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Musical Context of Bach Cantatas
Motets & Chorales for 1st Sunday after Trinity

 

Readings: Epistle: 1 John 4: 16-21; Gospel: Luke 16: 19-31

Dates in the lifetime of J.S. Bach, including works composed for the event

Motets and Chorales for the 1st Sunday after Trinity (Trinity 1)

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 17, 2011):
THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS:
MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

SOURCES:

* BACH'S HYMN BOOK:
Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch des Gottfried Vopelius (Leipzig 1682)",
Berlin: Merseburger, 1969.
ML 3168 G75

* BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION:
Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense"
Schünigen: Kaminsky,1927
ML 410 B67R4

NOTES:

* The introit was taken from the pre-Reformation feast of Corpus Christi which was celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday but abolished by Luther. The music was retained for that week.

* The Bodenschatz collection provides 1-4 motets for each Sunday After Trinity, although there are a fair number for which there is no provision. Discussion as we reach them.

* "Herr Jesu Christ" appears to have been the pulpit hymn for all of the two dozen Sundays after Trinity.

1) MOTETS for Introit, Before Sermon at mass and vespers for Choir II, and During Communion:

"Homo Quidam" (6 Voices) Melchoir Vulpius (1560-1615)
Text:
"A certain man organized a great dinner and sent his servant at the hour of dinner so that he said to his guests to come: Because everything is prepared. Come to eat my bread and to drink my wine that I prepared for you."

2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore)
"Es spricht der unweyson Mund" (Luther)
Text: http://tinyurl.com/3mt34z3

3) PULPIT HYMN:
"Herr Jesu Christ, dich uns wend"
Translation: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/l/j/ljcbpnow.htm

4) CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns:
"Weltliche Ehe und zeitliche Gut"
"Es war einmal ein reicher Mann" [lyrics based on introit text]
"Ach Gott vom Himmel sief darein" (Luther). CM: Ach Gott vom Himmel sief darein
[used in Cantata BWV 2 for Trinity 2]
"Kommt her"

 

Trinity Time Chorales

William Hoffman wrote (June 9, 2011):
Bach's main service cantatas during Trinity Time are musical sermons utilizing the important biblical teachings as found in the great variety of Lutheran chorales. Bach's fidelity to established hymns, especially those with well-known melodies and texts, is particularly evident in those hymns based on <omne tempore> Gospel and Psalm readings, as found in the Vopelius, <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) of 1682. These are found throughout the hymnbook for general usage, communion, weddings, and specific Christian themes as realized in Bach's Leipzig cantata cycles 1723-29, as well as in early organ chorale prelude instrumental settings and in later harmonized chorale settings.

The <omne tempore> common time of Epiphany and Trinity, focusing on the teachings of the Christian Church, emphasizes both general Christian themes, such as "Christian Life and Conduct" and "Trusting in God, Cross and Consolation," as well as New Testament teachings as shown in Doug Cowling's BCW THEMATIC PATTERNS IN BACH¹S GOSPELS: parables, miracles and other teachings: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Readings.htm,
scroll down to: Thematic Patterns in Bach's Gospels/Douglas Cowling wrote (May 3, 2011)

The First Sunday After Trinity Sunday, occurring before the mid-summer equinox in June, marked the beginning of the Trinity time half-year of church services, the beginning of Bach's first two cantata cycles, and the beginning of the Thomas School scholastic term. Thus, it was most fitting for Bach to establish a strong framework for his well-regulated church music with the use of appropriate and engaging chorales for his musical sermons.

Consequently, Bach produced music of great depth and breadth:

*His initial cantatas for the first seven Sundays After Trinity show great ambition, being in two parts or dual performances for full ensemble, with proclaiming choruses, instrumental introductions, and instructive and elaborate chorale settings with more familiar melodies found throughout Trinity time.

*The prescribed biblical readings and hymn music are revealed throughout the texts of the first or <alpha> cyclic cantatas with preparatory organ chorale preludes and free-standing, harmonized, four-part chorales.

*Thematic biblical teaching patterns are complemented with systematic and intentional use of familiar <omne tempore chorales> as Bach traverses the first four Sundays After Trinity with chorale cantatas in his second cycle drawn from the initial Trinity time designation in the hymn books. In addition, Bach at least once thereafter began a cantata cycle on the First Sunday After Trinity. "Bach apparently performed the entire annual cantata cycle `Das Saitenspiel des Herzens' by Stözel in 1735-36," says Christoph Wolff in the essay "Under the Spell of Opera? Bach's Oratorio trilogy" in <Bach Perspectives 8: J.S. Bach and the Oratorio Tradition>, ed. Daniel Melamed (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2011: 3), citing the recent St. Petersburg text booklet findings of Tatiana Schabalina in the <Bach Jahrbuch> 2008-10. Thus none of the chorale cantatas could have been repeated in the 1735 Trinity Time but could have been repeated in the 1732 Trinity Time.

Bach's texts and hymns for the First Sunday After Trinity, cast in the first four two-part Cantatas BWV 75, BWV 20, BWV 39, and 21 reveal an emphasis on Old Testament teachings as the foundation for the Christian Church with celebration and signing to the Lord, then the central message of Love as the Great Commandment in Christian teachings, and finally, the affirmation of the doctrinal Triune Church and Time through God the Creator, Jesus Christ the Redeemer, and the abundant and free grace of the Holy Spirit as Sanctifier.

1. Cantata BWV 75 <Die Elenden sollen essen, daß sie satt werden> (The poor shall eat as much as they want, Psalm 22:26); chorales No. 7 & 11, "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" (What God does, that is well-done);
2. Chorale Cantata BWV 20, <O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort> (O eternity, thou word of thunder);
3. Cantata BWV 39 <Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot> (Break your bread with the hungry; Isaiah 58:7-8); chorale, No. 7, D. Deicke "Kommt, laßt euch den Herren lehren" (Come let the Lord teach you); S.7: "Selig sind, die aus Erbarmen/Sich annehmen fremder Not," (Blessed are those who from pity/take to themselves the needs of others) based on the Beatitudes.
4. [Picander Text only: P42 <Welt, der Purpur stinkt mich an> (World, thy purple robe stinks on me); chorale, No. 5, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen? (Why should I myself then grieve?); S. 6, "Was sind dieses Lebens Güter?" [What are these life's goods]).

Here is an in-depth look at the chorales Bach uses in his Cantatas for the First Sunday After Trinity, including four-part chorales with elaborate interludes closing both parts of his first two Leipzig Cantatas BWV 75 and BWV 20, each totaling 14 movements. In addition, Bach uses the chorale "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" in two Chorale Cantatas (BWV 99 and BWV 100) as well as in four other Cantatas (BWV 98, BWV 144, BWV 12, and BWV 69a) and as a wedding setting and an organ chorale prelude.

Cycle 1 (1723)
05/30/23 Trinity +1 BWV 75/7, 8 & 14. Samuel Rodigast's c.1675 hymn, "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" is the title of three Bach Cantatas BWV 98I, BWV 99II, and BWV 100III. Each of the six stanzas begins with the dictum, "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" (What God does, that is done well). Part 1 of Cantata BWV 75 closes with the elaborated plain chorale with interludes, Movement No. 7 (Stanza 5): " . . . / Muß ich den Kelch gleich schmecken . . . Laß ich mich doch nicht schrecken" ( . . . / If I have to taste the chalice (New Covenant) . . . I shall not let myself be frightened). Part 2 begins with an orchestral sinfonia (No. 8) that sounds the chorale melody in the high solo trumpet. This version, transcribed for cello, opens the Yo-Yo Ma Sony CD 60681, "Simply Baroque II: Bach and Boccherini," with Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. Amazon.com

Cantata BWV 75 Part 2 closes with No. 14 (S.6): "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, / Dabei will ich verbleiben" (What God does, that is done well, / I shall keep to this thought). The closing plain chorales of both parts are the same setting with different texts. Stanza 6 also is found in closing four-part chorales in Cantata BWV 12/7 for Easter +3 and the same setting in Cantata BWV 69a/6 (Trinity +12), Cantata BWV 99/6 (Trinity +15), and Cantata BWV 100/6.

The settings of BWV 76/7=14 and BWV 99/6 are found in the current choir book, <Bach for all Seasons>, Chantry Music (Augsburg Fortress Press) 1999, for "General" and "Funeral (Cross & Comfort)." The biblical source cited is Romans 8:28-30, "The Future Glory" (King James version): 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

The American Lutheran hymnals cite the chorale as "Trust, Guidance," based on Deuteronomy 32:4: "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." (Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship, Marilyn Kay Stulken, Fortress Press 1981: 474).

The associated melody also is used with Stanza 1 as chorale fantasias to open Trinity Time Cantatas BWV 98I/1 for Trinity +21, Cantata BWV 99II/1 for Trinity +15, and BWV 100III/1, undesignated, as well as Cantata BWV 144/3 for Septuagesima Sunday (<omne tempore>) and chorale BWV 250 (wedding opening). Two chorale cantata settings are extant: BWV 99 with stanzas 2-5 paraphrased), and BWV 100 (pure-hymn cantata, no service designation; suggested for Trinity +15 or +21. The opening elaborate chorale chorus of Cantata BWV 99 also is used to open Cantata BWV 100.

According to the 1687 Nordhäuser Hymnal (BCW) Rodigast wrote this hymn to cheer his friend, Severus Gastorius, precentor at Jena, who had become seriously ill. Gastorius not only recovered, but went on to write the tune for Rodigast's words, based on an earlier tune by Fabricius. Composers Johann Pachelbel, Johann Gottfried Walter and Telemann used the hymn, as well as Bach students Kellner, J. L. Krebs, Homilius, Doles, and Kirnberger, primarily as chorale preludes. The six verses speak to affirmation, confidence, good health, fidelity, comfort, and assurance.

Other melodic references are found in the early chorale prelude collections, the Orgelbüchlein No. 112, "Christian Life and Conduct" (not set), and Neumeister chorale prelude (No. 69), BWV 1116. The chorale is not found in the 1682 <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) but is first found in the 1690 Nürnberg Gesangbuch. The chorale is listed as a Communion hymn for Trinity +12 in the Leipzig and Dresden hymn schedules; for Trinity +21, Cantatas BWV 98 and BWV 100 are appropriate, according to Stiller (see Bibliography)

Cycle 2 (1724)
06/11/24 Trinity +1 BWV 20, Johann Rist's 1642 chorale text, <O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort>, is found in the 1682 Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch as No. 1006 (shortened version, 12 of 16 stanzas printed; omitting the original Stanzas 4, 7, 8, 12). The associated chorale melodies are "Wach auf, mein Geist, erhebe dich" (1642 early version) and "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort" (1653 later. modified version set to Rist text), attributed, respectively, to composers Johann Schop and Johann Crüger. It is not cited in Stiller.

