Sie werden euch in den Bann tun, BWV 183

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Sie werden euch in den Bann tun
BWV 183
Church cantata by J. S. Bach
Christiana Mariana von Ziegler.jpg
Christiana Mariana von Ziegler, author of the cantata text
Occasion Exaudi
Performed 13 May 1725 (1725-05-13) – Leipzig
Movements 5
Cantata text Christiana Mariana von Ziegler
Bible text John 16:2
Chorale by Paul Gerhardt
Vocal SATB soloists and choir

Sie werden euch in den Bann tun (They will put you under banishment),[1] BWV 183, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for Exaudi, the Sunday after Ascension, and first performed it on 13 May 1725.

History and words[edit]

Bach wrote the cantata in his second year in Leipzig for the Sunday Exaudi, the Sunday after Ascension. The prescribed readings for the feast day were from the First Epistle of Peter, "serve each other" (1 Peter 4:8–11), and from the second Farewell discourse in the Gospel of John, the promise of the Paraclete, the "Spirit of Truth", and the announcement of prosecution (John 15:26–16:4).[2]

In his second year Bach had composed a second annual cycle of chorale cantatas between the first Sunday after Trinity and Palm Sunday, but for Easter had returned to cantatas on more varied texts. Nine of the cantatas for the period between Easter and Pentecost are based on texts of Christiana Mariana von Ziegler, including this cantata. Bach later assigned it to his third annual cycle. The poetess begins the cantata with the same quotation from the gospel as an unknown poet one year earlier in Sie werden euch in den Bann tun, BWV 44, the announcement of prosecution "They will put you under banishment, but the time will come, when, whoever kills you will think that he does God a service by it" (John 16:2). She continues stressing the lack of fear possible for a follower who relies on "Jesu Schutzarm" (the protective arm of Jesus).[1] In movements 3 and 4 she refers to the beginning of the gospel, the spirit who will assist. The closing chorale is the fifth stanza of Paul Gerhardt's "Zeuch ein zu deinen Toren". Ziegler's text differs again from the printed version, but less than in the preceding cantatas such as Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein, BWV 128.[2]

Bach first performed the cantata on 13 May 1725.[2][3][4]

Scoring and structure[edit]

The cantata in five movements is scored for an unusual combination of instruments—four oboes (two oboes d'amore, two oboes da caccia) and a violoncello piccolo—in addition to four vocal soloists (soprano, alto, tenor and bass), a four-part choir only in the closing chorale, two violins, viola and basso continuo.[2][3]

  1. Recitative (bass): Sie werden euch in den Bann tun
  2. Aria (tenor): Ich fürchte nicht des Todes Schrecken
  3. Recitative (alto): Ich bin bereit, mein Blut und armes Leben
  4. Aria (soprano): Höchster Tröster, Heilger Geist
  5. Chorale: Du bist ein Geist, der lehret


The first movement is given to the bass as the vox Christi (voice of Christ). A year earlier, Bach had rendered the announcement of Jesus in a two-part movement, a duet followed by an agitated chorus. In this cantata, he set it as a recitative of only five measures.[2] He experimented with the instrumentation, having long chords of the four oboes, two oboes da caccia and two oboes d'amore, accompany the voice on a pedal point of the continuo, creating a "sepulchral" sound.[5] Musicologist Christoph Wolff notes that this "opulent oboe scoring is used only in the two recitatives" (1 and 3).[6] In the first aria, denying the fear of the threatening death, the violoncello piccolo plays continuous runs.[1] The second movement is the longest of the work, with a "dark and shaded" timbre representing the protection provided by Christ.[5] Movement 3 is again a recitativo accompagnato, even more complex than the first one: the strings play long chords, whereas all the oboes repeat the same four-note motif throughout the movement, sung by the alto on the words "Ich bin bereit" (I am ready).[1] The second aria is accompanied by the strings and the two oboes da caccia in unison as obbligato instruments, thus both arias are dominated by instruments in the lower range. The cantata is closed by a four part chorale on the tune "Helft mir Gotts Güte preisen".[7]



  1. ^ a b c d Dellal, Pamela. "BWV 183 – "Sie werden euch in den Bann tun"". Emmanuel Music. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Dürr, Alfred (1981). Die Kantaten von Johann Sebastian Bach (in German) 1 (4 ed.). Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag. pp. 294–295. ISBN 3-423-04080-7. 
  3. ^ a b "BWV 183 Sie werden euch in den Bann tun". University of Alberta. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sie werden euch in den Bann tun BWV 183; BC A 79". Leipzig University. 1960. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Mincham, Julian (2010). "Chapter 47 BWV 183 & 175, each commencing with a recitative". Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Wolff, Christoph. "The Cantatas" (PDF). p. 6. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works / Helft mir Gotts Güte preisen". 2006. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 

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