Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin, BWV 144
|Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin|
|Church cantata by J.S. Bach|
The eleventh hour labourers etching by Jan Luyken
|Performed||6 February 1724Leipzig –|
|Bible text||Matthew 20:14|
|Chorale||by Samuel Rodigast|
Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin (Take what is yours and go away), BWV 144, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for the Sunday Septuagesimae, the third Sunday before Lent, and first performed it on 6 February 1724.
History and words
Bach wrote the cantata in his first year in Leipzig for Septuagesimae. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were taken from the First Epistle to the Corinthians, "race for victory" (1 Corinthians 9:24–10:5), and from the Gospel of Matthew, the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1–16). The unknown poet derives from the gospel only the thought to be content with one's lot and submit to God's will, "Genügsamkeit" (contentedness) being a key word. The opening chorus is based on verse 14 of the gospel. Movement 3 is the first stanza of Samuel Rodigast's hymn "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan". The closing chorale is the first stanza of Albert, Duke of Prussia's Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit (1547).
Bach first performed the cantata on 6 February 1724.
Scoring and structure
- Chorus: Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin
- Aria (alto): Murre nicht, lieber Christ
- Chorale: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan
- Recitative (tenor): Wo die Genügsamkeit regiert
- Aria (soprano): Genügsamkeit ist ein Schatz in diesem Leben
- Chorale: Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit
Bach composed the extremely short Bible quote of the opening chorus as a motet fugue with the instruments playing colla parte, thus intensifying the attention for the words. The phrase "Gehe hin" (go away) is first presented in the slow motion of the theme, but then as a countersubject repeated twice, four times as fast as before. As John Eliot Gardiner notes: "In 1760 the Berlin music theoretician Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg singled out the opening of this cantata, admiring the "splendid declamation which the composer has applied to the main section and to a special little play on the words, "gehe hin!"". (Original German: "die vortreffliche Deklamation", die "der Componist im Hauptsatze und in einem kleinen besonderen Spiele mit dem gehe hin angebracht hatte".) Bach repeated the "gehe hin"-figure sixty times in sixty-eight bars. The first aria has menuet character. In "Murre nicht, lieber Christ" (Do not grumble, dear Christian), the grumbling is illustrated by repeated eighths notes in the accompaniment. Movement 3 is first stanza of the chorale "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" which Bach used later that year completely for his chorale cantata BWV 99, and again in the 1730s for BWV 100. The words "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" are repeated as a free arioso concluding the following recitative. The soprano aria is accompanied by an oboe d'amore obbligato. Instead of a da capo, the complete text is repeated in a musical variation. The closing chorale is set for four parts.
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- J.S. Bach: Complete Cantatas Vol. 7, Ton Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, Lisa Larsson, Bogna Bartosz, Gerd Türk, Antoine Marchand 1997
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- Cantatas, BWV 141–150: Free scores at the International Music Score Library Project
- Cantata BWV 144 Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin: history, scoring, sources for text and music, translations to various languages, discography, discussion, bach-cantatas website
- BWV 144 - "Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin": English translation, discussion, Emmanuel Music
- Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin: history, scoring, Bach website (German)
- BWV 144 Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin: English translation, University of Vermont
- BWV 144 Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin: text, scoring, University of Alberta
- Chapter 41 BWV 144 Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin: a listener and student guide by Julian Mincham 2010