In Cantata BWV 20, there are three chorale uses in F Major: No. 1 chorale fantasia (S.1); No. 7 (S.11[8]) "Solang ein Gott im Himmel lebt" (As long as God lives in heaven); and No. 11 (S.16[12]) "O Schwert, das durch die Seele bohrt (O sword that pierces through the soul). The closing plain chorales of both parts are the same setting with different texts. The hymn also begins Cantata BWV 60 (Trinity +24, troped chorale with aria); is found in plain chorale BWV 397 in F Major (S. 13 [9], "Wach auf, o Mensch, vom Sündenschlaf" (Wake up, O Man, from the sleep of sin), which probably was used in the <St. Mark Passion>, BWV 247/30, where the apostles sleep in the Garden of Gethsemane; and as BWV 513, Anna Magdalena 1725 Notebook No. 42 (last item, p. 121) in F Major for soprano and basso continuo in Anna Magdalena's early handwriting.

Pre-Cycle 3 (1725)
06/05/25 Trinity +1 ?? repeat BWV 75a, No. 2, bass recitative: "Was hilft des Purpurs Majestät/ Da sie vergeht?" (What use are royal robes [lit.purple]/since they pass away?); No. 6, "Was Gott tut" (Rodigast, S.5); see Cycle 1 above, BWV 75/7. It is the only documented "repeat" performance of a cantata for the First Sunday After Trinity.

Cycle 3 (1726)
06/23/26 Trinity +1 BWV 39 /7. David Deicke's 1648 11-stanza hymn "Kommt, laßt euch den Herren lehren" (Come let the Lord teach you) is based loosely on the Beatitudes (Matthew, Chapters 5-7, Sermon on the Mount). Stanza 6 closes Cantata 39: "Selig sind, die aus Erbarmen/ Sich annehmen fremder Not" (Blessed are those who from pity / take to themselves the needs of others). The plain chorale is set to the popular melody, "Freu' dich sehr, o meine Seele" (Rejoice greatly, o my soul) originally anonymous, by Louis Bourgeois in 1551 and is a commentary to Psalm 42, found in NLGB 918. The BCW lists various alternative texts set to the melody and alternate Deicke Text 4 of 1648 is not found in the Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch (NLGB). Bach's melody use to the various alternate texts is found in seven <omne tempore> cantatas: oriDeicke Text 1, BWV 19/7 (S. 9, St. Michael) and BWV 70/7 (S. 10, Trinity +26); J. Heerman Text 2, "Zion klagt mit Angst und Schmerzen", BWV 13/3 (S.2, Epiphany +2); J. Heermann Text 3, "Treuer Gott, ich muß dir klagen," BWV 25/6 (S. 12, Trinity +14), BWV 194/6 (S. 6 & 7, Trinity Sunday); J. Olearius Text 5, "Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben," BWV 30/6 (S. 3, St. John Feast); P. Gerhardt Text 6, "Weg, mein Herz, mit den Gedanken," BWV 32/6 (S. 12, Epiphany +1).

Use of Alternate Melody (Zahn 1294) by Bach: BWV 1119 (Neumeister organ chorale prelude), "Wie ach ein Wasserquelle" (Orgelbüchlein No. 121, "The Word of God and the Christian Church," not set), and BWV 743 (miscellaneous organ chorale prelude, questionable authenticity). J.S. Bach use (doubtful): "Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele," Chorale Prelude for Organ, BWV Anh. 52 and Anh. 53 (recording: Stephen Rapp, "21 Newly Published Organ Chorales attributed to J. S. Bach," Raven CD OAR-420, 1998). Primary Source: www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Freu-dich-sehr.htm

Cycle 4 (1729)
06/19/29 Trinity +1 P42 Welt, der Purpur stinkt mich an (World, thy purple robe stinks on me); No. 5, closing chorale, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?" (Why should I myself then grieve?); Why should I myself then grieve?); Text, Paul Gerhardt, 1653.
http://bitflow.dyndns.org/german/PaulGerhardt/Warum_Sollt_Ich_Mich_Den_Grämen.htm
S.10 of 12 stanzas, "Was sind dieses Lebens Güter?" [What are these life's goods]); associated melody adapted from D. Vetterer 1713, from J. G. Ebeling 1666). Also may be harmonized as S.6, closing chorale, in Pcander cycle, P-63/5, "Gott, du Richter, der Gedanken" (Trinity +19).
Bach's uses: Motet BWV 228 (S. 11 & 12 in soprano "du mist mein, ich bin dein" [your are mine, I am yours] in A Major), ? 1726. BWV 422, four-part chorale in C/G Major, ? after 1730; listed as hymn of "Trusting in God, Cross, and Consolation (Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 85), A Book of Chorale settings, No. 8, CD 92.085 (1999).
Same melody set to P. Gerhardt text, "Frölich soll mein Herze springen diese Zeit" (Joyfully shall my heart sopring up this time, 1656), as four-part chorale in Christmas Oratorio (Part 3, Adoration of the Shepherds), "Ich will dich mit Fleiß bewahren" (I will firmly cherish three), BWV 248/33 (248III/10), "Und die Hirten kehrten wieder um" (And the shepherds went back again), 1734.

"(W)e know concerning Leipzig, that the hymns of Paul Gerhardt did not achieve general significance until Bach's time, that is at the beginning of the thirties of the 18th century" (Stiller: 235). Only two Gerhardt service settings, pp. 71f and 104, are found in the Vopelius <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch>.



Music for the 1st Sunday after Trinity [with further commentary. Bach sets all of the service chorales as well as many NLGB hymns, including those as chorale cantatas (church year cycle 2) for the first four Sundays After Trinity: +1, BWV 20, "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerword" (see above); +2, BWV 2, "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein" (Chorales for Pulpip & Communion Hymns); +3, BWV 135, "Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder" (NLGB); and +4, "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ" (NLGB).

Motets and Chorales for the 1st Sunday after Trinity
Douglas Cowling wrote (April 17, 2011):
THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS:
MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

Sources:

* BACH'S HYMN BOOK:
Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch des Gottfried Vopelius (Leipzig 1682)",
Berlin: Merseburger, 1969.
ML 3168 G75

* BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION:
Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense"
Schünigen: Kaminsky,1927
ML 410 B67R4

NOTES:

* The introit was taken from the pre-Reformation feast of Corpus Christi which was celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday but abolished by Luther. The music was retained for that week.

* The Bodenschatz collection provides 1-4 motets for each Sunday After Trinity, although there are a fair number for which there is no provision. Discussion as we reach them.

* "Herr Jesu Christ" appears to have been the pulpit hymn for all of the two dozen Sundays after Trinity.

1) MOTETS for Introit, Before Sermon at mass and vespers for Choir II, and During Communion:

"Homo Quidam" (Gregorian chant responsory) (6 Voices) Melchoir Vulpius (1560-1615)
Biography: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Vulpius.htm

Text:
"A certain man organized a great dinner and sent his servant at the hour of dinner so that he said to his guests to come: Because everything is prepared. Come to eat my bread and to drink my wine that I prepared for you."

2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore)
"Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl" (The unknown mouth speaks well) (Luther) (NLGB 662); Set by Bach as BWV 308 (4-part chorale, Bb Major); melody, Johann Walter; text, after Psalm 14 (Human Wickedness), Martin Luther. www.bach-cantatas.com/INS/BWV308-00.htm. Listed as an <omne tempore> Psalm hymn (Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 82), A Book of Chorale settings, No. 5, CD 92.082 (1999).

Chorale Prelude, "Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl" (Rudorff Collection), BWV deest
^Kevin Bowyer, JSB Complete Organ Works, Vol. 14, Vol. 14: The Rudorff Chorales; Nimbus CD
^ Franz Haselböck, Organ Chorale From the Rinck and Rudorff Collections; Musical Heritage Society (Hänssler) CD 85295, 2006
Text: http://tinyurl.com/3mt34z3.htm

3) PULPIT HYMN:
"Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend" (Lord Jesus Christ, be present now):
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/winkworth/chorales.h013.html
It is found in the NLGB 817, "Word of God and Christian Church"); text Duke Wilhelm II Saxe-Weimar (?) 1651; melody 1628, (3 verses & Doxology, NLGB 817). It is a Pentecost Festival hymn, one of four sung in every ordinary Sunday main service (<Leipziger Kirchen-Staat, Stiller: 117) and Sunday vespers opening hymn (Stiller 258); prayer and organ chorale interlude before the sermon (Williams: 297). Bach's uses are: a 4-part chorale BWV 332 (G Major, 8 bars); the organ chorale preludes: BWV 632 (Orgelbüchlein No. 49, Pentecost), BWV 659 (Great 18); and miscaellaneous preludes, BWV 709, 726, and 749.

4) CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns (found in <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch>, NLGB):

1. Weltliche Ehr und zeitliche Gut" (World honors and transient goods) is found in the (NLGB 642), text M. Weise 1531 (10 stanzas), melody M. Vulpius, Vögelin GB 1563; Bach's 4-part chorale setting, BWV 426 (C Major).

2. "Es war einmal ein reicher Mann" (There once was a rich man). (NLGB 630); "Schein, Cantional oder Gesangbuch Augspurgischer Confession (4, 5 ou 6 voix), Verlag des Autors; Leipzig 1627. Dédicacé au maire et au Conseil de Leipzig. Augmenté en 1645 : « mit 27 schönen Gsgn. vermehr », J. Schuste, Leipzig 1645": "Es war einmal ein reicher Mann, SATB" [lyrics based on introit (Gospel) text]: no Bach setting extant.

3. "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein" (Ah God, look down from heaven) (NLGB 660); text, Luther, Psalm 12 (Prayer for Help) (6 stanzas); melody, anonymous c.1410. [used in Chorale Cantata BWV 2/1,6 for Trinity 2]
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale026-Eng3.htm . Same associated melody with text, "Schau, lieber Gott, wie mein Feind (BWV 153/1, S.1, Sunday after New Year); with text "Wenn einer alle Ding verstünd (BWV 77/6, S.8, Trinity +13).

4. "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sonn" (Come here to me, said God's Son) (NLGB 622). Hymn, G. Grünwald 1530 to folksong c.1490; text Easter/Pentecost: (Mat. 11:28; 16 stanzas);
Bach usages: JLB 8/8 (S.14-16) E3; 86/3 (S.16) E5; mel. in 108/6, "Gott Vater, senden deine Geist" (S.10) E4; mel. in 74/8, "Gott Vater, sende deinen Geist" (S.2) Pentecost.

"Versage nicht, O Häuflein" (O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe, NLGB 823), <Stiller> 240, Dresden E3; BWV 42/4(S.1) E1, is Stanza 1 of the ?Fabricus text that may be a marching song of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. The melody is derived from "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn" (Dürr <JSB Cantatas> 297, Whittaker <JSB Cantatas> I:298 ref. Terry Bach's Chorales). Grunwald's text, "Kommt her zu mir," is based on Mat. 11:28, Jesus preaching. Thus the Fabricus texts and Grunwald tune have the related themes of comfort and peace.

