Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, BWV 56
|Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen
|Church cantata by J. S. Bach|
Autograph manuscript of
opening bass aria from BWV 56
|Occasion||19th Sunday after Trinity|
|Performed||27 October 1726Leipzig:|
|Cycle||third cantata cycle|
|Cantata text||by Christoph Birkmann|
|Chorale||by Johann Franck|
Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen ("I will the cross-staff gladly carry" or "I will gladly carry the Cross"), BWV 56,[a] is a church cantata composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in Leipzig for the 19th Sunday after Trinity Sunday. It was first performed on 27 October 1726, and is today grouped as a part of Bach's third cycle of cantatas for the occasions of the liturgical year. The work is a solo cantata (Solokantate) for a bass singer, and is one of the few works Bach himself described as a cantata.
The text by Christoph Birkmann describes the Christian life as a voluntary journey "carrying the cross" as a follower of Jesus. The words indirectly refer to the prescribed gospel reading which states that Jesus traveled by boat. The poet compares life to a sea voyage, and in the end yearns for death as the ultimate destination. The final desire for death is reinforced by the closing chorale: the stanza "Komm, o Tod, du Schlafes Bruder" (Come, o death, you brother of sleep) from Johann Franck's 1653 hymn "Du, o schönes Weltgebäude" which also employs the imagery of sea voyage.
Bach composed the cantata in his fourth year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig. It is structured in five movements, alternating arias and recitatives for a bass soloist and closing with a four-part chorale. He scored the work for a Baroque instrumental ensemble of three woodwind instruments (two oboes and taille), three string instruments (two violins and viola) and continuo. An obbligato cello features in the first recitative, and an obbligato oboe in the second aria, resulting in different timbres for the four movements for the same voice part.
The cantata was recorded early and often. Albert Schweitzer wrote in his book about the composer: "This is one of the most splendid of Bach's works." The closing chorale features in Robert Schneider's 1992 novel Schlafes Bruder, and in its later film adaption Brother of Sleep.
- 1 Background
- 2 Occasion and words
- 3 Music
- 4 Manuscripts and publication
- 5 Recordings
- 6 Legacy
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Cited sources
- 10 External links
Bach was appointed by the town of Leipzig as its Thomaskantor (director of church music) in 1723. The position gave him responsibility for the music at four churches, and the training and education of boys singing in the Thomanerchor. Cantata music had to be provided for two major churches, Thomaskirche (St. Thomas) and Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas), and simpler church music for two smaller churches, Neue Kirche (New Church) and Peterskirche (St. Peter).
Bach took office in the middle of the liturgical year, on the first Sunday after Trinity. In Leipzig, cantata music was expected on Sundays and on feast days, except during the "silent periods" ("tempus clausum") of Advent and Lent. In his first year, Bach decided to compose new works for almost all liturgical events. These works became known as his first cantata cycle. The following year he continued, composing a cycle of chorale cantatas, with each cantata based on one Lutheran hymn.
Third Leipzig cantata cycle
The third cantata cycle encompass works composed during Bach's third and fourth year in Leipzig, and include Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen. It is of a different quality than the first two cycles, with fewer extant compositions.
One characteristic of the third cycle is that Bach performed more works by other composers during this time, in addition to repeating his own earlier works. The new works that he composed show no common theme like the chorale cantatas. Bach showed a new preference for solo cantatas, dialogue cantatas and cantatas dominated by one instrument, called "concertante" cantatas. During the third cycle, he repeated performances of solo cantatas from his Weimar period on texts by Georg Christian Lehms, of Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199, and of Widerstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54. He set other texts by Lehms, before turning to other librettists.
Bach's solo cantatas are modeled after secular Italian works by composers including Alessandro Scarlatti. Like the models, even church cantatas do not contain biblical text, and very few close with a chorale. The writing for the solo voice is demanding and requires trained singers. Richard D. P. Jones, a musicologist and Bach scholar, assumes that Bach "exploited the vocal technique and the interpretative skills of particular singers". He writes that some of these solo cantatas, especially Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV 170, Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen and Ich habe genug, BWV 82, belong to the "most-beloved" Bach cantatas.
