Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227
|Jesu, meine Freude|
|Motet by J. S. Bach|
|Bible text||Romans 8:1–2,9–11|
|Vocal||SSATB five-part choir|
|Instrumental||lost colla parte?|
Jesu, meine Freude (Jesus, my joy), BWV 227, is a motet in eleven movements for SSATB choir which was composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. It is named after the Lutheran hymn "Jesu, meine Freude", of which the motet contains, in its odd-numbered movements, all six stanzas of Johann Franck's poetry and various versions of Johann Crüger's hymn tune. The text of the motet's even-numbered movements is taken from the New Testament's sixth book, the Epistle to the Romans. The Biblical text, which contains key Lutheran teaching, is contrasted by the hymn, written in the first person with a focus on emotion, and Bach set both in a symmetrical structure. The composition is in E minor. Bach's treatment of the Crüger's melody ranges from a four-part chorale harmonization which begins and ends the work, to a chorale fantasia and a free setting that only paraphrases the tune. Four verses from the Epistle are set in motet style, two for five voices and two for three voices. The central movement is a five-part fugue. Bach used word painting to intensify the theological meaning of both hymn and Epistle texts.
Jesu, meine Freude is one of the few works by Bach for five vocal parts. It may have been composed for a funeral, but scholars have come to doubt a 1912 dating to a specific July 1723 funeral in Leipzig, a few months after Bach had moved to that town. Chorale settings from the motet are included in the Dietel manuscript, which dates from around 1735. At least one of the eleven movements seems to have been composed before Bach's tenure in Leipzig. Christoph Wolff suggested that the motet may have been composed for education in both choral singing and theology. Unique in its complex symmetrical structure juxtaposing hymn text and Bible text, the motet has been regarded as one of Bach's greatest achievements in the genre. It was the first of his motets to be recorded, in 1927.
Members of the Bach family of the generations before Johann Sebastian wrote motets in late 17th-century Protestant Germany. Several of these motets are preserved in the Altbachisches Archiv (ABA). In this context, motets are choral compositions, mostly with a number of independent voices exceeding that of a standard SATB choir of soprano, alto, tenor and bass and with a German text from sacred scripture and/or based on a Lutheran hymn. In the latter case, the corresponding chorale tune was usually adopted into the composition. Instrumental accompaniment was often limited to basso continuo and/or instruments playing colla parte. By the time Bach started to compose his motets in the 1710s or 1720s along the principles of these older compositions, motets were regarded as an antiquated genre. According to Philipp Spitta, Bach's 19th-century biographer, Johann Michael Bach's motet Halt, was du hast, ABA I, 10, which contains a setting of the "Jesu, meine Freude" chorale, may have been on Johann Sebastian's mind when he composed his motet named after the chorale, in E minor like his ancestor's.
In Johann Sebastian Bach's time, the Lutheran liturgical calendar of the place where he lived indicated the occasions for which figural music was required. The bulk of the composer's sacred music, including almost all of his church cantatas, was written for such occasions. His other church music, such as sacred cantatas for weddings and funerals, and most, if not all, of his motets, was not tied to the liturgical calendar. Among around 15 extant compositions which at some point or another were designated as a motet by Bach (BWV 118, 225–231, 1083, 1149, Anh. 159–165), Jesu, meine Freude is one of only five (BWV 225–229) which, without exception, have always been considered as belonging in the category. In eleven movements, Jesu, meine Freude is the longest and most musically complex of Bach's motets. It is scored for SSATB voices. Bach composed only very few works for a five-part choir; most of his other motets are for double SATB choir, while the large majority of his vocal church music is to be performed with one SATB choir. Like for most of his other motets, no continuo or other instrumental accompaniment has survived for BWV 227, but it is surmised there used to be one.
Epistle text and chorale
The text of Jesu, meine Freude is compiled from two sources, the 1653 hymn of the same name with words by Johann Franck and Bible verses from the Epistle to the Romans, 8:1–2 and 9–11. In the motet, the six hymn stanzas form the odd movement numbers, while the even numbers each take one verse from the Epistle as their text. The hymn's first line, which Catherine Winkworth translated as "Jesu, priceless treasure" in 1869, is repeated as the last line of its final stanza, framing the poetry.
Johann Crüger's chorale melody for the hymn, Zahn 8032, was published for the first time in his Praxis pietatis melica of 1653, after which several variants of the hymn tune were published in other hymnals over the ensuing decades. The tune is in bar form. In the version of the 1682 Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch, the hymnal used in Leipzig, the melody of the first line is the same as that of the last line. The hymn tune appears in several variants in the uneven movements of the motet.
