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Cantata BWV 44
Sie werden euch in den Bann tun euch
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of May 8, 2016 (4tht round)

William Hoffman wrote (May 8, 2016):
Exaudi Cantata 44, "Sie werden euch in den Bann Tun: Intro.

Bach’s Cantata 44 for Exaudi Sunday 1724, “Sie werden euch in den Bann tunI” (They will banish you, gospel John 16:2), proved to be the last original music Bach composed and presented during the late Easter/Pentecost Season of 1723. By design and serendipity, Bach had music on hand from Weimar and Cöthen music suitable in affect and as parody (next text underlay) for the three Pentecost feast days and the final Trinityfest.

Meanwhile, Cantata 44 is the last in the series of original works for late Easter Season on Jesus’ five farewell discourses to his disciples (John Chapter 14-16). This cantata mini-series, probably by the same librettist, features an opening biblical dictum, with central chorale aria and closing plain chorale. Following the joyous Ascension Thursday festival, is the negative biblical theme for Exaudi in John 15:26-16:4, involving his prophecy of the persecution of his disciples (16:2). Thus Bach opens with a somber, extended, g minor chaconne setting of tenor/bass canonical duet leading to the 2/2 alle-breve chorus, “Es kömmt aber die Zeit, dass, wer euch tötet, wird meinen, er tue Gott einen Dienst daran.” (But the time comes that, whoever puts you to death will think that in this way he is serving God.).1

Bach provides two da-capo arias in this 20-minute musical sermon: an alto aria with plaintive oboe in ¾ menuett style (no. 3), “Christen müssen auf der Erden / Christi wahre Jünger sein / Christi wahre Jünger sein” (Christians must on earth / be true disciples of Christ) and a more affirmative soprano aria (no. 6), “Es ist und bleibt der Christen Trost,/ Dass Gott vor seine Kirche wacht” (The consolation of Christians is and remains / God’s watchful care over his church).

The stern dictum, “Sie werden euch in den Bann tun (I)” (They will banish you, gospel John 16:2), may be considered Christ's final caution to his followers in John’s gospel farewell discourses to his disciples (Chapter 14-16). Bach’s original use on May 21, 1724 in Cantata 44, possibly to a text by his St. Thomas Pastor, Christian Weise Sr., who preached the sermon on the Gospel, according to the late Martin Petzoldt in Bach Commentary, Vol. 2, Advent to Trinityfest.2

Cantata 44 Chorales

Cantata 44 has a tenor chorale aria, No. 4, "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid" (Ah God, how many a heart-sorrow), Stanza 1 of Martin Moller's 1587 18-stanza chorale text, set to the Seth Calvesius 1694 melody, "O [Herr] Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht (Lord Jesu Christ, my life's light), based on the melody "Rex Christe factor omnium," a chant of praise and affirmation. Moller's text is a free paraphrase of Bernard of Clairvaulx's 12th century "Jesu dulcis memoria, some 42-53 verses, for the Office (vespers or lauds) of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, the Sunday After New Year, on January 2/3. The text and Francis Browne’s English translation are found at BCW Information on the melody is found at

Closing Cantata 44 (no. 7) is the plain chorale setting of the closing stanza, "So sei nun, Seele, deine" (So be now, soul, thine) of Paul Flemming's 1642 nine-verse chorale, "In allen meinen taten," set to Paul Gerhardt's 1648 Passion melody, "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen" (O world, I must leave theeLater Bach set the same stanza and text to close solo Cantata 13, "Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen" (My sighs, my tears), for the Second Sunday After Epiphany, June 20, 1726 in the third cycle. The full text of "In allen meinen taten" (EKG 292) is found in Francis Browne’s BCW English translation, Details of the melody "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen" (Zahn 2293b), are found at BCW The Fleming (1609-40) BCW Short Biography is found at

Exaudi Cantatas, Dictum, Librettist

Following four substantial works composed in Leipzig for the Feast of the Ascension, Bach for Exaudi narrowed his emphasis to two extant, original works.3 Both Cantata 44 and Cantata 183, for May 13, 1725, begin with the same biblical dictum set as the Vox Christi. In addition, Bach drafted an opening cantata recitative six-bar sketch with the same dictum for Exaudi Sunday, 1725, but replaced it when his librettist, Christiane Mariane von Zigler, set the same dictum to open Cantata 183 with new music.

