Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51
Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen (Exult in God in all lands), BWV 51, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it for the 15th Sunday after Trinity but also for general use, and first performed it on 17 September 1730 in Leipzig. The cantata has five movements and is scored for a soprano soloist, trumpet, two violins, viola, and basso continuo. It is Bach's only church cantata scored for a solo soprano and trumpet.
History and words
Bach wrote the cantata in Leipzig for the 15th Sunday after Trinity. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the Epistle to the Galatians, Paul's admonition to "walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25–6:10), and from the Gospel of Matthew, from the Sermon on the Mount the demand not to worry about material needs, but to seek God's kingdom first (Matthew 6:23–34).
In 1726, the Sunday had been Michaelis, the feast of St. Michael, therefore a cantata for the occasion was missing in Bach's third annual cycle. Bach's manuscript indicates that it was written for the 15th Sunday after Trinity "et in ogni tempo" ("and at any time"). The latter phrase indicates the possible general use of the work, as the cantata text has no real direct relevance to the scriptural readings. The author is unknown. He incorporates in a recitative ideas from Psalms 138:2, Psalms 26:8 and Lamentations 3:22–23. The closing chorale is the fifth stanza of "Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren", added to Johann Gramann's hymn in Königsberg in 1549. Bach had used the same verse in a different setting to close his cantata Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, BWV 29.
The cantata is one of only four sacred cantatas that Bach wrote for a solo soprano (if one excludes the arrangement made by Bach of the cantata for solo bass and oboe BWV 82, for flute and soprano BWV 82a) and no other vocal soloists (the others being Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht, BWV 52, Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84, and Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199). There are, however, several secular cantatas for solo soprano (BWV 202, BWV 204, BWV 209 and O holder Tag, erwünschte Zeit, BWV 210).
Both the soprano part, which covers two octaves and calls for a high C, and the solo trumpet part, which at times trades melodic lines with the soprano on an equal basis, are extremely virtuosic. Alfred Dürr assumes that Bach had an unusually gifted singer, adding that a female voice was unlikely in conservative Leipzig. The trumpet part was probably written for Gottfried Reiche, Bach's principal trumpeter at the time. The scoring is unique in Bach's cantatas, but was frequently used by Italian composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti. Bach's son Friedemann Bach arranged the work by adding a second trumpet and timpani.
According to Christoph Wolff, Bach may have written the cantata shortly before 1730 for an unknown performance, before he used it for the 15th Sunday after Trinity on 17 September 1730. The performance material survived but does not reveal further detail, other than indicating one later performance. Hofmann sees a connection to the court of Weißenfels where a scoring of solo soprano and trumpet was popular. Bach had written two birthday cantatas for that court, the Hunting Cantata, BWV 208, in 1713 and the Shepherd Cantata, BWV 249a, in 1713.
Scoring and structure
- Aria: Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen
- Recitativo: Wir beten zu dem Tempel an
- Aria: Höchster, mache deine Güte
- Chorale: Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren
- [Finale]: Alleluja
The first aria is in da capo form, with extended coloraturas. The only recitative is first accompanied by the strings, a second part is secco but arioso The second aria is also accompanied only by the continuo "quasi ostinato" which supports expressive coloraturas of the voice. The lines in the continuo, in constant movement in 12/8 time seem to constantly rise, towards the addressed "Höchster" (Highest). The chorale is a chorale fantasia, with the soprano singing the unadorned melody to a trio of two violins and continuo. The chorale leads without a break to a concluding fugue "Alleluja" with the trumpet, bringing the cantata to a particularly festive close.
The piece was recorded by sopranos such as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (from 1948), Maria Stader (1959), Elly Ameling (1970), Edith Mathis (1972), Edita Gruberova (1979), Lucia Popp (1980), Helen Donath (1983), Elizabeth Parcells (1983), Monika Frimmer (1984), Barbara Hendricks (1989), Christine Schäfer (1999), Siri Thornhill (2007).
- Johann Sebastian Bach Solo-Kantaten, Gustav Leonhardt, Concerto Amsterdam, Agnes Giebel, Maurice André, Telefunken 1963
- Bach: Kantate BWV 51 - Kantate BWV 202, Kurt Masur, Gewandhausorchester, Adele Stolte, Armin Mönnel (trumpet), Eterna 1971
- Bach: Das Kantatenwerk, vol. 14, Gustav Leonhardt, Leonhardt Consort, Marianne Kweksilber, Telefunken 1976
- J.S. Bach: Magnificat-Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Emma Kirkby, Philips 1983
- J.S. Bach: Complete Cantatas Vol. 19, Ton Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Marlis Petersen, Antoine Marchand 2001
- J.S. Bach: Cantatas Vol. 30 - BWV 51, 210, 1127 (Solo Cantatas), Masaaki Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan, Carolyn Sampson, BIS 2005
- Dürr, Alfred (1971). Die Kantaten von Johann Sebastian Bach (in German) 1. Bärenreiter-Verlag. OCLC 523584.
- "Nun lob, mein' Seel', den Herren / Text and Translation of Chorale". bach-cantatas.com. 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Wolff, Christoph (2001). "The cantatas of the period 1726-1731 and of the Picander cycle (1728-29)" (PDF). bach-cantatas.com. pp. 12–14. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Hofmann, Klaus (2005). "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!" (PDF). bach-cantatas.com. p. 6. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Mincham, Julian (2010). "Chapter 53 BWV 51 Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen". jsbachcantatas.com. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
The first source is the score.
General sources are found for the Bach cantatas. Several databases provide additional information on each single cantata:
- Cantata BWV 51 Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen history, scoring, sources for text and music, translations to various languages, discography, discussion, bach-cantatas website
- BWV 51 – "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen" English translation, discussion, Emmanuel Music
- Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen history, scoring, Bach website (German)
- BWV 51 Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen English translation, University of Vermont
- BWV 51 Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen text, scoring, University of Alberta
- "Alleluja" Heinrich Schütz Ensemble München, Emma Kirkby