Dialogue cantatas appeared earlier in Bach's works, but all four dialogues between Jesus and the Soul (Anima), based on elements from the Song of Songs, are part of the third cycle. The only chorale cantata of the third cycle, Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren, BWV 137, follows the omnes versus style to set all stanzas of a hymn unchanged, which Bach rarely used during the chorale cantata cycle, except in the early Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4, and in later chorale cantatas.
Occasion and words
Bach wrote the cantata for the 19th Sunday after Trinity, during his fourth year in Leipzig. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, "put on the new man, which after God is created" (Ephesians 4:22–28), and from the Gospel of Matthew, Healing the paralytic at Capernaum (Matthew 9:1–8). For the same occasion, Bach had composed Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen, BWV 48, in his first cantata cycle for 3 October 1723, translated as "Wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me". In his second cycle, he wrote the chorale cantata Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 5, for 15 October 1724, based on the penitential hymn Wo soll ich fliehen hin (Where shall I flee) by Johann Heermann.
Poet and theme
Until recently the librettist was unknown, as for most of Bach's Leipzig cantatas, but research by Christine Blanken published in 2015 suggests that with high probabilty Christoph Birkmann wrote the text of Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen. Birkmann was a student of mathematics and theology at the University of Leipzig from 1724 to 1727. During that time, he also studied with Bach and appeared in cantata performances. He published a yearbook of cantata texts in 1728, Gott-geheiligte Sabbaths-Zehnden (Sabbath's Tithe devoted to God), which contains several Bach cantatas, including Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen.
Birkmann built on Erdmann Neumeister's text from "Ich will den Kreuzweg gerne gehen", published in 1711. Kreuzweg, the "way of the cross", refers directly to the stations of the cross, and more generally to the "cross as the burden of any Christian". Here Kreuzweg is replaced with Kreuzstab, which refers to Pilgrim's staff, or a Bishop's crosier, but also a navigational instrument called cross staff or Jacob's staff. In the cantata text, life is likened to both, a pilgrimage and a sea voyage.
Birkmann's text alludes to the gospel; although there is no explicit reference to the sick man, he appears speaking in the first person, as a follower of Christ who bears his cross and suffers torment until the end, when in the words of Revelation 7:17 "God shall wipe away the tears from their eyes". The cantata accordingly takes as its starting point the torment that the faithful must endure.
The text is rich in references to different biblical passages. The image of life as a sea voyage in the first recitative comes from the opening of the gospel reading: "There He went on board a ship and passed over and came into His own city" (Matthew 9:1). Affirmations that God will not forsake the faithful on this journey and will lead them out of tribulation were taken from Hebrews 13:5 and Revelation 7:14. The third movement expresses the joy at being united with the Saviour; the text refers to Isaiah 40:31 ("Those that wait upon the Lord shall gain new strength so that they mount up with wings like an eagle, so that they run and do not grow weary."). The theme of joy coupled with a yearning for death is present throughout the work.
The final lines of the opening aria ("there my Savior himself will wipe away my tears") are repeated just before the closing chorale. This unusual device appears several times in the third cantata cycle.
The final chorale is built around the sixth stanza of Johann Franck's hymn "Du, o schönes Weltgebäude", which contains ship imagery; "Löse meines Schiffleins Ruder, bringe mich an sichern Port" (release the rudder of my little ship, bring me to the secure harbor). The hymn was published in 1653 with a 1649 melody by Johann Crüger. The words describe, in the first person, turning away from the beautiful building of the world ("schönes Weltgebäude"), longing only for Jesus ("allerschönstes Jesulein). This phrase recurs with slight variation at the end of each stanza.
Bach led the first performance of BMV 56 on 27 October 1726. The recital came a week after he had performed another of his solo cantatas, Gott soll allein mein Herze haben, BWV 169, which also, and unusually, ends with a chorale.
Structure and scoring
The cantata is structured in five movements, with alternating arias, recitatives and a four-part chorale. Bach scored for a bass soloist, a four-part choir (SATB) only in the closing chorale, and a Baroque instrumental ensemble of two oboes (Ob), taille (Ot), two violins (Vl), viola (Va), cello (Vc), and basso continuo. Except for the obbligato oboe in movement 3, the three oboes double the violins and viola colla parte. The title page of the autograph score reads: "Domin. 19 post Trinit. / Ich will den Xstab gerne tragen / a / 2 / Hautb. o Viol. / Viola o / Taille / 4 Voci / Basso solo / e / Cont. / di / J.S.Bach". The score begins with the line "J.J.Dominica 19 post trinitatis. Cantata à Voce sola. è stromenti" (J.J. Sunday 19 after Trinity, Cantata for solo voice, and instruments), making it one of few works to which Bach assigned the term cantata. The duration has been given as 21 minutes.
