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Cantata BWV 150
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich
Discussions - Part 6

Continue from Part 5

Discussions in the Week of November 12, 2017 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (November 15, 2017):
Cantata 150, “Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich”; Mühlhausen Music

Depending upon how they are classified and viewed, Bach’s sacred vocal music of sorrow involving mourning and consolation ranges from some of his earliest to latest works, from simple motet settings to a multi-part cantata with choruses, arias, ariosi, and chorales in the form of a passion setting. Complicating matters, many of these occasional works involve parody or new-text underlay while the actual dating and context of some remain illusive and in a few instances are works involving hybrid music of other composers or the actual work of others. Beginning in Mühlhausen, Bach composed early concerto- and motet-style cantatas of sorrow that are fine works in the old style.

One of the earliest works whose authenticity is accepted by whose purpose is uncertain is Cantata 150, “Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich” (For you, Lord, is my longing, Psalm 25:1b). Lasting 17 minutes in seven terse movements, its form and biblical text, using psalm and poetic verses set as four choruses and two arias while combining in the choruses homophonic and polyphonic passages place it in Bach’s time in Mühlhausen in 1707-08. So does its opening sinfonia and closing chorus set as a chaconne. Beyond this, recent studies suggested that it could have been a birthday piece, despite its somber tone (b minor) which suggests a penitential service (Bußgottesdienst) composition. Bach scholars also have suggested that Cantata 150, as with Easter Cantata 4, “Christ lag in Todesbanden,” also dated to this time (4 April 1707) and for a church year service, was either for Jubilate Sunday (3rd after Easter) with its sorrow-to-joy Gospel theme (John 3:20), or for the 3rd Sunday after Trinity with its theme of Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd.1

Cantata 150 could have been presented on Jubilate Sunday, 29 April 1708, in Mühlhausen (or earlier), suggests Martin Petzoldt.2 Particularly appropriate for this Sunday in the closing chaconne poetic chorus (no. 7), “Meine Tage in dem Leide / Endet Gott dennoch zur Freude” (My days spent in sorrow /God ends nevertheless with joy). The day’s gospel is John 16:16-23, Jesus Christ’s Farewell Discourse and Promise of the Second Coming to his Disciples, so that sorrow is turned into joy. In this closing chorus, there also are allusions to the day’s Epistle, 1 Peter 2:11-20, in the first two lines, says Petzoldt. There also are references to the Jubilate in the other four cantatas Bach presented in Leipzig on Jubilate also move from sorrow to joy: BWV 12, “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen” (Weeping, crying, mourning, sighing); BWV 103, “Ihr werdet weinen und heulen” (Ye shall weep and howl); BWV 146, “Wir müsen durch viel Trübsal in das Reich Gottes eingehen” (We must through much tribulation into the Kingdom of God enter); and JLB 8, “Die mit Tränen säen” (That with tears seen).

Marcus Rathey in a 2006 article3 dates Cantata 150 to the 3rd Sunday after Trinity, 10 July 1707. on the base Psalm 25, verses 1-2, 5, and 15 is from the introit psalm for this Sunday and the poetic allusions in the other movements (nos. 3, 5, 7) are near to the day’s Epistle, 1 Peter 5: 6-11, “Cast all your cares upon him, for he cares for you.” Thus these findings with Mühlhausen 1707/08 dates possibly refute the findings of Andreas Glöckner4 that BWV 150 was composed in Arnstadt 1703-1707, although its authenticity as a very early Bach work is virtually assured.

In a 2010 Bach Jahrbuch article, Hans-Joachim Schulze “has been able to document its authenticity in the most stunning fashion,” says Peter Wollny.5 The poetic lines in the Cantata 150 movements nos. 3, 5, and 7, are an acrostic, Doktor Conrad Meckbach, Mühlhausen Burgomaster (and Consul), who successfully nominated the young Bach on 24 May 1707, and had celebrated his 70th birthday the previous month. “This composition is one of Bach’s earliest Mühlhausen compositions, a work of homage paying tribute to an influential patron of the young composer, and on renewed, unprejudiced consideration it proves to be a worthy sister work of the Actus tragicus and other earlier cantatas,” says Wollny. Edited by Wollny and scheduled for publication soon, the Neue Bach Ausgabe Revised Edition (BA 5940), should bring further agreement in its collection re-examining Pre-Weimar Cantatas BWV 21, 106, 131, and 150.

