Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, BWV 130

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from BWV 130)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir
BWV 130
Chorale cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach
GuidoReni MichaelDefeatsSatan.jpg
OccasionMichaelis, feast of Michael
Chorale"Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir
by Paul Eber
Performed29 September 1724 (1724-09-29): Leipzig
VocalSATB choir and solo

Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir (Lord God, we all praise you), BWV 130, is a chorale cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach for the Feast of archangel Michael (German: Michaelis; 29 September). The oldest known version of the cantata (BWV 130.1) was performed on that feast day in 1724 during Bach's second year in Leipzig. The cantata is scored for SATB soloists and choir, three trumpets, timpani, traverso, three oboes, strings and continuo.

The text of the cantata, which is in the chorale cantata format which Bach developed for his second cantata cycle, is based on Paul Eber's 1554 Lutheran hymn in twelve stanzas "Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir". This hymn is a German version of Philipp Melanchthon's 1539 "Dicimus grates tibi". The hymn tune of the Lutheran chorale, known in English as Old 100th (Zahn Nr. 368), comes from the 1551 second edition of the Genevan Psalter.

An updated version of the cantata, BWV 130.2, was performed in Leipzig between 1732 and 1735. A manuscript which was likely written in the second half of the 18th century, contains two variant versions of the cantata. Whether Bach had anything to do with these versions is not known: a chorale setting which only occurs in these variants was adopted as No. 31 in second Anhang of the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, that is the Anhang of doubtful works.


Bach composed the cantata in his second year in Leipzig for St. Michael's Day.[1][2] That year, Bach composed a cycle of chorale cantatas, begun on the first Sunday after Trinity of 1724.[3] The feast celebrated the Archangel Michael and all the angels each year on 29 September.[2] In Leipzig, the day coincided with a trade fair.[4]

The prescribed readings for St Michael's Day were from the Book of Revelation, Michael fighting the dragon (Revelation 12:7–12), and from the Gospel of Matthew, heaven belongs to the children, the angels see the face of God (Matthew 18:1–11). The cantata is based on a song in twelve stanzas by Paul Eber (1554),[5] a paraphrase of Philipp Melanchthon's Latin "Dicimus grates tibi".[1][6] Each stanza has four lines. The melody was first printed in the Geneva Psalter in 1551.[7] It is attributed to Loys Bourgeois and is known as the famous tune of the Doxology "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow".[2]

The hymn is only distantly related to the readings, concentrating on the thought that the Christians sin and deserve bad treatment, but may be raised to joy in a "seliger Tod" (blessed death). An unknown poet kept the first and the last two stanzas as movements 1, 5 and 6 of the cantata. He derived movement 2, a recitative, from stanzas 2 and 3, movement 3, an aria, from stanzas 4 to 6, movement 4, a recitative, from stanzas 7 to 9, and movement 5, an aria, from stanza 10. The theme of the song, praise and thanks for the creation of the angels, is only distantly related to the readings.[1] In movement 3, a connection can be drawn from the mentioning of Satan as the "alter Drachen" (old dragon), to Michael's fight.[2] Movement 4 shows examples of angelic protection in the Bible, of Daniel (Daniel 6:23), and of the three men in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3). Prayer for protection by angels, as Elijah taken to heaven (2 Kings 2:11), continues the text, concluded by general praise, thanks and the request for future protection.[1]

Bach first performed the cantata on 29 September 1724.[1]


The cantata in six movements is festively scored for four vocal soloists (soprano, alto, tenor and bass), a four-part choir, and a Baroque instrumental ensemble of three trumpets, timpani, flauto traverso, three oboes, two violins, viola, and basso continuo.[1]

  1. Chorale: Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir
  2. Recitative (alto): Ihr heller Glanz und hohe Weisheit zeigt
  3. Aria (bass): Der alte Drache brennt vor Neid
  4. Recitative (soprano, tenor): Wohl aber uns, daß Tag und Nacht
  5. Aria (tenor): Laß, o Fürst der Cherubinen
  6. Chorale: Darum wir billig loben dich

In the opening chorus, Bach illustrates the singing of angels in different choirs by assigning different themes to the strings, the oboes and the trumpets, in a rich scoring typical only for the most festive occasions of the liturgical year such as Christmas. Mincham compares the movement to the 15 opening movements preceding it in the second annual cycle: "it is the most lavishly scored chorus so far and certainly the most extrovertly festive in character".[4]

In movement 3, trumpets and timpani accompany the bass voice in a description of the battle against Satan.[4] A soft duet of soprano and tenor recalls guardian angels saving Daniel in the lions' den and the three men in the furnace. John Eliot Gardiner compares the flute line in a gavotte for tenor to "perhaps the fleetness of angelic transport on Elijah's chariot". The closing choral again includes "the angelic trumpets".[6]

Variant versions[edit]

BWV 130.2 is a modified version of the cantata which Bach developed in the 1730s for a new performance on Michaelis.[8] The manuscript P 101 at the Berlin State Library, which was likely written in the second half of the 18th century, contains two variant versions of the cantata:[9][10][11][12]

Variants of BWV 130 in the P 101 manuscript[9][10][11][12]
Var. # Text Movement BWV
I 1 Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir Chorus =130/1
II 1(a) Chorale Anh. 31[13]
I 2 Ihr heller Glanz Recitative (secco; alto) =130/2
II 2(a) Recitative (secco; alto) deest
I & II 3 Lasst Teufel, Welt und Sünde Recitative (accompagnato; soprano & bass duet) deest
I & II 4 Laß, o Fürst der Cherubinen Aria (tenor) =130/5
I & II 5 Wir bitten dich, du wollst allzeit Chorale Anh. 31[13]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Dürr, Alfred (1981). Die Kantaten von Johann Sebastian Bach (in German). Vol. 1 (4 ed.). Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag. pp. 568–570. ISBN 3-423-04080-7.
  2. ^ a b c d Hofmann, Klaus (2005). "Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, BWV 130 / Lord God, we all praise You" (PDF). bach-cantatas.com. p. 7. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  3. ^ Wolff, Christoph (2000). Chorale Cantatas from the cycle of the Leipzig / church cantatas, 1724–25 (III) (PDF). bach-cantatas.com. p. 9. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Mincham, Julian (2010). "Chapter 17 BWV 130 Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir / Lord God, we all praise you". jsbachcantatas.com. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir / Text and Translation of Chorale". bach-cantatas.com. 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  6. ^ a b Gardiner, John Eliot (2006). "Cantatas for the Feast of St Michael and All Angels / Unser lieben Frauen, Bremen" (PDF). bach-cantatas.com. pp. 6–8. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works / Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir". bach-cantatas.com. 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  8. ^ Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, 2nd version, BWV 130.2 at Bach Digital.
  9. ^ a b Rempp 2003.
  10. ^ a b D-B Mus.ms. Bach P 101 at Bach Digital.
  11. ^ a b RISM 989000469. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  12. ^ a b Mus.ms. Bach P 101 at Berlin State Library website. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  13. ^ a b Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, BWV Anh. 31 at Bach Digital.


External links[edit]