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Cantata BWV Anh 4
Wünschet Jerusalem Glück
Cantata BWV Anh 4a
Wünschet Jerusalem Glück
Discussions - Part 1

Discussions in the Week of August 6, 2017 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (August 6, 2017):
Town Council Cantata BWV Anh. 4, 1725 Trinity Time Special Music

Bach’s third presentation for the inauguration of the Town Council, “Wünschet Jerusalem Glück” (Pray for Jerusalem's peace), on 25 August 1725 came during his first sabbatical from composing church music during Trinity Time 1725 when he selectively composed only a handful of works for special occasions. This work exists only in the text of Picander, his first i a series of four for the annual special prayer service held at the Nikolaikirche as sacred music for the last Monday in August following the council election on St. Bartholomew’s Day, August 24. While the music is lost, the typical festive text shows an opening chorus based on Thanksgiving psalm verses, in this case Psalm 122:6-7. The festive piece with trumpets and drums continues with poetic two arias alternating with a descriptive recitative and an arioso, and closing with a congregational chorale reaffirming the importance of the occasion. In this case it was Martin Luther’s appropriate setting of the 1531 German Dona nobis pacem, “Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich” (Graciously grant us peace).

During his Trinity Time half-year hiatus of 1725, Bach took a composer’s holiday as cantor, intentionally and selectively composing festive music mostly for special services. The record shows that for the 12th Sunday after Trinity chorale Cantata 137, “Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren” (Praise the Lord, the mighty king of honour), was belatedly presented a year after its presumed date of 27 August 1724, the day before the council installation, instead performed on 19 August 1725. Previously, Bach scholars considered Cantata 137 as a council installation work, with its incipit first phrase also based on Psalm 103:1a, with the second phrase based on Psalm 124:8ab, premiered on 27 August 1725. Of special note is that all five movements, including the closing chorale, are written in popular, progressive triple time with an orchestra including trumpets and drums.

For the next day, Bach premiered Cantata BWV Anh. 4, “Wünschet Jeusalem Glück” (Wished-for Jerusalem Fortune, Psalm 122:6-7), for the Town Council on August 28. The likely evolution of BWV Anh. I 45 illustrates a common history for such ‘civic’ works, says Peter Williams.1 Picander libretto text for lost Cantata BWV Anh. 4, “Wünschet Jerusalem Glück” (Pray for Jerusalem's peace, Z. Philip Ambrose) was recently found that dates this work to 1725.2 It was repeated on 28 August 1741, substituting an another recitative in place of no. 3. A modified version (Picander text) was presented on Tuesday, 27 June 1730, at the Nikolaikirche concluding the three-day Bicentennial of the Augsburg Confession. For the special celebration, a new recitative (no. 3) was substituted, another recitative replaced the arioso (no. 4), and a new chorale (no. 6) replaced the original chorale.

Bach’s special effort in ceremonial music began on Friday, August 3, with his first drammi per musica, Cantata BWV 205, “Der zufriedengestellte Aeolus: Zerreißet, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft” (Aeolus Pacified: Tear up, burst apart, smash to pieces the cave). It was an ambitious 40 minute static drama with four mythological characters for the Birthday of Augustus Friedrich Müller, a Professor at Leipzig University, with presumed connections to the Saxon Court. Bach “evidently worked with enthusiasm and a wish to please,” says Williams (Ibid.: 330). This probably was “a welcome, even a delightful, turn away from the first two years of liturgical repertory, with its brilliant choruses and arias, its unmistakable graphic depictions (rushing winds, etc.), all melodically not only inspired but quite distinctive,” with horns, trumpets and drums. The loss of much festive music “is a great blow to the true understanding of J. S. Bach,” says Williams, “for he bought to such works the same restless inspiration as he did to the Passions. This is a serious. There is every sign that he saw them as musically equal to the church cantatas, working with the same of not more care and — so one might guess — viewing them as pieces of high musical quality fit to be re-used, revised or mined for other music.

Beginning during August of 1725, Bach also composed two church service cantatas based on texts of Salomo Franck and repeated two cantatas. He took the opportunity to honor his friend and colleague, Weimar poet Franck, who recently had died on 14 June 1725, with performances of solo Cantatas BWV 168 on the Ninth Sunday after Trinity (July 29) and BWV 164 on the 13th Sunday after Trinity (August 26), as well as a reperformance of solo Cantata BWV 161 on the 16th Sunday after Trinity (September 16) and Cantata 152 for the Sunday after Christmas (December 30). All four solo cantatas were set to 1715 published texts. Cantatas BWV 168 and 164 are part of the third cycle distribution, Cantata 152 in the first cycle distribution, and Cantata 161 as a Purification Feast work in a post-1750 copy.

