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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
Wir Christenleut habn jetzund Freud

Melody & Text | Use of the CM by Bach | Use of the CM by other composers | Arrangements/Transcriptions

 

Melody & Text:

Melody: Zahn: 2072 | EKG:

The composer of this melody, the only melody Bach ever used in association with the chorale text by Kaspar Füger, Senior (1530-1592) is unknown. Füger, a pastor/preacher at the court of Duchess Katharina of Saxony, is mainly known today for two of his chorale texts still in use today: “Ein Kindlein zart” and “Wir Christenleut”. Both father and his son, Kaspar Füger, Junior (1561-1617), a composer/musician who also served as cantor and school official, collaborated in publishing some original chorale texts and music as in the collection called “Christliche Verß und Gesenge”. If, however, the melody that Bach used for “Wir Christenleut” was among these chorales, then it either did not survive with other melodies being used with the same chorale text, or else the son made use of an already existing melody which can be documented in manuscript form (anonymous) as dating from 1589 while Füger’s first publication of the chorale text for “Wir Christenleut” dates from 1592. The original anonymous notation of this melody looks like this:

The main melody association that Bach used (Zahn 2072) and the form in which it appeared in hymnals which Bach may have used:

Here is an example from the Gotha hymnal from 1715:

And another example from the 1714 Weißenfels hymnal:

 

Alternate Melody: EKG: 22

The above is essentially the shape/form of the melody used by Bach; however, an important alternate melody supplied for this chorale text by Johann Crüger (1653).

This is based on the Geneva Psalm 54 “O Dieu tout-puissant, sauve moy” by Pierre Dagues in: “Les pseaumes mis en rime françoise", Geneva, 1562. Johann Crüger used this melody adaptation for: “O Jesu Christ, dein Kripplein ist” in: “Praxis pietatis melica” (5th Edition), Berlin, 1653. This is the melody still associated today in the German Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal with Kaspar Füger’s chorale text “Wir Christenleut habn jetzund Freud”. Here is this melody never used by Bach:

 

Text (Text 1): Wir Christenleut habn jetzund Freud | EKG:

Author: Kaspar Füger, Senior (1592)

 

Alternate Text (Text 2): Laßt Furcht und Pein | EKG:

Author: Christoph Runge (1653)

This alternate text is missing in almost all the hymn books Bach might have had access to with the exception of Wagner, 1697.

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by Bach:

Text 1: Wir Christenleut habn jetzund Freud | EKG:
Author: Kaspar Füger, Senior (1592)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

3

BWV 40

Mvt. 3

1723

320

379

321

-

F210, A12:3

-

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

5

BWV 110

Mvt. 7

1725

57

380

55

-

A10:7

PDF

Mvt. 7 (MG) [midi] | Mvt. 7 (Leusink) [ram]

Here is a comparison of the original form of the melody over a century earlier and Bach’s use of it in BWV 40/3:

 

Text 2: Laßt Furcht und Pein | EKG:
Author: Christoph Runge (1653)

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

4

BWV 248

Mvt. 35

1734

359

381

360

124

D7:35

PDF

Mvt. 35 (MG) [midi]

 

Untexted:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Score

Music Examples

*

BWV 612

-

1713/15

-

-

-

-

K41

-

 

**

BWV 710

-

1710/17

-

-

-

-

?

-

 

***

BWV 1090

-

B 1710

-

-

-

-

K161

-

 

* BWV 612: NBA IV/1 p. XI/22
** BWV 710: NBA IV/3 p. 100 Terry/Williams p. 447
*** BWV 1090: NBA IV/Supplement p. VIII/4

 

Use of the Chorale Melody by other composers:

Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630):
Wir Christenleut habn itzund Freud a setting for SATB + bc (1627)

Georg Rudolph, Duke of Liegnitz, Brieg und Goldberg, (1595-1653):
Wir Christenleut a setting for 4 voices

Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow (1663-1712):
Wir Christenleut han jetzund Freud, Chorale Prelude for Organ

Georg Friedrich Kauffmann (1679-1735):
Wir Christenleut A chorale prelude for organ in Harmonische Seelenlust (Leipzig, 1733)

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767):
Wir Christenleut, a lost church cantata (1754)

Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1780):
Wir Christenleut Chorale, Prelude for Organ

Gottfried August Homilius (1714-1785):
Wir Christenleut, Chorale Prelude for Organ
At one time considered to be a composition by J.S. Bach

Johann Friedrich Doles, Senior (1715-1797):
Wir Christenleut, Cantata for Choir, Vocal Soloists and Orchestra

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710-1784):
Wir Christenleut, Chorale Prelude for Organ, F. 38/1/6 (BR A98)

 

Arrangements/Transcriptions of Bach's use of the Chorale Melody:

See list of Piano Transcriptions of BWV 612 & BWV 710 by various composers/arrangers at:
Piano Transcriptions of Bach's Works - Index by BWV Number Part 4: Chorale Preludes for Organ

 

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 (December 2005)

Chorales BWV 250-438
Recordings | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Chorales in Bach's Vocal Works: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | 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 | 371 4-Part Chorales sorted by Breitkopf Number | 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] | The History of the Breitkopf Collection of J. S. Bach’s Four-Part Chorales [Braatz] | Chorale Melody Allusions in Bach's Vocal Works [Braatz]
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: ύMarch 13, 2008 ύ01:58:31