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Chorale Melodies: Sorted by Title | 371 4-Part Chorales sorted by Breitkopf Number | Explanation

Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works
Ach Gott und Herr

Melody & Text | Use of the CM by Bach | Use of the CM by other composers | English Hymnals Using the German CM

 

Melody & Text:

Melody: Zahn: 2050, 2052 | EKG: 168

This melody can be traced back to “As hymnodus sacer” [Leipzig, 1625] where it appears in the Doric church mode. Here are two versions from 1627: 1st version & 2nd version:

A setting for 4 voices is contained in Johann Hermann Schein’s “Cantional oder GesangBuch Augspurgischer Confession 4, 5 u. 6 v.Leipzig, 1627. The change to a major key version first occurred in “Cantional, to jest: Piesni” (Petrus Artomius, editor) Thorn, 1638, then in Johann Crüger’s “Newes vollkömliches GesangBuch Augspurgischer Confession…”[Berlin, 1640]. Two other versions of the melody in the middle of the 17th century are 1. Samuel Scheidt’s use of the melody in his Tabulatur=Buch (Görlitz, 1650).

and 2. a hymnal from Freiberg, Saxony in 1655

 

Hymnal versions Bach may have known:

One important hymnal with which Bach may have been acquainted (and which has melodies in addition to the chorale texts -- many Leipzig hymnals do not) is the one from Gotha (1715). This is an important reference source used by the NBA to show the shape and form of the chorale melody as Bach might have known it.

 

Text: Ach Gott und Herr | EKG: 168

There are two likely prospects for the author of the chorale text (It is not clear why the dates for the first publication of the text differ. Perhaps Rutilius has the better claim to authorship because his text was printed some years earlier than Major’s, but Major’s claim is certainly more interesting because it involves a weather catastrophe.

1. Martin Rutilius (actual German family name is “Rüdel” (1550-1618) (1604)
Rutilius was born in Düben located in Sachsen-Anhalt and became a pastor in Teutleben in 1575, then, beginning in 1586, a pastor in Weimar where for a while he worked together with Johann Major.

2. Johann Major (1564-1654) (1613)
Major was born in Reinstedt near Orlamünde and was active as a pastor sharing duties with Martin Rutilius in Weimar beginning in 1592. Later, in 1605, he became superintendent and Professor of Theology at the University of Jena. The German source states: “das Lied soll 1613 anläßlich einer Unwetterkatastophe verfaßt sein” [“the text for this chorale is said to have been written as the result of an weather catastrophe.”] In German, ‘soll’ here can mean the equivalent to “rumor has it, people are saying that.” This does not explain why there is an earlier source for Rutilius. Perhaps Rutilius and Major were co-authors, or perhaps Major later added verses to Rutilius original, shorter version, a not uncommon practice at the time.

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by Bach:

Text: Ach Gott und Herr | EKG: 168
Author: Martin Rutilius (1604) or Johann Major (1613):

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

4

BWV 48

Mvt. 3

1723

279

4

279

37

144:3

PDF

Mvt. 3 (CCARH) [midi] | Mvt. 3 (MG) [midi] | Mvt. 3 (Leusink) [ram]

                     

 

Untexted:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

-

BWV 255

-

?

40

3

40

-

F2:1

PDF

Chorale (MG) [midi]

-

BWV 692

-

?

-

-

-

-

-

   

-

BWV 693

-

?

-

-

-

-

-

   

-

BWV 714

-

?

-

-

-

-

K172

   

BWV 692 & BWV 693 not by Bach, but rather Johann Gottfried Walther.
Peter Williams, on p. 453 of his comprehensive book on “The Organ Music of J. S. Bach” (Cambridge University Press, 2003) is unaware of the fact that the misattribution of BWV 692(a) and BWV 693 has been cleared up. The NBA has not published these works and they have appeared in published collections of chorale preludes by Johann Gottfried Walther since the beginning of the 20th century.

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by other composers:

Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630):
In the Cantional oder Gesangbuch Augspurgischer Confession…, 4–6 voices (Leipzig, 1627, enlarged 2/1645) [1627 or 1645] Ach Gott und Herr, a 4-pt. setting for SATB and bc (1627)

Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654):
Ach Gott und Herr, 4-pt setting from the Tabulatur=Buch, SSWV 524 (Görlitz, 1650). See: Score
Ach Gott und Herr, wie gross und schwer (chorale), STB, bc, SSWV 236

Dietrich Buxtehude (c1637-1707):
Ach Gott und Herr, Chorale Prelude for Organ, BuxWV 177

Johann Schelle (1648-1701)
Ach, Gott und Herr, Cantata for 5 voices, 4 violins, 4 violas, 3 trombones, bassoon, bc

Christian Andreas Schulze [c1660-1699):
Ach Gott und Herr, Cantata for 7 vocal soloists and a ripieni chorus of 6 voices, 2 violins, viola, bassoon, 4 trombones, bc

Andreas Nicolaus Vetter (1666-1734):
Ach Gott und Herr, 2 verses Chorale Prelude for Organ; now lost

Christoph Graupner (1683-1760)
Ach Gott und Herr, Cantata for the 3rd Sunday after Trinity (1711)

Georg Friedrich Kauffmann (1679-1735):
Ach Gott und Herr, Chorale Prelude for Organ from the Harmonische Seelenlust (Leipzig, 1733)

Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748):
Ach Gott und Herr, 3 Chorale Preludes for Organ

Gustav Flügel (1812-1900):
Ach Gott und Herr, Choral for Organ

 

English Hymnals Using the German Chorale Melody

New English Hymnal
Strengthen for service, Lord (after J.S. Bach) (tune Ach Gott und Herr), No. 306

 

Sources: NBA, vols. III/2.1 & 2.2 in particular [Bärenreiter, 1954 to present] and the BWV ("Bach Werke Verzeichnis") [Breitkopf & Härtel, 1998]
The PDF files of the Chorales were contributed by Margaret Greentree J.S. Bach Chorales
Software: Capella 2004 Software, version 5.1.
Prepared by Thomas Braatz & Aryeh Oron (September 2005)

Chorales BWV 250-438
Recordings | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Chorales in Bach Cantatas: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Hidden Chorale Melody Allusions | Passion Chorale
Individual Recordings:
Hilliard - Morimur | Chorales - Matt | Chorales - Rilling | Preludi ai Corali - Quartetto Italiani di Viola Da Gamba
References:
Chorales BWV 250-300 | Chorales BWV 301-350 | Chorales BWV 351-400 | Chorales BWV 401-438
Texts & English Translations of Chorales:
Sorted by Title
Chorale Melodies:
Sorted by Title | Explanation
MIDI files of the Chorales:
Cantatas BWV 1-197 | Other Vocal Works BWV 225-248 | Chorales BWV 250-438
Articles:
The Origin of the Texts of the Chorales [Schweitzer] | The Origin of the Melodies of the Chorales [Schweitzer] | The Chorale in the Church Service [Schweitzer] | Choral / Chorale [Terry]
Hymnals used by Bach | Abbreviations used for the Chorales | Links to other Sites about the Chorales

Chorale Melodies: Sorted by Title | 371 4-Part Chorales sorted by Breitkopf Number | Explanation

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Last update: ýApril 12, 2006 ý13:48:52