For the annual Reformationfest on Wednesday, October 31, Bach premiered special chorus Cantata BWV 79, “Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild (God the Lord is sun and shield, Psalm 84:12). Bach as early as mis 1724 had solicited the text, possibly from St. Thomas Pastor Christian Weisse Sr., in the special cantata Cycle 1 format of opening biblical dictum with an internal chorale setting and a closing plain chorale found in 22 cantatas. It was one of 11 such works presumably by the same librettist. Bach was so pleased with the music that he made three contrafactions in his Missae:Kyrie-Gloria of the later 1730s. The opening chorus became the Gloria in excelsis Deo in BWV 236, the duet (no. 5) became the “Domine Deus in BWV 236, and the alto aria (No. 2) became the “Quoniam tu solus sanctus in BWV 234

On Tuesday, 27 November 1725, Bach produced his first secular serenade for Leipzig notables, BWV Anh. 196, “Auf! süß-entzückende Gewalt” (Up! Sweet charming authority) was composed for the wedding of Peter Hohmann and Christian Sibylla Mencke. Hohmann in 1736 was raised to the nobility under the name von Hohenthal by the Saxon Court. The 14-movement work with allegorical characters was Bach’s first collaboration with noted Leipzig poet and teacher, Johann Christoph Gottsched. The original bass Nature aria, No. 3, “Entfernet euch, ihr kalten Hertzen” (Remove yourselves, ye frigid spirits, was parodied in the Ascension Oratorio, “Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen” Praise God in his kingdoms), BWV 11 in 1735 as the alto aria, Ach, bleibe doch, mein liebstes Leben” (Ah, stay yet, my dearest life). eventually was adapted by Bach in the late 1740s as the three-fold alto litany aria with unison strings and continuo, “Agnus Dei, qui tollis pecca mundi, Miserere nobis" (Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us). Although the original music is lost, it has the same “poetic structure, the rhyme scheme, and the general Affekt,” says George B. Stauffer.3

Another aria destined as a parody only in the Ascension Orartorio is the gallant style “Jesu, deine Gnadenblicke” (Jesus, your gracious look), from the wedding piece as the aria (no. 5), “Unschuld, Kleinod reiner Seelen” (Chasteness, jewel of pure spirits). This progressive music was designed to please members of the Saxon Court, observes Williams (Ibid.: 331) and was parodied almost a decade later for the coronation of Augustus III on 19 February 1734, as BWV 205a, “Blast Lermen, ihr Feinde!” (Blow uproar, opponents!). “It was not a liturgical ‘church ’ but not entirely secular either, given the divinity of the monarchy and the secular hierarchy,” says Williams (Ibid.: 334).

Installation Cantata Special Music

Given Bach’s consistent way of composing nine identifiable installation cantatas appropriate for this special sacred event of praise and thanksgiving, it is possible to determine the type of music and in some cases to find possible music sources through parody and the existence of plain chorale settings. The opening chorus was one of Bach favorite settings of biblical text, here the psalm which he often set as an extended chorus usually mixing homophonic and polyphonic passages, most notably in prelude and fugue style. Here Bach again chose a psalm of thanksgiving, Psalm 122, Levavi oculus, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

These appropriate psalms settings had special significance for Bach. As with Luther, he “ had especially strong preference for the Old Testament Psalms,” observes Günther Stiller.4 In his cantatas, 26 begin with such verses usually set as choruses, particularly in the first cycle, with a total of 46 movements set as Psalms. Additional quotations or allusions to psalms are found in another 58 movement settings. “In general, to have then pure biblical text set to music is a paerticular characteristic of Bach’s liturgical works, says Stiller, totaling 128 movements in Bach’s cantatas as “musical settings of pure biblical text. At the same time, Bach’s use of biblical text is typical of German vocal concerto settings dating back to Luther’s time, particularly in the motet form. The chorale is the other distinguishing feature in this music and is typical of the vocal concerto.

Bach also used biblical and chorale texts in his town council cantatas to support his intense interest in psalms to emphasize the responsibility of those in secular authority to care for those under whom they were responsible. Bach had both a profound respect for the God-given right of rulers as well as their charge, citing Psalm 89:5, regarding the governing’s faithfulness “in the congregation of the saints.” and that (verse 14a), “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne.” Bach also used the Calov Bible Commentary glosses with a marginal note that the prophet Asaph was King David’s capellmeister (p.100f), at a time when Bach continually reaffirmed his rights and responsibilities with his employer, the Leipzig Town Council, especially its pietist cantor faction. Bach was obedient to the natural right of rulers and composed serenades in Köthen to celebrate royal birthdays and New Year’s Day, and expanded the form to drammi per musica with the governing Saxon Court in Dresden.