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978, Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship), Hymn No. 361, "Do Not Despair, O Little Flock" (Community in Christ); text, Johann M. Altenberg, 1584-1630 (four stanzas); tune, "Kommt her zu mir," Nuernberg, 1534. I can't find the C.S. Terry reference, cited in Whittaker I:298: htttp//www.oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com. Previous two and succeeding Lutheran hymnals do not have this hymn.

Other hymns also related to Trinity +1 readings, found in NLGB

1. "Ach Herr mein Gott, straft mich doch nicht" (NLGB 648); not set by Bach

2. "Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder" (Ah Lord, poor sinner that I am), (NLGB 655); text (6 stanzas), Cyriakus Schneegaß (1597), based on Psalm 6; melody, H. Hassler "Befiehl du deine Wege" (Herzlich tut mich verlangen, Passion chorale) 1601; Bach usage: chorale Cantata BWV 135 (Trinity +3). Bach did not set the hymn as Orgelbüchlein Catechism chorale prelude No. 73, "Confession, Penitenance, and Justification" but did set the melody in the possibly very young Bach miscellanous organ chorale prelude BWV 742.

3. "Herr nicht schicke deine Rache" (652), not set by Bach

4. "Herr, straf' mich nicht in deinem Zorn" (O Lord, do not punish me in your anger) /Das bitt ich dich von Herzen," (NLGB 648); text, J. Crüger 1640 (6 stanzas; based on Psalm 6); melody unknown ?1640; Bach uasage: BWV 338 (A-Minor/Major); Listed as Psalm hymn (Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 82), A Book of Chorale settings, No. 5, CD 92.082 (1999).
4a. "Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn/großer Gott, verschone." (Do not rebuke me in your anger, Ps. 6:1) Text 1, J. G. Albinus (7 stanzas, 1676; based on Psalm 6), melody anonymous 1681; not set by Bach
4b. Listed in NLGB 648 as "Ach Herr mein Gott, straf mich doch nicht" and as "Herr, straf' mich nicht in deinem Zorn."
4c. Text 2: "Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit," J. B. Freystein (1695); Bach usage in chorale Cantata BWV 115/1(S.1),6(S.10( (Trinity +22).
Other composers who have set "Herr, straf' mich nicht in deinem Zorn" include: Schütz, Telemann and Knüpfer.

5. "Ich ruf zu dir Herr Jesus Christ" (I call to you, Lord Jesus Christ) (NLGB 627); text, J. Agricola by 1530 (5 stanzas), melody, J. Klug GB 1535; Bach's usages: Chorale Cantata BWV 1771/5 (Trinity +4); Cantata 185/6 (S.1) and 185/1 (melody in trumpet & oboe) (Trinity +4). Plain chorale BWV 1124, "Christian Life and Expectation" (Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 83), A Book of Chorale settings, No. 6, CD 92.083, 1999).
Stiller: ChThis hymn "is specifically assigned to this Sunday in the Leipzig and Dresden hymnals" (P. 242) and in Leipzig for the <omne tempore> Third Sunday After Epiphany (p. 238).

6. "Mit dank wir sollen loben" (NLGB 659), not set by Bach

7. "In allen meinen Taten" (In all my deeds) (NLGB 640), text Paul Flemming 1642 (9 stanzas); Bach set the text to the familiar Passion melody "O Welt, ich muß dich lassen" (O world, I must leave thee), based on H. Isaac 1490 melody, "Innsbruck, ich muß dich lassen." Bach works: Cantata BWV 13/6 (Trinity +3), BWV 44/7 (Easter +6), the pure-hymn Chorale Cantata BWV 97, not assigned to a specific service. The associated melody of Johann Quirsfeld 1679 is found in the NLGB and was used as the opening hymn to church weddings, plain chorale BWV 367 in C Major ("Trust in God, Cross and Consolation," Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 85), A Book of Chorale settings, No. 8, CD 92.085 (1999).

8. "Nun danket alle Gott" (Now thank we all oun God) (NLGB 648). Hymn after sermon; text, Marin Rinckart 1636 (3 verses); melody, J. Crüger 1647. Stiller: hymn with main service festival <Te Deum> (p. 81f), after wedding service benediction (BWV 252 in G Major (S.1), p. 94, Hänssler V.83, "Praise & Thanks"), New Year's Day (chorale Cantata BWV 192 in G Major), and Reformation Festival (Cantata BWV 79/3 (S.1) plain chorale in G Major). Other Bach uses: BWV 386 in G Major, same as BWV Anh. 164/2 (S.3, transposed to A Major), (Hänssler V.83, "Praise & Thanks"); and organ chorale prelude BWV 657 (Great 18).

Selected Bibliography

BCW (Paul Gerhardt, Bach uses 22 hymns): www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Gerhardt.htm
Häfner, Klaus. "Der Picander Jahrgang," <Bach Jahrbuch> 61 (1975): 107.
Stiller, Gunther. <JSB & Liturgical Life in Leipzig>, Concordia, 1984.
Stinson, Russell. <Bach: The Orgelüchlein>, Oxford University Press, 1999.
Williams, Peter. <The Organ Music of JSB> (Second Edition), Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Wolff, Christoph. "The Neumeister Collection of Chorale Preludes from the Bach Circle," in <Bach: Essays on
His Life and Music>, Harvard University Press, 1991.
Vopelius, Gottfried, <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (1682); glossary, Jürgen Grimm, Berlin: Merseburger, 1969. ML 3168 G75

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 9, 2011):
The Week in Chorales

William Hoffman wrote:
< Bach's main service cantatas during Trinity Time are musical sermons utilizing the important biblical teachings as found in the great variety of Lutheran chorales. Bach's fidelity to established hymns, especially those with well-known melodies and texts, is particularly evident in those hymns based on <omne tempore> Gospel and Psalm readings, as found in the Vopelius, <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) of 1682. These are found throughout the hymnbook for general usage, communion, weddings, and specific Christian themes as realized in Bach's Leipzig cantata cycles 1723-29, as well as in early organ chorale prelude instrumental settings and in later harmonized chorale settings. >
Many thanks for this invaluable description of the bedrock of Bach's vocal and organ music. At some point, we will need to widen the perspective even further. Bach's working calendar called for music seven days a week. His choirs, like modern English cathedral choirs and Catholic monastic communities, sang daily services of varying degrees of musical elaboration.

We encounter this diurnal cursus principally through the feast days such as Michelmas (Sept 29) and Annunciation (Mar 25) which fell on weekdays and for which Bach was required to write a cantata. However, there were also major weekday celebrations of the mass, most notably on feasts of the apostles. The Saturday Vespers was also sung elaborately as the beginning of the Sunday celebration (the old First Vespers in pre-Reformation practice) We can only speculate that the music may have followed the pattern which Bach's Choir II used at the "other" church which didn't have the Sunday cantata.

Of particular interest here are the chorales which were sung at the weekday Catechism services. Bach's extensive organ music for these chorales suggests thathe weekday music must have been quite grand, befitting the cathedral-like status which St. Thomas', in particular, had in the city. The more I read about the context of Bach's music, the more admiration I have for his astonishing administration of well-regulated music. His encyclopedic knowledge of the tradition was matched by his encyclopedic working method.

William Hoffman wrote (June 10, 2011):
Trinity Time Chorales for Various Services

Douglas Cowling in the BCW June 10 posting, "The Week in Chorales," points out that Bach was required, as part of a well-ordered church music in Leipzig, to furnish music for every day of the week, particularly including weekday lesser feasts, vespers, and catechism services. Bach's numerous organ chorale preludes and free-standing chorales provided much material for these numerous, various events outside of the main service. The some 500 organ and four-part chorales especially fill large niches in this special music.

Bach's early <Orgelbüchlein> is a template for the church year with 164 chorales, beginning with the seasons of Advent through Easter and Pentecost for a total of 60 chorales, followed by 27 <omne tempore> catechism hymns, and the 87 <omne tempore> "ordinary time" themes of the Christian Church. Interestingly, while Bach set most of the seasonal hymns, he realized only four in the Catechism section and just six in the themes section, of a total of 45 actually set.

Later, Bach would compose organ settings of 19 Catechism hymns in the <Clavierübung German Organ Mass> and the Great 18 <omne tempore> chorales, as well as some 200 free-standing vocal chorales, two-thirds of which are for the <omne tempore> time and are found mostly in the later hymnbooks of the 1730s.

Psalms play a major role in Bach's well-ordered church music. "Bach (incidentally with Luther) and an especially strong preference for the Old Testament Psalms," says Günter Stiller, <JSB & Liturgical Life in Leipzig>, Concordia, 1984: 215. "46 movements of his cantatas are settings of particular verses from the Psalms, and all of 26 cantatas begin with such verses. Besides these, the cantata texts contain additional quotations from the Psalms and clear allusions to Definite Psalms in at least 58 cases."


Doug Cowling [BachCantatas] Psalms in Bach's Hymn Book,
May 15, 2011, observes:

"I recently noticed that the Vopelius hymnbook lists a number of psalms for use at Communion: "Bey der Communion oder Gebrauch d. H. Abendmahls":

"Psalms 8, 15, 20, 23, 30, 42, 67, 84, 92, 103, 111, 117, 121, 146.

"It would be interesting to go through the list and see if anything corresponds to works of Bach. I can't ascertain if they are metrical versions.

"The one that jumped out at me was Psalm 117 which is "Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden" (Praise the Lord all ye nations), the shortest of psalms at two verses and which Bach (?) used entirely for his motet of the same name (BWV 230). Was Bach's motet written specifically as a Communion motet? It's liturgical context is otherwise unknown."

Of the 14 communion Psalms Doug Cowling lists, Bach set six. Bach cantata usage of communion Psalm texts are paraphrases, the best known being Chorale Cantata 112, "Der Herr ist meine getreuer Hirt," Muselin's popular chorale text paraphrase of the entire Psalm 23 (five verses set by Bach), <per omnes versus> in 1731 for Misericordias Domini (Second Sunday after Easter), his only chorale cantata setting for the Easter-Pentecost-Trinity Sunday season, except for Easter Sunday, Cantata BWV 4, "Christ lag in Todesbanden." The other communion settings are Psalm 67 (BWV 76/7), Psalm 103 (BWV 28/2), Psalm 121 (BWV 193/2), and Psalm 146 (BWV 143/1, 3, 5). Not found in Bach settings are: Psalms 8, 15, 20, 30, 42, 84, 111, and 117.

During communion in Leipzig, "a whole series of church hymns were sung, and of these, especially seven came to belong to the sanding set sung for generations during the distribution, namely":
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland,
Gott sei belobet und gebenedeiet,
Nun freut euch, lieben Christeng'mein,
Wo sll ich fliehen hin,
Es wolle Gotty uns gnädig sein,
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren,
Der Herr ist meine getreuer Hirt
.
(Stiller, JSB & Liturgical Life in Leipzig: 128.)