In the following table, the scoring follows the Neue Bach-Ausgabe (New Bach Edition). The keys and time signatures are from Alfred Dürr, and use the symbol for common time. The continuo, played throughout, is not shown.
|1||"Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen"||Birkmann||Aria||Bass||2Ob Ot||2Vl Va||G minor||3/4|
|2||"Mein Wandel auf der Welt / ist einer Schiffahrt gleich"||Birkmann||Recitative||Bass||Vc||B-flat major|
|3||"Endlich, endlich wird mein Joch / wieder von mir weichen müssen"||Birkmann||Aria||Bass||Ob||B-flat major|
|4||"Ich stehe fertig und bereit"||Birkmann||Recitative||Bass||2Vl Va||G minor|
|5||"Komm, o Tod, du Schlafes Bruder"||Franck||Chorale||SATB||2Ob Ot||2Vl Va||C minor|
The musicologist and Bach scholar Christoph Wolff wrote that Bach achieves "a finely shaded series of timbres" in Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen. Each of the four solo movements are scored differently. All of the instruments accompany the opening aria, while only the continuo is scored for the secco recitative, an obbligato oboe for the central aria, and strings for the accompagnato recitative. All instruments return in the closing chorale.
Schweitzer points out that Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen is among the works in which Bach carefully marked the phasing in the parts, along with the Brandenburg Concertos, the St Matthew Passion, the Christmas Oratorio, and a few other cantatas, including Ich habe genug and O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 60.
The opening aria begins with "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, er kömmt von Gottes lieber Hand" (I will gladly carry the Cross, it comes from God's dear hand), and is in bar form AAB, with two stollen (A) followed by an abgesang (B). The first stollen starts with a ritornello for full orchestra, anticipating in counterpoint the rising and then falling motif of the bass soloist, and mounts with an augmented second marking the word Kreuzstab (Cross), followed by descending sighing figures signalling the bearing of the cross. John Eliot Gardiner, who conducted the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, describes the beginning of the bass melody as a musical pun on the word Kreuzstab, with the upward part "a harrowing arpeggio to a sharpened seventh (of the sort Hugo Wolf might later use)", and the downward part as "six and a half bars of pained descent to signify the ongoing burden of the Cross".
After the soloist sings a series of melismatic lines, three groups of strings and oboes are introduced as counterpoint and an echoing response in a score that contains motifs from the opening ritornello. The refrain is again taken up in the second stollen, but with significant variations due to the differing text: "It leads me after my torments to God in the Promised Land". After a repeat of the opening ritornello, the final abgesang contains the words, "There at last I will lay my sorrow in the grave, there my Savior himself will wipe away my tears." Declamatory triplets spanning the whole bass register, are responded to in the accompaniment by sighing motifs. A reprise of the orchestral ritornello brings the aria to a close.
In the second movement, the recitative "Mein Wandel auf der Welt ist einer Schiffahrt gleich" (My pilgrimage in the world is like a sea voyage), the sea is evoked by the accompanying cello line. Albert Schweitzer notes that, as often, Bach was inspired by a single word to create an image of waves. Schweitzer recommended to double the cellos by viola and bassoon, to give more weight to this image. According to Gardiner, the style is reminiscent of older music, and that the assuring words "Ich bin bei dir" (I am with you) comes as a "whispered comfort".
The third movement is a da capo aria "Endlich, endlich wird mein Joch wieder von mir weichen müssen" (Finally, finally my yoke must fall away from me), illustrating the passage from Isaiah. The lively and joyous concertante is written as a duet for solo oboe, bass soloist and continuo, and is full of elaborate coloraturas in the solo parts. Gardiner writes that in the aria "one senses Bach bridging the gap between living and dying with total clarity and utter fearlessness".