The 1724 Exaudi sermon could have been part of the first of an annual emblematic series of sermons Weiss began at Easter Season 1724, which focuses on the Gospel of John, and continued in 1725 when Weiss again preached the sermon. In Cantata 44, it is the opening tenor-bass chorus duet in canon. In 1725 it is a bass recitative.

The situation on Exaudi Sundays 1724 and 1725 was particularly serendipitous for both Bach and Weiss, enabling the former to set musically biblical dictums, often in lieu of opening chorale stanzas with little emphasis on the Gospel in his cantata musical sermons. For Weiss (1671-1737), he was able to preach again. “In 1718 he lost his voice, but was able to preach again – with interruptions – from 1723, and then regularly from Easter 1724 onwards,” says Alfred Dürr, 4 possibly until his death in 1735. Since the one-year lectionary in Bach’s time required pastors to preach on the same Gospel each year, to avoid monotony, the pastors chose a new theme or “emblem” or preach on the service’s appropriate chorale (Dürr, Ibid.: 29f). It is quite possible that Weiss and Bach collaborated on the choice of chorales or sermon dicta. In the case of "Sie werden euch in den Bann tun," it is quite possible that Weiss began his sermon with the incipit warning that opened Cantatas 44 and 183, found in the second part of the Gospel and then focused on the first part, John 15:26-27, "The Witness of the Paraclete" (advocate, intercessor) with the Christian Triune Holy Spirit as Helper, Comforter,” a theme Luther often preached and appropriate for the entire church year.

Exaudi Readings

Exaudi comes from the first word of the Introit opening: "Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice (Psalm 27, A Prayer of Praise; verse 7). This Sunday, following Ascension Thursday, centers on the Disciples' waiting for the Holy Spirit to come and is a brief time of expectation. The Gospel, John 15: 26 -16: 4, has the theme "The Spirit (Helper, Comforter) will come" followed by Christ's warning that the Disciples will be expelled from the synagogues. It is the penultimate Farewell Discourse of Jesus to his Disciples (John's Gospel, Chapters 14-16. The day's Gospel reading is divided into two sections: 15:26-27, "The Witness of the Paraclete" (advocate, intercessor), and 16:1-4, Persecutions. These discourses are virtually unique to John's Gospel, although Jesus warned his disciples earlier in the gospels to be careful what they said in public and to avoid the synagogues.

The related Epistle for Exaudi is 1 Peter 4:8-11, “Minister to one another, each according to the gift he has received.” The full English (KJV) texts for the Gospel and Epistle are found at and, and click 1 Peter 4:9 >, etc.

Also at:

Cantata 44 is a setting of the Exaudi Sunday gospel four of five Jesus’ farewell discourses to his disciples in John’s gospel, Chapter 14-16: 1. Jubilate [3rd Sunday after Easter, "Make a joyful noise"], John 16: 16-23, "Sorrow turned to joy" in "Christ's Farewell"; Cantatas BWV 12, BWV 103, BWV 103 (BWV 224). 2. Cantate [4th Sunday after Easter, "Sing"], John 16: 16-23, "The work of the Paraclete (Holy Spirit)"; Cantatas BWV 166, BWV 108. Rogate [5th Sunday after Easter, "Pray"], John 16: 23-30, "Prayer in the name of Jesus" as Christ's Promise to the Disciples; Cantatas BWV 86, BWV 87. 4. Exaudi [Sunday after Ascension, "Hear"], John 15: 26 - 16: 4, "Spirit will come" in the "Witness of the Paraclete"; Cantatas BWV 44, BWV 183. Whit Sunday [1st Day of Pentecost], John 14: 23-31 "Promise of the Paraclete" as "The Gift of Peace"; Cantatas BWV 172, BWV 59, BWV 74, BWV 34, BWV 218.

Easter Season Cycle 1 Ending

As his first cycle came to an end, he began to undertake the challenge of a cycle of entirely new compositions in the unique chorale cantata form. A contextual perspective on this period is presented in Julian Mincham’s introductory commentary to Cantata 44, BCW <<The theme of this cantata is principally one of heresy, false teaching and the combating of these abominable doctrines. In John 16, Jesus prophesies the persecution of his disciples by those who know not God or Himself. The prediction comes in two parts, making it suitable for its division in this cantata into the opening duet and the chorus----they shall ban you from the synagogues (duet) and----the time will come when whoever kills you shall believe that he is serving God (chorus).