As a key teaching of the Lutheran faith, the Gospel text reflects on the contrast of living "in the flesh" or "according to the Spirit". The hymn text is written from an individual believer's point of view, addressing Jesus as joy and support, against enemies and the vanity of existence, which are expressed in stark images. The hymn adds a layer of individuality and emotions to Biblical teaching.
Time of origin
Most of Bach's motets are difficult to date and Jesu, meine Freude is no exception. Spitta assigned the motets, including Jesu, meine Freude, to Bach's Leipzig years. In 1912, Bernhard Friedrich Richter wrote that Jesu, meine Freude was likely written in Bach's first year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, for the funeral of Johanna Maria Kees, the wife of the Leipzig postmaster, on 18 July 1723, because a scripture reading of verse 11 from the Epistle passage set in the motet, in the tenth movement, was documented for the funeral. The Cambridge musicologist Daniel R. Melamed wrote in his 1995 book about Bach's motets that this is not conclusive evidence for a motet performance, but the date has still been "nearly universally accepted". The order of that particular service was found in 1982, mentioning neither a motet nor even the chorale.
Friedrich Smend was the first to analyse the motet's symmetrical structure, a feature which can also be found in Bach's St John Passion of 1724 and St Matthew Passion of 1727, which led Smend to suggest that the work was composed in the 1720s. Melamed thought that the motet was likely in part compiled from music Bach had composed before his Leipzig period. He based that view on the four-part settings of the chorale movements 1, 7 and 11 (unusual for a five-part work), and on the older version of the chorale melody used as the cantus firmus in the ninth movement. The latter suggests an origin of this movement in Bach's Weimar period, or even earlier.
Christoph Wolff suggested that the motet may have been intended for the education of the Thomanerchor rather than for a funeral. He assumed the same intended use for the motet Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225. According to Richard D. P. Jones, several movements of Jesu, meine Freude show a style too advanced to have been written in 1723, so that the final arrangement of the work likely happened in the late 1720s, around the time when two other motets which can be dated with more certainty, Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied and the funeral motet Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226, were written. The Dietel manuscript, written around 1735, contains three chorales extracted from the motet; the composition of the motet is supposed to have been completed before that time.
Structure and scoring
Jesu, meine Freude is structured in eleven movements, with text alternating between a chorale stanza and a passage from the Epistle. Bach scored it for a choir of two soprano parts (S or SS), alto (A), tenor (T) and bass (B). The number of voices in the movements varies from three to five. Only the alto, the middle voice in the motet's SSATB setting, sings in all movements. The motet was possibly meant to be accompanied by instruments playing colla parte in the practice at the time, but no parts for them survived.
The music is arranged in different layers of symmetry around the sixth movement. The first and last movements have the same four-part setting of two different hymn stanzas (indicated with stanza numbers 1 and 6 in the diagram below). The second (Rom. 8:1) and penultimate (Rom. 8:11) movements use the same themes in fugal writing. The third (stanza 2) and fifth (stanza 3) movements, both five-part, mirror the seventh (stanza 4) and ninth (stanza 5) movements, both four-part. The fourth (Rom. 8:2) and eighth (Rom. 8:10) movements are both trios; the fourth for the three highest voices, the other for the three lowest voices. The central movement (Rom. 8:9) is a five-part fugue.
(same as 11)
(similar to 10)
(similar to 2)
(same as 1)
|1||Jesu, meine Freude||1st stanza of Franck's hymn||SATB||E minor|
|2||Es ist nun nichts Verdammliches||Romans 8:1||SSATB||E minor||3|
|3||Unter deinen Schirmen||2nd stanza of Franck's hymn||SSATB||E minor|
|4||Denn das Gesetz||Romans 8:2||SSA||G major||3|
|5||Trotz dem alten Drachen||3rd stanza of Franck's hymn||SSATB||E minor||3|
|6||Ihr aber seid nicht fleischlich||Romans 8:9||SSATB||G major|
|7||Weg, weg mit allen Schätzen||4th stanza of Franck's hymn||SATB||E minor|
|8||So aber Christus in euch ist||Romans 8:10||ATB||C major||12|
|9||Gute Nacht, o Wesen||5th stanza of Franck's hymn||SSAT||A minor||2|
|10||So nun der Geist||Romans 8:11||SSATB||E minor||3|
|11||Weicht, ihr Trauergeister||6th stanza of Franck's hymn||SATB||E minor|
The motet begins with a four-part setting of the first stanza of the hymn "Jesu, meine Freude" (Jesus, my joy). The first movement is in E minor, like most other movements related to the hymn. The text, in the first person, speaks of longing for Jesus. Jones noted that the tenor part is particularly expressive. The last movement has exactly the same music to the different text of the last stanza, creating a frame which encloses the whole work:
The second movement begins with excerpts from the Epistle with "Es ist nun nichts Verdammliches an denen, die in Christo Jesu sind" (There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus – Romans 8:1). The difference of living in the flesh and the spirit is an aspect that is repeated throughout the motet. The movement is also in E minor, but for five voices. The text is rendered first in rhetorical homophony.
