/1/23 BWV Anh. 8 title and text unknown ?= BWV 184a (repeat)
For the December 10 Prince Leopold Birthday celebrations, here is an accounting of the secular serenades:
12/10/17 existence uncertain
12/10/18 BWV 66a, "Der Himmel dach auf Anhalts Ruhm & Glück"; 4 mvts. survive in BWV 66
12/10/19 existence uncertain ("So bringt, Durchlauchtigster Leopold" Hunold text only)
12/10/20 BWV Anh. 7, "Heut ist gewiß ein gutter Tag"; Hunold text only
12/10/21 existence uncertain
12/10/22, BWV 173a, "Durchlauchster Leopold"; text poet unknown, survives complete as BWV 184

Emmanuel Bach’s Connection

Besides the composition of the plain chorale, “Auf, mein Herz, des Herrn Tag,” Emmanuel Bach may have been involved in setting/arranging the pasticcio version of Cantata 145. According to recent research of Peter Wollny,8 “Bach might have delegated some of the [Picander cycle 1728-29] settings to his eldest sons and most able pupils,” says Richard D. P. Jones in “Cantatas of 1727-28 and the Picander Cycle (1728-29).” 9 “Since C. P. E. Bach left Leipzig in 1734, the joint father-son project of setting the cycle might have extended over several years – from the late 1720s to the mid-1730s – and it was possibly still incomplete when the son left his father’s home.”

Cantata 145 “is untypical of J. S. Bach and might also have been composed by his young son,” says Jones, citing Emmanuel’s recently-discovered cantata, “Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Stünde,” text from the Picander cycle (Bach Digital, which father Sebastian also set as Cantata BWV 84 in 1727 fSexagesima Sunday. In addition, Jones cites Wollny’s finding that Emmanuel’s handwriting is the last five measures in the B section, “Was das Hertz allein entzückt” (What my heart alone doth charm), in the bass da-capo aria with continuo (No. 4), “Wenn ich nicht soll Jesum haben” (If I cannot have my Jesus, from the Cantata BWV Anh. 190 (Picander P-29, Bach Compendium BC A 58), “Ich bin ein Pilgrim auf der Welt” (I am a pilgrim in the world, Z. Philip Ambrose translation,, for Easter Monday, 18 April 1729. The “lost Emmaus” Cantata BWV Anh. 190, “might well have been composed by” Emmanuel, says Jones, citing Wollny. The fragment is found alone on the back page of the surviving Part 2, from the unknown c1729 sacred wedding Cantata BWV Anh. 120a, “Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinge” (Lord God, ruler of all things). The instrumental line is followed with the recitative text only (no music), “Bey Jesu bin ich auch nicht fremde” (With Jesus am I, too, no stranger) [see Bach Digital, Provenance of BWV 120a is: J. S. Bach - C. P. E. Bach - ? - J. L. Erk - BB (now Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz) (1883).

Two composers and their settings from the Picander cycle are:10 (Pentecost, P-38): “Raset und brauset ihr hefftigen Winde” (, set by Johann Friedrich Doles (1715-97) in 1740, when a student of Bach and (Epiphany P-11) “Diß ist der tag, den der Herr gemacht hat” (Psalm 118:24–25 RoemV 154, by Johann Theodor Roemhildt (1684-1756) in 1735. Doles was Bach’s second successor as Thomascantor (1756-97), while Roemhildt studied with Bach predecessors Johann Schelle and Johann Kuhnau and was employed at Merseberg.

In addition to the other settings of Picander’s 1728-29 texts, Bach for 23 October 1729 (19th Sunday after Trinity) left a draft of six bars, BWV Anh. 2, which is maybe all that is left of Bach's setting of “Gott, du Richter der Gedanken” ( Like the Emmanuel fragment of BWV Anh.190, this untitled draft scored for chorus and strings of the opening sinfonia is found on the backside p. 36) of the score in Bach’s hand for the motet “Der Geist hilf unsre Schwacheit auf,” presented on 24 October 1729.