Before looking further at this work, it is worth pausing for a few contextual comments. After C 12 Bach composed four new cantatas (166, 86, 37 and 44). It is, incidentally, astonishing how many times we find cantatas bound together by common elements in groups of fours. The last six works of the cycle, however, are all transcriptions of earlier works from Cöthen or Weimar (172, 59, 173, 184, 194 and 165; sources, Dürr). It is the case that Bach must have been hard pressed since seven works were required in the single month of May 1724 and he could hardly be criticised for resuscitating earlier compositions. But two other factors should be taken into consideration. Firstly, he was clearly running short of suitable pre-composed works; after the end of this [first] cycle he very seldom called upon his established repertoire of pre-Leipzig cantatas. Secondly, a point which is not always taken on board, he was only a few weeks away from launching his cycle of chorale cantatas from the First Sunday after Trinity 1724 (volume 2 deals with these important and substantial works in detail). It is inconceivable that Bach had not been planning it for some time and it is highly likely that he was involved in the process of plotting out the first works some weeks in advance. That in itself would explain the group of six transcriptions after C 44.

All of which puts C44 in a rather special situation, it being the last original work Bach composed before the group of Cs 20, 2, 7 and 135 which were to set entirely new standards of ′well regulated′ church music.

In terms of sheer musical quality C 44 cannot be faulted and in some ways it looks ahead to the glories yet to come. At least four of its seven movements are as good as anything Bach ever wrote and one, the central chorale, is so forward looking that it seems almost to pre-empt the atonal harmonies of the twentieth century. It is to be regretted that this cantata is not performed more often, one possible reason being that in the twenty-first century some people are put off by the title.>>

Cantata 44, Movements, Scoring, text, key, meter5

1. Aria Chorus (Duet in canon) with opening ritornello as trio sonata (2 oboes, bc) [Tenor, Bass; Oboe I/II, Fagotto e Continuo]: “Sie werden euch in den Bann tun” (They will banish you, gospel John 16:2); g minor; ¾; continues without pause to:
2. Chorus chaconne, homophonic and imitation [SATB; Oboe I e Violino I all' unisono, Oboe II e Violino II all' unisono, Viola, Fagotto e Continuo]: “Es kömmt aber die Zeit, dass, wer euch tötet, wird meinen, er tue Gott einen Dienst daran.” (But the time comes that, whoever puts you to death will think that in this way he is serving God.); g minor; 2/2 alle breve.
3. Aria da-capo trio [Alto; Oboe I, Fagotto e Continuo]: A. “Christen müssen auf der Erden / Christi wahre Jünger sein / Christi wahre Jünger sein” (Christians must on earth / be true disciples of Christ); B. Auf sie warten alle Stunden, . . . / Marter, Bann und schwere Pein” (At every hour they should expect, . . . / torture, banishment and great suffering); c minor; ¾ menuett style.
4. Chorale aria with theme in Bc [Tenor; Fagotto e Continuo]: “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid / Begegnet mir zu dieser Zeit” (Ah God, how much heartache / I meet with in this life); E Flat Major; 4/4.

5. Recitative secco [Bass; Fagotto e Continuo]: “Es sucht der Antichrist, / Das große Ungeheuer” (The Antichrist seeks, /that great monster); g minor to d minor; 4/4.
6. Aria da capo [Soprano; Oboe I e Violino I all' unisono, Oboe II e Violino II all' unisono, Viola, Fagotto e Continuo]: A. “Es ist und bleibt der Christen Trost,/ Dass Gott vor seine Kirche wacht” (The consolation of Christians is and remains / God’s watchful care over his church); B. “Denn wenn sich gleich die Wetter türmen, . . . / Die Freudensonne bald gelacht” (For even though at times the clouds gather, . . . / the sun of joy has soon smiled on us); B-Flat Major; 4/4.
7. Chorale [SATB; Oboe I e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe II e Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Fagotto e Continuo]: “So sei nun, Seele, deine / Und traue dem alleine / Der dich erschaffen hat.” (Therefore, soul, now be yourself / and trust in him alone / who has created you.); B-Flat Major; 4/4.

