Es ist euch gut, daß ich hingehe, BWV 108

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Es ist euch gut, daß ich hingehe
BWV 108
Church cantata by J. S. Bach
Christiana Mariana von Ziegler.jpg
Christiana Mariana von Ziegler, author of the cantata text
Occasion Cantate
Performed 29 April 1725 (1725-04-29) – Leipzig
Movements 6
Cantata text Christiana Mariana von Ziegler
Chorale by Paul Gerhardt
  • solo: alto, tenor and bass

SATB choir

  • 2 oboes d'amore
  • 2 violins
  • viola
  • bassoon
  • continuo

Es ist euch gut, daß ich hingehe (It is good for you that I leave),[1] BWV 108, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for Cantate Sunday, the fourth Sunday after Easter, and first performed it on 29 April 1725.

History and words[edit]

Bach composed the cantata in his second year in Leipzig for the fourth Sunday after Easter, called Cantate.[2] The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the Epistle of James, "Every good gift comes from the Father of lights" (James 1:17–21), and from the Gospel of John, Jesus announcing the Comforter in his Farewell discourses (John 16:5–15). In his second year Bach had composed chorale cantatas between the first Sunday after Trinity and Palm Sunday, but for Easter returned to cantatas on more varied texts, possibly because he lost his librettist. It is the second of nine cantatas for the period between Easter and Pentecost based on texts of Christiana Mariana von Ziegler, after Ihr werdet weinen und heulen, BWV 103.[3][4] Bach shortened her text here as in other cantatas. It begins, as several others of the period, with a bass solo as the vox Christi delivering a quotation from the gospel (John 16:5); a second quotation appears in movement 4 (John 16:13). Movements 2 and 3 deal with the hope for salvation; movement 5 is a prayer for guidance until death.[2] The poet used as the closing chorale the tenth stanza of Paul Gerhardt's hymn "Gott Vater, sende deinen Geist" (1653),[5] expressing faith in God's guidance.[2]

Scoring and structure[edit]

The cantata in six movements is scored for three vocal soloists (alto, tenor and bass), a four-part choir, two oboes d'amore, two violins, viola and basso continuo. The duration is given as c. 20 minutes.[2]

  1. Basso solo: Es ist euch gut, daß ich hingehe
  2. Aria (tenor): Mich kann kein Zweifel stören
  3. Recitative (tenor): Dein Geist wird mich also regieren
  4. Chorus: Wenn aber jener, der Geist der Wahrheit kommen wird
  5. Aria (alto): Was mein Herz von dir begehrt
  6. Chorale: Dein Geist, den Gott von Himmel gibt


As in the cantata for the same occasion one year before, Wo gehest du hin? BWV 166, Bach gave the first movement, the quotation of verse 7 from the gospel, to the bass as the vox Christi.[3] The movement has no title and is between aria and arioso.[2] An oboe d'amore as the obbligato instrument plays extended melodies. The following aria is dominated by a virtuoso solo violin. A short secco recitative leads to the next Bible quotation, verse 13 of the Gospel, this time rendered by the choir.[3] It is divided in three sections, similar to a da capo form. All three parts are fugues,[3] combined in motet style,[6] the instruments playing mostly colla parte with the voices.[7] The first section covers the text beginning "Wenn aber jener, der Geist der Wahrheit, kommen wird" (But when that one, the Spirit of Truth, shall come);[1] the second section begins "Denn er wird nicht vom ihm selber reden" (For He will not speak of His own accord);[1] the third section expresses "und was zukünftig ist, wird er verkündigen" (and what is to come, He will foretell)[1] on a fugue subject similar to the first.[2] The last aria is accompanied by the strings, dominated by the first violin. The closing chorale is a four-part setting on the melody of "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn".[8]

Selected recordings[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Dellal, Pamela. "BWV 108 – "Es ist euch gut, daß ich hingehe". Emmanuel Music. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Dürr, Alfred (1981). Die Kantaten von Johann Sebastian Bach (in German) 1 (4 ed.). Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag. pp. 272–274. ISBN 3-423-04080-7. 
  3. ^ a b c d Hofmann, Klaus (2006). "Es ist euch gut, dass ich hingehe / It is expedient for you that I go away, BWV 108" (PDF). p. 7. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Wolff, Christoph. "The transition between the second and the third yearly cycle of Bach’s Leipzig cantatas (1725)" (PDF). p. 2. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Gott Vater, sende deinen Geist / Text and Translation of Chorale". 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Gardiner, John Eliot (2005). "Cantatas for the Fourth Sunday after Easter (Cantate) / St Mary’s, Warwick" (PDF). p. 6. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Mincham, Julian (2010). "Chapter 44: BWV 85, BWV 108 and BWV 87, each commencing with a bass aria.". Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works / Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn". 2005. Retrieved 30 April 2012.