In setting the first sentence, Bach accented the word "nichts" (nothing), repeating it twice, with long rests and echo dynamics. Jones noted that dramatic word painting of this kind was in the tradition of 17th-century motets, such as by Johann Christoph and Johann Michael Bach.
The third movement is a five-part setting of the second stanza of the hymn, "Unter deinen Schirmen" (Under your protection). While the soprano provides the chorale melody, the lower voices supply vivid lines expressing the text.
The fourth movement sets the second verse from the Epistle, "Denn das Gesetz des Geistes, der da lebendig machet in Christo Jesu, hat mich frei gemacht von dem Gesetz der Sünde und des Todes" (For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:2). The thought is set for the two sopranos and alto, beginning in G major. The sopranos often move in "beatific" third parallels.
The fifth movement is a setting of the third stanza of the hymn, "Trotz dem alten Drachen" (Despite the old dragon). The defiant opposition, also to death, fear and the rage of the world, is expressed in a free composition. The soprano melody paraphrases the hymn tune by quoting short motifs from the chorale, while keeping the bar form of the original melody. Five voices take part in dramatic illustration of defiance, in the same rhetorical style as the beginning of the second movement, here often expressed in powerful unison. The voices also depict standing firmly and singing, again in rhetorical homophony and reinforced in unison. John Eliot Gardiner noted that the firm stance against opposition could depict Martin Luther's attitude and also the composer's own stance.
The central sixth movement sets verse 9 from the Epistle, "Ihr aber seid nicht fleischlich, sondern geistlich" (But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit – Romans 8:9). Again beginning in G major, the tenor starts with a fugue theme that stresses the word "geistlich" (of the Spirit) by a long melisma in fast notes, while the opposite "fleischlich" is a long note stretched over the bar-line. The alto enters during the melisma. All five voices participate in a lively fugue, the only one within the motet. It is a double fugue, with a first theme for the first line, another for the second, "so anders Gottes Geist in euch wohnet" (since the Spirit of God lives otherwise in you), before both of them are combined in various ways, parallel and in stretti. By contrast, the third line of verse 9, "Wer aber Christ Geist nicht hat, der ist nicht sein" (Any one who does not have the spirit of Christ does not belong to him) is set in a homophonic adagio with deeply unsettling harmonies: "not of Christ".
The seventh movement is a four-part setting of the fourth stanza of the hymn, "Weg mit allen Schätzen" (Away with all treasures). While the soprano sings the chorale melody, the lower voices intensify the gesture dramatically with word painting: "weg" is repeated several times in fast succession. Throughout the movement, the lower voices intensify the expressiveness of the text.
The eighth movement sets verse 10 from the Epistle, "So aber Christus in euch ist, so ist der Leib zwar tot um der Sünde willen" (And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin – Romans 8:10). As in the fourth movement, it is set as a trio, this time for alto, tenor and bass, beginning in C major. Third parallels in the upper voices resemble those in the fourth movement.
The ninth movement is a setting of the fifth stanza of the hymn, "Gute Nacht, o Wesen, das die Welt erlesen" (Good night, existence that cherishes the world). For the rejection of everything earthly, Johann Sebastian Bach composed a chorale fantasia, with the cantus firmus in the alto voice and two sopranos and tenor repeating "Gute Nacht" often. Jones pointed out that the absence of a bass may depict that "the world" lacks a firm foundation in Christ. The chorale melody used in the movement is slightly different from the one in the other settings within the motet, a version which Bach used mostly in his earlier time in Weimar and before. For Gardiner, the "sublime" music suggests the style of Bach's Weimar period.:10 Jones, however, found that the "bewitchingly lyrical setting" matched compositions from the mid-1720s in Leipzig, comparing the music to the Sarabande from the Partita No. 3, BWV 827.