Cantata 44: Persecution Theme

The theme of persecution, reminiscent of his recent St. John Passion, launches Bach’s original Cantata 44, observes John Eliot Gardiner’s 2008 liner notes to his 2000 Bach Cantata Pilgrimage recordings on Soli Deo Gloria.6 <<The two Leipzig cantatas Bach wrote for Exaudi share the title “Sie werden euch in den Bann tun,” Jesus’ warning to his disciples that ‘They shall put you out of the synagogues’ (John 16:2). Both in their separate ways depict an earthly voyage beginning with the prophecy of imminent persecution and the need for submission and surrender to the Holy Spirit. But there the similarity ends. BWV 44 was composed as part of Bach’s first Leipzig cycle in 1724 and opens with a G minor prelude, a trio sonata for two oboes and continuo bassoon cast as an expressive lament, one which fans out into a quintet with the entry of the Vox Domini. For here, unusually for Bach and more typical of Schütz, the voice of Christ is assigned to two voices (tenor and bass) rather than one. In a way then more characteristic of Telemann, this leads without a break into a seismic ‘turba’ chorus, ‘Yea, the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think he doeth God service’. It is punchy and arresting, with abrupt drops in volume at the words ‘wer euch tötet’ and, at only thirty-five bars long, a potent cameo, a shocking persecution scene such as the world has seen repeatedly since the time of the early Christians. In its use of figura corta and the chromatic treatment by means of melismas on the word ‘tötet’ (kills), it is very similar to the ‘Kreuzige’ choruses from the St John Passion, which had received its first performance only six weeks earlier. Dürr observes that this cantshares with three other post-Easter cantatas from the following year’s cycle (BWV 6, 42 and 85) a similarity in overall design and in the emphasis placed on Christian suffering in the world. From this one might speculate that those three cantatas were perhaps planned by Bach to be incorporated into his first Leipzig cycle along with BWV 44, but were put on hold until the following year as a result of his having over-extended himself in composing and preparing the St John Passion in March 1724. With limited creative energy left for new composition, and in order to complete his first Leipzig cycle, he resorted to earlier cantatas (BWV 131, 12, 172 and 194) and to recycling secular material from his Cöthen years (BWV 66, 134, 104, 173 and 184)

Bach follows this opening chorus with a serene, elegiac C minor aria for alto with oboe, ‘Christians on earth must be Christ’s true disciples’, in which even the inevitable ‘torment, exile and sore affliction’ in the B section is presented as though temporary, soon to be ‘blissfully overcome’. Then we are back to a chorale which we encountered twice in early January, ‘Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid’ (‘Ah God, what deep affliction’), with its insistence on the heart’s pain and the narrow way to heaven. On this occasion it is assigned to the tenor over a bass line possibly modelled on the organ chorales of Georg Böhm, Bach’s Lüneburg teacher, as it moves wearily and chromatically, yet still at twice the speed of the vocal melody it announces (No.4). The pivotal point of the whole cantata occurs in a pithy recitative for the bass (No.5) describing the evil power of the Antichrist. It uses the Baroque image of Christians likened to the branches of palm trees which, when weighted down, grow ever higher. This leads to a skilfully crafted aria for soprano with two oboes and strings, ‘Es ist und bleibt der Christen Trost’. Here Bach fuses elements of dance and song to capture in an Arcadian metaphor how ‘after such tribulations the sun of gladness soon laughed’. The vocal line is adorned with tripletised melismas suggesting the singer’s laughter at the impotent fury of the elements (cue for a vivid build-up of storm clouds, emblematic of affliction). To complete the journey from persecution to joy Bach turns once again to Heinrich Isaac’s great ‘Innsbruck’ tune for his closing chorale, recalling its recent appearance in the St John Passion where it voiced the hurt reaction of the Christian community at the cuffing (‘Backenstreich’) Jesus receives during the Sanhedrin trial. © John Eliot Gardiner 2008

Exaudi Significance

The significance of Exaudi Sunday, the last in Easter, and the theme of suffering, are explored in Klaus Hoffman’s 2001 liner notes to the Masaaki Sazuki BIS complete cantata recordings.7 <<The Sunday between Ascension Day and Whitsun has long been known by the Latin name 'Exaudi' (Hear!') after the first word of the antiphon that is sung at the commencement of the church service on this day 'Höhe, Herr, meine Stimme. wenn ich rufe. Verbirg dein Antlitz nicht vor nir' ('Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice. Hide not thy face far from me'). This opening prayer is closely linked with the passage from the Gospel according to St. John that is read later, and with which the sermon will concern itself. At its heart lie Jesus' words, a prophecy to his disciples describing a bitter path of sorrow, full of danger, persecution and confusion: 'Sie werden euch in den Bann tun. Es kömmt aber die Zeit, dall, wer euch tötet, wird meinen. er tue Gott einen Dienst daran' ('They shall put you out of the synagogue: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service'; John 16:2).

