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Cantata BWV 18
Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of February 14, 2016 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (February 14, 2016):
Cantata BWV 18, 'Gleichwie der Regen' Intro. & Sexagesima

Cantata BWV 18, “Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt” (Just as the rain and snow fall from heaven, Isaiah 55:10-11) is a unique and probably early work composed in Weimar in 1713. Bach’s first use of an Erdmann Neumeister libretto (1711), it shows an imaginative setting of a compelling text, based on the day’s gospel, Luke 8.4-15: The Parable of the Sower.

Cantata 18 focuses on the dramatic recitative dictum Isaiah 55:10-11 of an initial bass vox Christi arioso, following a 6/4 pastorale sinfonia and then the central (no. 3) scena of four tenor and bass recitatives interspersed with four-part chorale intercessory prayer setting of Luther’s 1528 Litany, each time ending with the plea, “Erhör uns, lieber Herre Gott!” (Hear us, dear Lord God!). Possibly Bach’s first “modern” sacred cantata, it closes with a concise soprano aria (no. 4), “Mein Seelenschatz ist Gottes Wort” (My soul's treasure is God's word), and Lazarus Spengler’s 1524 9-stanza, 8-line BAR hymn petition, “Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt / Menschlich Natur und Wesen” (Through Adam’s fall human nature / and character is completely corrupted), using the eighth verse: “Ich bitt, O Herr, aus Herzensgrund, / Du wollst nicht von mir nehmen / Dein heilges Wort aus meinem Mund” (I pray, o Lord, from the depths of my heart / That you may not take from me / Your holy word from out of my mouth); a minor; 4/4.1

Sexagesima Cantata 18 was premiered either on February 19, 1713, or February 24, 1715, at the main service of the Weimar court chapel before the sermon of General Superintendent Johann Georg Layritz, says Martin Petzoldt in Bach Commentary, Vol. 2, Advent to Trinityfest.2 Bach’s second version of Cantata 18, with two recorders doubling the upper two of four viola parts, was presented on a double bill February 2, 1724, with newly-composed SATB solo Cantata 181, “Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister / Rauben sich des Wortes Kraft” (Scatterbrained frivolous people / rob themselves of the Word’s power). They were presented before and after the sermon of Superintendent Salomon Deyling (1677-1755) at the early main service in the Nikolaikirche, says Petzoldt (Ibid.).

The readings for Sexagesima Sunday, or the Second Sunday before Lent, are: Epistle: 2 Corinthians 11.19-12.9 (God’s power is mighty in the weak [Paul’s suffering], Gospel: Luke 8.4-15: The Parable of the Sower. The Litany (no. 3) is infkuenced by the persecution and sufferings iof Paul in the Epistle reading. The German text of Luther’s 1545 translation and the English Authorised (King James) Version 1611 is found at BCW,

The introit Psalm is popular Psalm 1, Beatus vir qui non abiit (Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, KJV), says Petzoldt (Ibid.: 571). The theme of Psalm 1 is “Apprenticeship in Bliss of Piety and Punishment by Removal” (Lehre von Glückseligkeit der Frommen und Strafe der Gottlosen), says Petzoldt. The full text is found at

Neumeister Text

Neumeister’s text is summarized in David E. G. Smith’s “Commentary” in Discussion, Part 1 (January 2002),<< Neumeister's text for Sexagesima starts with a long recitative, a quotation from Isaiah 55:10-11. Exegetically, this is very apt, as the point of the passage, that God's Word is effectual, is closely related to the meaning of the parable of the sower. The main secton of the text is a series of recitatives joined together by petitions from Luther's litany (these petitions are quite similar to the petitions of the Anglican litany). The four sections correspond to the four types of soil in the parable. The effect is of invoking the common prayer of the church against the temptations represented in the parable. The aria that follows contrasts the treasure that is God's word with the deceits of the temptations. The final movement is a chorale, an early reformation hymn expressing trust in Holy Scripture.>>

Neumeister’s intent and technique are described in detail in Thomas Braatz’s “Commentary” (Ibid.).<< Chafe (2000) discusses this cantata in his book, “Analyzing Bach Cantatas,” and describes the theme of Sexagesima Sunday as the power of God’s word in the process of faith as connected with the Gospel reading, the parable of the seed and the sower, which seems to refer back to another parable from Isaiah (55:10-11), “in which God proclaims that His word is like the rain and snow that fall from heaven and fertilize the earth so that it gives forth seeds to sow and bread to eat.”>>

Luther's Litany

The central litany is explained in detail in Dick Wursten’s commentary to BCML the first discussion (Ibid.)