The movements, types, and text are as follows:

[1.] Chorus: “Wünschet Jerusalem Glück; Es müsse wohl gehen denen, die dich lieben; Es müsse Friede seyn inwendig in deinen Mauren, und Glück in deinen Pallästen.” (Pray for Jerusalem's peace; and may good fortune attend all them who love thee; and may repose and peace be dwelling within thy towers and happiness in thy mansions.).
[2.] Aria da capo: A. “Rühm' und lobe, sing' und preise, / Du erwehlte Gottes-Stadt” (Laud and honor, sing and praise him, / Thou elected city of God:) B. “Weil des Allerhöchsten Treu / Uber (sic) dir noch täglich neu, / Und auf väterliche Weise / Dich bißher erhalten hat. / For the Highest's steadfast faith / Over thee each day is new, / And in fatherly devotion Hath till now upheld thee well.).
[3.] Recit. Gott Lob! Der Herr hat viel an uns gethan! / Er ist und bleibet unser Theil, / Sein Wort wohnt reichlich in dem Lande, / Und Glück und Heyl / Trifft man in allem Stande / Im Uberfluß (sic) und Seegen an. / Der Herr hat viel an uns gethan. / In unsern Mauren blühet Friede; / Recht und Gerechtigkeit / Hat biß hieher einander küssen, / Und Güth und Treu / Einander stets begegnen müssen.” (Praise God! The Lord hath much for us achieved; / He is our portion evermore, / His word dwells richly in the nation, / And wealth and health / Are found in ev'ry station / In ample store and happiness. / The Lord hath much for us achieved. / Within our walls doth concord flourish; / Law and true righteousness / Have until now here kissed each other, / And bliss and troth must always here confront each other.)
[3a.] Recit. “Herr! weyhe selbst das Regiment / Mit deinem Segen ein; / Laß Ehr in deinem Lande seyn; / Laß die, so hier dem Volck regieren / Den Geist der Weißheit führen, / Daß alle Thaten / Zu deines Nahmens Ruhm gerathen.” (Lord, consecrate the government / With thine own blessing now; / Let honor in thy nation dwell; / Let those who here thy people govern / Lead with true wisdom's spirit, / That ev'ry action / Be to thy name's great fame accomplished.);
[4.] Arioso: “Der Höchste steh uns ferner bey, / Und sey auch über unsre Stadt, / In der er Lust zu wohnen hat, / Nicht ferner des Erbarmens müde!” (The Highest further stand with us, / And o'er our city also be, / Within which he to dwell is pleased, / No longer of his mercy wearied!).
[5.] Aria “Herrscher aller Seraphinen, / Herr, dem alle Scepter dienen, / Sey der Schutz-Herr allezeit / Unsrer lieben Obrigkeit! / So wollen wir ferner mit Loben und Singen, / Die Farren der Lippen zur Danckbarkeit bringen.” (Ruler over all the seraphs, / Lord, whom ev'ry scepter serveth, / Be the patron constantly / Of our dear authority! / And we will hereafter with praising and singing / Our lips as an off'ring of thankfulness bring thee.
[6.] Chorale: “Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich, / Herr Gott, zu unsern Zeiten; / Es ist doch ja kein andrer nicht, / Der für uns könnte streiten, / Denn du, unsr Gott, alleine.” (Graciously grant us peace / Lord God, in our time; / there is no one else / who could fight for us / except you , our God, alone.); “Gib unsern Fürsten und all'r Obrigkeit / Fried und gut Regiment, / Dass wir unter ihnen / Ein geruhig und stilles Leben führen mögen / In aller Gottseligkeit und Ehrbarkeit. Amen” (Lord, consecrate the government / With thine own blessing now; / Let honor in thy nation dwell; / Let those who here thy people govern / Lead with true wisdom's spirit, / That ev'ry action / Be to thy name's great fame accomplished.).

Notes on Text

The text of Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander) was published in Ernst-Schertzhaffte und Satyrische Gedichte, Teil II (Leipzig, 1729, 2nd ed., 1734); Facsimile in Neumann Texte, p. 320; Reprint in Nützliche Nachrichten (Leipzig, 1741); Facs: Neumann T, p. 382. The council cantata collaboration of Bach and Picander began on August 27, 1725, with BWV Anh. 4, "Wünschet Jerusalem Glück." Starting in 1727, Bach and Picander produced a series of as many as five consecutive Town Council cantatas: BWV 193, 120, 216a, Anh. 3, and 29. Collectively, these are a chronicle of Bach's shifting, diverse creative vocal music interests, endeavors, and accomplishments. These involve: Cantata 193 as a secondary parody from Cöthen excerpted from a civic birthday piece with missing parts; the impressive Cantata 120 with two arias involving Cöthen violin music (next week’s BCML Discussion); Cantata 216a, a mini-drama homage cantata parody of alternating recitatives and arias; BWV Anh. 3, "Gott, gieb Edina Gerichte dem Könige" (God, give now thy judgment unto the King), another parody presented in 1730 with text only surviving; and, finally, another masterpiece of reinvention in Cantata 29 in 1731 (BCML Discussion, Week of August 20).