Cantata 145 Commentary

An examination of the Cantata 145 extant materials and scholarly research is found in Thomas Braatz’s BCW 2008 “Provenance” article, << First Performance: April 19, 1729 or later. The earliest copies of the score are from the 19th century and add two mvts. that were not part of Henrici-Picander’s original text printed in 1729. Two mvts. precede Picander’s text: 1st verse of Caspar Neumann’s chorale Auf, mein Herz, des Herren Tag, (1700) [CM Jesus, meine Zuversicht] and Georg Philipp Telemann’s choral mvt. So du mit deinem Munde bekennest Jesum. The fact that these mvts. are not in Picander’s text would seem to indicate that these mvts. were added later by someone else other than Bach himself or that Bach might have added these mvts. when the cantata originally designated by Picander for the 2nd Day after Easter to Easter itself necessitated a more festive opening mvt. Quite puzzling, however, is the placement of a simple chorale setting as the opening mvt. of a cantata unless this cantata was the second part of a bipartite composition with the first part (or cantata) being performed before the sermon, and the second after with the 2nd half or another cantata beginning with a chorale.

Telemann’s cantata is named So du mit deinem Munde bekennest, (Romans 10:9 for Easter Sunday) for 2 oboes, 3 colascione, timpani, glockenspiel, strings, and basso continuo, 1723, TWV 1:1350; the chorus from TWV 1:1350 (=BWV 145) is found in the BGA, J.S. Bach: Werke, xxx (1884) and in NBA, J.S. Bach: Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, l/10 (1955); Alfred Dürr was responsible for the NBA KB I/10 published in 1956.

It is not known whether Bach intended these two mvts. (the chorale Auf, mein Herz, des Herren Tag and Telemann’s choral mvt. from TWV 1:1350) as part of this cantata. The NBA I/10 pp. 141-148 prints these two mvts. as an appendix, attributing the choral mvt. to Telemann. The actual cantata begins on p. 113 with the Duetto. A footnote explains that the transmission of this cantata allows for two titles: Ich lebe, mein Herze and So du mit deinem Munde bekennest, the latter title used for the version in the appendix which gives the two mvts. that precede the Duetto.

Without the two mvts. preceding the Duetto, BWV 145 appears rather short. This has prompted experts to consider a comparison with other cantatas in this yearly cycle, cantatas which have instrumental sinfonias to open the cantata (BWV 174, BWV 188). However, there is no direct evidence available to support the possibility that an instrumental sinfonia did precede the Duetto, however, another consideration that might speak in favor of such an instrumental introduction is that, on March 20, 1729, Bach assumed the directorship of the former Telemann Collegium musicum in Leipzig. This might possibly have provided him with an incentive for composing (or recycling) such instrumental sinfonias because he now had the opportunity to call upon even more talented musicians than he already had at his disposal for performances of his church cantatas.

Sources: The autograph score and original set of parts are missing. The three copies of the score, two of which were copied from the first, go back only to the 19th-century. Another 18th-century copy which had been in private hands, a copy which did not agree entirely with the other three, has, unfortunately, been lost. Other evidence consists of copies of the Telemann cantata and various printings of the Bach chorales as well as the original Picander text from 1729.

The primary cantata copy came via a Bach manuscript collector from Frankfurt a/O, Dr. Peters, who sent this copy to Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1832), the director of the Berlin Singakademie. Zelter acknowledged receiving the score on May 24, 1816 and commented that it contained many careless errors.

