Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

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

Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works
Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben
[1]

Melody & Text | Use of the CM by Bach | Use of the CM by other composers | Footnotes

 

Melody & Text: Zahn: 6634 | EKG: [is not in the hymnal]

Text:

This CT, consisting of a total of 5 verses is by Caspar Neumann. The earliest, documented appearance of it is around 1690. It does not appear in the comprehensive Vopelius hymnal of 1682.

 

Melody:

The composer of this melody is Daniel Vetter, the organist at St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig. It had been commissioned by a cantor in Breslau, Jakob Wilisius, as funeral music to be performed at the latter’s burial. It appeared in print no later than 1695. The composer published a hymnal Musicalischer Kirch- und Hauß-Ergötzlichkeit Anderer Theil….. (Leipzig, 1709), and a revised, expanded edition in 1713, in which he reprints his 4-pt. harmonization, about which he explains that it (particularly the melody) had been so distorted by others who included it in their hymnals, that he felt it had become unrecognizable and he found it necessary to set the record straight by offering it in “seine vorige Gestalt” (“in its original form”). It is this original form of the Vetter’s melody and his own setting which is given here:

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by Bach:

Text: Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben | EKG:
Author: Caspar Neumann (c1690)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

1

BWV 8

Mvt. 1

1724

-

-

-

-

A137:1

-

Mvt. 1 (CCARH) [midi] | Mvt. 1 (Leusink) [ram]

5

BWV 8

Mvt. 6

1724

43

227

43

88
148

F131.1
A137:6

PDF

Mvt. 6 (CCARH) [midi] | Mvt. 6 (MG) [midi] | Mvt. 6 (Leusink) [ram]

1-5 

BWV 483

-

1736

-

-

-

-

F279

-

Mvt. 2 | Mvt. 3 | Mvt. 4 | Mvt. 5

BWV 8/6: Melody and harmonization based upon Daniel Vetter’s Musicalische Kirch- und Haus-Ergötzlichkeit (Leipzig, 1713), no. 91. Dietel 88, 148 (variant) Breitkopf 43.
BWV 483: No. 61 of the Schemelli Gesangbuch (by 1736, the date of publication).
Note: the NBA gives a modernized text version with “wann” instead of “wenn”, but the NBA KB III/2.1 shows that in Schemelli’s original printed form a “wenn” and not a modern “wann” appeared.

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by other composers:

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767):
Cantata: O liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben (Neumeister), fragment, TWV 1:1204

 

Footnotes:

[1] „wenn“ is a dialect form (in Thuringia and a few other regions in Bach’s time) of standard German “wann” – it appears in the original CT and CM and in Bach’s treatment of this melody.

 

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 (May 2006)

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

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: ýMay 12, 2006 ý10:59:35