The fourth movement, "Ich stehe fertig und bereit, das Erbe meiner Seligkeit mit Sehnen und Verlangen von Jesus Händen zu empfangen" (I stand ready and prepared to receive the inheritance of my divinity with desire and longing from Jesus' hands), is an accompagnato recitative with the strings. It begins as a declamatory recitative with sustained string accompaniment. After seven bars, the time signature changes from 4/4 to 3/4, resuming a simplified and becalmed version of the second half of the abgesang from the first movement, repeating words related to the Book of Revelation, and with them the rhythm in triplets. Gardiner describes this change: "... now slowed to adagio and transposed to F minor, and from there by means of melisma floating effortlessly upwards, for the first time, to C major".
The final four-part chorale, "Komm, o Tod, du Schlafes Bruder" (Come, o death, brother of sleep), with the orchestra doubling the vocal parts, is regarded as an inspired masterpiece. Death is addressed as a brother of sleep, and requested to end the voyage of life by loosening the rudders of a little boat and bring it to a safe port, marking the end of the metaphorical journey in the cantata.
Komm, o Tod, du Schlafes Bruder,
Come, O death, of sleep the brother,
The melody was written by Johann Crüger and published in 1646. Bach set the tune in a four-part setting, BWV 301, and introduced dramatic syncopation for the entry "Komm" (come). Only at the end of the penultimate line, torment and dissonance are transformed into glory and harmony, illuminating the words "Denn durch dich komm ich herein / zu dem schönsten Jesulein" (for through you I will come to my loveliest little Jesus). Gardiner notes that it is Bach's only setting of Crüger's tune, which recalls the style of his father's cousin Johann Christoph Bach whom he regarded as a 'profound composer'. Andreas Kruse (de), a psychologist and gerontologist, notes that the chorale conveys the transformation and transition from earthly life to an eternal harbour. He compares the setting to "Ach Herr, laß dein lieb Engelein", the closing chorale of Bach's St John Passion, which is focused on sleep and waking up from sleep. Both settings end a work in impressive composure ("eindrucksvolle Gefasstheit").
Manuscripts and publication
The autograph score and the part are held by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin as part of Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage). The fascicle numbers are D-B Mus.ms. Bach P 118 for the score (Partitur) and D-B Mus.ms. Bach ST 58 for the parts (Stimmen). It was published in 1863 in volume 12 of the Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe (BGA), edited by Wilhelm Rust. The New Bach Edition (Neue Bach-Ausgabe, NBA) published the score in 1990, edited by Matthias Wendt, with the critical commentary published a year later. It was later published by Carus-Verlag in 1999 as part of Stuttgarter Bach-Ausgaben, a complete edition of Bach's vocal works.
The entries of the table are taken from the listing on the Bach Cantatas Website, which shows 81 recordings as of 2018. While some Bach cantatas are almost only recorded within complete cycles, by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt, Helmuth Rilling, Ton Koopman, Pieter Jan Leusink, John Eliot Gardiner and Masaaki Suzuki, the expressive singing required by the soloist has interested singers and ensembles who do not specialize in Bach's music. The work has been combined especially with two other solo cantatas on related topics, frequently Ich habe genug, BWV 82, a paraphrase of the Song of Simeon, and sometimes additionally Der Friede sei mit dir, BWV 158, related to peace.