The tenth movement sets verse 11 from the Epistle, "So nun der Geist des, der Jesum von den Toten auferwecket hat, in euch wohnet" (But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you – Romans 8:11). In symmetry, the music recalls that of the second movement.
The motet ends with the same four-part setting as the first movement, with the last stanza of the hymn as lyrics, "Weicht, ihr Trauergeister" (Flee, you mournful spirits). The final line repeats the beginning on the same melody: "Dennoch bleibst du auch im Leide, / Jesu, meine Freude" (You stay with me even in sorrow, / Jesus, my joy).
Jesu, meine Freude has been regarded as unique in its complex symmetrical structure, which juxtaposes hymn and Bible text. It has been regarded as one of Bach's greatest motets. Bach's vivid setting of the contrasting texts results in music of an unusually dramatic range. Wolff summarised:
This diversified structure of five-, four-, and three-part movements, with shifting configurations of voices and a highly interpretive word-tone relationship throughout, wisely and sensibly combines choral exercise with theological education.
Performers of Jesu, meine Freude have to decide if they will use a boys' choir (as Bach had in mind) or a mixed choir, a small vocal ensemble or a larger choir, a continuo group, and instruments playing colla parte.
18th and 19th centuries
As for most of Bach's motets, there is no extant autograph of Jesu, meine Freude. The motet's SATB chorales were copied in several 18th-century manuscripts collecting chorale harmonisations by Bach. The earliest extant of such chorale collections, the Dietel manuscript, also contains a SATB version of the motet's five-part third movement: Dietel's copy omitted the second soprano part of the movement. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach retained the two other chorales, based on the motet's first (=11th) and seventh movements, in the third volume of Breitkopf's 1780s edition of Bach's four-part chorales.
After Bach's death, the motets, unlike much of his other music, were kept continuously in the repertoire of the Thomanerchor. A choral version of the entire motet, that is without any indication of instrumental accompaniment, was first published in 1803 in the second volume of Breitkopf & Härtel's first edition of six motets by (or at least, attributed to) Bach. Together with other motets edited by Franz Wüllner, Jesu, meine Freude was published in 1892 for volume 39 of the Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe (BGA).
20th and 21st centuries
In the 1920s, the large Bach Choir in London performed Bach's works conducted by Ralph Vaughan Williams, while Charles Kennedy Scott performed Jesu, meine Freude with his Bach Cantata Club in chamber formation, which prompted a reviewer to write:
It would be absurd to forbid Bach's Motets to big choirs, but this performance left no doubt that the listener gets the truth of the music from voices few and picked.
Scott and the Bach Cantata Club made the first recording of Jesu, meine Freude, which was the first of any motet by Bach, in 1927, sung in English. The New Bach Edition (Neue Bach-Ausgabe, NBA) published the motet in 1965, edited by Konrad Ameln, with critical commentary published in 1967. In 1995, Bärenreiter published the vocal parts of the six motets BWV 225–230 from the NBA in one volume, with a preface by Klaus Hofmann. The motets were published by Carus-Verlag in 1975, edited by Günter Graulich, and published again in 2003, edited by Uwe Wolf, as part of the Stuttgarter Bach-Ausgaben, a complete edition of Bach's vocal works. Modern editions of the motet may supply a reconstructed instrumental accompaniment, such as a continuo realisation and/or a singable translation of the lyrics, as for instance in Carus's 2003 publication of the motet.
Jesu, meine Freude has been recorded more than 60 times, mostly in combination with other motets by Bach. These recorded sets of motets are partially listed at Motets by Johann Sebastian Bach, discography and include:
- Philippe Herreweghe with the Collegium Vocale Gent and La Chapelle Royale, 1985
- Harry Christophers with the Sixteen, 1989
- Masaaki Suzuki with the Bach Collegium Japan, using instruments playing colla parte, 2009
- Philippe Herreweghe, second set recorded in 2010
- Schneider 1935, 1: Motetten und Chorlieder.
- Spitta 1899, Vol. I, pp. 40–96; Vol. II, p. 601.
- Cookson 2010.
- Dürr & Jones 2006.
- Dürr & Kobayashi 1998, pp. 228–233, 459, 467.
- D-B Mus.ms. 30199, Fascicle 14 at Bach Digital.
- Der Gerechte kömmt um BWV deest (BC C 8) at Bach Digital.
- Bach333 2021.
