Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben, BWV 77
|Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben|
|Church cantata by J. S. Bach|
|Occasion||13th Sunday after Trinity|
|Performed||22 August 1723Leipzig –|
|Cantata text||Johann Oswald Knauer|
|Bible text||Luke 10:27|
|Vocal||SATB choir and solo|
Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben (You shall love God, your Lord), BWV 77,[a] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for the thirteenth Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 22 August 1723.
Bach composed the cantata in his first year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, where he had begun a first annual cycle of cantatas for the occasions of the liturgical year on the first Sunday after Trinity with Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75. The cantata text, written by Johann Oswald Knauer, is focused on the prescribed reading for the Sunday, the parable of the Good Samaritan containing the Great Commandment, which is used as the text of the first movement. A pair of recitative and aria deals with the love of God, while a symmetrical pair deals with the love of the neighbour. The text of the closing chorale is lost.
Bach scored the cantata for four vocal parts, a four-part choir, tromba da tirarsi, two oboes, strings and continuo. In the first movement Bach uses an instrumental quotation of Luther's hymn on the ten commandments, "Dies sind die heilgen zehn Gebot" (These are the holy ten commandments), played by the trumpet in canon with the continuo.
History and words
Bach wrote the cantata in 1723 in his first year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig for the 13th Sunday after Trinity. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the Epistle to the Galatians, Paul's teaching on law and promise (Galatians 3:15–22), and from the Gospel of Luke, the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:23–37). The cantata text was written by Johann Oswald Knauer and appeared in Gotha in 1720 in Gott-geheiligtes Singen und Spielen (Holy singing and playing to God). The text relates closely to the readings, even to the situation in which the parable was told, referring to the question of a lawyer what needs to be done to achieve eternal life. The answer, which the lawyer had to give himself, was the commandment to love God and your neighbour. This, the Great Commandment, is the text of the first movement. Accordingly, the following text is divided in two parts, one recitative and aria dealing with the love of God, and a symmetrical part handling the love of the neighbour.
The text of the closing chorale is lost. Karl Friedrich Zelter suggested the eighth stanza of David Denicke's hymn "Wenn einer alle Ding verstünd" (1657) with the first line "Du stellst, Herr Jesu, selber dich", which appears in the edition of the Bach-Gesellschaft. Werner Neumann suggested the eighth stanza of Denicke's "O Gottes Sohn, Herr Jesu Christ" (1657) with the first line "Herr, durch den Glauben wohn in mir", which appears in the Neue Bach-Ausgabe.
Scoring and structure
Bach structured the cantata in six movements with choral movements framing two pairs of recitative and aria. He scored it for four vocal soloists (soprano (S), alto (A), tenor (T) and bass (B)), a four-part choir, and an orchestra of tromba da tirarsi (Baroque slide trumpet) (tir), two oboes (Ob), two violins (Vl), viola (Va), and basso continuo (Bc). including bassoon (Fg). The title of the autograph score reads simply "J.J. Concerto Dominica 13 p- Trinitatis" (J.J. concerto for the 13th a. Trinity, J.J. being short for Jesu juva (Jesus help).
In the following table of the movements, the scoring follows the Neue Bach-Ausgabe. The keys and time signatures are taken from the Bach scholar Alfred Dürr, using the symbol for common time (4/4). The instruments are shown separately for winds and strings, while the continuo, playing throughout, is not shown.
|1||Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben||Luke 10:27||Chorus||SATB||Tir||2Vl Va||C major|
|2||So muss es sein!||Knauer||Recitative||B|
|3||Mein Gott, ich liebe dich von Herzen||Knauer||Aria||S||2Ob||A minor|
|4||Gib mir dabei, mein Gott! ein Samariterherz||Knauer||Recitative||T||2Vl Va||D minor|
|5||Ach, es bleibt in meiner Liebe||Knauer||Aria||A||Tir||3/4|
|6||Herr, durch den Glauben wohn in mir||Denicke||Chorale||SATB||unknown||2Vl Va||G minor – D major|
The first movement, "Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben" (You shall love God, your Lord), carries Bach's statement on the most important law, on which, according to the parallel Matthew 22:34–40, "hang all the law and the prophets". The words translate to "You shall love God, your Lord, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself". Bach had enlarged on the "dualism of love of God and brotherly love" already in his monumental cantata in 14 movements, Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes, BWV 76, at the beginning of his first cycle. In order to show the law's universality, Bach introduces Martin Luther's chorale "Dies sind die heilgen zehn Gebot" (These are the holy ten commandments), referring to the commandments of the Old Testament, as a foundation of the movement's structure. The tune is played in a strict canon, the most rigid musical law as one more symbol. The canon is performed by the trumpet in the highest range, and the continuo, representing the lowest range. The tempo of the trumpet is twice as fast as the tempo of the continuo, therefore the trumpet has time to repeat first single lines and finally the complete melody of the chorale. The trumpet enters ten times, to symbolize once more the completeness of the law. The voices, representing the law of the New Testament, engage in imitation of a theme which is derived from the chorale tune and first played by the instruments. John Eliot Gardiner, who provides an extended analysis of the movement, concludes:
"The end result is a potent mixture of modal and diatonic harmonies, one which leaves an unforgettable impression in the mind's ear, and in context propels one forward to the world of Brahms' German Requiem and beyond, to Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time".