|Title||Conductor / Choir / Orchestra||Soloists||Label||Year||Choir type||Instr.|
|Eduard van Beinum and the Concertgebouw Orchestra': Live Radio Recordings, Vol. 1||van Beinum, EduardEduard van Beinum (unknown) Concertgebouw Orchestra||Mack Harrell||Deccab||1939|
|Johann Sebastian Bach: Kantaten BWV 4, 56, 82||Ristenpart, KarlKarl Ristenpart RIAS Kammerchor RIAS Kammerorchester||Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau||Archiv||1951|
|Les Grandes Cantates de J. S. Bach Vol. 18||Werner, FritzFritz Werner Heinrich-Schütz-Chor Heilbronn Pforzheim Chamber Orchestra||Barry McDaniel||Erato||1964|
|J. S. Bach: Das Kantatenwerk • Complete Cantatas • Les Cantates, Folge / Vol. 14||Leonhardt, GustavGustav Leonhardt Knabenchor Hannover Leonhardt-Consort||Michael Schopper||Teldec||1976||Period|
|Kreuzstab & Ich Habe Genug||Brüggen, FransFrans Brüggen||Max van Egmond||Sony||1977||Period|
|Die Bach Kantate Vol. 4||Rilling, HelmuthHelmuth Rilling Gächinger Kantorei Bach-Collegium Stuttgart||Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau||Hänssler||1983|
|J.S. Bach: Solokantaten Kreuzstabkantate BWV 56; "Der Friede sei mit dir" BWV 158; "Ich habe genug" BWV 82||Beringer, Karl-Friedrich Karl-Friedrich Beringer Windsbacher Knabenchor Consortium Musicum||Siegmund Nimsgern||Baier Records||1991|
|Bach Edition Vol. 4 – Cantatas Vol. 1||Leusink, Pieter JanPieter Jan Leusink Holland Boys Choir Netherlands Bach Collegium||Bas Ramselaar||Brilliant Classics||1999||Period|
|Bach Cantatas Vol. 10: Potsdam / Wittenberg / For the 19th Sunday after Trinity||Gardiner, John EliotJohn Eliot Gardiner Monteverdi Choir English Baroque Soloists||Peter Harvey||Archiv Produktion||2000||Period|
|J. S. Bach: Complete Cantatas Vol. 17||Koopman, TonTon Koopman Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir||Klaus Mertens||Antoine Marchand||2001||Period|
|J. S. Bach: Kantaten · Cantatas BWV 82, BWV 158, BWV 56||Schneider, MichaelMichael Schneider Thomanerchor La Stagione||Gotthold Schwarz||Capriccio||2006||Period|
|J. S. Bach: Cantatas for the Complete Liturgical Year Vol. 1 Cantatas BWV 55, 56, 98, 180||Kuijken, SigiswaldSigiswald Kuijken La Petite Bande||Dominik Wörner||Accent||2006||OVPP||Period|
|J.S. Bach: Cantatas Vol. 41 (Solo Cantatas) - BWV 56, 82, 84, 158||Suzuki, MasaakiMasaaki Suzuki Bach Collegium Japan||Peter Kooy||BIS||2005||OVPP||Period|
|Bach Cantatas for Bass BWV 82/158/56/203||Terakado, RyoRyo Terakado il Gardellino||Dominik Wörner||Passacaille||2013||Period|
Albert Schweitzer, author of a 1905 book about Bach titled J. S. Bach, le musicien poète (in German simply Bach), and later the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work, commented on the cantata. His book was translated to English in 1911 by Ernest Newman who translated: "This is one of the most splendid of Bach's works. It makes unparalleled demands, however, on the dramatic imagination of the singer, who would depict convincingly this transition from the resigned expectation of death to the jubilant longing for death."[b]
"Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen" features in Robert Schneider's 1992 novel Schlafes Bruder. The protagonist, Elias, improvises on the chorale and decides to end his life. The improvisation is described by the first-person narrator, with references to the text of the chorale. The narrator also mentions the emotional impact on the listeners, letting a young woman say "Ich sehe den Himmel" (I see Heaven), and saying that in his playing, Elias was able to move a listener to the core of their soul ("... vermochte er den Menschen bis in das Innerste seiner Seele zu erschüttern").
The novel inspired the 1995 film, Schlafes Bruder (Brother of Sleep), by Joseph Vilsmaier. Enjott Schneider composed a toccata for the crucial scene of Elias improvising at an organ competition at the Feldberg Cathedral, hypnotising his listeners with demonic organ sounds ("mit dämonischen Orgelklängen hypnotisiert"). Schneider's composition quotes the chorale "Komm, o Tod, du Schlafes Bruder". The composition is dedicated to Harald Feller, an organist and professor in Munich, who both supplied ideas for the realisation and recorded the music for the film. The Toccata premiered at the Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche in Feldafing in 1994, and became an internationally played concert piece.
- "BWV" is Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, a thematic catalogue of Bach's works.
- In German: Dieses Werk gehört zum Herrlichsten, was Bachs Vermächtnis an uns birgt. Es stellt aber auch Anforderungen ohnegleichen an die dramaturgische Gestaltungskraft des Sängers, der dieses Aufsteigen von der resignierten Todeserwartung zum jubelnden Todessehnen miterleben und gestalten soll.