- Jones 2013, p. 198.
- Ameln 1965.
- Robins 2020.
- Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227 at Bach Digital.
- Melamed 1995.
- Dellal 2020.
- CCEL 2020.
- Hymnary text 2020.
- Zahn 1891, p. 651.
- Hymnary tune 2020.
- Vopelius 1682, p. 780.
- Melamed 1995, pp. 86–87.
- May 2020.
- Schmidt 2011.
- Melamed 1995, p. 98.
- Wolf (score) 2002, p. V.
- Melamed 1995, pp. 85, 98.
- Melamed 1995, p. 85.
- Hofmann 1995, p. IV.
- Melamed 1995, p. 86.
- Wolff 2002, p. 249.
- Jones 2013, p. 203.
- Wolff 2002, p. 329.
- Jones 2013, pp. 202–203.
- Posner 2020.
- Gardiner 2013, p. 351.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, p. 2.
- Dahn 1 2018.
- Spitta 1899, Vol. II, p. 600.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, p. 4.
- Jones 2013, p. 205.
- Jacobi 1756.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, p. 13.
- Dahn 3 2018.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, p. 15.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, p. 16.
- Spitta 1899, Vol. II, p. 601.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, pp. 16–22.
- Gardiner 2013, p. 352.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, pp. 22–28.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, p. 30.
- Dahn 7 2018.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, p. 33.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, p. 36.
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- Jones 2013, pp. 203–204.
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- Jones 2013, pp. 204.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, pp. 42–45.
- Graulich & Wolf 2003, p. 46.
- Jones 2013, p. 202.
- Eckerson 2020.
- Wolf (score) 2002, p. VII.
- Veen 2010.
- Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227/1 at Bach Digital.
- Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227/7 at Bach Digital.
- Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227/3 at Bach Digital.
- Schulze 1983, p. 91.
- Hofmann 1995, p. VII.
- Melamed 1995, p. 99.
- Wolf (article) 2002, p. 269.
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- Dürr & Kobayashi 1998, pp. 229–230.
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- "Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227". Bach Digital. Leipzig: Bach Archive; et al. 14 May 2019.
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- "Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227/3". Bach Digital. Leipzig: Bach Archive; et al. 23 May 2019.
- "Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227/7". Bach Digital. Leipzig: Bach Archive; et al. 23 May 2019.
- Ameln, Konrad (1965). Bach, Johann Sebastian / Jesu, meine Freude for Five-part Mixed Choir in E minor BWV 227. Bärenreiter. ISMN 979-0-00-649848-2. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
- Dürr, Alfred; Kobayashi, Yoshitake, eds. (1998). Bach Werke Verzeichnis: Kleine Ausgabe – Nach der von Wolfgang Schmieder vorgelegten 2. Ausgabe [Bach Works Catalogue: Small Edition – After Wolfgang Schmieder's 2nd edition] (in German). Kirsten Beißwenger (collaborator). (BWV2a ed.). Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel. ISBN 9783765102493. Preface in English and German.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Dürr, Alfred; Jones, Richard D. P. (2006). "Weddings, Funerals". The Cantatas of J. S. Bach and Their Librettos in German–English Parallel Text. Oxford University Press. p. 742–771. ISBN 0199297762.
- Gardiner, John Eliot (2013). Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach. Penguin UK. pp. 350–352. ISBN 978-1-84-614721-0.
- Graulich, Günter; Wolf, Uwe, eds. (2003). Johann Sebastian Bach: Jesu, meine Freude / Jesus, My Salvation – BWV 227 (PDF) (Urtext, full score). Stuttgarter Bach-Ausgaben (in German and English). Translated by Lunn, Jean. Continuo realisation by Horn, Paul. Carus. CV 31.227.
- Haskell, Harry (1996). The Early Music Revival: A History. Courier Corporation. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-48-629162-8.
- Hofmann, Klaus (1995). "Preface". J. S. Bach / Motetten / Motets. Bärenreiter. pp. VII–IX. ISMN 979-0-00-649848-2
- Jones, Richard D. P. (2013). The Creative Development of Johann Sebastian Bach, Volume II: 1717–1750: Music to Delight the Spirit. Oxford University Press. pp. 202–205. ISBN 978-0-19-969628-4.
- Melamed, Daniel R. (1995). Chronology, Style, and Performance Practise of Bach's Motets. J. S. Bach and the German Motet. Cambridge University Press. pp. 98–106. ISBN 978-0-52-141864-5.
