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Cantata BWV 189
Meine Seele ruhmt und preist
Discussions - Part 1

Cantata BWV 189

Jay Seaver wrote (March 4, 1997):
Has the cantata BWV 189, Meine Seele Ruhmt und Preist, for tenor, officially been disconnected with Bach, or is it still a possibility that Bach wrote it?

Simon Crouch wrote (March 5, 1997):
(To Jay Seaver) All the sources I have (Grove, Dürr...) indicate that it is not by Bach. It is thought to be by G.M. Hoffmann.

Jay Seaver wrote (March 4, 1997):
(To Simon Crouch) I can only hope that I do not run into a potential problem. I did not learn of this until a week ago. I have auditioned for a Bach summer festival and I used that cantata as my audition piece. I hope they accept it! Thanks for the info.


BWV 189 Bach/Hoffman?

Antony White wrote (December 10, 1998):
Has anyone any information about the attribution of the cantata "Meine Seele rühmt und preist" to J. S. Bach as BWV 189. I think I read somewhere that it might be by G. M. Hoffman. I would be grateful for any information - also has anyone an English translation of the text?

Russeel E. (Russ) Davis wrote (December 10, 1998):
(To Antony Davis)Yes. According to the 1998 "little" Schmieder catalog (see it at, it has now been moved to Anhang II, which is the Appendix for questionable works. "Mo"glicherweise von Melchior Hoffmann" below means either "possibly" or "probably" by him, though I'm not certain of the distinction between them, i.e. what the degree of certainty is. As to the translation, that may prove more difficult. I'm sorry I can't help you, for it's left out of my book of cantata libretti due to it's absence from the main Schmieder catalog. I hope someone can help you with older versions before it was removed to the Anhang, but I can't. Sorry.

From the 1998 "little" Schmieder catalog for BWV 189 in Anhang II at
"Meine Seele rühmt und preist
Kantate für T solo, Fl, Ob, Vl, Bc
BG 37: 215 - Möglicherweise von Melchior Hoffmann
Literatur: Dürr, BJ 1956: 155 - Glöckner, Die Musikpflege an der Leipziger Neukirche zur Zeit Johann Sebastian Bachs, Beiträge zur Bachforschung 8, Leipzig 1990: 54"

Russeel E. (Russ) Davis wrote (December 10, 1998):
(To Antony Davis) Oh, by the way, I forgot. For what little help it is, one thing I can supply you with is the songs in it from the website I just mentioned:
1. (Aria): Meine Seele rühmt und preist
2. Recitativo: Denn seh ich mich und auch mein Leben an
3. Aria: Gott hat sich hoch gesetzet
4. Recitativo: O was vor große Dinge treff ich an allen Orten an
5. Aria: Deine Güte

Ben Crick wrote (December 11, 1998):
(To Antony Davis) Russ Davis has answered your first point. And he provided the first lines in German of the numbers. Here's the English equivalent:
1. Meine Seele rühmt and preist / My soul glorifies and praises
2. Denn seh ich mich und auch mein Leben an / For I examine myself and my life
3. Gott hat sich hoch gesetzt / God has set himself up on high
4. O was für große Dinge treff ich an allen Orten an / O what great things I encounter in all places
5. Deine Güte, dein Erbarmen / Thy goodness, thy mercy

John Flint wrote (December 11, 1998):
Sorry I haven't time to put this into elegant English from W. G. Whittaker's literal translation in his: The cantatas of J.S. Bach, vol. 1, pp. 47-52: (OUP 1959)
1.(Aria) My soul magnifies and praises God's grace and rich goodness and my spirit, heart and mind and whole being is in my God rejoiced Who my salvation is called.
2. (Recitative) Then if look I upon myself and also on my life, so must my mouth into these words break: God what hast thou then to me done! It is with a thousand tongues not once to be expressed how good Thou art, how friendly thy faithfulness, how rich thy love is. So be to then then laud, honour and praise sung.
3. (Aria) God has himself on high established and looks upon that which lowly is; ordained that me the world petty and miserable holds, yet am I highly esteemed, because God me not forgets.
4. (Recitative) O what great things discover I in all places that God to me has done, for whic I to himmy heart as offering bring. He does it, whose might the heaven can confine, on whose name's splendour the seraphim in lowliness only meditate. He has to me body and life, he has to me also the right to blessedness, and what me here and there rejoices, from pure grace given.
5. (Aria) Thy goodness, thy mercy endures, God, for all time. Thou showest mercy to those thy faithful poor. [A rough paraphrase of part of the Magnificat]


Discussions in the Week of December 23, 2012 (3rd round)

Ed Myskowski wrote (December 22, 2012):
Introduction to BWV 189 -- Meine Seele ruhmt und preist

Weekly reminder:

This week we continue discussions of cantatas for feast days with BWV 189, the second of three works for the Feast of Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (July 2). Details of text, commentary, recordings, and previous discussion for this week are accessible via:

The commentary by Julian Mincham, music examples included, is especially recommended as an introduction to listening.

The BWV 189 page has convenient access to notes from the Gardiner, Koopman (notes by Christoph Wolff), Suzuki, and Leusink (and more!) CD issues, via link beneath the cover photo.

Francis Browne has recently added new commentary on the cantata texts to his interlinear translations, linked via [English 3]. We can expect these to continue, not necessarily weekly. Douglas Cowling and William Hoffman are also posting relevant to chorales and other music for the Lutheran Church Year, accessible via LCY pages

I do not always take the time to check all links before posting. Special thanks to the folks who provide timely corrections.


Continue on Part 2

Cantata BWV 189: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Part 1 | Part 2 | Discussions of Non-Bach Cantatas: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Georg Melchior Hoffmann: Short Biography
Cantata BWV 53 | Cantata BWV 189 | Little Magnificat BWV Anh 21

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