The English translation is © Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose. The opening chorus dictum is Psalm 122:6-7. The recitative No. 3a is a substitute for the reperformance on 28 August 1741, the source possibly being a partial parody of Tow Council Cantata BWV 120, No. 5, tenor recitative with strings, "Nun, Herr, so weihe selbst das Regiment.” The last line of No. 5 aria is a paraphrase of Psalm 85:11, also found in BWV 120/4 soprano aria. The closing chorale (Wackernagel, I, #211) could be the setting BWV 42/7, Misericordias Domini 1725; f-sharp minor Aeolian; 4/4, ?transposed. Luther’s prayer for peace “Verleih uns Frieden” (Grant us peace, Dona nobis pacem) is a setting of the plainsong melody Veni redemptor gentium, and text from the Latin antiphon litany, Da pacem, Domine (Give peace, Lord). Luther’s setting was published in the Kirchē gesenge, mit vil schönen Psalmen unnd Melodey, edited by Johann Walter (Nürnberg, 1531), and published in Geistliche Lieder by Joseph Klug (Wittenberg, 1535).


1 Peter Williams, “Life and works: Leipzig, the first years,” Bach: A Musical Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2016: 271).
2 Tatiana Shabalina ‘”Texte zur Music” in Sankt Petersburg: Neue Quellen zur Leipziger Musikgeschichte sowie zur Kompositions- und Aufführungstätigkeit Johann Sebastian Bachs’, Bach-Jahrbuch 94 (2008): 61-64
3 George B. Stauffer, Bach: The Mass in B Minor, (New Haven CN: Yale Univ. Press 2003: 164).
4 Günther Stiller, Johann Sebastian Bach and Liturgical Life in Leipzig, Ed. Robin A. Leaver (St. Louis MO: Concordia Publishing, 1985: 80f).


To Come: Cantata BWV Anh. 4 and the 1730 Augsburg Bicentennial Special Services.

William Hoffman wrote (August 9, 2017):
Cantata BWV Anh. 4a, Augsburg Confession Cantatas

Bach’s special service music for the annual installation of the Leipzig Town Council, while not part of a well-regulated church music, served as a reservoir for works of sacred joy and thanksgiving that through new text underlay served multiple purposes, including a Christological cycle of Mass Ordinary movements, special occasional services such as the 1730 Bicentennial of the Augsburg Confession, a repertory of civic celebration, and even a wedding mass. It was part of a tradition of music for governing authority that began as sacred concerti in Mühlhausen, developed as celebratory serenades in Köthen, and became extended drammi per musica in Leipzig primarily for the ruling Saxon Court in Dresden. A series of borrowings often set in dance styles were transformed into same-language parodies such as cantatas and oratorios as well as contrafactions in Latin for sacred services.

This process began in Trinity Time second half of 1725 when Bach took a cantor sabbatical from composing weekly cantatas in church year cycles. As town music director, Bach expanded his compositional horizons with extended occasional secular works, selective cantatas for special sacred services and reengaged in instrumental music with a series of dance-style harpsichord partitas and the beginning of a collection of home music for son Friedemann and wife Anna Magdalena. In the coming four years, Bach diminished his output of sacred cantatas with one more full cycle while shaping a trilogy of Christological oratorio Passions for Good Friday vesper services. Music of joy and sorrow infused his work as Bach deliberately crafted pieces that could serve multiple purposes.

During his final two decades Bach fashioned works for numerous civic celebrations such as the annual town council installation and profane evenings for the visiting Saxon Court to special church observances including Reformation milestone events. The first was a three-day observance in 1730 of the Augsburg Confession that enabled Bach to alter three festive cantatas for special community services from Sunday to Tuesday, June 25-27. Bach presented three parody cantatas (BWV 190a, 120b, and Anh. 4a), set to new texts of Picander, divided into two parts, before and after the sermon, with new chorale settings and recitatives reflecting the specific sermons. The following dates, venues, cantatas, and chorales are:

*June 25 (St. Nicholas): Cantata BWV 190a, “Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied” (Sing to the Lord a New Song, Psalm 149:1) has two new chorale settings. Movement No. 2 is a recitative with chorale trope, Martin Luther’s 1529 version of the German Te Deum, “Herr Gott, dich loben wir” (Lord God, we praise Thee); and No. 7, Luther’s 1524 "Es woll uns Gott genädig sein" (May God be gracious to us), Stanza 3, “Es danke Gott und lobe dich” (Now thank, O God, and praise Thee). From the original Cantata BWV 190 for New Year’s Day 1724 (text ?Picander), Bach used unchanged the opening chorus and the polonaise-style alto aria (no. 3), “Lobe, Zion, deinen Gott” (Praise, Zion, thy God), parodied the duet (no. 5), and composed new recitatives (nos. 4 and 6). It is possible that some of the music in Cantata 190 was borrowed1 from Cöthen sacred Cantata BWV Anh. 5, “Lobe den Herrn, alle seine Heerscharen” (Praise ye the Lord, all ye of his great armies, Psalm 103:21), for the birthday of Prince Leopold, 7 December 1718, performed at the palace church in the reformed service, set to a text of Hunold/Menantes, says Christoph Wolff.2

