Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199

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Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut
BWV 199
Solo church cantata by J. S. Bach
Schlosskirche Weimar 1660.jpg
Occasion Eleventh Sunday after Trinity
Performed 12 August 1714 (1714-08-12) – Weimar
Movements 8
Cantata text Georg Christian Lehms
Chorale by Johann Heermann
Vocal soprano
Instrumental

Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut (My heart swims in blood),[1] BWV 199, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the solo cantata for soprano in Weimar for the eleventh Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 12 August 1714.

History and words[edit]

On 2 March 1714 Bach was appointed concertmaster of the Weimar court capelle of the co-reigning dukes Wilhelm Ernst and Ernst August of Saxe-Weimar. As concertmaster, he assumed the principal responsibility for composing new works, specifically cantatas for the Schlosskirche (palace church), on a monthly schedule.[2] He composed the cantata for the eleventh Sunday after Trinity as the fifth cantata of the series, following Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12.[3]

The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the First Epistle to the Corinthians, on the gospel of Christ and his (Paul's) duty as an apostle (1 Corinthians 15:1–10), and from the Gospel of Luke, the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9–14). The text, which concerns a sinner finding redemption, was written by Georg Christian Lehms and published in Gottgefälliges Kirchen-Opffer. The same author had written the text for Widerstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54, composed the month before. Movement 6 is the third stanza of Johann Heermann's hymn "Wo soll ich fliehen hin".[4] The cantata text had been set to music in 1712 by Johann Christoph Graupner in Darmstadt. It is not known if Bach knew of Graupner's composition.[3]

Bach first performed the cantata on 12 August 1714. He made revisions for later performances, and the Neue Bach-Ausgabe recognises two distinct versions, the Weimar version and the Leipzig version.[3]

Scoring and structure[edit]

The cantata in eight movements is scored for soprano, oboe, two violins, viola, and basso continuo. In the Weimar version, it is C minor, with a viola as the obbligato instrument in movement 6. In the Leipzig version, it is in D minor, with an obbligato violoncello piccolo.[3]

  1. Recitative: Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut
  2. Aria: Stumme Seufzer, stille Klagen
  3. Recitative: Doch Gott muss mir genädig sein
  4. Aria: Tief gebückt und voller Reue
  5. Recitative: Auf diese Schmerzensreu
  6. Chorale: Ich, dein betrübtes Kind
  7. Recitative: Ich lege mich in diese Wunden
  8. Aria: Wie freudig ist mein Herz

Music[edit]

Although limited to one soprano voice, Bach achieves a variety of movements. All but one recitative are accompanied by the strings, only movement 5 is secco, accompanied by the continuo only. The first aria, movement 2, is accompanied by the oboe. The theme of the ritornello is present throughout the movement. In the da capo aria, a brief secco is inserted before the da capo. The following recitative and aria are both dominated by rich string sound. An adagio passage leads to the da capo.

After a short recitative, the soprano sings the only chorale stanza of the work, with an obbligato viola (violoncello piccolo in the Leipzig version) in lively figuration,[3] on a rather unusual melody by Caspar von Stieler, whereas Bach later based his chorale cantata on this hymn on the melody by Jacob Regnart.[5] The last recitative introduces the different mood of the final aria, with a long coloratura on "fröhlich" (joyful). The last aria is a cheerful gigue.[3]

Selected recordings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dellal, Pamela. "BWV 199 – "Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut"". Emmanuel Music. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Koster, Jan. "Weimar 1708–1717". let.rug.nl. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Dürr, Alfred (1981). Die Kantaten von Johann Sebastian Bach (in German) 1 (4 ed.). Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag. pp. 407–409. ISBN 3-423-04080-7. 
  4. ^ "Wo soll ich fliehen hin / Text and Translation of Chorale". bach-cantatas.com. 2005. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works / Wo soll ich fliehen hin / Auf meinen lieben Gott". bach-cantatas.com. 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 

Sources[edit]