Hymns that definitely contain references to communion, Stiller points out (p.137f), include Philipp Nicolai's "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" (How lovely shines the Morning Star) that Bach used in six different cantatas, surpassed in usage only by "Was Gott tut, das its wohlgetan" (What God does, that is done well). Bach "specifically chose most of the hymns for his cantatas" from the hymn sections "Sacrament of the Altar" and "Concerning the Word of God and the Christian Church."

The other Psalms and their free-standing chorale settings are: Psalm 6 (BWV 338), 14 (BWV 308), 46 (BWV 80b, 303), 51 (BWV 305), 67 (BWV 323, 311, 312), 86 (BWV 372), 103 (BWV 390), 121 (BWV 427), 124 (BWV 258), 136 (BWV 286), 137 (BWV 267), 147 (BWV 374), 149 (BWV 411), 150 (BWV 1126).

Bach composed 16 free-standing plain Psalm Chorales:

1. An Wasserflussen Babylon (Psalm 137), Chorale Setting BWV 267, Chorale Prelude 653a
2. Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt (Psalm 124), BWV 258
3. Wo Gott zum Haus nicht gibt sein Gunst (Psalm 127), Chorale Setting BWV 438 and Chorale Prelude1123
4. Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl (Psalm 14), BWV 308
5. Gott sei uns gnadig und barmherzig (Psalm 67), BWV 323
6. Es woll uns Gott genadig sein (Psalm 67), BWV 312 and 311
7. Herr, straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn (Psalm 6), BWV 338
8. Lass, o Herr, dein Ohr sich neigen (Psalm 86), BWV 372
9. Wenn ich in Angst und Not (Psalm 121), BWV 427
10. Erbarm dich mein, o Herre gott (Psalm 51): Chorale Setting, BWV 305 / Chorale Prelude, BWV 721
11. Lobet den Herren, denn er ist sehr freundlich (Psalm 147), BWV 374
12. Danket dem Herren, denn er ist sehr freundlich (Psalm 136), BWV 286
13. Lobet Gott, unsern Herren (Psalm 150), BWV 1126
14. Singt dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Psalm 149), BWV 411
15. Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren (Psalm 103), BWV 390
16. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (Psalm 46), Chorale Setting, BWV 303 / Chorale Prelude, BWV 720 / Chorale Setting, BWV 80b

Of 24 tracks of free-standing chorales and organ preludes, eight are for omne tempore lesser festivals -- Marian, John and Michael -- the rest are psalm hymns, including those used in chorale cantatas. Psalms play a major role in the <omne tempore> cantatas for Trinity and Epiphany times, related to the Introit, Lesson, Gradual and Verse readings.

[Edition Bachakademie, Hänssler CD, Vol. 82 (Rilling)
A Book of Chorale-Settings for Incidental Festivities, Psalms
Chorale from BWV 80b
Chorales: BWV 258, 267, 280, 286, 303, 305, 308, 309, 311, 312, 323, 324, 326, 337, 338, 372, 374, 376, 382, 390, 411, 438, BWV 1123, 1126
Choral Preludes: BWV 616, 653a, 677, 685, 720, 721, 732, 733]

Of the six Orgelbüchlein Martin Luther Psalm Chorales (none set), Bach later would set all as chorales:
1. Psalm 12, "Ach Gott vom Himmel, siehe darein," in Chorale Cantata 2 for the First Sunday After Trinity as a Pulpit or Communion Hymn;
2. Psalm *14, "Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl," as a plain chorale setting BWV 308, Hymn of the Day for the First Sunday after Trinity;
3. Psalm *46, "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott," reformation, best known as Chorale Cantata 80 for Reformation; 4. Psalm *67, "Es wolle Gott uns gnädig sein"; in Cantata 76 for the Trinity +23, plain chorales closing Parts 1 and 2, and 9/6, 311, 312
5. Psalm 124, Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, Chorale Cantata BWV 14 for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
6. Psalm 124, "Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt," set as the Chorale Cantata 178 (Trinity +8), Luther colleague Justus Jonas' 1524 eight-stanza setting, also set as a plain chorale, BWV 258, and the recently discovered setting of the anonymous 1528 melody as an organ chorale prelude, BWV 1128.

Bach also set one of two other Luther Psalm chorales: "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" (of the depths I cry to Thee) the <de profundis" (Psalm 130) as Chorale Cantata BWV 38 for Trinity +21, as well as the organ chorale preludes BWV 686 Clavierübung (Catechism), and BWV 1099 (Neumeister). The melody is listed in the Orgelbüchlein as an <omne tempore> Catechism chorale, No. 67, "Confession, Penitence, and Justification," but not set. There is no extant Bach setting of Luther's "Wohl dem, der in Gottes Furcht steht (Psalm 128), 1524, 5 stanzas, Psalm: "Beati omnes, qui timet dominum" (The Reward of Obedience to the Lord), melody, "So man singet das Lied," by S. Johannis Hus.

Bach in his cantatas observed the following lesser festivals and occasions: St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, December 26, with Cantata BWV 57, and St. John the Evangelist, December 27, in BWV 151, with texts by Lehms in the third cycle of 1726; "per ogni tempo> (anytime) Cantatas BWV 21 and 51; the undesignated pure-hymn Chorale Cantatas BWV 97, BWV 100, BWV 117 and BWV 192; the Town Council annual installation sacred Cantatas, BWV 29, 69, 119, 120, 193, presented on the Monday following St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24; and four special-events lost, parodied cantatas: the 1730 Augsburg Confession 200th Anniversary three-day celebration with lost parodied Cantatas BWV BWV 190a, Anh. 4a, and BWV 120b, as well as Cantata BWV 248a, possibly for a Thanksgiving service in 1734.

As for evening vespers and related Catechism services, Lutherans did not simply set entire Psalms motets, as Catholics Monteverdi and Vivaldi did, for vespers. Lutherans were deliberately, intentionally selective and didactic. Special vespers were held during the closed times of Advent and Lent, on the evenings preceding major festivals, and for established Saturday and extended Sunday vespers. The essential source is Stiller (pp. 111, 113), with editor Robin Leaver's "Appendix of Sources" (p. 258f). The vespers began with a Latin introit followed by the canticle response "Gloria patri, et filio . . . ", followed by appropriate motets, with responsories and antiphons as well as an appropriate festival or service German hymn, the German Magnificat or a Latin Magnificat motet, concluding with a Benediction and the hymn "Nun danket alle Gott." The regular Sunday vesper hymn was "Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend" (Lord Jesus Christ, be present now), which also is the Pulpit Hymn for the First Sunday After Trinity.

Catechism prayer services were held "in connection with the great prayer services on Tuesdays in St. Nicholas and Fridays in St. Thomas. These included sung hymns, questioning of the Catechism, a sung Litany, and another hymn, Collect and Benediction.

Thus it is quite possible that many of the "free-standing" some 185 four-part plain chorales, BWV 253-438, were presented at vespers as well as concluding the main Sunday service (Hauptgottesdienst).

 

Chorales: Liturgical Year, Trinity Time, 1st Sunday after Trinity

William Hoffman wrote (May 19, 2014):
Part 1, Organ Chorales and the Liturgical Year

The Lutheran chorale played a central role in Bach's creativity. Its melody or canto, often based on ancient chant or popular folk song, establishes character and affect, as well as ample opportunity for text expression. The chorale's associated text teaches, informs and uplifts. It enabled Bach, through imaginative and sound basso continuo, to produce appropriate four-part harmony for the most effective word-setting or painting as well as to portray the larger tonal context or framework, based on the meaning of the text.

The chorale anchors Bach's vocal music, allowing him in the wordless elaborations to achieve stylistic invention and musical transformation. The organ chorale was essential to Bach's pursuit and ultimate achievement as a composer. It enabled him to achieve his calling of a well-regulated church music. The organ chorale, often called a prelude, provided Bach with a musical framework or template for all the events and services of the church year, in addition to special events such as weddings, funerals, and civic events as well as services of organ and building dedication, thanksgiving, learning, and celebration.

Bach assembled many of his 203 chorale preludes into collections for the church year and collectively, the chorale prelude settings constitute the second largest group of music, after the cantatas, which Bach composed. The following are the collections of Bach's organ chorale settings, as found in his works catalog:

Neumeister Collection (31), BWV 1090-1120 (c.1700)
Organ Chorales from Miscellaneous Sources (NBA IV/10, Reinmar Emans) (c/1695-?)
Kirnberger Collection Chorales (24); BWV 690-713 (c.1700-?)
Miscellaneous Chorales (52), 714-765 (c. 1700-?)
Orgelbüchlein for the church year (45), BWV 599-644 (1708-1715)
Eighteen Great Leipzig Chorales (18), BWV 651-668 (1707-1716, rev. 1739-48)
Clavierübung III: Mass & Catechism Chorales (21), BWV 669-689 (1739)
Six Schübler Chorales (cantata transcriptions) (6), BWV 645-650 (1748/49?)
Chorale Variations (Partitas, 6), 766-771 (1700-1708; Canonic Variations, 1746-47)

The chorale preludes of the Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book) fall into the seasons of the liturgical year:

The overall template for understanding the liturgical usage of Bach's chorales is found in the Lutheran hymn books, with their established order of the chorales listed in church year order, still utilized in today's hymnbooks. This ordering is found in collections containing Bach earliest organ chorale works, such as the so-called pre-Weimar Neumeister and Weimar Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book) Collections, as well as the Catechism chorales at the beginning of the omnes tempore half of the church year. The other early collections, including doubtful or questionable organ chorale preludes, are not catalogued by church year service but cover a wide range of activities, including instructional pieces.

Scholars believe that the Orgelbüchlein collection is the first example of Bach's “well-regulated church music,” the goal that he set for himself in 1708 upon resigning his position as organist in Mühlhausen. Peter Williams (Organ Music of JSB: 337) says that the "Great 18 Leipzig" preludes collection is a compliment to the earlier Orgelbüchlein (Ob), citing "their difference from Ob settings makes them complimentary to it," where the Ob chorale preludes emphasized the de tempore first half of the church year and the “Great 18” the omnes tempore.

The Lutheran liturgical year, as found in both the Neumeister and Orgelbüchlein chorale collections has two sections:
1. de tempore (Advent to Trinity, the life of Christ), the first half of the church year;
2. omnes tempore (anytime) Lutheran themes, usually during Epiphany Time (Jesus Hymns) and the Trinity Time second half-year.

The de tempore include the seasons or festivals of Advent, Christmas, New Year, Purification, Passiontide, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, John the Baptist, Visitation, Michael, Simon & Jude, and Reformation.