*June 26 (St. Thomas): Cantata BWV 120b “Gott, man lobet dich in die Stille” (God, one praises Thee in the stillness, Psalm 65:2), has a closing choral, No. 6, Luther’s 1524 “Komm Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott” (Come, Holy Spirit, Lord God); Stanza 3 “Du heilige Brunst, süsser Trost,” (O thou holy flame, comfort sweet); details, BCW The 1730 Augsburg Confession parody, Cantata 120b (text only extant), is a perfunctory adaptation with little more than some text changes. Like its original, 1729 Town Council Cantata 120, it opens with a repeat of the alto aria, "Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille), followed by the chorus parodied with new text, "Zahle, Zion, die Gelübde" (Pay, O Zion, all thy pledges), then a possible parody of the Cantata 120/3 recitative, now "Ach, du geliebte Gottesdtadt" (Ah, thou beloved city of God). It closes with a possible repeat of Luther's Pentecost chorale, "Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott," possibly from the 1729 funeral motet, BWV 226, "Der Geist hilf unsre Schwacheit auf" (The Spirit uplifts our weakness).

*June 27 (St. Nicholas): Cantata BWV Anh. 4a, “Wünschet Jerusalem Glück” (Pray for Jerusalem's peace, Psalm 122:6-7), closes with a chorale setting, No. 6, Luther/Melanchthon 1579 hymn “Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ” (Oh, bide with us, Lord Jesus Christ). Only the published Picander text survives as a parody of BWV Anh. 4, same title, for the Town Council inauguration, 27 August 1725. A comparison of the texts shows that for the 1730 version, Bach used the same text and music for the opening chorus and the da-capo section A of the succeeding aria, then composed a new B section and recitative (no. 3). Then Bach parodied a new text to the aria (no. 4), and a set new recitative (no. 5). Both versions close (no. 6) with different plain chorale settings appropriate to the occasion, as do Cantatas 120(b) and 190(a). The new source BWV 4a/6 “Ach blieb bei uns,” may be plain chorale, BWV 253 in A Major (

The movements of “new” Cantata BWV Anh. 4a, types, and text (English translation, Z. Philip Ambrose) are as follows:

[1.] Chorus: “Wünschet Jerusalem Glück; Es müsse wohl gehen denen, die dich lieben; Es müsse Friede seyn inwendig in deinen Mauren, und Glück in deinen Pallästen.” (Pray for Jerusalem's peace; and may good fortune attend all them who love thee; and may repose and peace be dwelling within thy towers and happiness in thy mansions.).
[2.] Aria da capo: A. “Rühm' und lobe, sing' und preise, / Du erwehlte Gottes-Stadt” (Laud and honor, sing and praise him, / Thou elected city of God:); B. (new setting), “Weil die Lehre, die dich führt, / Selbst aus Gottes Munde rührt, / Die väterliche Weise / Unter uns erhalten hat.” (For the teaching which thee leads / From God's very mouth proceeds / And in paternal fashion / In our midst is kept alive.).
[3. Recit., new]: “Hier ist des Herren Tempel; / Was scheuen wir der Feinde Spott, / Hiredet Gott, hier wohnet Gott, / Hier ist das Licht des Lebens aufgesteckt: / Hier ist der Grund der Seeligkeit: / Das Hertze gläubt, / Der Mund bekennet allezeit / Daß Jesus unser Heyland bleibt, / Daß er vom Todten auferweckt. / Also bekennen wir! / Wer darnach thut, der lebet für und für.” (Here is the Lord's own temple; / Why should we fear the foe's contempt? / Here speaketh God, here dwelleth God, / Here is the light of life set forth to all; / Here is the root of blessedness: / The heart believes, / The mouth proclaimeth ceaselessly / That Jesus will our Savior bide, / That he from death hath been awaked. / This is what we confess! / Who lives by this will live forevermore.).
[4. Aria, new text, BWV Anh. 4a/4]: “Herr, erhöre, was wir bitten, / Baue ferner Davids Hütten, / Daß dein Zion dieser Tag / Offt zum Jauchzen reitzen mag. / Verherrliche, Höchster, bey unseren Saamen, / Die Ehre von deinem geheiligten Nahmen.” (Lord, now hearken to our prayer, / Build still further David's mansions, / That thy Zion by this day / Oft with triumph may be stirred. / O glorify, Highest, among all our offspring / The honor which comes from thy name ever hallowed.).
[5. Recit., new]: “Gib Herr, dein Wort den frommen Christen / Mit Schaaren der Evangelisten / Und suche deinen Weinberg heim, / Daß deines Wortes Honigseim / Die müden Seelen mög erqvicken (sic). / Steh deiner kleinen Heerde bey, / Und laß durch keine Ketzerey / Die Reinigkeit der Kirchen unterdrücken. / Wenn unsre Schwachheit dich betrübt, Wenn unser Hertz dich nicht vollkommen liebt, / Herr, so verstoß uns nicht / Von deinem Angesicht.” (Give, Lord, thy word to righteous Christians / With legions of evangel voices, / And visit now thy vineyards here, / That by thy word's own honey pure / The weary souls may have refreshment. / Stay by thy little flock alway / And never let through heresy The Church's purity yield to suppression. / Whene'er our weakness thee doth grieve, / Whene'er our hearts thee not completely love, / Lord, do not drive us yet / From thy dear countenance.).
[6. Chorale, new]: “Ach bleib bey uns, Herr Jesu Christ, / weil es nun Abend worden ist, / Dein göttlich Wort, das helle Licht, / Laß ja bei uns auslöschen nicht.” (Oh, bide with us, Lord Jesus Christ, / For now the evening is at hand, / Thy godly word, that radiant light, / Let in our midst, yea, never fade.).