Although it is generally assumed that Wilhelm Friedemann Bach inherited the Picander Cantata Cycle, there are indications that Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach may have been involved in creating the pasticcio which includes the mvt. from a Telemann cantata. This transformation could have been undertaken at some point after 1750 and before 1782. As a successor to Telemann’s position in Hamburg, CPE Bach would have had easy access to the former composer’s musical materials. The fact that this cantata (pasticcio) is not listed in CPE Bach’s estate at the time of his death in 1788 does not detract from the viability of this idea. CPE Bach, during his lifetime, could easily have given this cantata to Johann Christoph Westphal, a music seller in Hamburg who published a list of available manuscripts in 1782 on which the following music item under the category Geschriebene Musica, Oratorien, Opern etc. is offered: Bach Joh. Sebast.: --Oster-Cantate: So du mit deinem Munde bekennest. Partit.

This is the oldest record for the existence of a score for this cantata in a version that has the Telemann mvt. preceding J.S. Bach’s Duetto.

Summarizing and distilling all available sources, Alfred Dürr has concluded that there are basically only two different versions of BWV 145: 1. The cantata Ich lebe, mein Herze for the 2nd Day of Easter (3. Ostertag):

a) Henrici-Picander’s printed text from 1729; b) a lost manuscript copy mentioned in the BGA; c) a slight possibility that Zelter’s corrections to the primary source were based on the availability to him of an unknown source; d) the final chorale as printed in 1765 and 1784 editions of Bach’s 4-pt. chorales. 2. The cantata So du mit deinem Munde including the chorale Auf, mein Herz, des Herren Tag for Easter Sunday (1. Ostertag): a) the primary copy with all its derivatives; b) Westphal’s lists from 1782 and 1830; c) manuscripts of and a set of parts for the Telemann cantata mvt. So du mit deinem Munde; d) printed editions from 1765, 1784 and 1787 of both 4-pt. chorales.

Due to the unclear transmission of this cantata, Bach experts have had to speculate widely and have come up with a variety of hypotheses, some of which showed great insight and others which have turned out to be wrong. Philipp Spitta (1841-1894), acquainted mainly with both versions above, came to the conclusion regarding the 2nd version: Die Art der Melodieführung und Fugirung ist nicht Bachisch, eher Telemannisch (“The manner in which the leading of the melody and the construction of fugues takes place is not like Bach but rather more like Telemann”).

Rudolf Wustmann (1872-1916), one of the editors of the BGA, offered the following opinion in his book on Bach’s cantata texts (Leipzig, 1913): Bach added the two mvts. to precede the Duetto, weil ihm Picanders Dichtung sonst zu klein war und er auch am Anfang die rechte Begründung der Freude vermißte (“Picander’s poetic text seemed to him [Bach] to be too short and he felt the proper basis of joy was not properly established at the beginning”).

The next expert to offean opinion on this cantata was Arnold Schering ( (1877-1941) in his Bach Jahrbuch article (1938, pp. 78ff.): Schering thought that this cantata was intended to be performed on Easter Tuesday at one of the church services held at St. Paul’s, the University of Leipzig church. For this he constructs overly complicated arguments. He thought that the two 4-pt chorales were genuine Bach, but he doubted not only the authenticity of the choral mvt. but even that of the Duetto. He thought that the bass aria was a parody of an undetermined secular mvt. According to Schering, Picander, in 1732 reworked (expanded) the text so that it could be performed on Easter Sunday in one of the main Leipzig churches. Schering also contends: “Proof is lacking that Bach, in creating a parody, would ever take an existing cantata and add to it a movement composed by someone else.”