Bach's cantata was written for Exaudi Sunday in 1724, which that year fell on 2lst May. The author of the text - evidently the same person who wrote the texts for the three previous cantatas for Cantate (BWV 166), Rogate (BWV 86) and Ascension Day (BWV37), starts the cantata with the aforementioned quotation from the Gospel; and then, as in the earlier cantatas, follows it with an aria, a chorale followed by a recitative, then another aria and a final chorale. The first aria generalizes the expression of the biblical words: we, the Christians, are Jesus' disciples, for whom a path of suffering has been prescribed on earth. And the following chorale confirms: life is full of Herzeleid' ('heartache'), and 'der schmale Weg' ('the narrow path) to Heaven 'ist trübsal voll' ('is full of woe'). The recitative takes these thoughts further: that the 'Antichrist' (who, according to 1 John 2.18, is the demonic anti-Messiah who appears at the end of time) might pursue the followers of Christ 'mit Schwert und Feuer' ('by the sword and by fire'); they, however, are actually fortified by danger and persecution. They resembled the palms that are loaded down so that they might grow straighter and taller. The second aria tells of comfort at times of threat and attack: God watches over His church; and distress and affliction are followed by joy. The final chorale, 'So sei nun, Seele, deine' ('So be now soul, yourself'), is a monologue-like reflection and self-exhortation to maintain faith in God.

In accordance with the text, Bach divides the opening movement into two sections. The first with the words Sie werden euch in den Bann tun' ('They shall put you out of the synagogues') traditionally reckoned as the first movement -- opens the cantata with a duet for tenor and bass, accompanied by two oboes and basso continuo. Bach's music is a festive vocal-instrumental chaconne based freely on French models. With the canonic treatment of the vocal parts, Bach imbues the words with a certain strictness, even inexorability. At the continuation of the text, 'Es kömmt aber die Zeit...' ('yea. the time cometh...'), traditionally reckoned as the second movement, the meaning of the words transforms the character of the music; it becomes tumultuous and excited, a mood we recognize from the folk choruses of the St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion. The text and the music are concerned with future honors. The very agitated continuo part signifies unrest, and the word töten' ('killeth') is twice emphasized by a sudden, mysterious piano and wan, chromatically tinged harmonies.

The following alto aria (No.3) is a piece of considered seriousness, a duet for voice and oboe that proceeds in broad, arching melodies. Most emphatically, and yet without unnecessary musical illustration, the alto presents the teaching and mnemonic: the Christians are Christ's disciples. Not until the middle section of the movement does Bach examine the textual details more closely: he stretches the word warten' ('wait') for a whole bar, and similarly emphasizes the words selig' ('blessedly). 'Bann' ('expulsion') and 'Pein' ('severe suffering'). In the case of' Bann' and 'Pein' he also adds all sorts of sigh-like suspension and emotionally charged harmonic darkening.

The chorale (fourth) movement, 'Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid' ('O God, how much heartache') is based on the first strophe of the hymn of the same name by Martin Moller (1547-1606). A tenor voice, accompanied only b)' the continuo, which also interrupts the vocal line with interludes of its own, presents the chorale strophe line by line. The continuo part is set out as a basso ostinato, which clings steadfastly onto its theme all through the movement. This theme is formed from the first line of the chorale. 'Ach Gotr. wie manches Herzeleid ( O God. how much heartache ) but, at the place where the song text has the word 'Herzeleid', it is expanded by means of chromatic notes in between - a figurative expression of sorrow, of the lamentation that characterizes the whole movement.

The bass recitative (fifth movement) underscores the lines about the Antichrist, 'das große Ungeheuer' ('the great monster'), with dissonant harmonies; at the end, Bach as a baroque composer cannot resist mirroring the words'höher steigen' (rise ever higher') by means of a rising melodic line.