Notes on Music: It is tempting to consider that two movements of the lost Cantata BWV Anh. 4, may have been the original music of contrafactions found in Bach’s late 1730s Missa: Kyrie-Gloria. The opening movement of BWV Anh. 4(a), “Wünschet Jerusalem Glück,” may have become the fugal chorus, “Gloria in excelsis Deo,” in 6/8, of the Missa: Kyrie-Gloria in F Major, BWV 233 ( The text is: “Gloria in excelsis Deo, / et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. / Laudamus te, benedicimus te, / adoramus te, glorificamus te. / Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.” In mood, phrasing and line length the two movements are quite similar. Another Gloria adaptation, BWV 236/2, originated as the opening movement of the Reformation Cantata, BWV 79, composed two months after Cantata BWV Anh. 4 in 1725. The contrafaction Gloria music is, the cantata music is The aria (no. 4), “Herr, erhöre, was wir bitten” uses the same music as BWV Anh. 4/5, “Herrscher aller Seraphinen,” and may have been set as a contrafaction in the Missa-Kyrie-Gloria, No. 1 in F Major, BWV 233, in the syncopated bass aria (no. 3), “Domine Deus, Rex coelestis” (O Lord God, heavenly King,, the rest of the new text is “Deus Pater omnipotens, / Domine Fili unigenite Jesu Christe, / Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris.”

Christological Cycle: Genesis

Actual composition related to a Bach Christological cycle had its origins at the beginning of 1725, when Bach took a break from composing weekly chorale cantatas as the Lenten season hiatus approached. He made a dramatic shift back to the Köthen form of the congratulatory vocal serenade and away from the biblically- and chorale-texted cantatas begun in Mülhausen as proto-cantata vocal concertos mostly for special celebratory and memorial services. Instead, Bach collaborated with Picander to produce an extended, substantial Shepherd’s cantata, lasting 45 minutes, and its sacred parody, the Easter Oratorio, BWV 249, the latter without Gospel quotation or chorale setting, found throughout the first two Leipzig church cantata cycles.

At this time, Bach intentionally chose to cease composition of choral cantatas for the Easter/Pentecost season, leaving this cycle three-quarters complete. Instead, he turned to a mini-cycle appropriate for the Johannine theology of the Christus Victor found in the season’s Gospels for Jubilate (3rd Sunday after Easter) to Trinityfest Sunday, based on the texts of Leipzig poet Marianne von Ziegler. These series of eight new works formed the core of Bach’s third and apparently final cycle. Meanwhile Bach in early 1725 already had turned his attention to other significant compositional matters such as instrumental music, especially for the keyboard, and secular vocal music, as the Leipzig Cantor shifted to being the Leipzig Music Director.

Bach maintained a balance in his congratulatory music between sacred special events — such as feast days and the annual installation of the Town Council (his employer) — and a blossoming of occasional profane works primarily for the ruling Saxon Court party, which had supported his appointment as cantor and director of music. The two interests would merge in the coming decade as Bach focused on the beginnings of his ultimate Christological statement, the “Great Catholic Mass” in B Minor, which would take his final two decades to accomplish. Music of praise and thanksgiving was common to both the sacred liturgical cantatas and the emerging post-serenade works eventually entitled “drammi per musica,” where there was little distinction between the temporal and spiritual spheres.