Here are the two pertinent readings for the 3rd Sunday after Trinity in Bach’s time: Introit Psalm 25, Ad te, Dominum, levavi (Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul, KJV),; Epistle 1 Peter 5: 6-11, “Cast all your cares upon him, for he cares for you” (

Cantata 150 movements, scoring, text, key, meter (anonymous German, Francis Browne English translation and “Note on the text” (December 2004), BCW,

1. Sinfonia (Adagio), 19 mm [Fagotto, Violino I/II, Continuo]; B minor, 4/4.
2. Chorus (Psalm 25:1-2), canonical-fugal & homophonic complex [SATB; Fagotto, Violino I/II, Continuo]: “Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich. / Mein Gott, (A. Allegro, homophonic, mm 21-32) ich hoffe auf dich. / (Un poco allegro) Laß mich nicht (Adagio, homophonic) zuschanden werden, / (B. Allegro, mm 33-53) dass sich meine Feinde nicht (Adagio, homophonic) freuen über mich.” (For you, Lord, is my longing. / My God, I hope in you. / Let me not be put to shame, / so that my enemies may not rejoice over me.); b minor; 4/4.
3. Aria (allusion 1 Peter 4:12-13 [Soprano; Violino I/II all' unisono, Continuo]: “Doch bin und bleibe ich vergnügt, / Obgleich hier zeitlich toben / Kreuz, Sturm und andre Proben, / Tod, Höll und was sich fügt. / Ob Unfall schlägt den treuen Knecht, / Recht ist und bleibet ewig Recht.” (But I am and remain content, / although here for a time there rage / cross, storm and other trials, / death, hell and what is ordained. / Even if misfortune strikes your faithful servant, / right is and always remains right.); b minor; 4/4.
4. Chorus homophonic & polyphonic (Psalm 25: 5) [SATB; Fagotto, Violino I/II, Continuo]: (Andante, homophonic, mm 1-8) “Leite mich in deiner Wahrheit (A. Allegro, canon, mm. 8-12) und lehre mich; / (B. Andante, mm 13-16) denn du bist (homophonic mm 16-19) der Gott, der mir hilft, / (C. polyphonic, mm 20-29) täglich harre ich dein.” (Lead me in your truth and teach me: / for you are the God, who helps me, / everyday I wait on you.); b minor; 4/4.
5. Aria (allusion 1 Peter) (Terzetto) [Alto, Tenor, Bass; Fagotto, Continuo]: “Zedern müssen von den Winden / Oft viel Ungemach empfinden, / Oftmals werden sie verkehrt. / Rat und Tat auf Gott gestellet, Achtet nicht, was widerbellet, / Denn sein Wort ganz anders lehrt.” (Cedars must before the wind / often feel much hardship, / often they are overturned. / Thought and action entrust to God, / pay no attention to what howls against you, / for his word teaches quite otherwise.); D Major; 3/4.
6. Chorus prelude & fugue (Psalm 25:15) [SATB; Fagotto, Violino I/II, Continuo]: A. (mm 1-21) “Meine Augen sehen stets zu dem Herrn; / B. (Allegro, mm 22-44) denn er wird meinen Fuß aus dem Netze ziehen.” (My eyes look always towards the Lord / for he will pull my foot out of the net.); D Major to b minor; 6/8.
7. Chorus, chaconne [SATB; Fagotto, Violino I/II, Continuo]: “Meine Tage in dem Leide / Endet Gott dennoch zur Freude; / Christen auf den Dornenwegen / Führen Himmels Kraft und Segen. / Bleibet Gott mein treuer Schutz, / Achte ich nicht Menschentrutz, / Christus, uns steht zur Seiten, / Hilft mir täglich sieghaft streiten.” (My days spent in sorrow / God ends nevertheless with joy; / Christians on the thorny ways / are led by heaven's strength and blessing. / If God remains my faithful protection, / I do not care for men’s spite. / Christ, who stands at our side, / helps me everyday to strive victoriously.); b minor; 6/8.

<< Note on the text

The authenticity of this cantata has been doubted. Those who accept it as Bach’s work argue that stylistic immaturities suggest this is Bach’s earliest surviving cantata and may be dated to 1704-7, when Bach was at Arnstadt. The text, by an unidentified author, is based on verses from Psalm 25 in movements 2, 4 and 6. In the remaining movements rhymed verse with varied metrical structure expresses the theme that mankind faces many hardships but salvation comes from trust in God. In the concluding chorus a variant text is sometimes used: Bleibet Gott mein treuer Schatz (If God remains my faithful treasure) / Achte ich nicht Menschenkreuz. (I do not care for men’s cruelty.)>>

Note: For a summary of critical comments on the authenticity of Cantata 150, see the Cantata 150 BCML Discussion, Part 1 (December 9, 2001),, particularly Thomas Braatz on Arnold Scheering and Philipp Spitta, as well as Commentary, Eric Chafe (, and in addition, Aryeh Oron’s commentary summaries, “(December 12, 2001): Introduction.”