1. litany = from the greek litaneuein = supplicate, beg
2. The cry: 'eleison' was generally used in the Middle-East before christendom christianized it. (also to be found by Homer in the Odyssee (XI, 43) and Ilias (IX,502)
3.The litany was originally part of the Introit. In a procession petititons were prayed, every petition being answered by 'kyrie eleison'... In the 7th century the petitions disappeared and only the 'kyrie eleison' was left. (pope gelasius had already added 'christe eleison' before that). The litany stayed as a processional prayer for special occasions/situations. (esp. distress)
4. From the 12th century the name 'litany' also can be found to mean the procession in which the litany was prayed.
5. The increasing popularity of Mary and the saints leads to the litany of all saints. Very long (almost never ending) lists of petitions appear. (> negative association: litany = never ending complaint).
6. Luther first drops the litany, but when in 1529 the Turks re-appear in central Europe, he re-makes and re-mixes the litany of all saints (of course without saints) to the Lutheran litany: latina litania correcta. In my German hymnbook I find it as hymn 138 (Litanei oder Das Fürbittegebet). > BWV 18, Mvt. 3, I suppose.
7. In the Anglican liturgy (Book of Common Prayer) the litany forms the conclusion of the Morning Prayer.
8. Remnants of or allusions to litany-praying can be found in some hymns Luthers 'Mitten wir im Leben sind' (Media vita in morte sumus) has a very impressive litany at the end (Heiliger Herre Gott..) and the same goes for 'O wir armen Sunder' (kyrie elesion at the end of each verse).

For the full German text (source: Klassika: Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672): Die deutsche Litanei) and Francis Browne’s English translation of Luther’s Litany and Bach’s uses in his works, see BCW For information on the text and music, see BCW

A lengthy and learned commentary, especially on the central litany and the contemporary political situation involving the Turks and the pope, is provided in Peter Bloemendaal Introduction to BCML Discussion Part 2 (February 23, 2005),

Lazarus Spengler’s 1524 hymn, “Durch Adams Fall” (Through Adam’s Fall), “one of the earliest and most famous hymns of the Lutheran Reformation,” says Stephen A. Crist in his Cantata 109 essay in the OCC: JSB.3 The chorale is found in Bach’s NLGB 1682 as No. 229 in the Ordinary Time section, Catechism: Justification. Fothe German text and Francis Browne’s English translation of “Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt” and Bach’s other use in Cantata 109, see BCW

Cantata Pairing and Two-Part Cantatas

The pairing of cantatas and use of two-part cantatas in Bach’s first cycle, the use of sinfonias as opening movements, the pairing of old and new works, and a brief overview of Cantata 18 are discussed in Julian Mincham’s introduction to his Cantata 18 essay, BCW <<It is as well to consider this cantata with that from the previous chapter where it was explained that they may have been paired to form a two-part work, played on each side of the sermon. The precedence with Cs 24 and 185 near the beginning of the cycle [Trinity 4] may be noted. It also may be that if Bach intended to pair 181 and 18, he might have cast his eye back over [two-part] Cs 75 and 76 ([Trinity 1 and 2], the earliest works designed to straddle the Leipzig sermons.

Another tantalising piece of evidence comes from the reversion to the practice of using an instrumental sinfonia. Cs 75 and 76 both call upon them as opening movements of their second parts and the next work in the series, C 21, did so to open part 1. Bach subsequently departed from this practice in the bipartite works, notably the 24/185 pairing and C 70 [Trinity 26]. Thus their use, while more common after the second cycle, is relatively rare in his first Leipzig year.