Bach by 1730, as part of a” well-regulated church music,” would produce a variety of new sacred songs, both of praise and piety, and initiate the beginnings of the Missa: Kyrie-Gloria of 1733, followed by his primary vocal compositional endeavors of some two dozen drammi per musica, mostly for the Saxon Court and its adherents. The genesis of this pursuit would be found in the convergence of serendipitous motive, method, and opportunity. Although Bach from almost the beginning in mid-1723 had been in conflict with the opposing pietist-faction on the Town Council, he was delighted to take a Cantor’s holiday from sacred composition in middle Trinity Time (omne tempore) period of the church year. He returned to festive music for the annual installation of the Town Council, on the Monday following the council election on St. Bartholomew’s Day (August 24), held as a special service at the Nikolaikirche. Psalms of praise and thanksgiving as well as Reformation chorales of governance and responsibility would form the core of these special sacred musical sermons which were not part of the church year cycle. In retrospect, Bach in the final two decades would produce annually only two types of compositions: Passion/Oratorios for the Good Friday vespers and Town Council cantatas.

Annual Town Council Installation

The annual Leipzig Town Council installation occurred about the 12th Sunday after Trinity and it appears that Bach could have conceived of two of his cantatas to serve simultaneously for both the special and Sunday services. The record after the initial 172installation, Cantata 119, “Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn" (Praise, Jerusalem, the Lord, Psalm 147:12), is blurred. In 1724 during the chorale cantata cycle, there is no documentation for the August 28 annual event. Bach could have been too busy composing music every Sunday. There are two possibilities, both with appropriate festive music and performed on Trinity 12, but no consensus among scholars. Chorale Cantata 137, “Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren” (Praise the Lord, the mighty king of honour), was composed in 1725, presumably for the 12th Sunday after Trinity, but originally though to have been composed for the Town Council installation in 1725. Chorus Cantata 69a, “Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele,” (Praise the Lord, my soul, Psalm 103:2), premiered on Trinity 12 on 15 August 1723, and was reperformed on 31 August 1727. As installation Cantata BWV 69 it was premiered on 26 August 1744 with new recitatives (librettist also unknown) and a different closing chorale.

The August 1726 installation date also has no documentation, although Bach did present, as in 1724, a new composition the day before, two-part Rudolstadt chorus Cantata 102, “Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben!” (Lord, your eyes look for faith!, Jeremiah 5:3), for the 10th Sunday after Trinity.

In 1727, Bach at the August 25 installation presented a parody composition from a Saxon celebration three weeks prior, now chorus Cantata 193, “Ihr Pforten/Tore zu Zion” (You gates/doors to Zion, Psalm 87:2). It was based on a secular drama per musica, BWV 193a (Picander text only), "Ihr Häuser des Himmels, ihr scheinenden Lichter" (Ye hoof heaven, ye shining lights), presented as a birthday cantata for the name day of Saxon ruler August II (The Strong), on 3 August 1727 in Leipzig during a royal visit. The music is based on a lost Köthen serande (no published text extant). The Fame-Fortune Duet in Serenade BWV 193a/5 (not found in Cantata BWV 193), could have influenced Bach's duet, "Domine Deus," in the B Minor Mass Gloria section, BWV 232I/7, (, composed in 1733, says George Stauffer.3 "While the text only of the work [BWV 193a] survives, the words of the duet match both the structure and the character of the `Domine Deus' very closely,” says Stauffer.

The record of council installation cantata performances again is blurred in 1728 and 1729. No performance is documented for 30 August 1728. Multi-purpose sacred Cantata BWV 120, “Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille” (God, they praise you in the stillness, Psalm 65:1), appears to have originated in 1729 but the actual date of the first town council performance remains in contention. Earlier Bach scholars dated it to 29 August 1729 while recently, other scholars suggest about 1742, the approximate date of Bach’s autograph score. The opening of the prelude and fugue chorus, “Jauchzet, ihr erfreuten Stimmen” (Rejoice, you joyful voices,, became the chorus BWV 232 ("Et expecto resurrectionem.” Another version of Cantata BWV 120 was performed on Tuesday, 18 April 1729, as a two-part pasticcio sacred wedding cantata, BWV 120a, “Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinge” (Lord God, ruler of all things). Abridged Picander parody version BWV 120b, “Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille,” was performed on Monday, 26 June 1730 at the St. Thomas Church as part of the three-day Bicentennial of the Augsburg Confession.