A decisive step forward was taken by Friedrich Smend (1893-1980) who began analyzing the Leipzig Bach cantatas for their precursors in the Cöthen Period and discovered the origin of BWV 66 (Smend’s book on the cantatas, 1947-1950). Then he expanded his search by analyzing stylistic features of other cantatas for which no proof of their origin during the Cöthen Period is available. Together with BWV 184 and the present cantata, BWV 145, Smend hoped to use this technique to reinstate as authentic certain cantata mvts. that were being viewed as inauthentic. In his book, Bach in Köthen, 1951, he repeated his claim (pp. 45ff.) and stated that the choral mvt. of BWV 145 was a parody of a middle mvt. of a secular cantata composed in Cöthen. Mm 3b to 7 erwecken nicht nur den Verdacht, sondern sie beweisen, daß die jetzt darunter liegenden Worte nicht ursprünglich zu dem Tonsatz gehörten, daß also Parodie vorliegt (“not only awaken the suspicion but even prove that the words underlying the notes did not originally belong to music, thus this is a case of parody”). Smend places the time of composition at the end of Bach’s position in Cöthen: Nicht nur die Verwendung der Oboi d’amore, sondern auch…die weiterentwickelten Formen der Sätze veranlassen uns zu dieser Ansetzung. Dem Chor werden hier schwierigere Aufgaben zugeteilt, als Bach dies in den früheren Werken wagte (p. 73ff.) (“Not only the use of the oboi d’amore, but also the more developed forms used in these mvts. lead us to this assessment. Greater demands than those Bach dared to make in his earlier works are made of the choir.”)

Meanwhile Spitta’s suspicions have been confirmed. The Telemann cantata has been clearly identified as a cantata for Easter Sunday (Bach Jahrbuch, 1951-52, pp. 371). It is clear now that the remaining mvts. are definitely by J. S. Bach. No confirming evidence for Wustmann’s supposition that Bach himself placed the two mvts. in front of the Duetto or for Schering’s hypothesis that the cantata was performed in 1723/1725 in the Leipzig University Church has been found. Schering’s view that Bach never included in his cantatas a mvt. by another composer cannot be refuted based on all original materials currently available, but this possibility cannot be definitely excluded either.

The dating of BWV 145 with the Telemann mvt. included would most likely not be earlier than 1723 (Hamburg), the earliest record of the Telemann cantata, but an earlier date for the Telemann cantata from Frankfurt or Eisenach is not entirely out of question. Still rather convincing, although not yet provable, is Smend’s thesis that the original source for the musical material goes back to Bach’s Cöthen Period. The reworking of this music would then most likely have taken place in collaboration with Picander. Schering thought that this would have taken place in 1732; however the most likely date is currently assumed to be Easter, 1729.

The range of the oboe d’amore would place its use in Bach’s oeuvre no earlier than 1723. Comparison of the textual structures employed by Hunold (Cöthen) and Picander (Leipzig) have led to no viable conclusions that would be helpful in regard to BWV 145.

The date of Picander’s printed version of the text (1729) appears to preclude reasonably for the most part any date of composition before 1729. Later dates than this are less convincing. Thus is can be assumed with some degree of certainty that the recitatives were new, original compositions for Easter, 1729, with a slight possibility that the Duetto and the bass aria might have originated in Cöthen. It is difficult to arrive at any secure results that might arise from a comparison, particularly in regard to their introductory mvts., with other cantatas in the Picander cantata cycle. There are three cantatas which have or most likely had large-scale choral mvts.: BWV 149, BWV 197a, and BWV 171. Three others begin with an instrumental mvt. adapted from already existing instrumental concerti: BWV 188 (based on BWV 1052), BWV 156 (based on BWV 1056) and BWV 174 (based on BWV 1048). Two cantatas, BWV 84 and BWV 159, only feature a solo instrument using a simpler instrumental form. This demonstrates that we cannot easily arrive at any definite conclusions about the possible existence or nature of any introductory mvt. for BWV 145. Instrumental concerti do introduce a number of sacred cantatas: BWV 35, BWV 49, BWV 52, BWV 120, BWV 146, BWV 156, BWV 169, BWV 174, BWV 188 and the Easter Oratorio (BWV 249) (three from this list are from the Picander Cantata Cycle). This has caused some to believe that the mvts. preceding the Duetto walready part of BWV 145 in 1729; accordingly, Bach changed his conception of the cantata after the text had already been agreed upon. This scenario is, however, not very probable, particularly since some of the critical sources point to the existence of the cantata Ich lebe, mein Herze which was intended for a performance on the 2nd Day after Easter (Osterdienstag).