The omnes tempore themes in the Orgelbüchlein Bach listed are Catechism (Commandments, Creed, Lord's Prayer, Baptism, Confession+Penitence & Justification, and Communion [Lord's Supper]), Christian Life and Conduct, Psalm hymns, Word of God & Christian Church, Death & Dying, Morning, Evening, After Meals, and For Good Weather. The Orgelbüchlein also has an appendix of eight chorales for General Usage.

In Bach’s Leipzig hymnal, the Neu Leipzig Gesangbuch (NLGB) of 1682, and in other hymn books on Bach’s time to the present, the omnes tempore themes following the Catechism categories established by Martin Luther, varied and also overlapped with the de tempore category of “Lent (Passiontide) (Suffering & Death of Jesus Christ) [also see Death and the Grave (Dying)]. The NLGB following the Catechism section, Christian Life and Conduct and Psalm (Communion) hymns has the following categories: Cross Persecution, and Challenges; Word God & Christian Church; Death & Dying; and the Last Days, Resurrection, and Eternal Life. Other categories include Morning and Evening hymns.

When Bach selected the specific chorale for the second cycle, he generally chose those that were appropriate for the particular service. During the omnes tempore Trinity Time, the chosen chorale rarely addressed the lectionary Gospel or Epistle readings. Instead the hymn theme related to the teachings of the particular day’s reading. The key is the “Thematic Patterns in Bach's Gospels,” as related by BCW contributor Douglas Cowling, found at BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Readings.htm (May 3, 2011):

<<The season of Sundays after Trinity has never seen the scholarly interest that the Christmas and Easter narratives have received and there is a certain assumption that the Gospel readings do not have the same dramatic significance. It is worth looking at several literary patterns which Bach would have known intimately. In general, there are three genres in the Trinity season: Parables - short moralized allegories within the larger narratives of events in the life of Christ; Miracles - short self-contained narratives of miraculous healings; and Teachings ­ excerpts from longer hortatory discourses by Christ. There is also a series of groupings which would have been part of the critical apparatus of both theologians and musicians such as Bach who had such a finely-tuned ear for the literary shape of scriptural passages.

Although there are no formal divisions in the official books, we see some important groupings which may have influenced Bach¹s cantata composition. A brief outline of the half season: 1) Sundays after Trinity 1-4 is a four week sequence of parables; 2) Trinity 5-8 has a series of paired miracles and teachings; 3) Trinity 9-19 generally alternates a parable with a teaching or miracle. Whether these literary patterns influenced Bach deserves investigation in both librettos and scores.>>

Bach chose virtually all of his chorales from the NLGB. During Trinity Time 1724, there were 25 Sundays after Trinity, as well as the feasts of John the Baptist (June 24), Visitation of Mary (July 2), and the Reformation (October 31). For the feasts, Bach chose the appointed de tempore chorale, listed in the NLGB, respectively, from the categories Holy Baptist and Visitation as well as the Reformation hymn, “Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott,” found in the omnes tempore category, “The Church Militant (Psalm Hymns).”

For the remaining 25 Sundays in Trinity Time, Bach chose eclectic chorales that reflected the thematic teachings. The most prominent categories involved six chorales of “Penitence and Amendment (Confession, Penitence & Justification)”; five chorales under the heading ”In time of trouble” (Christian Life & Conduct; Praise & Thanks; Cross, Persecution & Challenge); as well as five from “Persecution and Tribulation” with the two subheadings “The Church Militant (Psalm Hymns)” and “In time of War” (Word of God & Christian Church); three under the general heading “Life Eternal” where chorale Cantata 20, “O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort,” is listed under “Eternal Life”; and two in “Judgment; Death and the Grave (/Dying, Death & Eternity).” There is one chorale each under the omnes tempore headings Christian Life and Experience (Hope) and “Evening Hymn.” One chorale Cantata BWV 96, “Herr Christ, der einge Gottes-Sohn,” is a de tempore Advent chorale. Here are the chorales, as found from the beginning to the end of the NLGB church year, and categorized with the listing from the OB (Orgelbüchlein) organ chorale preludes

Advent
OB 3. BWV 601 — “Herr Christ, der einge Gottes-Sohn” – “Herr Gott, nun sei gepreiset”; CC BWV 96 (Tr.18),

Jesus Hymn
-- “Jesu, der du meine Seele”; CC BWV 78 (Tr.+14) (not in NLGB)

Visitation (July 2)
OB 56. Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn [Magnificat]; CC BWV 1

Holy Baptism
OB 66. “Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam”; CC BWV 7 (John Baptist)

Penitence and Amendment (Confession, Penitence & Justification)
OB 67. “Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir” (Zahn 4438); CC BWV 38 (Tr.+21)
OB 70. “Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ”; CC BWV 33 (Tr.+13)
OB 72. “Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut”; CC BWV 113 (Tr.+11)
OB 73. “Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder,” melody “Herzlich tut, mich verlangen”; CC BWV 127 (Tr.+3)
OB 77. BWV 638 — Es ist das Heil uns kommen her; CC BWV 9(Tr.6)
-- “Mache dich, mein Geist bereit” (mel.), “Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn” (Psalm 6); CC BWV 115 (Tr.+22),
(not in NLGB)

Christian Life and Experience (Hope)
OB 91. BWV 639 — Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ’: CC BWV 177 (Tr.+4)

In time of trouble (Christian Life & Conduct, Ob) (Praise & Thanks) (Cross, Persecution & Challenge, NLGB)
OB 112. “Was Gott thut, das ist wohlgethan, es bleibt gerecht” (no NLGB); CC BWV 99 (Tr.+15)
OB 113. BWV 642 — “Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten”; CC BWV 93 (Tr.+5)
--- “Lobet den Herren, den Mächtigen König”(Praise & Thanks); CC 137(Tr.+12)
--- “Was willst du dich betrüben” (mel. “Von Gott will ich nicht lassen); CC BWV 107 (Tr. 7)
--- “Wohl dem, der sich auf seinen Gott” (Trust), CC 139 (Tr.23); mel., “Machs mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt,”

Persecution & Tribulation NLGB 275-304]:
A. The Church Militant (Psalm Hymns)
OB 114. “Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein” (Psalm 12, Luther); CC BWV 2 (Tr.+2)
OB 116. “Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott” (NLGB No. 255, Christian Life, Psalm 46, Luther); CC BWV 80 (Ref.)
OB 119. “Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt”; (Psalm 124,NLGB 698 Z4437), CC BWV 178 (Tr.+8)
--- melody “Ach lieben Christen sei getrost” (NLGB 326, Death & Dying); CC BWV 114 (Tr.+17)
B. In time of War (Word of God & Christian Church)
OB 125. “Du Friedefurst, Herr Jesu Christ”; CC BWV 116 (Tr.+25)

Judgment; Death and the Grave (/Dying, Death & Eternity) [see Lent (Passiontide, Suffering & Death of Jesus Christ)]
OB 134. “Christus, der ist mein Leben”; CC BWV 95, (Tr.+16)
OB 136. “Auf meinen lieben Gott”/Wo sol lich fliehen hin” CC BWV 5 (Tr.+19); melody “Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn”

Evening Hymn
--- “Was frag ich nach der Welt” (mel. “O Gott du, frommer Gott); CC BWV 94 (Tr.+9)

The life eternal (Justification, Catechism)
OB 159 BWV 644 “Ach wie nichtig, ach wie flüchtig”; CC BWV 26 (Tr.+24)
OB 164. “Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele” (Communion, vesper); CC 180 (Tr.+20)

[Last Days, Resurrection of the Dead, Eternal Life]
--- “O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort”; CC BWV 20/ (Tr.+1)

The First Sunday After Trinity Sunday, occurring before the mid-summer equinox in June, marked the beginning of the Trinity time half-year of church services, the beginning of Bach's first two cantata cycles, and the beginning of the Thomas School scholastic term. Thus, it was most fitting for Bach to establish a strong framework for his well-regulated church music with the use of appropriate and engaging chorales for his musical sermons.

Consequently, Bach produced music of great depth and breadth:

*His initial cantatas for the first seven Sundays After Trinity show great ambition, being in two parts or dual performances for full ensemble, with proclaiming choruses, instrumental introductions, and instructive and elaborate chorale settings with more familiar melodies found throughout Trinity time.

*The prescribed biblical readings and hymn music are revealed throughout the texts of the first or cyclic cantatas with preparatory organ chorale preludes and free-standing, harmonized, and four-part chorales.

*Thematic biblical teaching patterns in the first four Sundays after Trinity involve four Gospel parables - short moralized allegories within the larger narratives of events in the life of Christ. These teachings are complemented with systematic and intentional use of familiar omne tempore chorales. Each of the four chorale cantatas is introduced with a chorus using a striking hymn tune in different voice and musical style: BWV 20, O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort I (Trinity +1), soprano voice, French Overture; BWV 2, Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein (Trinity +2), alto voice, motet; BWV 7, Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam (John the Baptist); tenor voice Italiconcertante; and BWV 135, Ach Herr, mich armen Sünde (Trinity +3), bass voice, chorale fantasia.

Bach's texts and hymns for the First Sunday After Trinity, cast in the first four two-part Cantatas BWV 75, BWV 20, BWV 39, and 21 reveal an emphasis on Old Testament teachings as the foundation for the Christian Church with celebration and signing to the Lord, then the central message of Love as the Great Commandment in Christian teachings, and finally, the affirmation of the doctrinal Triune Church and Time through God the Creator, Jesus Christ the Redeemer, and the abundant and free grace of the Holy Spirit as Sanctifier.

1. Cantata BWV 75 <Die Elenden sollen essen, daß sie satt werden> (The poor shall eat as much as they want, Psalm 22:26); chorales No. 7 & 11, "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" (What God does, that is well-done);
2. Chorale Cantata BWV 20, <O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort> (O eternity, thou word of thunder);
3. Cantata BWV 39 <Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot> (Break your bread with the hungry; Isaiah 58:7-8); chorale, No. 7, D. Deicke "Kommt, laßt euch den Herren lehren" (Come let the Lord teach you); S.7: "Selig sind, die aus Erbarmen/Sich annehmen fremder Not," (Blessed are those who from pity/take to themselves the needs of others) based on the Beatitudes.
4. [Picander Text only: P42 <Welt, der Purpur stinkt mich an> (World, thy purple robe stinks on me); chorale, No. 5, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen? (Why should I myself then grieve?); S. 6, "Was sind dieses Lebens Güter?" [What are these life's goods]).

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To Come: "Motets & Chorales for 1st Sunday after Trinity”

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 20, 2014):
William Hoffman wrote:
< The organ chorale, often called a prelude, provided Bach with a musical framework or template for all the events and services of the church year, in addition to special events such as weddings, funerals, and civic events as well as services of organ and building dedication, thanksgiving, learning, and celebration. >
It's worth looking at the liturgical function of the chorale-prelude. It was not a stand-alone recital item as it is now performed. It was primarily an introduction to a choral item. This grew out of the old short "intonations" that we see in 16th century composers like Gabrieli and Cabezon and functioned as a way to establish the pitch for the singers. The "Orgelbüchlein" is probably in his category: Bach used them to introduce congregational performances of a hymn, or a concerted work based on the tune. Their brevity is not a sign of facility, but rather a miniature requiring exceptional technique (especially pedaling) At the same time, Bach's penetration of the layers of meaning in the chorale takes the prelude to the acme of the genre.