Cantata 150 Champion: Gardiner

One of the champions of Cantata 150 is John Elliot Gardiner who performed the work twice early in his 2000 Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, beginning with a performance in Arnstadt in his 2007 liner notes.6 <<It seemed fitting to open with BWV 150 Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, now generally accepted to be Bach’s very first church cantata and composed here very possibly for this church [Arnstadt] at some stage during his time as organist, but for no known occasion. It is an astonishing piece. Forget the occasional technical lapse; you have to admire how Bach skilfully alternates the anonymous text with verses from Psalm 25, his already theologically astute emphasis on the need to hold on to faith amid the doubts that assail us, a theme this cantata shares, interestingly, with the cantatas composed specifically for this Sunday.

Viewed one way, it is a portfolio of what he had assimilated and achieved thus far, and the perfect riposte to the members of the Arnstadt Consistory who had complained of his failure to provide ‘figural’ music hitherto (though his contract as organist stipulated no such obligation). To them he seemed to be saying, ‘Here, then, I’m offering you an opening sonata da chiesa – variations on a descending chromatic bass – followed by a chorus of the kind I learnt from Buxtehude in Lübeck (sorry, by the way, that I stayed away four months and not the four weeks you sanctioned). Next, a fetching little aria for soprano with violin obbligato (the very piece, by the way, I was rehearsing in the choir loft with the only competent singer I could find here – the so-called ‘unauthorised maiden’ – actually my cousin and fiancée, Maria Barbara). You’ll also find a multi-sectioned chorus (No.4), beginning in the bass and climbing through all four voices and from them to the two violins, in which, perhaps, you might detect a play on words – ‘Leite’ (‘lead’) sounding similar to ‘Leiter’ (‘ladder’): in effect I’ve portrayed man’s aspirations to attain God’s truth by means of twenty-six separate rungs of a tonal ladder.

To this I’ve added a trio with a moto perpetuo cello line and a fagotto part which will stretch the technique of Herr Geyersbach, that “Zippel Fagottist” (plausibly translated as ‘a prick of a bassoonist’) who attacked me unawares with his cronies in the Market Square and then sneaked off to complain to you. There’s a permutation fugue and a finale in which I’ve solved the problem of how to turn an instrumental chaconne into a choral peroration over a ground bass: a diatonic stepwise ascent of a fifth which inverts the shape of the chromatic tetrachord I used in my opening sinfonia. You can see that it is an allegory in music of human spite and of my own struggles here, with God’s help, to “daily win the battle”’.

But this cantata is more than just a clever piece of self-advertisement (Brahms, for one, was sufficiently impressed with this chaconne to use it as the basis of the passacaglia in the finale of his fourth symphony). There is a distinctive voice to the music, a more than embryonic feeling for biblical mood-evocation and a delight in textural permutations. It shows both a willingness to experiment and a grasp of what was achievable with an unruly choir of disaffected mature students (the Cantor of the Upper Church having creamed off the best singers for his own choir). The patina of the music holds your attention long after the cantata has ended.>>
© John Eliot Gardiner 2007, From a journal written in the course of the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage

Gardiner: Further Cantata 150 Details

Further details of the spiritual and musical elements in Cantata 150 are found in Gardiner’s 2008 liner notes to the second 2000 performance.7 <<Our programme for Exaudi began with a work once considered spurious but now generally accepted by scholars as Bach’s first cantata. Though BWV 150 Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich has no specified liturgical designation, its underlying theme – the believer’s hopes of redemption in the hurly-burly of life – is particularly apt in the period between Easter and Ascension. We had given it five weeks before on Low Sunday (after Easter] in Arnstadt (Thuringia), its likely place of origin, where the twenty-year-old Bach in his first salaried post had to contend with a far from ideal group of performers (see SDG Vol 23). I was eager to revisit this intriguing, if slightly experimental, cantata, his opus 1 as it were, and to observe any internal growth or change that might have taken place by osmosis in the intervening weeks.

