Jesu, nun sei gepreiset, BWV 41

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Jesu, nun sei gepreiset (Jesus, be now praised), BWV 41, is a church cantata composed by Johann Sebastian Bach.

It was composed in Leipzig in 1724 for the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, which falls on 1 January; for this reason, the cantata is sometimes mistakenly associated with the celebration of New Year's Day or with the celebration of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. The cantata received its premiere on January 1, 1725 and was reprised at least once during Bach's lifetime, between 1732 and 1735.

The prescribed readings for the day are Galatians 3: 23-29 and Luke 2: 21.

The libretto is of unknown authorship, with the exception of the first and last movements, which set to music poetry written by Johannes Herman (also a Thomaskantor) in 1593 for the homonymous hymn.[1][2]

The chorale theme for movements 1 and 6 is Jesu, nun sei gepreiset (Zahn 8477a)[3] by Melchior Vulpius, who first published it in his Ein schön geistlich Gesangbuch, printed in Jena, 1609. A further "borrowed" theme can be found in movement 5, where the recitativo incorporates portions of Die Litanei, attributed to Martin Luther.

Scoring and structure

The piece is scored for corno, oboes I/II/III, trombeI/II/III, tamburi, violins I/II, viola, violoncello piccolo da spalla and basso continuo, along with four vocal soloists (soprano, altus, tenor, bass) and four-part choir. It is in six movements:

  1. (Coro): "Jesu, nun sei gepreiset" for choir, trombe, oboes, tamburi, strings, and continuo.
  2. Aria: "Laß uns, o höchster Gott" for soprano, oboes, and continuo.
  3. Recitativo: "Ach! deine Hand, dein Segen muss allein" for altus and continuo.
  4. Aria: "Woferne du den edlen Frieden" for tenor, violoncello piccolo da spalla, and continuo.
  5. Recitativo & Coro: "Doch weil der Feind bei Tag und Nacht" for bass, choir, and continuo.
  6. Chorale: "Dein ist allein die Ehre" for choir, trombe, oboes, tamburi, strings, and continuo.



  1. ^ Christoph Wolff (Eds.): Die Welt der Bach-Kantaten, Metzler/Bärenreiter, Stuttgart und Kassel, 3 Bände Sonderausgabe 2006 ISBN 3-476-02127-0
  2. ^ C. S. Terry and D. Litti, Bach's Cantata Libretti, Journal of the Royal Musical Association 1917 44(1):71-125; doi:10.1093/jrma/44.1.71
  3. ^ Die Melodien der deutschen evangelischen Kirchenlieder, aus den Quellen geschöpft und mitgeteilt von Johannes Zahn (6 volumes), Verlag Bertelsmann, Gütersloh (1889–93). [further edited by the Gesellschaft zur wissenschaftlichen Edition des deutschen Kirchenlieds. Hildesheim, New York: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1998. 6 volumes. ISBN 3-48709-319-7]


  • Craig Smith, Programme notes - BWV 41, Emmanuel Music.
  • Walter F. Bischof, Text and orchestration for BWV 41, Bach Cantatas, University of Alberta.
  • Alfred Dürr: Johann Sebastian Bach: Die Kantaten. Bärenreiter, Kassel 1999, ISBN 3-7618-1476-3
  • Alfred Dürr: The Cantatas of J.S. Bach, Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-19-929776-2
  • Werner Neumann: Handbuch der Kantaten J.S.Bachs, 1947, 5th Ed. 1984, ISBN 3-7651-0054-4
  • Hans-Joachim Schulze: Die Bach-Kantaten: Einführungen zu sämtlichen Kantaten Johann Sebastian Bachs. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlags-Anstalt; Stuttgart: Carus-Verlag 2006 (Edition Bach-Archiv Leipzig) ISBN 3-374-02390-8 (Evang. Verl.-Anst.), ISBN 3-89948-073-2 (Carus-Verl.)
  • Christoph Wolff/Ton Koopman (Eds.): Die Welt der Bach-Kantaten, Metzler/Bärenreiter, Stuttgart und Kassel, 3 Bände Sonderausgabe 2006 ISBN 3-476-02127-0
  • Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini. Studi sui testi delle Cantate sacre di J. S. Bach. Università di Padova, pubblicazioni della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, vol. XXXI, Padova & Kassel, 1956, xv-291.
  • Geoffrey Turner. Singing The Word: The Cantatas of J S Bach. New Blackfriars, volume 87, issue 1008, pages 144-154.
  • J. C. J. Day. The texts of Bach's Church cantatas: some observations. German Life and Letters, volume 13 (1960), num. 2, pages 137-144.
  • Harald Streck. Die Verskunst in den poetischen Texten zu den Kantaten J. S. Bachs. Dissertation: Universität Hamburg 1971, 214 pages.

External links