Two major possibilities can be considered:

1. The reworking of the cantata to become So du mit deinem Munde was undertaken by Bach personally during the period from 1730 to 1750. Bach added the choral mvt. by Telemann to provide a strong introductory mvt. and the chorale Auf, mein Herz, des Herren Tag might have been intended to follow the Telemann mvt. or even to replace the final chorale. Simultaneously, the designation of the cantata was shifted from the 2nd Day after Easter to Easter Sunday. After Bach’s death the cantata may have been passed on to WF Bach and not to CPE Bach. The latter inherited the Easter Sunday cantatas BWV 249 and BWV 31, but not BWV 145. [Of all the cantatas in Bach’s Picander Cantata Cycle, only one is listed in CPE Bach’s estate at the time of his death.]

2. The version Ich lebe, mein Herze was maintained intact until 1750. At the time of the distribution of the cantatas, CPE Bach received the manuscript. In Hamburg, either he or another musician decided on expanding the cantata and creating the pasticcio which was intended for a performance on Easter Sunday. Before his death, CPE Bach gave away the manuscript of BWV 145, possibly directly to Westphal. In CPE Bach’s estate there is only one cantata for the 2nd Day after Easter (BWV 134) while another one is missing. It is conceivable in this instance that WF Bach inherited BWV 145 and not CPE Bach. WF Bach might then have undertaken the changes or simply gave it to someone else who did.

In both cases one might assume that the repositioning of the chorale Auf, mein Herz to the very beginning of the cantata took place at a much later time. Perhaps the reason for this change was simply done for regrouping the mvts. Why, otherwise, would such a deliberate effort be made between 1782 and 1830 to cite the title for this cantata with a title which did not derive from the name of the chorale Auf, mein Herz? (Based on Alfred Dürr’s research and discussion of BWV 145 as contained in the NBA KB I/10, pp. 128-160 [1956]. Contributed by Thomas Braatz (June 20, 2008)>>

Addendum: Great praise for Cantata 145 is found in W. Gillies Whittaker’s The Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach (London: Oxford University Press, 1958: I: 660-666). “It is one of the most engaging of the cantatas; every number is fresh and tuneful.” The two recitatives “are delightful specimens of his art.” “A chorus, a duet and two arias complete a varied and well-balanced scheme,” plus the opening and closing plain chorales. In particular the bass aria with trumpet (no. 3) “is splendid and direct”(Ibid.: 664ff), comparing it to the bass aria with trumpet, “Grosse Herr,” in the first part of the Christmas Oratorio.

Note on Text: In Picander’s text, there are pertinent biblical references in the biblical dictum of the opening Jesus-Soul duet, “Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen” (I live, my heart, for your delight), a conflation of John 14:19c and the Gospel, Luke 24:39, sung by the tenor (Jesus). In typical Soul-Jesus exchanges, they express their love for each other in Johannine fashion, and in their closing duet provide the biblical reason for their joy: “Die klagende Handschrift ist völlig zerrissen, / Der Friede verschalt ein ruhig Gewissen / Und öffnet den Sündern das himmlische Tor.” (The complaining handwriting is completely torn up, / the peace provides a quiet conscience / and opens heaven's gate to sinners.), a quotation from Paul’s epistle to the Colossians (2:14). This is “the cancellation of the old dispensation of the laws of Moses by the resurrection” Gospel, says Whittaker (Ibid.: 664), in typical Martin Luther dialectic in which the gospel of joy overcomes the old law. The text of the bass aria (no. 3) alludes to the Lukan Gospel (24: 44-47, KJV) closing in which Christ commissions his disciples: “44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”