C 18, like C 185 from the earlier pairing, is also an early work. It originated in Weimer in 1713 but was transposed and rescored for its Leipzig presentation (Dürr p 233). It contains only the one (brief) aria and a disproportionate amount of recitative, a form which Bach was at this time finding particularly amenable to both his melodic gifts and his penchant for painting musical imagery.>>

Power of the Word

“The focal point of all three cantatas [for Septugesima, BWV 18, 181, and 126] is the overwhelming power of the Word,” says John Eliot Gardiner in his 2009 liner notes to the 2000 Bach Cantata Pilgrimage recordings on Soli Deo Gloria.4 “This week we had the challenge of tackling three of Bach’s most original and startlingly different pre-Lenten [for Sexagesima Sunday]. Despite their varied provenance, this trilogy might even have been performed in Leipzig within a twelve-month of one another: BWV 18 revived on 13 February 1724, perhaps before the sermon in the Nikolaikirche, and the newly-minted BWV 181 immediately after it, with BWV 126 following on 4 February less than a year later. The focal point of all three cantatas is the overwhelming power of the Word (qua spiritual manna from heaven) in the process of faith, the Gospel theme of the day (Luke 8:4-15), expressed, in the first two, through the parable of the sower. Even by his standards, Bach faces up to this challenge with exceptional intensity and ingenuity. Each of these cantatas is characterised by his vivid pictorial imagination, an arresting sense of drama, and by music of freshness and power that lodges in the memory.”

Sexagesima Cantata 18, 181, 126

The first two cantatas for Sexagesima, BWV 18, and 81, focus on the Gospel, observes John Eliot Gardiner’s 2000 comments, <<Bach’s cantatas for Sexagesima [are] three of his most original and startlingly different pre-Lenten cantatas. Each of these cantatas is characterised by Bach’s vivid pictorial imagination, an arresting sense of drama, and by music of freshness and power that lodges in the memory. The first two focus upon the Gospel theme of the day - (the parable of the sower (Luke 8: 4-15) - superbly exemplified in BWV 18 Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt where Bach adds two extra viola parts to the score. The magically dark-hued sonority four violas bring stresses the overwhelming power of the Word and forms ‘an ideal seed-bed in which God’s word may germinate and prosper.’ Equally vivid and brilliant is BWV 181 Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister where, in contrast to BWV 18, Bach focuses upon those superficial, fickle people who devour the seed that ‘fell by the wayside’.

We end with BWV 126 Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort, a cantata that places emphasis upon the wonder and majesty of God’s Word. ‘Erhalt uns, Herr’ (‘Uphold us, Lord’) exalt the trumpet and voices in the opening chorus, reminding the congregation that ‘God’s throne cannot be budged’

A graphic account of Bach’s use of text with natural images in found in the c.1713 Weimar Sexagesima Cantata 18, Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt . . . Also soll das Wort, / So aus meinem Munde gehet, (Just as the rain and snow fall from heaven . . . So shall the word / That goes from my mouth). It is a setting of Neumeister’s 1711 pioneering Gotha text, Geistliches Singen und Spielen. It was one of Bach’s first “modern” cantatas, a solo work for soprano, tenor and bass with one of his first four-part closing chorales: “Ich bitt, O Herr, aus Herzensgrund, / Du wollst nicht von mir nehmen / Dein heilges Wort aus meinem Mund” (I pray, o Lord, from the depths of my heart / That you may not take from me / Your holy word from out of my mouth), Stanza 8 of the Catechism Confession chorale, “Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt / Menschlich Natund Wesen” (Through Adam’s fall human nature / and character is completely corrupted).

Sexagsima Chorale “Erhalt uns Herr”

Sexagesima chorale Cantata 126, “Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort” (Preserve us, Lord, with your word), based on Luther’s hymn, has a martial flavor and also quotes the Turks and Papists. It ends with a plea for peace and good governance. “The cantata calls on God to destroy his enemies and bring peace and salvation to his peoples,” observes the late Malcolm Boyd in his Cantata 126 essay in Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach. 2 OCC: JSB, ed. Malcolm Boyd (Oxford University Press: New York, 1999: 157).