- Ambrose 2014.
- Dellal 2018.
- Schweitzer 1966, p. 255.
- Wolff 2002, pp. 237–257.
- Dürr & Jones 2006, pp. 23–26.
- Buelow 2016, p. 272.
- Dürr & Jones 2006, pp. 22–28.
- Dürr & Jones 2006, pp. 29−35.
- Wolff 2001, p. 7.
- Jones 2013, p. 169.
- Jones 2013, p. 170.
- Jones 2013, pp. 171–172.
- Jones 2013, pp. 175–176.
- Dürr & Jones 2006, p. 582.
- Bach Digital 2018.
- Blanken 2016, pp. 1–2.
- Blanken 2016, pp. 4–6.
- Blanken 2016, pp. 8–11.
- Bachfest 2016.
- Voskamp 2018.
- Corall 2015, pp. 11.
- Corall 2015, pp. 2, 6–7.
- Gardiner 2013, p. 440.
- Chorale Bach Digital 2018.
- Dürr & Jones 2006, pp. 570–572.
- Staatsbibliothek Score 2018.
- Dürr & Jones 2006, p. 580.
- Dürr & Jones 2006, pp. 580–581.
- Wolff 2001, p. 8.
- Wolff 2001, p. 8–9.
- Schweitzer 1966, p. 380.
- Dürr & Jones 2006, pp. 582–583.
- Gardiner 2013, pp. 440–441.
- Gardiner 2013, p. 441.
- Dürr & Jones 2006, p. 583.
- Schweitzer 1966, p. 75.
- Traupman-Carr 2006.
- Chorale 2018.
- Chorale BWV 301 2018.
- Kruse 2014, p. 239.
- Kruse 2014, pp. 239–240.
- Staatsbibliothek Parts 2018.
- Carus Stuttgarter 2000.
- Carus 2000.
- Oron 2018.
- Classical CD 2018.
- Quinn 2012.
- Quinn 2005.
- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) / Das Kantatenwerk - Vol. 14 Heinrich von Trotta
- Anderson 1989.
- Shiloni 1998.
- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) / Cantata "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen" BWV 56 classical-music-online.net
- Challenge 2001.
- JPC 2006.
- Discogs 2006.
- mdt 2006.
- J. S. Bach - Cantatas, Vol. 41 (BWV 56, 82, 158, 84) BIS
- Lange 2013.
- Schweitzer 1966, pp. 255–256.
- Keuchen 2004, pp. 129–130.
- Keuchen 2004, p. 136.
- Spitz 2007.
- Schott 2018.
- Griffel 2018.
- "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen BWV 56; BC A 146 / Sacred cantata (19th Sunday after Trinity)". Bach Digital. 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz / D-B Mus.ms. Bach P 118". Bach Digital. 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz / D-B Mus.ms. Bach St 58". Bach Digital. 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Du, o schönes Weltgebäude". Bach Digital. 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- Buelow, George J. (2016). The Late Baroque Era. The Late Baroque Era: Vol 4. From The 1680s To 1740. Springer. ISBN 978-1-34-911303-3.
- Dürr, Alfred; Jones, Richard D. P. (2006). The Cantatas of J. S. Bach: With Their Librettos in German-English Parallel Text. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-929776-4.
- Gardiner, John Eliot (2013). Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach. Penguin UK. pp. 440–441. ISBN 978-1-84-614721-0.
- Griffel, Margaret Ross (2018). Operas in German: A Dictionary. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-44-224797-0.
- Jones, Richard D. P. (2013). Volume II: 1717-1750: Music to Delight the Spirit. Oxford University Press. pp. 168–295. ISBN 978-0-19-150384-9.
- Keuchen, Marion (2004). Die "Opferung Isaaks" im 20. Jahrhundert auf der Theaterbühne: Auslegungsimpulse im Blick auf "Abrahams Zelt" (Theater Musentümpel - Andersonn) und "Gottesvergiftung" (Choralgraphisches Theater Heidelberg - Grasmück) (in German). Münster: LIT Verlag. pp. 129–134. ISBN 978-3-82-587196-3.
- Kruse, Andreas (2014). Die Grenzgänge des Johann Sebastian Bach: Psychologische Einblicke (in German). Springer. pp. 239–243. ISBN 978-3-64-254627-3.
