Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei, BWV 179

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Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei
BWV 179
Church cantata by J. S. Bach
BasilikaOttobeurenFresko07.JPG
Occasion Eleventh Sunday after Trinity
Performed 8 August 1723 (1723-08-08) – Leipzig
Movements 6
Cantata text anonymous
Chorale by Christian Tietze
Vocal SATB choir and solo
Instrumental

Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei (See to it, that your fear of God be not hypocrisy),[1] BWV 179, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for the eleventh Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 8 August 1723.

History and words[edit]

Bach composed the cantata in his first year in Leipzig, which he had started after Trinity of 1723, for the eleventh Sunday after Trinity.[2] The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the First Epistle to the Corinthians, on the gospel of Christ and 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 unknown poet stayed close to the gospel and alluded to several Bible passages. The cantata is opened by a line from Wisdom of Sirach 1:29.[2] the closing chorale is the first stanza of Christian Tietze's hymn "Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder" (1663).[3]

Bach first performed the cantata on 8 August 1723. Alfred Dürr assumes that Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199, composed for the same occasion in Weimar, was also performed in the service.[2]

Scoring and structure[edit]

The cantata in six movements is scored for soprano, tenor and bass soloists and a four-part choir, two oboes da caccia, two violins, viola, and basso continuo.[2]

  1. Chorus: Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei
  2. Recitative (tenor): Das heutge Christentum ist leider schlecht bestellt
  3. Aria (tenor): Falscher Heuchler Ebenbild
  4. Recitative (bass): Wer so von innen wie von außen ist
  5. Aria (soprano): Liebster Gott, erbarme dich
  6. Chorale: Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder

Music[edit]

In the opening chorus the instruments go with the voices as in a motet. The words are set in a strict counter-fugue: each entrance is followed by an entrance in inversion. The sequence is concluded by a canonic imitation on a new theme: in the words und diene Gott nicht mit einem falschen Herzen (and do not serve God with a false heart)[1] the falseness is expressed by chromatic. A second expanded fugue presents even more complex counterpoint than the first.[2]

A secco recitative prepares the aria with an accompaniment of the two oboe da caccia and violin I in syncopation, which even the tenor voice picks up in the first part. It is not a da capo aria, as only the ritornello repeats the beginning. The final words of the second recitative end like an arioso to stress So kannst du Gnad und Hilfe finden! (so that you can find mercy and aid).[1] The soprano aria expresses like a prayer Liebster Gott, erbarme dich (Beloved God, have mercy).[1] The two oboes da caccia illustrate a movement of supplication even together with the soprano voice.[2]

The final chorale is sung on the melody of Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, which Bach used also in his choral cantata BWV 93.[2][4]

Bach used the music of the opening chorus again for the Kyrie of his Missa in G major, the first aria for the Quoniam of that mass, and the second aria for the Qui tollis of the Missa in A major.[5]

Performances[edit]

The cantata was performed at The Proms of 2007 with the Bach Collegium Japan and soloists Carolyn Sampson, Gerd Türk and Peter Kooy, conducted by Masaaki Suzuki.[6]

Recordings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Dellal, Pamela. "BWV 179 – "Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei"". Emmanuel Music. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Dürr, Alfred (1981). Die Kantaten von Johann Sebastian Bach (in German) 1 (4 ed.). Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag. pp. 409–411. ISBN 3-423-04080-7. 
  3. ^ "Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder / Text and Translation of Chorale". bach-cantatas.com. 2005. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works / Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder". bach-cantatas.com. 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Crouch, Simon (1998). "Cantata 179". classical.net. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Full Proms listings 2007". The Times. 12 July 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 

Sources[edit]