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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
Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn

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


Melody & Text: Zahn: 6274a | EKG: 176

Text: Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn

The author, probably Johann Georg Albinus (1624-1679) based this German verse on Psalm 6.
The first of 7 verses begins thus:

Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn
großer Gott, verschone.
Ach laß mich nicht sein verlorn,
nach Verdienst nicht lohne.
Hat die Sünd dich entzündt,
laß um Christi willen
deinen Zorn sich stillen.



This melody has been found as a dance tune called a „Lament“ documented in a manuscript dating at the latest from 1681. It then appeared in print as a sacred song (aria) in Hundert ahnmutig- und sonderbar geistlicher Arien, (Dresden 1694).

>> In the 18th century sectional binary form continued to appear in folk music and in chorales (for example in Bach’s chorale no.38, Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn). It is most commonly found in arias, and may be understood retrospectively as a da capo form that unexpectedly fails to complete itself. This almost always occurs for dramatic reasons, as in Jonathan’s ‘No, no, cruel father, no!’ from Händel’s Saul, where a lamenting first section in B minor is succeeded by a G major Allegro. Both sections are harmonically closed, leaving the larger structure open; AB is clearly a more appropriate designation here. A more complex example is Iole’s aria ‘My father! ah! methinks I see’ from Händel’s Hercules. In the first section, beginning and ending in C minor, Iole relives the killing of her father by Hercules. The relative major is held in reserve for the second section, in which Iole bids her father rest in peace. Rather than finishing in E major, though, the music clouds over into E minor, implying that Iole’s remembrance of the violent death has invaded her thoughts. The close thus reverts to the mode of the first section and creates some sense of rounded shaping to the whole, if in the first instance for dramatic reasons; there are also some subtle thematic recollections from A. Händel therefore manages to give both an informal hint of a da capo in terms of mode and material and a sense of coherence to an unusual sectional binary structure.<<

Author: W. Dean Sutcliffe in Grove Music Online, ©Oxford University Press, 2006, acc. 5/22/06


Alternate Text: Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit | EKG: 261

Johann Burchard Freystein (1671-1718) This chorale text was first documented in 1695. Freystein was born in Weißenfels in 1671. He became a lawyer and later served as a Privy Councillor in Dresden, where he was influenced by Philipp Jakob Spener, the Pietist and Mysticist. He died in 1718.


Hymnal versions Bach may have known:

Hymnal version from circa 1700 which Bach might have known:


Use of the Chorale Melody by Bach:

Text 1: Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn | EKG: 176
Author: Johann Georg Albinus

Not used by J.S. Bach.


Text 2: Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit | EKG: 261
Author: Johann Burchard Freystein (1695)











Music Examples


BWV 115

Mvt. 1








Mvt. 1 (Leusink) [ram]


BWV 115

Mvt. 6








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

BWV 115/6: Breitkopf 38 (in Eb) and Dietel 27 (both Breitkopf and Dietel have only Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn as the title for this chorale melody).


Use of the Chorale Melody by other composers:

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767):
Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn, Chorale Prelude for Organ in D major, TWV 31:11 (1735)
Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn, Chorale Prelude for Organ in F major, TWV 31:12 (1735)

Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748):
Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit, 2 Chorale Preludes for Organ, LV 104

Christian Michael Wolff (1709-1789):
Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn, Choral for Organ

Gottfried August Homilius (1714-1785):
Mache dich mein Geist bereit, Choral Prelude for Organ
Straf Mich Nicht in Deinem Zorn

Johann Ernst Bach (1722-1777):
Cantata: Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn

Johann Gottlob Töpfer (1791-1870):
Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit, Chorale Fantasia for Organ

Ernst Friedrich Eduard Richter (1808-1879):
Straf' mich nicht in denim Zorn, Op.29, No.1

Max Reger (1873-1916):
Straf' mich nicht in deinem Zorn, Chorale Fantasia for organ, Op. 40/2 (1899)

Hans Humpert (1901-1943):
Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit, Setting for 3 voices (1925)



[1] not to be confused with an older chorale, Ach Herr, straf mich nicht


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

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Last update: ýMay 23, 2006 ý14:03:18