Three things struck me. First was a sense of the care and consideration which had gone into the initial assembly of the text – three quotations from Psalm 25 concerned with prayer (No.2), guidance (No.4) and steadfastness (No.6), interleaved with three stanzas of anonymous verse. Bach gives vivid pictorial expression to the tussle experienced by the believer between the need to survive in a world of tribulation and the imperative of holding on, secure in God’s protection. My second impression, notwithstanding other stylistic models (Nikolaus Bruhns in terms of the permutation fugues, and Bach’s early interest in Albinoni’s trio sonatas Op.1 (1694)), was of the clear debt the cantata owes to the surviving motets and sacred concertos of Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703). He was JS Bach’s first cousin-once-removed, known to him during his infancy as the organist of St George’s, Eisenach, where he sang as a chorister, and the one ancestor he later singled out with the epithet, the ‘profound composer’. It was Johann Christoph, incidentally, who as de facto head of the family in 1702 (the year before his death) may have guided his young cousin and the Arnstadt town council towards one another when a vacancy for organ-assessor and organist of the Neue Kirche presented itself. The third feature to strike me on this occasion was the extent to which this little cantata is, in a sense, a blueprint for the more imposing Mühlhausen cantatas (BWV 131 and 71) Bach was soon to compose. The motivic links between the opening sinfonia and the ensuing Psalm verse, and the way the music is fluidly adjusted to the Affekt of each line of the text, is in clear anticipation of his similarly structured Aus der Tiefen (BWV 131), while the gentle lapping of the violin figuration and the slow oscillations of the bassoon in the prelude section of the sixth movement ‘Meine Augen sehen’ could be seen as a dummy run for the gorgeous turtledove chorus in Gott ist mein König (BWV 71, No.6).

This time around we were searching for a more sensuous, mezzo-tinted sonority for this movement, a clearer aural inscription of all twenty-six rungs of the tonal ladder in No.4, a quicker and more graphic rendition of the storm-buffeted cedar trees in No.5, and a more spacious way with the closing chaconne, balancing its portrayal of human affliction, very much a Johann Christoph speciality, above the true foundation of hope and faith (its ostinato bass). Traces of Bach’s performance style are few and far between, even in movements such as Nos 2 and 4 of this cantata with their explicit tempo changes. It takes practice to find the most convincing proportions between the sections, a tempo giusto for each movement, a convincing balance between voices and instruments both contrapuntally and chordally, and above all the right ‘tone’ for each line and every word of the text.>>
© John Eliot Gardiner 2008, From a journal written in the course of the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage

More bachground is provided in Tadashi Isoyama 1995 liner notes to the Masaaki Suzuki BIS recordings of the complete Bach cantatas.8 <<Cantata No. 150: Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich (BWV 150). The circumstances of the writing of this cantata, compared with others, are shrouded in darkness. Recently it is being more widely held that it may be the earliest of Bach’s surviving cantatas, and it seems possible that it was composed before Bach’s Mühlhausen years. The theme of the final movement seems to be derived from a chaconne by Pachelbel, which may indicate that it was intended by Bach as a tribute to that composer, who died in 1706. The existing score was copied after Bach’s death by his student C. F. Penzel in 1753.

The text is an arrangement from Psalm 25, which concerns the suffering of this world and the Christian life of trusting in God and waiting in hope for salvation through Christ. The even-numbered movements use psalm verses unaltered, and the others paraphrase those texts more freely. Particular to this work are the graphically chromatic phrases of the opening sinfonia and the following chorus; these are evocative of the suffering of the world. Movement 4 brings in whole-tone scales, which by contrast describe the way to God’s truth. The prelude and fugue form which was evident in Cantata No. 196 is used in three of the choruses based on psalm verses (movements 2, 4 and 6); the simple style of the aria with violin accompaniment in movement 3 and the Lied-like trio in movement 5, both trademarks of Bach’s early works, also show stylistic similarities with No. 196. Also notable throughout the work is the expressive use of the basso continuo. For example, in movement 5 the continuo part drives the music forward with its phrase describing the trials of the stormwinds. And in the final chorus, the chaconne theme presents itself in four-bar phrases in the continuo part, and their repetition makes a powerful statement about the compelling quality of faith. This melody is well-known for being used by Brahms in the finale of his Fourth Symphony.>>
Tadashi Isoyama

