Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens, BWV 148

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens
BWV 148
Church cantata by J. S. Bach
Thomaskirche, Leipzig
Occasion 17th Sunday after Trinity
Movements six
Cantata text Picander?
Bible text Psalms 29:2
  • 3 oboes
  • 2 violins
  • viola
  • continuo

Johann Sebastian Bach composed the church cantata Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens (Bring to the Lord the honor due His name),[1] BWV 148,[a] probably in 1723 in Leipzig for the 17th Sunday after Trinity.

History and words[edit]

Bach probably wrote the cantata in 1723 in his first year in Leipzig for the 17th Sunday after Trinity. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the Epistle to the Ephesians, the admonition to keep the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:1–6), and from the Gospel of Luke, healing a man with dropsy on the Sabbath (Luke 14:1–11). The cantata text refers not to the healing, but to the honour due to God on the Sabbath. The words for the opening chorus are from Psalm 29 (Psalms 29:2). The lyrics of the cantata are based on a poem in six verses of Picander, "Weg, ihr irdischen Geschäfte", published in 1725 in his first spiritual book Erbauliche Gedanken. The Bach scholar Alfred Dürr has nevertheless reason to date the cantata in 1723 already, suggesting that the cantata text may have preceded the poem, but there is no certain evidence that the cantata was not composed some years later.

The first recitative describes the desire for God as expressed in Psalm 42 (Psalms 42:1), "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God." Only the melody of the closing chorale "Auf meinen lieben Gott" (Lübeck, 1603) is known. Some musicologists including Werner Neumann suggested the words of the fourth verse of that chorale, others such as Philipp Spitta and the edition of the Bach Gesellschaft preferred the final verse of Johann Heermann's hymn "Wo soll ich fliehen hin" (1630) which was sung on the same melody in Leipzig.[2]

Bach probably first performed the cantata on 19 September 1723.[2]

Scoring and structure[edit]

In accord with the festive theme, the cantata is scored for alto and tenor soloists, a four-part choir, and a Baroque instrumental ensemble of trumpet, three oboes, two violins, viola, and basso continuo. It is structured in six movements.[2]

  1. Chorus: Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens
  2. Aria (tenor, violin): Ich eile, die Lehren des Lebens zu hören
  3. Recitative (alto, strings): So wie der Hirsch nach frischem Wasser schreit
  4. Aria (alto, oboes): Mund und Herze steht dir offen
  5. Recitative (tenor): Bleib auch, mein Gott, in mir
  6. Choral: Amen zu aller Stund


The opening chorus begins with as instrumental sinfonia, presenting the themes. The choir sings two fugues on different themes, but both derived from the beginning of the sinfonia. The trumpet plays a fifth part in the fugues. The movement concludes with the voices embedded in the sinfonia.[2]

The solo violin in the first aria illustrates both the joy in God and the Eilen (running) mentioned in the words. The alto recitative is accompanied by the strings. In the following aria the mystical unity of the soul with God is expressed in the unusual scoring for two oboe d'amore and oboe da caccia.[3][4] The closing chorale is set for four parts.[2]



  1. ^ "BWV" is Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, a thematic catalogue of Bach's works.