Thomas Braatz wrote (February 18, 2003):
The Autograph Score
This score was inherited by C.P.E Bach after his father’s death. The next owner was Georg Poelchau (1773-1836). In 1841 the BB, the present owner, acquired this score which also included the printed text version of the text (dated 1749). In the 20th century, this score has been restored twice, the most recent time in 1984. Only the title page of the original cover that contained all the other sheets still remains. It has the official title in Bach’s handwriting:
Bey der Raths-Wahl | 1731. | Wir dancken dir, Gott, wir dancken dir | à | 4 voci. | 3 Trombe |Tamburi | 2 Hautbois | 2 Violini | Viola | e | Continuo |con | Organo obligato | di | Joh: Seb: Bach.
The 1st page included in the score is empty. On top of the second page Bach wrote:
On the page before mvt. 3, Bach wrote in the empty space at the end:
Seq [uitur] Aria.
At the top of the page beginning mvt. 3, he wrote:
Aria Violino Solo
At the top of the page beginning mvt. 4, he wrote:
At the top of the page beginning mvt. 6, he wrote:
At the end of mvt. 7, he wrote:
Seq [uitur] Chorale
[There is no ‘Fine' or 'Fine SDG’ indicated after the final chorale at the end of the score.]
The Original Set of Parts:
These also came into the possession of C.P.E. Bach after his father’s death. The next owner was the Berliner Singakademie. It was put up for sale in 1854. It was acquired by the BB in 1855. Until the present day it has remained in the BB.
The parts are as follows:
5. Soprano Riepieno [sic]: [These ripieno parts are not indicated in the score]
6. Alto Ripieno:
7. Tenore in Ripieno:
8. Basso in Ripieno:
9. Clarino. 1:
10. Clarino. 2:
11. Clarino. 3:
13. Hautbois. 1:
14. Hautbois. 2:
15. Violino. 1:
16. Violino. 1:
17. Violino. 2:
18. Violino. 2:
20. Continuo: [not transposed, but with figured bass – probably intended for harpsichord]
21. Continuo: [not with figured bass]
22. Continuo: [not with figured bass; this part was specifically copied out for the 1749 performance]
23. Organo: [this is the obbligato organ part which also contains the figured bass for other mvts.]
The following individuals were involved in copying out the parts from the score:
Johann Ludwig Krebs: 1-3, 13, 20 (mvts. 1-7), 4 (mvts. 1, 2, 4-7), 5-8 (mvts. 1-8), 9, 14 (mvts. 1-2), 10-12 (mvts. 1-3), 15, 17, 19 (mvts. 1-5)
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: 20 (figured bass for mvts. 2-8), 23 (mvt. 1, ms 41 to end)
Johann Christian Bach: 22 (mvts. 1-8)
Johann Ludwig Dietel: 21 (mvts. 1-7)
Main Copyist E: 16 (mvts. 1-5)
Anonymous Vf: 18 (mvts. 1-5)
Johann Sebastian Bach: 23 (mvt. 1, ms. 1-40, mvts. 2-8, figured bass for mvts. 2-6, 8) 1-4, 9-21 (mvt. 8 final chorale), and the figured bass for 20 (mvt. 1) and 23 (mvts. 2-6, 8)
Numerous corrections by J. S. Bach were made in all the parts.
The Parody Relationships:
The autograph, dated by Bach as 1731 (see above,) is an original conception (Bach is not copying directly from another earlier source without substantial additions or modifications taking place.) Mvts. 4, 6, and 8 are completely new and original conceptions on Bach’s part; however, mvts. 1 and 2 have predecessors in earlier works by Bach. Mvt. 1 appeared in a different orchestration in the wedding cantata BWV 120a (1729) and is found in its original source in BWV 1006 as mvt. 1 of Partita III in E major for violin solo (1720.) The situation with Mvt. 2 is a bit more complicated: Although this mvt. is later parodied in BWV 232, mvt. 7 (the “Gratias agimus tibi” of the B-minor Mass) and mvt. 27 (the “Dona nobis pacem” of the B-minor Mass,) both of these mvts. from BWV 232 and mvt. 2 of this cantata (BWV 29) point to an earlier source (the “Gratias” mvt. was not directly based upon mvt. 2 of BWV 29, a fact that is made apparent in comparing the scores of the mvts. involved. This earlier source may be from the pre-Leipzig period.
Dates of Performances:
The date of the 1st performance is August 27, 1731. The 2nd performance took place on August 31, 1739 [Bach had 100 copies of the text printed for this occasion, but not a single copy has come down to us.] For the final performance on August 25, 1749, Bach added the figured bass for the continuo part (#20 above) and had Johann Christian Bach copy the continuo part (#22 above) from the already existing continuo part (#20 above.)
The librettist is unknown. Mvt. 2 is based upon Psalm 75:2. The chorale text in mvt. 8 is based on vs. 5, a verse added later (Königsberg, 1548) to the chorale text by Johann Gramann “Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren” (1530.)
We even know with this cantata who held the sermon and which Bible passage was used as a basis:
August 27, 1731: Friedrich Wilhelm Schütz; Romans 13:4
August 31, 1739: Christian Gottlob Eichler; 1 Kings 8:57-58
August 25, 1749: ???; Psalm 82:7-8
Only the sermon given on August 31, 1739 shows a connection to the cantata text.
Dürr comments as follows on the text:
The unknown librettist sticks with the model established in other similar cantatas that belong to this category (Ratswechsel): to express gratitude for blessing received and pray for continuing blessings in the future. The initial choral mvt. is based mainly upon Psalm 75:2 “Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare,” but there are also numerous references to other biblical texts. So it is that ‘Zion’ no longer points to the geographical location known as Jerusalem, but rather that place where the Lord can be praised: “Zion ist noch seine Stadt, da er seine Wohnung hat” [“Zion is still his city, where he resides.”] Accordingly the member of the congregation, who is well-versed in the Bible, present at the performance of the cantata would understand “Der Herr…wird zu Jerusalem wohnen ewiglich” “The LORD God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever” from 1 Chronicles 23:25 to mean ‘Leipzig’ rather than ‘Jerusalem.’ Mvt. 4 has quite a number of biblical references: phrases such as “Gott ist noch unsre Zuversicht” (cf. Psalms 46:2 “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea”;; 62:8 “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us”, etc.) or “sein Schutz…beschirmt die Stadt und die Paläste, sein Flügel hält die Mauern feste” (Psalm 122:7 “Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces”; 36:8 “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings”) are also found in the earlier Ratswechsel cantatas BWV 119 (mvt. 2); Anhang 4 (mvt. 3) and BWV 120 (mvt. 4) where the reference is made to Psalm 85:11 “…daß Güte und Treue einander begegnen, Gerechtigkeit und Friede sich küssen” [“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”] In mvt. 6, the phrase, “und alles Volk soll sagen: Amen” [“and all the people shall say. Amen”] comes from the 5th Book of Moses (Deuteronomy) 27:15-26.