Buxtehude Heritage

Bach’s heritage in Cantata 150 from Buxtehude is the perspective of Gilles Cantegral’s “Bach: Four Early Cantatas,” 2016 Vox Luminis liner notes ( <<Another product of the composer’s earliest youth, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich BWV 150 is a song of hope. Its libretto paraphrases Psalm 25, an imploration of humanity in peril and an appeal for divine salvation. But the torments do not last, and one must not heed them, since the Word of God saves the faithful from danger, protects them and constantly helps them to overcome evil. Scored principally for vocal ensemble, the work calls for simple but subtly diversified instrumental forces and four vocal soloists. In conclusion, instead of a strophe from a chorale, the librettist places a further commentary in the mouths of the entire Christian community. The predominant key is B minor, rarely used at this period, and invariably reserved for the expression of profound affliction – here it evokes pains and torments on the one hand and ardent imploration on the other, as is emphasised, among other features, by the intense descending chromatic lines of the sinfonia and the first chorus. The final chaconne, for its part, may symbolise the permanence of divine succour and Heaven’s blessing. In its spirit, its overall conception and its musical realisation, as well as its fervent spirituality, this original work by the young Bach attests how much he owed to the heritage of Buxtehude.>>

Cantata 150 Provenance

Cantata 150 survives in a secondary source, score copy Christian Friedrich Penzel, 25 July 1755, BB (SPK) P 1044 (, who also copied BWV 106, October 1768, presumably also from Leipzig sources. Cantata 150 has the heading in Penzel’s hand: “Partitura. / Nach dir Herr verlanget / mich. / a 8. / 2 Violini / Fagotto ex D. / 4 Voci / Basso Continuo / di J. S. Bach / Poss: CFP. 1753” ( Provenance: C. F. Penzel - J. G. Schuster (1801) - F. Hauser (1833) - J. Hauser (1870) - BB (now Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz) (1904). It is assumed that St. Thomas Prefect Penzel obtained the score in 1753 from sources in Leipzig where Bach’s 1750 estate division included early works, such as BWV 131 and 106, which were not part of the church-year cantata distribution involving Friedemann, Emmanuel, and Anna Magdalena. Five cantatas of Bach survive only in copies made by Penzel: BWV 150, 157-159 and 106. Penzel also copied some 20 chorale cantatas from the parts sets at the Thomas School. It also is assumed that Bach kept the original autographs in old style and musical format and shared them with his composition students, such as Johann Ludwig Dietel who in 1730/31 made a score copy of Cantata 196 in modern notation, presumably from Bach’s original score.

Other Mühlhausen Cantatas

Other Bach vocal pieces also have been dated to specific services in 1707-1708 in Mühlhausen, says Rathey (Ibid.: 65-92). The Kyrie “Christe du Lamm Gottes” in F Major, BWV 233a, is dated to 6 April 1708, Good Friday Service of Confession and General Absolution; and Cantata 106, “Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit” (God’s time is the very best time, Acts 17:08), funeral of Burgomeister Adolph Steckers, 16 September 1708.

Rathey urges more studies of Mühlhausen religious sources for the dating of joyous Cantata 196, “Der Herr denket an uns und segnet uns” (The Lord thinks of us and blesses us), a concise setting of Psalm 115 (see Here are Isoyama’s liner notes (Ibid.): <<Cantata No. 196: Der Herr denket an uns (BWV 196). This work takes as its text a part of Psalm 115, which is a prayer asking God’s blessing and offering thanks. More specifically, the blessings being requested are those of a home and children, which leads to speculation that this cantata was probably intended for a small wedding ceremony. It has commonly been believed since Spitta that it was used at the wedding of the minister who celebrated Bach’s own wedding ceremony in Arnstadt, Pastor J. R. Stauber, and the aunt of Bach’s wife Barbara (5th June 1708), but there is no clear evidence to indicate this. There is no sense of urgency in the peaceful harmony of the music, which is infused with a sense of prayerfulness and celebration. At the beginning is set the instrumental sinfonia. This and the following are typical features of Bach’s early cantatas. Two pillar choruses, the second and fifth movements, employ an organ-like prelude and fugue form, while the fourth movement is a calm, gently-swaying duet. The surfull score, from which the modern editions are derived, is written in the hand of J. L. Dietel, a student of Bach’s in Leipzig, and dates from 1731 or 1732.>>
Tadashi Isoyama

Firmly dated in Mühlhausen are Town Council Cantatas: BWV 71, “Gott ist mein König” ( God is my king, Psalm 74:12), 4 February 1708; BWV Anh. 192 (lost), 4 and 10 February 1709; and BWV deest (lost), 4 and 9 February 1710 ( Two fragments, ”Meine Seele soll Gott loben" "My soul shall God Praise), BWV 223, c.1707, has “been removed from the Bach canon,” says Robin A. Leaver.9 Cantata 131, “Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu dir” (Out of the depths I cry, Lord, to you), a setting of penitential Psalm 130, de profundis, is dated to “by 25 June” 1708,” when Bach requested his dismissal from his position as organist at St. Blasius Church in Mühlhausen, affirms Leaver (Ibid.: 491).