<< While the chorale setting has no direct reference to the Sexagesima Sunday Gospel, Luke 8: 4-15 (The parable of the sower), the seed of the sower in the parable represents the word of God and the temptation of evil as found in the hybrid Reformation chorale of Martin Luther, Johann Walther, Justus Jonas (1424-1546) in the face of the Papists and the Turks.5

Luther wrote his hymn in 1541 for children to sing ‘against the two arch-enemies of Christ and His Holy Church’ – the Pope and the Turks. However politically incorrect, when viewed from the standpoint of Wittenberg in 1542 and with the Eastern war genuinely threatening the stability of Europe, this rousing battle hymn had some topical force: both the Turks and the Papacy were considered enemies of state and a threat to international law. It was this residual fear of Ottoman aggression that led Luther to believe initially that the Turks were God’s agents, poised to strike at the heart of the Christian world on account of its sins. In fact the Ottoman invasions were, paradoxically, the distraction that prevented the Protestant revolt from being crushed early on, stoking the fears of imminent catastrophic change which led many to listen to Luther’s challenge to the church

The hymn is still sung in the Evangelical Church today6 (with a less drastic text: ‘Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort und steure deiner Feinde Mord’ [‘Preserve us, Lord, by Your word, and deflect the murderous intent of Your enemies’]), The melody (J. Klug, Geistliche Lieder, 1543), a translation of the original Latin hymn Veni, redemptor gentium (O Come, Redeemer of the Earth).>> It is used in the Lenten Time hymn (No. 320), “The glory othese Forty Days” (Maurice F. Bell), often sung on Ash Wednesday. It’s original version is found in the omnes tempore (Ordinary Time) category “Word of God” (No. 517) “Lord keep us steadfast in your word; curb those who my deceit or sword” (Katherine Winkworth). It is found in the NLGB under “Word of Giod,” No. 305. The melody also is found under the category “Prayer” (No. 749), “O God of Love, O King of Peace” (Henry W. Baker).

“Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort” is based on the plainsong melody associated with the Ambrosian hymn, Veni redemptor genitum, of Ambrosius [Ambroe of Milan]’s (c340-397).

Cantata 18 Movement, Scoring, Incipits, Key, Meter7

1. Sinfonia (Chaconne form) [Flauto I/II, Viola I-IV, Fagotto, Violoncello, Continuo]: a minor, 6/4.
2. Recitative-Arioso [Bass, Fagotto, Continuo]: Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt” (Just as the rain and snow fall from heaven) . . . “Sondern feuchtet die Erde / Und macht sie fruchtbar und wachsend” (But moisten the earth / And make it fruitful and fertile).
3. Four-part Recitative and interspersed Chorale (Litany) [Tenor, Bass;SATB; Flauto I/II, Viola I-IV, Fagotto, Continuo]: Tenor: “Mein Gott, hier wird mein Herze sein” (My God, here will my heart be); Chorale: “Du wollest deinen Geist und Kraft zum Worte geben” (May you give your spirit and power to your word); prayer, “Erhör uns, lieber Herre Gott!” (Hear us, dear Lord God!); Bass: “Nur wehre, treuer Vater, wehre” (Defend, faithful father, defend [us]); Chorale (2 verses), “Den Satan unter unsre Füße treten; / Erhör uns, lieber Herre Gott!” (May Satan be trodden beneath our feet; / Hear us, dear Lord God!); Tenor: “Ach! Viel verleugnen Wort und Glauben” (Ah! Many deny your word and faith); “Und uns vor des Türken und des Papsts / Grausamen Mord und Lästerungen / Wüten und Toben väterlich behüten;” (And from the Turk's and papist's / Cruel murder and oppression/ Rage and fury protect us like a father); Erhör uns, lieber Herre Gott! /Hear us, dear Lord God! Bass: “Ein andrer sorgt nur für den Bauch” (Another man cares only for his belly); Chorale, “ Alle Irrige und Verführte wiederbringen; / Erhör uns, lieber Herre Gott!” (Bring back all those who go astray and are seduced; Hear us, dear Lord God!); F Major to d minor; 4/4.
4. Aria two-part with ritornelli[Soprano; Flauto I/II all' unisono, Viola I-IV all' unisono, Continuo]: “Mein Seelenschatz ist Gottes Wort” (My soul's treasure is God's word); “Fort mit allen, fort, nur fort!” (Away with all of them, just away with them!); F Major; 4/4.
5. Choral plain [SATB; Flauto I/II e Viola I/II col Soprano, Viola III coll'Alto, Viola IV col Tenore, Fagotto col Basso, Continuo]: “Ich bitt, O Herr, aus Herzensgrund, / Du wollst nicht von mir nehmen / Dein heilges Wort aus meinem Mund” (I pray, o Lord, from the depths of my heart / That you may not take from me / Your holy word from out of my mouth); minor; 4/4.