The soprano aria (sixth movement) sets a happier tone. It deals with the comforting of the Christians, and the music radiates confidence. This is not changed by the emphatically) drawn image of the stormy weather (used by Bach as a metaphor for danger) in the middle section: this remains merely an episode.

In the simple, beautiful concluding chorale, 'So sei nun, Seele, deine' ('So be now soul. Yourself, seventh movement), the final strophe of the well-known song In allen meinen Taten ('ln all my deeds') by the baroque lyricist Paul Fleming (1609-1640) is combined with a melody that is rich in tradition: O welt, ich müß dich lassen ( O World, I must depart), after 'Innsbruch, ich müß dich lassen’ (lnnsbruck. I must depart) by Heinrich Isaacs, c.1500). This movement may sound familiar to many listeners, and it is no coincidence: a few years later, when composing the St. Matthew Passion, Bach returned to this cantata movement from 172t to provide the melodv for 'lch bins, ich sollte büßen (It is I, I should atone'l BWV244/10): he reused the bass line (with the exception of a few notes) and with it the harmonic sequences; only the alto and tenor lines were essentially composed anew.>> © Klaus Hofmann 2001

<<PRODUCTION NOTES, BWV44. This cantata has survived in the form of the composer's own full score (P 148, Emmanuel’s estate) and the original parts (St 86, Friedemann’s possession). The parts include one for the bassoon in addition to the continuo parts. The continuo parts consist of one transposed a whole tone down for the organ and another untransposed part, the latter including continuo figuring in Bach's own hand for the first and the second movements. The harpsichord is partially used in the present performance.>> © Masaaki Suzuki 2002

Cantata 44 Commentary on Text

Additional commentary on the Cantata 44 text is found in Peter Smaill’s commentary in the BCML Cantata 44 Discussions, Part 2 (May 1, 2006, << BWV 44 belongs to a sequence of cantatas long suspected to have been written by Christian Weiss senior, the pastor of St Thomas. This group starts with a biblical citation, followed by an aria and then early on (relative to the norm) a chorale is interposed, in this case "Ach Gott wie manches herzeleid". The exceptional feature here is that the biblical introduction is shared by a duet and then chorus which emphasise Christ's minatory declaration, BWV 44/2 "Es kommt aber die Zeit". Nevertheless the overall structure and the didactic theology of the work links it to Cantatas for this period in 1724: BWV 144 (Septuagesima), BWV 166 (4th Sunday after Easter), BWV 86, (Rogate) and BWV 37 (Ascension) according to Duerr.

In BWV 81 we tackled the image of the storm-tossed Christian amidst the waves being steadfast; here it is the buffeting of winds on land which is the subject of BWV 44/5. The librettist uses one of the most peculiar baroque images, that of a palm-tree laden with weights, the burden being believed on callisthenic principles to cause palm trees to grow even stronger!

Dürr refers to the discussion of this emblem by A. Schöne in "Emblematik und Drama in Zeitalter der Barock". Inexplicably Lucia Haselboeck in her "Bach Textlexikon" misses out this extraordinary image. Anglicans may be interested to know that the weighted palm was an illustration associated with the martyred Charles 1, engraved in the adulatory "Eikon Basilike" which was published in many editions after his death. The significance of Charles as a figure contemplating his fate with Christian resignation was much recognised in continental Europe and the leading German baroque dramatist, Gryphius, created a drama, "Carolus Stuardus," accordingly.

The sentiments of this Cantata are rather forbidding to modern minds but we can all admire the skill with which Bach moves the mood from the poignant opening of the duet, through the vigorous tortured counterpoint of the chorus and then, doctrines and reflection spent in the Alto aria, penitential middle chorale and stern Bass recitative, we are refreshed by the final Soprano Aria based on the "Freudensonne," the sun of joy that soon laughs.