Cantata 120, "Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille" (God, one praises Thee in the stillness) appears to have been premiered on 29 August 1729. It may have been repeated on August 29, 1735, and again on August 27, 1742. More recent Bach scholarship suggests that the work wasn’t premiered until 1742. Cantata 120 was twice parodied: for a sacred wedding, probably 1729, BWV 120a, "Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinger" (Lord God, ruler of all things), and as BWV 120b, "Gott, man lobet dich in der stille," for the Augsburg Confession Festival 2, June 26, 1730. It is catalogued as BC B 6, BWV 120, BGA XXIV (Alfred Dörffel, 1876), NBA I/32.2 (Town Council, Christine Fröde 1994). Details are found at BCW: The council text is attributed to Picander, the Augsburg revision text published by Picander, but the 1729 wedding text may be the work of Leipzig clergy.

Cantata 216a, "Erwählte Pleißenstadt"), with characters Apollo and Mercurius, dates to about 1729 and may have been performed by Bach Collegium musicum members at Zimmerman's Coffeehouse. Only the written text survives as a Picander text adaptation of Bach student Christian Gottlob Meissner. It is catalogued as BC G 47, BWV 216(a), BGA XXXIV Forward (Paul Graf Waldersee, 1887), NBA KB I/39 (Leipzig secular music, Werner Neumann 1977). Its four arias were parodied from a secular wedding cantata, BWV 216, "Vergnügte Pleißenstadt" (Pleasant Pleisse-Town) February 5, 1728. It is catalogued as BC B 43, BGA XXXIV, NBA KB I/40 (wedding/secular, Werner Neumann, 1977), Picander published text. Details, BCW

Cantata BWV Anh. 3, "Gott, gieb Dein Gerichte dem Könige" (God, give now thy judgment unto the King, Psalm 72:1, Z. Philip Ambrose), was presented at the Leipzig Town Council annual installation on Monday, August 28, 1730, two months after the three-day Leipzig celebration of the bicentennial of Philipp Melanchthon's Augsburg Confession, June 25-27, when Bach parodied New Year's Day Cantata 190 and two council cantatas, BWV 120 and Anh. 4. The Picander published text of BWV Anh. 3 shows that the work may contain parodied movements: The opening chorus may have originated as the opening chorus in wedding Cantata BWV 195 and the second movement originated as the aria “Domine Deus, Rex Coelestis in Missa-Kyrie-Gloria, No. 2 in A Major, BWV 234. Cantata BWV Anh. 3 has an unusual format of two recitatives with chorale insertions (nos. 3 and 5) of stanzas from Paul Gerhardt’s “Wach auf, mein Herz.” It is catalogued as BC B 7, BWV Anh 3, BGA none, NBA KB I/32.2 (Town Council, Christine Fröde 1994). Details are found at BCW, including text and Z. Philip Ambrose translation,

On 27 August 1731, Bach premiered Cantata 29, “Wir danken dir, Gott,” (We thank you, God, Psalm 75:1). It was reperformed on 31 August 1739 and again on 25 August 1749, probably Bach’s last performance. The opening fugal chorus (, virtually unchanged, was made into a double contrafaction as the “Gratias agimus tibi" in the Missa Kyrie-Gloria, BWV 233a, in 1733 (, and again in the late 1740s as the “Dona nobis pacem” (, concluding the Mass in B Minor.

Eventually, on 29 August 1740, Bach presented yet another cantata that survives mostly in its text, BWV Anh. 193, “Herrscher des Himmels, König der Ehren” (Ruler of heaven, king of all honor, Z. Philip Ambrose), librettist unknown. Two parodies are found from the Hunting Cantata BWV 208, “Was mir behagt, / Ist nur die muntre Jagd!” (What pleases me / is above all the lively hunt!). The closing Cantata BWV Anh. 193chorus (no. 7), “Es falle ietzt auf uns dein himmliches Feuer,” is a double parody, 208/15, “Ihr lieblichste Blicke, ihr freudige Stunden,” and Michaelfest Cantata BWV 149/1, “Man singet mit Freudem vom Zieg.” The aria (no. 5), “Dancke Gott, daß er in Segen,” is a parody of the aria “Weil die wollenreichen Herden,” BWV 205/13.


1 Christoph Wolff, “Bachs Leipziger Kirchenkataten: Repertoire und Context,” Der Welt der Bach Kantaten, Vol. 3, Der Komponist in Seinen Welt (Metzler/Bärenreiter, Stuttgart/Weimar, Kassel, 1999: 64).
2 Christoph Wolff, Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician (New York: W. W. Norton, 2013 Updated Edition: 199). Details are found at BCW; Discussion,, “August 19, 2009: BWV 190: Praise & Thanksgiving.”
3 George B. Stauffer, Bach: The Mass in B Minor, (New Haven CN: Yale Univ. Press 2003: 81).


To Come, Week of August 13, BCML Discussion: Multi-use parody Cantata BWV 120, 120a, and 120b.


BWV Anh 4: Wünschet Jerusalem Glück for Council Election [music lost] (1725)
Discussions: Part 1

BWV Anh 4a: Wünschet Jerusalem Glück for Augsburg Confession [music lost] (1730)
Discussions: Part 1

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