- Schicht, Johann Gottfried, ed. (1802–1803). Joh. Seb. Bach's Motetten in Partitur (in German). I (1802: BWV 225, 228, Anh. 159) – II (1803: BWV 229, 227, 226). Breitkopf und Härtel.
- Schneider, Max, ed. (1935). Altbachisches Archiv: aus Johann Sebastian Bachs Sammlung von Werken seiner Vorfahren Johann, Heinrich, Georg Christoph, Johann Michael u. Johann Christoph Bach [Old-Bachian Archive: From Johann Sebastian Bach's Collection of Works by His Forefathers Johann, Heinrich, Georg Christoph, Johann Michael and Johann Christoph Bach]. Vol. I of Das Erbe deutscher Musik (in German). 1: Motetten und Chorlieder (Motets and choral songs) – 2: Kantaten (Cantatas). Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel. Reprint: 1966.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Spitta, Philipp (1899). Johann Sebastian Bach: His Work and Influence on the Music of Germany, 1685–1750. I – II – III. Translated by Bell, Clara; Fuller Maitland, John Alexander. Novello & Co.
- Vopelius, Gottfried (1682). Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch [New Leipzig hymnal] (in German). Christoph Klinger.
- Wolf, Uwe (2002). "Zur Schichtschen Typendruck-Ausgabe der Motetten Johann Sebastian Bachs und zu ihrer Stellung in der Werküberlieferung" [On Schicht's movable font edition of the motets of Johann Sebastian Bach, and on its place in the work transmission]. Musikalische Quellen, Quellen zur Musikgeschichte: Festschrift für Martin Staehelin zum 65. Geburtstag [Musical sources, sources for the history of music: commemorative paper for Martin Staehelin's 65th birthday] (in German). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. pp. 269–286. ISBN 978-3-52-527820-8.
- Wolf, Uwe, ed. (2002). "Preface". Johann Sebastian Bach / Motetten / Motets (PDF) (Urtext, full score). Stuttgarter Bach-Ausgaben (in German and English). Translated by Coombs, John. Carus. CV 31.224.
- Wolff, Christoph (2002). Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. Oxford University Press. pp. 278–279. ISBN 978-0-393-32256-9.
- Zahn, Johannes (1891). Die Melodien der deutschen evangelischen Kirchenlieder [The melodies of the German evangelical hymns] (in German). IV. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann.
- Riley, Paul (2012). "Bach, JS: Motets BWV 225-230". BBC Music Magazine. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Schmidt, Eckart David (1 December 2011). "'Jesu, meine Freude'. Zu einer theologischen und pragmatischen Hermeneutik von Text und Musik in J. S. Bachs Motette BWV 227" ['Jesu, meine Freude': On a theological and practical hermeneutics of text and music of J. S. Bach's motet BWV 227]. International Journal of Practical Theology (in German). De Gruyter. 15 (2). doi:10.1515/IJPT.2011.034. S2CID 146854834. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
- Schulze, Hans-Joachim (1983). "'150 Stücke von den Bachischen Erben': Zur Überlieferung der vierstimmigen Choräle Johann Sebastian Bachs" ["150 pieces from the Bach estate": on the transmission of Johann Sebastian Bach's four-part chorales]. In Schulze, Hans-Joachim; Wolff, Christoph (eds.). Bach-Jahrbuch 1983 [Bach Yearbook 1983]. Bach-Jahrbuch (in German). 69. Neue Bachgesellschaft. Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt. pp. 81–100. doi:10.13141/bjb.v1983. ISSN 0084-7682.
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- Dellal, Pamela (2020). "BWV 227 - 'Jesu, meine Freude'". Emmanuel Music. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
- Eckerson, Sara (2020). "On J. S. Bach's Sublime 'Gute Nacht' of Jesu, meine Freude (BWV 227)". Forma de Vida. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
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- May, Thomas (2020). ""Let All That Have Breath Praise": The Motets of J.S. Bach". Los Angeles Master Chorale. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
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- "Composition Type: Sacred Music / Work: Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227". arkivmusic.com. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
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- "Jesu, meine Freude, meines Herzens Weide". hymnary.org. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to BWV 227 – Motet "Jesu, meine Freude".|
- Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: performance by the Netherlands Bach Society (video and background information)
- Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 (Bach, Johann Sebastian): Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
- Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227: Free scores at the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
- Literature about Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 in the German National Library catalogue
- Recording of Jesu, meine Freude in MP3 format, by the Umeå Academic Choir, at the Umeå University website