The allusions to the Antichrist produce a suspicion that the librettist had experienced the aftermath of the Thirty Years' War. The appropriate final chorale, "O welt ich muss dich lassen" is focussed on the doctrine of resignation:"Es gehe, wie es gehe" (Be it as it may),and seals the message of this Cantata, in which texts and music are intimately interrelated.>>

Cantatas 44, 183 Forms, Vox Domini

Bach uses two distinct cantata forms for his two extant Exaudi Sunday Cantatas 44 and 183. Cantata 44 has the first cycle third form of six-seven movements with two plain chorales, beginning with an opening dictum followed by an aria and a chorale, as designated by Alfred Dürr (<Cantatas of JSB>: 27). Cantata 183 reflects the librettist Ziegler’s unique hybrid cantata form, beginning with the biblical dictum as recitative followed by aria, recitative and aria, closing with plain chorale. Cantata 128 “broadly follows the [movement] plan of most of the chorale-based Leipzig cantatas, with one exception,” No. 4, a duet with obbligato, says David Humphreys in Oxford Composers Companions: JSB (Oxford Univ. Press, 1998: 26). Technically, it is not a chorale cantata since it does not have “the adoption of a single chorale in its entirety within the text,” says Dürr (Ibid.: 329). He points out that while “Bach later assigned most of the cantatas with text by Ziegler to the third Leipzig cycle [in the estate distribution], Cantata 128 and 68 were classified among the chorale cantatas with which they belong in terms of their date of origin” [spring 1725],” perhaps because they open with “large-scale chorale choruses” (Ibid.: 329).

This same vox Christi/Domini dictum, "Sie werden euch in den ass aria tun,” became the opening bass recitative with a quartet of oboes in the 1725 solo Cantata 183 to a text of Christiane Mariane von Ziegler, This Ziegler series of Easter-Pentecost texts, as well as Cantatas 6, 42 and 85, Bach may have originally commissioned for the 1724 season and set aside after his conflicts with the Town council over the Good Friday vespers St. John Passion required venue at the Niklauskirche, alternating with the Thomanerkirche. This is a thesis of John Eliot Gardiner, first expressed in his Bach 2000 Cantata Pilgrimage 2008 liner notes for the Soli Deo Gloria recording of the cantatas for Rogate and Exaudi final Sundays final Easter.8

Chorale ‘In allen meinen Taten’

Meanwhile it is quite possible that Bach began composing a chorale Cantata BWV 97, "In allen meinen taten" (In all my doings), for Exaudi Sunday 1725, the beginning of a 10-year odyssey, borrowing material from Köthen for an opening chorus and tenor aria. He then set two movements aside until 1731 when he added a series of recitative-aria-recitative and closing chorale (? BWV 392) for Exaudi 1731 as part of mostly repeats for Easter Season following the premiere of after the St. Mark Passion. Later, Bach set all nine versus, with three more progressive arias, totaling 26 minutes) as a pure-hymn cantata in 1734 for a special festive event, then possibly performed it again the next year at Exaudi Sunday (May 22, 1735) in between the Ascension Oratorio and a lost, possible Pentecost Oratorio. Finally, he repeated progressive, dance-laden Cantata 97 in the 1740s, possibly in 1744 after the St. Mark Passion, followed by repeats of certain Easter season cantatas, as he had done in 1731, or outside of Leipzig at another special festival service.

In addition, Bach drafted an opening cantata recitative six-bar sketch of the same John 16:2 warning, "Sie werden euch in den Bann tun," for Exaudi Sunday, 1725, but replaced it when his librettist, Ziegler, set the same dictum to open Cantata 183. The sketch, found in the score of Cantata 79 for Reformation 1725 the last in the double-chorale form, is catalogued as Neumann 33 (Werner Neumann Handbuch der Kantaten JSB, 5 ed. (Breitkopf & Härtel: Weisbaden, 1984: 264). It is documented in the Bärenreiter New Bach Edition, BA 5291, Supplement Generalbaß- und Satzlehre, Skizzen, Entwürfe (German); Wollny, Peter; 2011.