Cantatas 131 and 106 are biblically-texted with brief chorale stanzas that were appropriate for penitential services in Mühlhausen and were Bach’s first essays into music that shows penitential Passion influences in content and form (troped chorales).10 In Cantata 131 inserted into the Psalm 130 setting is Bartholomäus Ringwalt 1588 penitential chorale, “Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut,” S. 3, “Have mercy on me with such a burden,” and S. 5, “I am also a troubled sinner”). Cantata 106 is a miniature Passion setting from Luke chapter 23, and uses three inserted melodies: J. Leon’s 1589 “Ich hab mein Sach Gott heimgestellt” (I have left all that concerns me up to God); Luther’s “Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin" (With peace and joy I travel there, Simeon’s Prayer, Nunc dimittis), and Adam Reusner’s 1581 “In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr.” (In you I have placed my hope, Lord). Cantata BWV 21, "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis," closes with an old organ-style prelude and fugue tutti chorus, "The lamb which slaughtered us" (Revelation 5:12), which may have been composed originally for a Mühlhausen Town Council cantata, c. 1709/10, although there is no source-criticial evidence.


1 Cantata 150, BCW Details & Discography, Score Vocal & Piano,, Score BGA,; score NBA Carus Verlag CV31.150/03 ( References: BGA XXX (Cantatas 141-150, Paul Graf Waldersee, 1884), NBA KB I/41(various occasional works, Andreas Glöckner, 2000: 13ff), Bach Compendium BC B 24. Zwang K 6.
2 Martin Petzoldt, Bach-Kommentar II, Die Geistlichen Kantaten vom 1.Advent bus zum Trinitatfest (Stuttgart: Internationale Bachakademie, Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2007: 811).
3 Marcus Rathey, “Zur Datierung einger Vokalwerke Bachs in den Jahren 1707 and 1708,” in Bach Jahrbuch 2006: “III. BWV 150 in Kontext des Kirchenjahres,” 71-73.
4Andreas Glöckner, “Zur Echteit und Datierung der Kantaten 150, “Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich,” Bach Jahrbuch 1988: 195-203.
5 Peter Wollny, “Johann Sebastian Bach: ‘Apocryphal Works’,” liner notes, trans. Susan Marie Praeder, BCW; reference Hans-Joachim Schulze, “Rätselhafte Auftragswerke Johann Sebastian Bachs: Anmerkungen zu einigen Kantatentexten,” Bach-Jahrbuch, vol. 96 (Leipzig, 2010: 69-93). For a summary of Bach’s early cantatas, see; and Cantata 150,,_Herr,_verlanget_mich,_BWV_150.
6 Gardiner notes,; BCW Recording details,
7 More Gardiner notes,, Liner Notes.
8 Isoyama notes,; BCW Recording details,
9 Robin A. Leaver, Chapter 7, “Churches,” Routledge Research Companion to Johann Sebastian Bach (London, New York: Routledge, 2017: 162f).
10 Source: William Hoffman, Chapter 3 (p.20f), “The German Passion Narrative Tradition and Bach’s Passions,” Narrative Parody In Bach's St. Mark Passion, BCW Article, Further details, Cantata 131, BCW, and Cantata 106,


To Come: Occasional music of mourning and consolation in Weimar and Leipzig.
See: Topic: Weimar-Leipzig Occasional Music of Sorrow

Peter Smaill wrote (November 15, 2017):
[To William Hoffman] One interesting theory is that the work was composed for the seventieth birthday of Doctor Conrad Meckbach; the biblical three score years and ten was an occasion for recognition and the text fits the idea. His age fits, except that Lent would preclude immediate performance on the actual birthday.

It is thus associated undoubtedly to Muhlhausen but that does not rule out Arnstadt as the place of composition, and very likely the earliest composed Cantata.

The other interest is that the 1755 Penzel autograph has the number “41” inscribed at the top of the 41- bar central movement. Another cryptic clue?


Cantata BWV 150: Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich for Penitential Service ? (1704-1707)
Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Main Page | Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion
Discussions of General Topics: Cantatas & Other Vocal Works | Performance Practice | Radio, Concerts, Festivals, Recordings


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