The chorale-prelude was required at numerous points in the Mass and Vespers

Mass:

!) Prelude to introduce the Opening Congregational Hymn. Note that Peter Williams shows that Bach did not play a recital before the service as is common in most churches today. The sacristy bell rang and the organ "preludized" briefly on the hymn. The scale of "Orgelbüchlen" preludes makes them perfect for this function.
2) Prelude to introduce the Introit Motet. The motet was normally not based on a chorale, so we should ask if it was more in the "fantasy" toccata style of preludes.
3) Prelude to introduce the Kyrie. Like the motet, the Kyrie was not based on a chorale. This kind of piece could well have been improvised by the organ.
4) Prelude to introduce the Hymn of the Day (De Tempore). Here we can look at the body of chorale-preludes to assign works to their place in the church year.
5) Prelude to introduce the Cantata. This opens the intriguing question of whether specific chorale-preludes can be assigned as the overtures to cantatas which employ the same chorale -- there are several candidates for "Christ Lag in Todesbanden". For cantatas which only have a final chorale, the prelude is almost a symmetrical bookend. Or in the cantatas without a first movement based on a chorale was the style that of an improvisatory toccata?
6) Prelude to the Creed, "Wir Glauben All"
7) Prelude to Hymn before the Sermon
8) Prelude to Hymn after the Sermon (Offertory before Preface & Sanctus)
9) Prelude Second Cantata during Communion. Same questions as in 5)
10) Prelude before Congregational Communion Hymn. More than one prelude if more hymns?
11) Prelude before Final Hymn.

That's at least 11 preludes every Sunday! That's a huge repertoire requirement, and gives us some idea of why the service lasted three to four hours. I think that we can be assured that Bach improvised many as well as playing his own work and those of other composers. He probably shared the playing with his prefects. Was there an expectation that the Cantor would play one of his famous works at certain points? Before the Hymn of the Day? Before the cantata?

Coming away from the service, a parishioner could well have principally remembered the monumental scale of the organ music.

William Hoffman wrote (May 21, 2014):
The Musical Context of Bach's Cantatas: Motets and Chorales - Trinity Sunday

Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Here's an overview of the Trinity Time motets. >
Thank you, Douglas Cowling

William Hoffman wrote (May 21, 2014):
One additional thought:

5) Prelude to introduce the Cantata. It is possible that if the day's cantata chorale did not have a chorale prelude, it is possible that Bach may have used a free-standing plain chorale. BWV 253-435, appropriate in the hymnbooks for that service. It is possible that, like the early organ chorale preludes (Kirnberger, MIscellaneous, from Miscellaneous sources), these four-part settings were intended as models, as templates for less experienced organists, in the BWV 253-435 group, Bach and his assistant could realize an organ chorale prelude, beginning with the plain chorale. Luke Dahn, anyone else want to comment?

Luke Dahn wrote (May 21, 2014):
[To Wiliam Hoffman] I'm afraid I won't be able to shed too much light on the matter, though the speculation is intriguing. (Perhaps Thomas Braatz can comment?)

I can say a thing or two about the BWV 253-438 plain 4-part chorales. While I can't say with any certainty what their intended purpose might have been, whether it's possible they served as "models" or "templates" for organists, I can say that I am skeptical of the idea that all (or even most) of these 186 chorales came from large scale choral works that are now lost. These chorales have come to us, we should remember, by way of the posthumously published Breitkopf collection of "371" chorales edited by CPE Bach. (Complete history: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Breitkopf-History.htm) So these 186 isolated chorales in the "371" are mixed with chorales that appear in the extant cantatas, passions, motets, etc. It would be natural to assume that each of the the 186 isolated chorales were once attached to large-scale works which are now lost.

However, my skepticism that these BWV 253-438 chorales came from lost large-scale works stems primarily from the huge discrepancy in the number of chorale tunes found in BWV 253-438 that are unique, with no reharmonizations appearing anywhere among the chorales. Of these 186 chorales, 117 (62.9%) are unique. Compare that with the 223 plain 4-part chorales that appear in BWVs 1-252 where only 35 (15.7%) of the chorales tunes are unique.

To put it conversely, 188 of the 223 (84.3%) chorale tunes from the extant large-scale chorale works (BWVs 1-252) appear more than once among all the chorales. Yet only 69 of the 186 (37.1%) chorale tunes from BWVs 253-438 appear more than once among the chorales.

To me, this is strong support against the idea that each of the BWV 253-438 chorales came from large-scale works (though it may be true of some of these chorales). In short, they seem to be somewhat unique from the chorales that we know appear in large-scale works, and therefore I could easily imagine that they served some distinct, perhaps didactic, purpose (e.g. "models" or "templates").

[At the risk ofself-servingly veering off from the original line of discussion, I would be very interested in comparing the tunes appearing featured in the BWVs 253-438 chorales with the tunes appearing in Bach's NLGB hymnbook. Is there any kind of online index of this hymn book? Can a facsimile be purchased? For many of the unique chorale tunes from BWV 253-438, the BCW offers no information by way of origin. I do wonder whether many of these tunes were composed by Bach.]

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 21, 2014):
Luke Dahn wrote:
< However, my skepticism that these BWV 253-438 chorales came from lost large-scale works stems primarily from the huge discrepancy in the number of chorale tunes found in BWV 253-438 that are unique, with no reharmonizations appearing anywhere among the chorales. >
There is certainly such a variety of settigs that we must be looking across the whole spectrum of Bach's practical church music. I've suggested it before, but some of the mass Ordinary of Luther's "Deutsche Messe" are represented by extremely elaborate settings, viz.

132. Kyrei Gott Vater (Kyrie)
133. Wir Glauben (Credo
235. Heilg, Heilg (Sanctus)

In fact, I think a complete "Deutsche Messe" can be assembled from the collection. This may well be the kind of mass they were singing in St. Nicholas while a concerted mass was being performed in St. Thomas.

 

Chorales for the First Sunday after Trinity

William Hoffman wrote (May 24, 2014):
Bach’s chorale Cantata BWV 20, “O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort (O eternity, you word of thunder), inaugurating his unique second cycle of chorale cantatas on the First Sunday after Trinity, June 1724, seems to have little to do with the day’s Epistle: 1 John 4:16-21 (God is love) and Gospel: Luke 16:19-31 Parable of rich man Dives and poor and Lazarus). There is only one reference to the Gospel, in the B section (“Ah see yourself in the rich man”) of the alto-tenor duet, Mvt. No. 9, “O child of mankind, cease quickly to love sin and the world.” The Cantata 20 libretto by an unknown librettist sticks close to hymn writer Johann Rist’s original thought and text, “A Serious Consideration of Endless Eternity.”

To summarize Cantata 20, “this is a work with a sulphurous feel of Satan's caverns of eternal torment,” says Julian Mincham in this week’s BCW Discussion: ( https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/BachCantatas/conversations/topics/38035 ). Says John Elliot Gardiner: “it is a radical switch, not just of musical style but of theological emphasis, underlining the severity of God’s judgement, the flip side to the forgiving, loving nature referred to in the Epistle. Fear, rather than comfort, is now the theme, the prospect of an eternity of pain and suffering the spur to man to save his soul.”

Meanwhile, Bach composed two other Cantatas for this Sunday beginning Trinity Time with it teachings of the church and the believer’s response: Chorus Cantata 75 in 1723 (Cycle 1) and chorus Cantata 39 in 1726 (Cycle 3). Overall, this Sunday considers “the theme of pursuing riches on earth or in heaven, and from the Epistle, which defines love of God and the need for brotherly love,” says Gardiner. “Bach’s treatment of these themes in each of the cantatas is diverse.” In particular are Bach’s choice in his musical sermon cantatas to utilize chorales that have themes related to the day’s Gospel and Epistle lessons during Trinity Time and are treated in the day’s sermon.

Here are the three cantatas for the First Sunday after Trinity, their dicta and their chorales and themes:

1. Cantata BWV 7, “Die Elenden sollen essen, daß sie satt werden” (The poor shall eat as much as they want, Psalm 22:26); chorales Movements No. 7 & 11, Samuel Rodigast’s "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" (What God does, that is well-done), “Christian Life and Conduct.”
2. Chorale Cantata BWV 20,< O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort> (O eternity, thou word of thunder), Rist, “Final Days, Resurrection of the Dead and Eternal Life.”
3. Cantata BWV 39 <Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot> (Break your bread with the hungry; Isaiah 58:7-8); chorale, No. 7, David Deicke "Kommt, laßt euch den Herren lehren" (Come let the Lord teach you); S.7: "Selig sind, die aus Erbarmen/Sich annehmen fremder Not," (Blessed are those who from pity/take to themselves the needs of others) based on the Beatitudes, set to the melody “Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele” (Rejoice greatly, o my soul).1

Further, an examination of the chorales designated for this Sunday that Bach chose to harmonize show elements directly related to the gospel as well as the responses of the individual hymn writers, often theologians, to Luther’s teachings as well as to a German land of 200 years of Reformation, often in trial and turmoil. For the First Sunday in Trinity Bach set the Hymn of the Day, the Pulpit Hymn and three of the four Communion Hymns: Hymn of the Day (de tempore), "Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl" (The unknown mouth speaks well), Luther’s setting of Psalm 14 in plain chorale BWV 308; Pulpit (sermon) Hymn, Pentecostal hymn “Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend” (Lord Christ, reveal Thy holy face) in plain chorale BWV 322; and from the Communion Hymns: pietist hymn “Weltliche Ehr und zeitliche Gut" (World honors and transient goods)” in plain chorale BWV 426, "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein" (Ah God, look down from heaven), Luther’s setting of Psalm 12, and "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sonn" (Come here to me, said God's Son), using the melody set to texts of Georg Grünewald, Paul Gerhardt, and Michael Altenberg in Bach Easter and Pentecost cantatas.

Thus Bach set as plain chorales the Trinity +1 designated Hymn of the Day, the Pulpit hymn, and one of the Communion Hymns, respectively: "Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl," “Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend,” and “Weltliche Ehr und zeitliche Gut." Bach set another Communion Hymn, "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein," as chorale Cantata BWV 2, for the next Sunday, a week following chorale Cantata BWV 20, “O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort.” Still another Trinity +1 Communion Hymn, "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sonn" (Come here to me, said God's Son) served as plain chorales and a chorale aria in cantatas Bach presented for the Easter-Pentecost Season immediately preceding Trinity Time.