Special Insight, Commentary

Special insight into the litany, doctrine, symbolism and numerology are provided in Peter Smaill’s BCML Discussion, Part 3,

Introduction: Whether Bach ever visited the opera at Hamburg during his visits in 1702 and 1706 is unknown; but, had he done so, he might have encountered unusual permutations of strings such as that which can be found in the four-viola line up in BWV 18. This Cantata’s opening, following Isaiah, deploys this close-set combination to depict the analogy, “As the rain falls, and the snow comes down from heaven, and do not return again, …so too shall the Word that goes out of my mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but rather do what pleases me… ..”

Mattheson, in the likely year of first performance of this Cantata (1713), observed that one hit aria at the Hamburg Opera, an “Aria con Violette all’Unisono” was supported “wegen der Tieffe des Accompagnements recht fremd und artig klingen”, “by way of a strange low-pitched but well-sounding accompaniment”; and we know that Bach’s contemporaries, including Telemann who also set this text, experimented with peculiar combinations of instruments.

Libretto: There we might halt in analysing the peculiarities of BWV 18. However, the presence of a Litany (also found in the Weimar BWV 72 [?, BWV 41, New Year’s 1725] and the apocryphal St Luke Passion (BWV 246)) suggests that Bach in setting this composition, one of a half dozen of the 500 libretti by Neumeister, is particularly engaged in experimenting with text: music relations.

This is the only one of the five (six if BWV 79 is included) Neumeister texts from the 1711 cycle (the rest are from 1714), and is thus an early experiment by Bach with the Neumeister poetry. Commencing the text setting with the Bass as “vox Christi” in BWV 18/2 (Mvt. 2), but expressing the Old Testament dictum from Isaiah, the imagery follows the seventeenth century liking for the picture of the garden as an analogy of human life.


BWV 18 is above all concerned with the role of the Word; the emphasis is on the metaphorical seed that accompanies the falling rains, the seed of the Bible. The whole text is an extended exercise in metaphysical analogy based on key words: Falling and Returning. Falling: Not only does the rain and snow fall, (“fällt”), but the finale Chorale is associated with the fall of man (“Durch Adams’ Fall ist ganz verderbt”). On this dual reading the plunging ostinato bass “ground” in the Sinfonia can be heard both as the falling of the elements but also, as in the famous pedal line of BWV 637 in the Orgelbüchlein, depicting the Fall of Man. Returning: The Litany is the pleasing response to God by Man, (BWV 18/3 (Mvt. 3)): “O Lord, help! O Lord let it succeed well”. Ground: The physical seeds are to fall “as if on good ground”; (BWV 18/3 (Mvt. 3)); the final Chorale talks of the Heart’s ground (BWV 18/5, “Herzensgrund”).

Neumeister’s analogical and metaphysical technique is similar to Caroline preachers such as Lancelot Andrewes and William Laud and leads on to consider whether Bach also uses artifice in his composition which looks towards the preparation of the congregation for Lent.

Symbolism and Numerology

Hirsch points out that in the Litany BWV 18/3 (Mvt. 3) the intonation of the Soprano is chanted on high D ten times, the number of the Law, as in “Dies sind der heil’gen Zehn gebot”. If so then this reference, appropriate in view of the Biblical stress in the doctrine, leads on to a possibility that the use of four violas is representative of the four Evangelists, who are usually graphically depicting as figures of equal stature. In addition we have the fourfold choral interventions in the Litany.

The unison violas in BWV 18/4 (Mvt. 4), perhaps suggesting the unity of the Gospels, set the soul’s treasure against the “webs as the world and Satan spins” (Richard Jones) or “Mere snares/Set by the world and Satan” (Richard Stokes). The “netzen” as snares or nets, from which Christians are rescued by divine aid has emblematic support:

This Cantata combines an intense emphasis on the Word together with the more mystical concepts of heavenly treasure and the technique of the “Vox Christi”, the Bass declamation of Isaiah. As Stiller says in perhaps the most important of the observations in “Liturgical Life in Leipzig”:

“Even though the old adage says: “either mysticism or the Word”, ….in Bach’s Cantatas the relationship to the Word of God plays a decisive role in spite of all the mysticism that is present”. BWV 18 is a prime example of this tension being integrated in the text.