1 Cantata 145, BCW Details & Discography, Score Vocal & Piano Score Vocal & Piano [1.47 MB], Score BGA References: BGA, XXX (Cantatas 141-150, Paul Graf Waldersee 1884), NBA KB I/10 (Easter Tuesday cantatas, Alfred Dürr, 1956: 128), Bach Compendium BC A 60, Zwang: K 177. Provenance,
2 Picander’s “Cantaten auf die Sonn- und Fest-Tage durch das gantze Jahr” in Ernstschertzhaffte und satyrische Gedichte (1732), extensive details on line,–29, “Picander cycle of 1728–29,” as well as “Church cantatas of Bach's third to fifth year in Leipzig,”'s_third_to_fifth_year_in_Leipzig.
3 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: 748).
4 Klaus Hofmann notes, BCW[BIS-SACD1941].pdf; BCW Recording details,
5 Günther Stiller, Johann Sebastian Bach and Liturgical Life in Leipzig, ed. Robin A. Leaver (St. Louis MO: Concordia Publishing, 1985: 239).
6 Alfred Dürr, Cantatas of J. S. Bach, revised and translated by Richard D. P. Jones (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005: 287). The original research is found in Friedrich Smend’s pioneering Bach in Köthen, ed. & rev. with annotations Stephen Daw (St. Louis MO: Concordia, 63ff). Christian Gottlob Meißner (1707-1760), Bach student and Main Copyist B, 1723-c31, possessed a score and copy of Telemann’s Cantata TVWV 1:1350, says NBA KB I/10: 133 (Ibid.: Footnote 1), says Daw’s Footnote E20: 205.
7 See William Hoffman’s “Bach’s Dramatic Music: Serenades, Drammi per Musica, Oratorios,” 2008 BCW Article,
8 Peter Wollny, “Zwei Bach-Funde in Mülgen: C. P. E. Bach and Picander und die Leipziger Kirchenmusik in den 1730er Jahren,” Bach Jahrbuch 96: 2010: 111-51.
9 Richard D. P. Jones, The Creative Development of Johann Sebastian Bach, Volume II: 1717-1750. “Music to Delight the Spirit” (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013: 192-197, see 195).
10 Source, “Picander cycle of 1728–29,”–29; Doles’ source, Daniel R. Melamed, "J. F. Doles's Setting of a Picander Libretto and J. S. Bach's Teaching of Vocal Composition" in The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 453-474. University of California Press; Roemhildt source: Marc-Roderich Pfau, "Ein unbekanntes Leipziger Kantatenheft aus dem Jahr 1735: Neues zum Thema Bach und Stölzel", pp. 99–122 in Bach-Jahrbuch 2008, Footnote 51 p. 112.

Doles Biography, see BCW;
Roemhildt biography, see

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 25, 2017):
Cantata BWV 145 - Revised & updated Discography

Cantata BWV 145 "Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen" (I live, my heart, for your delight) was composed by J.S. Bach in Leipzig for Easter Tuesday [3rd day of Easter] of 1729. The cantatas was later revised for a performance on Easter Sunday with 2 additional preceding movements: the first was chorale hymn by Caspar Neumann and the second was taken from G.P. Telemann's cantata. The cantata is scored for soprano, tenor & bass soloists; 4-part Chorus; and orchestra of trumpet, transverse flute, 2 oboes d'amore, 2 violins, viola & continuo.

The discography pages of BWV 145 on the BCW have been revised and updated. See:
Complete Recordings (7):
Recordings of Individual Movements (7):
The revised discography includes many listening/watching options as part of the recording details. When you click a link to video/audio, a new window will open above the discography page and the video/audio will start to play.

I also put at the BCW Home Page:
2 audios & 2 videos of the cantata. A short description below the audio/video image is linked to the full details at the discography pages.

I believe this is the most comprehensive discography of this cantata. If you are aware of a recording of BWV 145 missing from these pages, or want to correct/add details of a recording already presented on the BCW, please do not hesitate to inform me.

You can also read on the BCW the recent discussion of the cantata in the BCML (4th round):




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Last update: Monday, September 11, 2017 15:20