A short secco recitative for bass, "So muß es sein! " (So it must be! ), summarizes the ideas.
The second recitative for tenor, "Gib mir dabei, mein Gott! ein Samariterherz" (Give me as well, my God! a Samaritan heart), is a prayer to grant a heart like the Samaritan's. It is intensified by the strings.
The last aria for alto with an obbligato trumpet, "Ach, es bleibt in meiner Liebe " (Ah, in my love there is still ), takes the form of a sarabande. Bach conveys the "Unvollkommenheit" (imperfection) of human attempt to live by the law of love, by choosing the trumpet and composing for it "awkward intervals" and "wildly unstable notes" which would sound imperfect on the period's valveless instruments. In contrast, Bach wrote in the middle section a long trumpet solo of "ineffable beauty", as a "glorious glimpse of God's realm".
The closing chorale on an uncertain text, possibly "Herr, durch den Glauben wohn in mir" (Lord, dwell in me through faith), is a four-part setting of the tune of "Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein" (1524).
The sortable table is based on the listing on the Bach Cantatas website. The type of choir and orchestra is roughly shown as a large group by red background, and as an ensemble with period instruments in historically informed performance by green background.
|Title||Conductor / Choir / Orchestra||Soloists||Label||Year||Choir type||Orch. type|
|J. S. Bach: Das Kantatenwerk • Complete Cantatas • Les Cantates, Folge / Vol. 4||Leonhardt, GustavGustav Leonhardt Leonhardt-Consort||Teldec||1978||Period|
|Die Bach Kantate Vol. 47||Rilling, HelmuthHelmuth Rilling Gächinger Kantorei Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn||Hänssler||1983||Chamber|
|J. S. Bach: Complete Cantatas Vol. 8||Koopman, TonTon Koopman Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir||Antoine Marchand||1998||Period|
|Bach Cantatas Vol. 6: Köthen/Frankfurt / For the 12th Sunday after Trinity / For the 13th Sunday after Trinity||Gardiner, John EliotJohn Eliot Gardiner Monteverdi Choir English Baroque Soloists||Soli Deo Gloria||2000||Period|
|J.S. Bach: Cantatas Vol. 13 – Cantatas from Leipzig 1723||Suzuki, MasaakiMasaaki Suzuki Bach Collegium Japan||BIS||1999||Period|
|Bach Edition Vol. 21 – Cantatas Vol. 12||Leusink, Pieter JanPieter Jan Leusink Holland Boys Choir Netherlands Bach Collegium||Brilliant Classics||2000||Boys||Period|
- "BWV" is Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, a thematic catalogue of Bach's works.
- Dellal, Pamela. "BWV 77 - "Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben"". Emmanuel Music. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- Dürr, Alfred; Jones, Richard D. P. (2006). The Cantatas of J. S. Bach: With Their Librettos in German-English Parallel Text. Oxford University Press. pp. 510–513.
- Glöckner, Andreas (2000). "BWV 76: Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes / (The heavens declare the Glory of God)" (PDF). bach-cantatas.com. p. 10. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- Wolff, Christoph (2008). "On the first annual cycle of Bach's Cantatas for the Leipzig liturgy (1723–1724)" (PDF). bach-cantatas.com. p. 16. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Dürr, Alfred (1981). Die Kantaten von Johann Sebastian Bach (in German) 1 (4 ed.). Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag. pp. 422–425. ISBN 3-423-04080-7.
- "Wenn einer alle Ding verstünd / Text and Translation of Chorale". bach-cantatas.com. 2005. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "O Gottes Sohn, Herr Jesu Christ / Text and Translation of Chorale". bach-cantatas.com. 2005. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Bischof, Walter F. "BWV 77 Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben". University of Alberta. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- Grob, Jochen (2014). "BWV 77 / BC A 126" (in German). s-line.de. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- Gardiner, John Eliot (2007). "Cantatas for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity / Dreikönigskirche, Frankfurt" (PDF). bach-cantatas.com. p. 10. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Mincham, Julian (2010). "Chapter 16 BWV 77 Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren lieben / Love the Lord, your God.] Julian Mincham, 2010". jsbachcantatas.com. Retrieved 29 Aug 2015.
- Oron, Aryeh. "Cantata BWV 77 Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben". bach-cantatas.com. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben, BWV 77: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
- Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben BWV 77; BC A 126 / Sacred cantata (13th Sunday after Trinity) Leipzig University
- BWV 77 Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben English translation, University of Vermont