The two most significant sources of chorales and motets that Bach knew and performed in Leipzig are the Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch of predecessor Gottfried Vopelius (Leipzig 1682) and the Erhard Bodenschatz Florilegium Portense. Like most hymnals, they follow the church year with listings of the assigned music and liturgy for each service. Below are the motets and chorales for the First Sunday after Trinity.

Motets and Chorales for the 1st Sunday after Trinity

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 17, 2011):
THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS:
MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY2

NOTES: * The introit was taken from the pre-Reformation feast of Corpus Christi which was celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday but abolished by Luther. The music was retained for that week. * The Bodenschatz collection provides 1-4 motets for each Sunday After Trinity, although there are a fair number for which there is no provision. Discussion as we reach them. * "Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend" appears to have been the pulpit hymn for all of the two dozen Sundays after Trinity.

1) MOTETS for Introit, Before Sermon at mass and vespers for Choir II, and during Communion: "Homo Quidam" (Gregorian chant responsory) (6 Voices) Melchoir Vulpius (1560-1615); Biography: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Vulpius.htm. Text: "A certain man organized a great dinner and sent his servant at the hour of dinner so that he said to his guests to come: Because everything is prepared. Come to eat my bread and to drink my wine that I prepared for you."

The hymns for the First Sunday after Trinity are listed and found in Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch, NLGB), 1682:

2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore): "Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl" (The unknown mouth speaks well; 250, Christian Life & Conduct) was set by Martin Luther (1483-1546) in six stanzas in 1524. It is based on Psalm 14 (Dixit insipiens, The fool has said; dealing with Human Wickedness). The melody of Luther collaborator Johann Walther (1496-1570, appeared with the Luther text in their first hymnbook, Gesangbuch 1524 (Zahn melody 4436). Bach set the hymn as BWV 308 (4-part chorale, Bb Major, Bar form), probably no later than 1730. A questionable organ chorale prelude setting of the Walther melody attributed to Bach, BWV deest, has been recorded.3

1. Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl:
Den rechten Gott wir meinen;
Doch ist ihr Herz Unglaubens voll,
Mit That sie ihn berneinen.
Ihr Wesen ist verderbet zwar,
Für Gott ist es ein Gräuel gar,
Es thut ihr’r Keiner kein gut.

2. Gott selbst vom Himmel sah herab
Auf aller Menschen Kinder,
Zu schauen sie er sich begab,
Ob er Jemand wird finden,
Der sein’n Verstand gerichtet hätt
Mit Ernst, nach Gottes Worten thät
Und fragt nach seinem Willen.

3. Da war Niemand auf rechter Bahn,
Sie war’n all’ ausgeschritten;
Ein Jeder ging nach seinem Wahn
Und hielt verlor’ne Sitten.
Es that ihm Keiner doch kein gut,
Wie wohl gar viel betrog der Muth,
Ihr Thun sollt’ Gott gefallen.

4. Wie lang wollen unwissend sein
Die solche Müh aufladen,
Und fressen dafür das Volk mein
Und nähr’n sich mit sei’m Schaden?
Es steht ihr Trauen nicht auf Gott,
Sie rufen ihm nicht in der Noth,
Sie woll’n sich selbst versorgen.

5. Darum ist ihr Herz nimmer still
Und steht allzeit in Forchten;
Gott bei den Frommen bleiben will,
Dem sie mit Glauben g’horchen.
Ihr aber schmäht des Armen Rath,
Und höhnet alles, was er sagt,
Dass Gott sein Trost ist worden.

6. Wer soll Israel dem Armen
Zu Zion Heil erlangen?
Gott wird sich sein’s Volk’s erbarmen
Und lösen, sie gefangen.
Das wird er thun durch seinen Sohn,
Davon wird Jakob Wonne ha’n
Und Israel sich freuen.

1. The mouth of fools doth God confess,
But while their lips draw nigh him
Their heart is full of wickedness,
And all their deeds deny him.
Corrupt are they, and every one
Abominable deeds hath done;
There is not one well-doer.

2. The Lord looked down from his high tower
On all mankind below him,
To see if any owned his power,
And truly sought to know him;
Who all their understanding bent
To search his holy Word, intent
To do his will in earnest.

3. But none there was who walked with God,
For all aside had slidden,
Delusive paths of folly trod,
And followed lusts forbidden;
Not one there was who practiced good,
And yet they deemed, in haughty mood,
Their deeds must surely please him.

4. How long, by folly blindly led,
Will ye oppress the needy,
And eat my people up like bread?
So fierce are ye, and greedy!
In God they put no trust at all,
Nor will on him in trouble call,
But be their own providers.

5. Therefore their heart is never still,
A falling leaf dismays them;
God is with him who doth his will,
Who trusts him and obeys Him;
But ye the poor man’s hope despise,
And laugh at him, e’en when he cries,
That God is his sure comfort.

6. Who shall to Israel’s outcast race
From Zion bring salvation?
God will himself at length show grace,
And loose the captive nation;
That will he do by Christ their King;
Let Jacob then be glad and sing,
And Israel be joyful.

(German text, English translation, M. Praetorius 1610 harmony, http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/754/87921)

3) PULPIT HYMN:

“Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend” (Lord Christ, reveal Thy holy face), NLGB 314, "Word of God and Christian Church") has a text of four stanzas (three verses & Doxology) by Duke Wilhelm II Saxe-Weimar (1598-1662) 1651 with the anonymous melody, Pensum sacrum, Görlitz 1648 (Zahn 624). It is a Pentecost Festival hymn, one of four sung in every ordinary Sunday main service (Leipziger Kirchen-Staat, Stiller: 117) and Sunday vespers opening hymn (Stiller 258); prayer and organ chorale interlude before the sermon (Williams: 297). Bach's uses are: a 4-part chorale BWV 332 (G Major, 8 bars, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/INS/BWV332-00.htm); the organ chorale preludes BWV 632 (Orgelbüchlein No. 49, Pentecost), BWV 659 (Great 18); and miscellaneous organ chorale preludes, BWV 709 (Kirnberger), 726, and 749.

1. Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend,
dein Heilgen Geist du zu uns send,
mit Hilf und Gnad er uns regier
und uns den Weg zur Wahrheit führ.

2. Tu auf den Mund zum Lobe dein,
bereit das Herz zur Andacht fein,
den Glauben mehr, stärk den Verstand,
dass uns dein Nam werd wohlbekannt,

3. bis wir singen mit Gottes Heer:
Heilig, heilig ist Gott der Herr!
und schauen dich von Angesicht
in ewger Freud und selgem Licht.

4. Ehr sei dem Vater und dem Sohn,
dem Heilgen Geist in einem Thron;
der Heiligen Dreieinigkeit
sei Lob und Preis in Ewigkeit.

Kirchenlieder, http://www.christliche-gedichte.de/?pg=10358

i. Lord Christ, reveal Thy holy face,
And send the Spirit of Thy grace,
To fill our hearts with fervent zeal,
To learn Thy truth, and do Thy will.

ii. Lord, lead us in Thy holy ways,
And teach our lips to tell Thy praise;
Revive our hope, our faith increase,
To taste the sweetness of Thy grace:

iii. Till we with angels join to sing
Eternal praise to Thee, our King;
Till we behold Thy face most bright,
In joy and everlasting light.

iv. To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Be honour, praise, and glory given
By all on earth and all in heaven.

? Duke William II of Saxe-Weimar (1598-1662) Tr. John Christian Jacobi1.

Charles S. Terry examines the origin, text, and melody: <<The hymn, “Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend’,” was first published (stanzas i-iii) in Johann Niedling’s Lutherisch Hand-Büchlein (Altenburg, 1648). It was repeated, with the melody (supra) [192] and the fourth stanza, in the Cantionale Sacrum (Gotha, 1651). The hymn is attributed, on inconclusive evidence, to William II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar. He was born in 1598, studied music, among other subjects, at Jena, fought in the Thirty Years’ War on the Protestant side, and died in 1662. The hymn is entitled “Frommer Christen Hertzens-Seufftzerlein umb Gnade und Beystand des Heiligen Geistes, bey dem Gottesdienst vor den Predigten” (A heartfelt petition of pious Christians for grace and the help of the Holy Spirit, during Divine Service before the sermon). It was in use in Saxony on all Sundays and festivals.

The melody (supra) attached to the hymn in 1651 is found three years earlier in an octavo volume published at Görlitz, entitled Pensum sacrum, Metro-Rhythmicum, CCLXVII Odis...denuo expansum expensumque Opera et Studio Tobiae Hauschkonii (1648), whose Appendix contains eighty melodies, without texts, suitable for the Latin odes in the volume. Among them (No. 45) is the melody printed supra. It occurs among several old hymn tunes, and, no doubt, dates from an older period than the volume in which it first appears. Bach’s text of the melody is invariable and follows the 1648 text except in the Choralgesänge, No. 139, where he follows Witt (No. 240) in a variation of the end of the second phrase of the tune.>>4

“Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend’ ” “had little vogue in Bach’s period.”5

4) CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns

1. Weltliche Ehr und zeitliche Gut" (Worldly honors and transient goods) is found in the (NLGB 240, Christian Life & Conduct), text Michael Weisse (c.1488-1534) Moravian hymnbook, Bohemian Brethern and Martyrs, 1531 (10 stanzas, http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/NGBS1813/514). The melody of V. Triller Ein Schlesich singbüchlein Breslau 1555 (descant of Weisse’s original tune, Zahn 4975) [originally attributed to Melchior Vulpius (c.1560-1615 Vögelin Gesangbuch 1563. Bach's 4-part chorale setting is BWV 426 (C Major, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/INS/BWV426-00.htm.6 The chorale “Weltliche Ehr und zeitliche Gut" is listed in the Orgelbüchlein No. 92, “Christian Life and Conduct,” but was not . “The hymn was not in Leipzig use in Bach’s period,” “nor does Schemelli 1736 include it” says Terry (Four-Part Chorals: Ibid., FN 366: 519). It is included in Freylinghausen Neues Geistreiches Gesangbuch &c, Halle 1741 ( http://www.hymnary.org/person/Freylinghausen_JA) and Reimann Sammlung alter und neuer Melodien evangelischen Lieder 1747.

2. "Es war einmal ein reicher Mann" (There once was a rich man). (NLGB 236, Christian Life & Conduct); no Bach setting extant.

3. "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein" (Ah God, look down from heaven) (NLGB 250, Christian Life and Conduct); text, Luther, Psalm 12 (Prayer for Help) (6 stanzas); melody, anonymous c.1410. Its is set as Chorale Cantata BWV 2, "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein," to be BCML Discussion, week of May 25.