BWV 18 is thus of structural and doctrinal interest, and the Litany setting has dramatic power. It is in places reminiscent of the Brandenburg concertos (the charming Sinfonia) and elsewhere operatic (the amazing melisma on “verfolgung" (“persecution”)” is perhaps the longest in all Bach). The recitative BWV 18/1 (Mvt. 2) is Bach's first setting of recitative in style. likewise, the aria BWV 18/4 (Mvt. 4) has been described as "Bach's most modern aria so far." It is full of academic points of interest, even though (or perhaps because) the format never became a departure point; nothing is quite like BWV 18 in structure and orchestration.

Yet the work is destined to receive few performances; partly because of the need to find four violas; and the text passages dealing with the “Pope and Turks” were considered potentially offensive as long ago as 1959. Paradoxically, the musicological demand for authenticity makes it unlikely that the text will now be interfered with for performances, as once clumsily suggested by the (apparently) atheist Gillies Whittaker: “The passage offensive to the Church of Rome can readily be altered” [The text is altered in Luther’s 1546 hymn, “Erhalt uns Herr”; see Sexagsima Chorale “Erhalt uns Herr, above.”]

As Stiller also points out, the literary form of the Cantata Libretto is the most neglected in German liter; and Neumeister, who originated the form with its potential for creating unity yet variety in a fusion of biblical, madrigalistic and chorale texts, is here skilful to a degree rarely found in the Leipzig texts. Once the effort is made to understand a Cantata such as BWV 18 as a form of proclamation, the creative success of author and composer (in the face of a congregation fresh from the winter snows and looking beyond Lent to Easter and Spring), becomes apparent.

Bach’s Leipzig Sexagesima performance calendar:

1724-02-13 So - Cantata BWV 181 Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister (1st performance) + Cantata BWV 18 Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt (2nd performance)
1725-02-04 So - Cantata BWV 126 Erhalt uns Herr, bei deinem Wort (1st performance)
1726-02-24 So - J.L. Bach: Cantata Darum sät euch Gerechtigkeit, JLB-4 (1st performance)
1727-02-16 So – no performance recorded
1728-02-01 So – no performance recorded
1729-02-20 So – Picander text only, P-20, Sei getreu bis in den Tod, chorale, Stanza 6, “Ich dank dir, , BWV 347-48.
1736-02-05 So - G.H. Stölzel: Des Menschen Sohn ist's, der da guten Samen säet [Not extant]
Vocal works with no definite date:
(1732-35) - Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt (3rd performance)
(1743-1746) - Cantata BWV 181 Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister (2nd performance)


1 Cantata 18 BCW Details and revised and updated Discography, Score Vocal & Piano [1.04 MB],, Score BGA [2.29 MB], References: BGA II (Cantatas 11-20, M. Hauptmann 1852), NBA KB I/7 (Sexagesima cantatas, Werner Neumann, 1957), Bach Compendium BC: A 44, Zwang: K 8; Provenance, BCW
2 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: 575).
3 Crist Cantata 109 essay, Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach, ed. Boyd, Malcolm (Oxford University Press: New York, 1999: 229f).
4 Gardiner notes,[sdg153_gb].pdf; BCW Recording details,
5 Source: Cantata 126, BCML Discussions Part 4,
6 Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2006).
7 German text and Francis Browne English translation,


To Come: Cantata 181, “Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister / Rauben sich des Wortes Kraft” (Scatterbrained frivolous people / rob themselves of the Word’s power).

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 18, 2016):
Cantata BWV 18 - Revised & updated Discography

The discography pages of the Cantata BWV 18 "Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt" (Just as the rain and snow fall from heaven) for Sexagesima Sunday on the BCW have been revised and updated.
The cantata is scored for soprano, tenor & bass soloists; 4-part chorus; and orchestra of 2 recorders, 4 violas, bassoon, violoncello & continuo. See:
Complete Recordings (18):
Recordings of Individual Movements (16):
The revised discography includes many listening/watching options to recordings directly from the discography pages, just below the recording details.

I also put at the BCW Home Page:
2 audios and 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 18 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):


Cantata BWV 18: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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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