Exaudi Motets& Chorales

The Sunday After Ascension Motet and Chorale Musical Context (Douglas Cowling, BCW) is: Introit: "Exaudi Domine" (LU854); Motet: "Deus Adjutor Fortis"; "Exaudiet Te Dominus"; Hymn de Tempore: "Nun Freut Euch, Gottes Kinder"; Pulpit Hymn: "Christ fuhr gen Himmel"; and Hymns for Chancel, Communion & Closing: "Zeuch ein zu Thoren," in the motet collection and NLGB Bach hymn book. Cowling adds (December 25, 2010): “Although Bach's motet collection appears only to have contained polyphonic "stile antico" motets by French composers, the text was used in several large scale grand motets in the 17th and 18th centuries. Here's Campra's setting of the text [Exaudiet Te Dominus] in a superb performance by William Christie: Is there any evidence of Bach knowing this kind of repertoire? He certainly knew the orchestral and keyboard music” (BCML Cantata 44, Discussion Part 3,

The Exaudi Introit opening Psalms are Psalm 27, Dominus illuminatio, “The Lord is my light (KJV), and Psalm 143, Domine, exaudi, “Hear my prayer, O Lord (KJV), according to Petzoldt (Ibid.: 939). Petzoldt describes Psalm 27 as “trust and pleasure in God and his word” and Psalm 143 as a “penitential prayer on the turning away of the ill-tempered, and the attainment of good.” The full KJV texts of the two psalms is found at and

For Cantata 183 for Exaudi Sunday 1725, Bach closes with the plain chorale, "Zeuch ein zu deinen Toren" (Move into thy gates), Paul Gerhardt's 1653 12-stanza text set to the Paul Figulus 1580 New Year' melody, "Helft mir Gotts Güte preisen" (Help me God's goodness praise). Bach sets Gerhardt's fifth stanza, "Du bist ein Geist, der lehret" (You are the spirit that teaches). "Zeuch ein zu deinen Toren" is a Pentecost hymn that is one of four assigned to Exaudi Sunday in the Leipzig hymn books of Bach's time, says Stiller.

For Exaudi Sunday 1726 (June 2) for his third cantata cycle, Bach found no acceptable Rudolstadt text or extant Johann Ludwig Bach cantata setting. Likewise, for Exaudi Sunday 1729 (May 29) in the Picander cycle, Bach showed no apparent interest in the cantata libretto P-36, "Quäle dich nur nicht, mein Herz" (Torment thee only not, my heart), which contains no chorale setting.


1 Cantata 44 BCW Details & Discography, Score Vocal & Piano [1.28 MB],; Score BGA [1.94 MB], References: BGA X (Cantatas 41-50, Wilhelm Rust 1860), NBA KB I/12 (Exaudi, Alfred Dürr, 1960), Bach Compendium BC A 78, Zwang: K 71. Cantata commentary: Schweitzer II: 197/425, W Gillies Whittaker I:625-30, Alec Robertson 148ff, W. Murray Young 68 f, Stephen A. Crist (OCC:JSB) 450f, Alfred Dürr 340ff.
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: 943, 952).
3 Much of this material, slightly edited, originated in the Cantata 97 BCML Discussion, Part 3/4, Week of 17, 2015, Other sources are noted below.
4 Cited in Dürr, Cantatas of J. S. Bach, revised and translated by Richard D. P. Jones (Oxford University Press, New York, 2005: 27).
5 German text and Francis Browne BCW English translation,
6 Gardiner Cantata 44 notes, BCW[sdg144_gb].pdf, BCW Recording details,
7 Hofmann notes, BCW[BIS-CD1271].pdf, BCW Recording details,
8 This thesis is detailed in Gardiner’s recent Bach musical biography, BACH: Music in the Castle of Heaven (Alfred A, Knopf: New York, 2013: 333f). Gardiner points out that Alfred Dürr notes that Cantatas 44 as well as 6, 42, and 85, and Reformation Cantata 79 have the same structure with opening biblical dicta and with the “emphasis on Christian Suffering in the world.”

Peter Smaill wrote (May 8, 2016):
Greetings from Leipzig....

By fine chance this work was performed in the Thomaskirche yesterday, the musicologist and musician Martin Petzoldt singing tenor.

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 8, 2016):
Cantata BWV 44 - Revised & updated Discography

The discography pages of Cantata BWV 44 "Sie werden euch in den Bann tun euch" (They will banish you) for Exaudi Sunday [6th Sunday after Easter] on the BCW have been revised and updated.
The cantata is scored for soprano, alto, tenor & bass soloists; 4-part chorus; and orchestra of 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 violins, viola & continuo. See:
Complete Recordings (15):
Recordings of Individual Movements (8):
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 44 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 current discussion of the cantata in the BCML (4th round):



Cantata BWV 44: 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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Last update: Monday, September 11, 2017 15:24