4. "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sonn" (Come here to me, said God's Son) (NLGB 234, Christian Life and Conduct, also Pulpit/Communion Hymn, Trinity +26. Hymn, Georg Grünewald 1530 to a melody derived from a folksong c.1490; text is based on Mat. 11:28, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”; originally 16 stanzas). The anonymous melody was published in 1530 (Zahn 2496c). Bach used the melody in four cantatas for Easter/Pentecost season with the Grünewald final stanzas in BWV 86/3 and JLB 8/8 and the harmonized melody in plain chorales set to the Paul Gerhardt 1656 alternative text, “Gott Vater, send deine Geist,” God, Father, send they spirit) in Cantatas BWV 108/6 for the Fourth Sunday after Easter (Cantata 1725 to Cantata 74/8, for Pentecost Sunday 1725, both to texts of Mariana von Ziegler. The final Grünewald verse, original Stanza 16, “Und was der ewig gütig Gott / in seinem Wort versprochen hat” (And what the eternally good God / has promised in his word”) is a soprano chorale aria (Mvt. 3) in Cantata 86, “Wahrlich, wahlich ich sage euch” (Verily, verily I say to you, 1 John 16:23), for the Fifth Sunday after Easter (Rogate) 1724).

The final three Grünewald verses, Stanzas 14 to 16, are found closing Johann Ludwig Bach’s Cantata JLB 8, “Die mit Tränen säen,” for the Third Sunday after Easter (Jubilate) that Bach probably performed in 1726. The seven-stanza version in German with Francis Browne’s English translation is at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale095-Eng3.htm. It omits Stanzas 3, 5, 6 found in the 10-stanza extant (EKG) German version of Grünewald’s text at http://ingeb.org/spiritua/kommther.html. Stanza 10 in this version is the last verse of Grünewald’s original 1530 16-stanza text, omitting five stanzas, including the original, Stanzas 14 and 15:

14. Ist euch das Kreutz bitter un schwer:
gedenkt, wie heiss die Holle wär,
darein die Welt tut rennen.
Mit Leib und Seele muß Leinden sein,
ohn Unterlaß die ewge Pein,
und mag doch nicht verbrennen.

14. If this hard cross is full of woe,
reflect upon the fires below,
toward which the world is tending.
Both soul and body will remain
in constant and eternal pain
whose torment is unending.

15. Ihr aber werdt nach dieser Zeit
mit Christo haben ewge Freud,
dahin sollt ihr gedenken.
Es lebt kein Man, der aussprech’n kann
Die Glorie und den ewgen Lohn,
Den euch der Herr wird schenken.

15. You, after this short time goes by
in Christ shall have eternal joy;
this precious thought shall save you.
No mortal creatures can express
The glory and eternal bliss
That God the Lord shall give you.

(Translated by E. D. Nichols and John Coombs; Hermann Max, Carus, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Max.htm#P2)

Bach also used fragments of the melody, "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn," found in the chorale "Versage nicht, O Häuflein" (O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe, NLGB 317, 5 stanzas, Word of God and Christian Church), in the chorale duet (Mvt. 4) of Cantata BWV 42, “Am Abend der desselbigen Sabbats” (On the evening of the same Sabbath) for the First Sunday after Easter (Misericordias Domini), in 1724 and is in the Dresden hymn schedules of Bach’s day (Stiller, JSB& Liturgical Life in Leipzig: 240).7 "Versage nicht, O Häuflein" text is usually attributed to Michael Altenberg, but initially to Jakob Fabricus (1593-1654) 1635. It may have originated as a marching song of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. The associated melody is not stated but “fragments” “are overlaid by the vocal themes” (Dürr, JSB Cantatas: 297) or “implied” (Whittaker, JSB Cantatas: I:298). Thus the Altenberg/Fabricas texts and Grünewald’s have the related themes of comfort and peace.

Verzage nicht, o Häuflein klein,
Do not lose heart, oh my dear little flock,
Obschon die Feinde willens sein,
even if your enemies intend
Dich gänzlich zu verstören,
to destroy you completely
Und suchen deinen Untergang,
and seek your downfall,
Davon dir wird recht angst und bang:
so that you're really distressed and fearful:
Es wird nicht lange währen.
this will not last long.

The English version "Versage nicht, O Häuflein" is found in the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978, Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship), Hymn No. 361, "Do Not Despair, O Little Flock" (Community in Christ); text, Johann M. Altenberg, 1584-1630 (four stanzas in English); tune, "Kommt her zu mir," Nuernberg, 1534. The NLGB (p.823) says that Altenberg’s broadside was composed to honor the Leipzig peace on 7 September 1631 during the Thirty Years’ War. The first three stanzas are found in original German at http://www.hymnary.org/text/verzage_nicht_du_o_huflein_klein.

FOOTNOTES

1 BCW “Motets & Chorales for 1st Sunday after Trinity,” http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity1.htm.
2 Sources: * BACH'S HYMN BOOK: Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch des Gottfried Vopelius (Leipzig 1682)", Berlin: Merseburger, 1969.ML 3168 G75. * BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION:
Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense"; Schünigen: Kaminsky,1927. ML 410 B67R4.
3 Organ Chorale Prelude, "Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl" (Rudorff Collection), BWV deest: recordings: 1, Kevin Bowyer, JSB Complete Organ Works, Vol. 14, Vol. 14: The Rudorff Chorales; Nimbus CD; 2, Franz Haselböck, Organ Chorales From the Rinck and Rudorff Collections; Musical Heritage Society (Hänssler) CD 85295, 2006. Plain chorale BWV 308 has been recorded in Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 82), A Book of Chorale settings, No. 5, CD 92.082 (1999), BCW www.bach-cantatas.com/INS/BWV308-00.htm.
4 Charles Sanford Terry, Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach’s Chorals. Part III: The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Organ Works (Cambridge University Press, 1915-1921). 3 vols. Vol. 3: 191.
http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/bach-bachs-chorals-vol-3-the-hymns-and-hymn-melodies-of-the-organ-works.
5 Terry, Four-Part Chorals of J. S. Bach (Oxford University Press: London, 1926: FN 96: 490).
6 Recording Download, Hänssler V. 83, Morning, Thanks & Praise, Christian Life, http://www.haenssler-classic.de/detailansicht/titel/a-book-of-chorale-settings-for-johann-sebastian-morningthankspraisechr-life/13240/13240/13240.html.
7 Select Bibliography: Günther Stiller, JSB & Liturgical Life in Leipzig (Concordia: St. Louis MO, 1984); Alfred Dürr, Cantatas of JSB (Oxford Univ. Press, 2005); W. Gillies Whittaker, Cantata of JSB (Oxford Univ. Press: New York, 1959).

Luke Dahn wrote (May 24, 2014):
[To William Hofman] Thank you, once again, for these excellent notes. First, a correction, then a question.

>>For the First Sunday in Trinity Bach set the Hymn ofthe Day, the Pulpit Hymn and three of the four Communion Hymns: Hymn of the Day (de tempore), "Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl" (The unknown mouth speaks well), Luther’s setting of Psalm 14 in plain chorale BWV 308; Pulpit (sermon) Hymn, Pentecostal hymn “Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend” (Lord Christ, reveal Thy holy face) in plain chorale BWV 322;...<<
BWV 332 should be listed and not BWV 322. This is corrected later in the essay.

>>2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore): "Es spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl" (The unknown mouth speaks well; NLGB 250, Christian Life & Conduct) was set by Martin Luther (1483-1546) in six stanzas in 1524. It is based on Psalm 14 (Dixit insipiens, The fool has said; dealing with Human Wickedness). The melody of Luther collaborator Johann Walther (1496-1570, appeared with the Luther text in their first hymnbook, Gesangbuch 1524 (Zahn melody 4436). Bach set the hymn as BWV 308 (4-part chorale, Bb Major, Bar form), probably no later than 1730.<<
How do we know that this BWV 308 setting was created "probably no later than 1730"? If BWV 308 were included in the Dietel collection, we would know that the setting was created no later then 1734 of 1735, as Dietel served under Bach's leadership from 1727 to 1735. But BWV 308 is not included in this collection. By what process might non-Dietel chorales among BWV 253-438 be dated?

 

1st Sunday after Trinity: Bach's Performance Calendar

William Hoffman wrote (May 29, 2014):
Bach’s performance calendar for the First Sunday after Trinity:

5/30/1723 (Cycle 1), chorus Cantata BWV 75, “Die Elenden sollen essen, daß sie satt werden” (The poor shall eat as much as they want, Psalm 22:26.
6/11/1724 (Cycle 2), Chorale Cantata BWV 20, “O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort” (O eternity, thou word of thunder).
6/3/1725 (Cycle 2a) possibly solo Cantata BWV 75(a), “Was hilft des Purpurs Majestät” (BWV 75/2-14), this may be the only documented reperformance for this Sunday.
6/23/26 (Cycle 3), chorus Cantata BWV 39 “Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot” (Break your bread with the hungry; Isaiah 58:7-8 .
6/15/1727, no documented cantata performance.
5/30/1728, no documented cantata performance.
6/19/1729, no documented cantata performance, Picander P-41 text only survives, “Gott will mich in den Himmel haben.”
5/27/1731, Bach may have repeated BWV 75(a) or BWV 39, since surviving church libretto books show that he repeated cantatas from Cycles 1 and 3 for the entire 1731 Easter-Pentecost season, BWV 31 to BWV 194(a) on Trinity Sunday.
6/15/1732, Bach may have repeated BWV 20 as part of a repeat of Cycle 2.
6/7/1733, closed period, mourning for Augustus II.
6/12/1735, beginning of performances of Gottfried Heinrich Stözel’s "String Music" cycle of double chorale cantatas to Benjamin Schmolck texts. Only the texts for Trinity 13 to 19 are extant.
6/3/1736 or later, Stözel-Schmolck double cycle "Book of Names of Christ" (Gotha 1731-32) presented in Leipzig, “Wo euer Schatz ist, da ist auch euer,” and “Christus ward arm um euret willen.”

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 29, 2014):
William Hoffman wrote:
< 6/12/1735, beginning of performances of Gottfried Heinrich Stözel’s "String Music" cycle of double chorale cantatas to Benjamin Schmolck texts. Only the texts for Trinity 13 to 19 are extant. >
Does "double chorale cantatas" mean two cantatas for each Sunday, one for morning Mass and the other for afternoon Vespers?

William Hoffman wrote (May 29, 2014):
[To Douglas Cowling] The cantatas are divided into two parts, before and after the sermon, alternating between St. Nikolai and St. Thomae, presumably afternoon and morning. Part 1 is an aria, recitative, aria, and chorale. Part 2 is a recitative, aria and chorale. This is found on Page 104, Marc-Roderich Pfau, "Ein unbekanntes Leipziger Kantatentextheft aus dem Jahr, 1735 Bach Jahrbuch 94 (2008), with a photo copyo f the original printed church libretto, beginning on Page 119.

 

Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Table of Motets & Chorales for Events in the Lutheran Church Year

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Last update: ýNovember 8, 2014 ý07:00:13