- Schweitzer, Albert (1966). J. S. Bach. 2. Translated by Newman, Ernest. Courier Corporation. pp. 75, 255–256, 380. ISBN 978-0-48-621632-4.
- Spitz, Markus Oliver (2007). Robert Schneider's Novel Schlafes Bruder in the Light of its Screen Version by Joseph Vilsmaier. Processes of Transposition: German Literature and Film. Brill. ISBN 978-9-40-120501-6.
- Ambrose, Z. Philip. "BWV 56 Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen". University of Vermont. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- Blanken, Christine. "A Cantata-Text Cycle of 1728 from Nuremberg: A preliminary report on a discovery relating to J. S. Bach's so-called "Third Annual Cycle"" (PDF) (in German). Bach Network UK. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- Corall, Georg (2015). "Johann Sebastian Bach's Kreuzstab Cantata (BWV 56): / Identifying the Emotional Content of the Libretto" (PDF). Limina. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- Dellal, Pamela (2018). "BWV 56 – Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen". Emmanuel Music. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- Lange, Matthias (2013). "Bach, Johann Sebastian - Solokantaten für Bass / Kernbestand". magazin.klassik.com. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
- Oron, Aryeh. "Cantata BWV 56 Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen". Bach Cantatas Website. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
- Quinn, John (2005). "Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) The Cantatas - Volume 2". musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- Quinn, John (2012). "Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) / The RIAS Bach Cantatas Project". musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- Shiloni, Ehud (1998). "Kantaten: "Kreuzstab" & "Ich Habe Genug"". jsbach.org. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- Traupman-Carr, Carol (2006). "Cantata BWV 56 Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen". The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- Voskamp, Jens (2018). "Franke schmiedete Arien-Verse für Bach". nordbayern.de (in German). Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- Wolff, Christoph (2002). Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-32256-9.
- Wolff, Christoph (2001). "Bach's Third Yearly Cycle of Cantatas from Leipzig (1725–1727), II" (PDF). Bach Cantatas Website. pp. 7–9. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, BWV 56: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
- "Bachs Kantatendichter identifiziert" (in German). Bachfest Leipzig. 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "Johann Sebastian Bach / Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen / Kantate zum 19. Sonntag nach Trinitatis / BWV 56, 1726" (PDF). Bayer Records. p. 141. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
- "Stuttgart Bach Edition - Bach vocal". Carus-Verlag. 2000. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
- "Johann Sebastian Bach / Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen / Kantate zum 19. Sonntag nach Trinitatis / BWV 56, 1726". Carus-Verlag. 2000. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "BWV 56.5". bach-chorales.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- "BWV 301". bach-chorales.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- "Johann Sebastian Bach / Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen / Kantate zum 19. Sonntag nach Trinitatis / BWV 56, 1726". Challenge Records. 2001. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
- "Eduard van Beinum - Live - The Radio Recordings". classicalcdreview.com. 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
- "Johann Sebastian Bach, La Petite Bande, Sigiswald Kuijken – Cantatas BWV 56-180-98-55 - "Ich Will Den Kreuzstab Gerne Tragen"". discogs.comj. 2006. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "Johann Sebastian Bach: Kantaten BWV 56,82,158". jpc.de. 2006. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "BACH Cantatas Vol. 1 BWV 56, 180, 98 & 55 Sophie Karthauser, Petra Noskaiova, Cristoph Genz, Dominik Worner, La Petite Bande / Sigiswald Kuijken. Accent SACD". mdt.co.uk. 2006. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
- "Toccata "Schlafes Bruder"". Schott. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- Bischof, Walter F. "BWV 56 Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen". University of Alberta. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- Grob, Jochen (2014). "BWV 56 / BC 146" (in German). s-line.de. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- Mincham, Julian (2010). "Chapter 29 BWV 56 Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen / I will happily bear the cross staff". jsbachcantatas.com. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, BWV 56: performance by the Netherlands Bach Society (video and background information)
- Komm, o Tod, du Schlafes Bruder noten.bplaced.net
- Cantate voor bas, koor en orkest BWV.56, "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen" muziekweb.nl
- Dagmar Hoffmann-Axthelm: Bachkantaten in der Predigerkirche / BWV 56 / Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen bachkantaten.ch