List of masses, passions and oratorios by Johann Sebastian Bach

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Masses, Passions, Oratorios is the subject of the second series of the Neue Bach-Ausgabe (NBA, New Bach Edition),[1] a publication of Johann Sebastian Bach's music from 1954 to 2007. In the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV, catalogue of Bach's compositions) masses, passions and oratorios refers to two chapters:

  • Chapter 3: Messen, Messensätze, Magnificat (Masses, Mass movements, Magnificat), original range: BWV 232–243
  • Chapter 4: Passionen, Oratorien (Passions, Oratorios), original range: BWV 244–249

In the BWV, as in Series II of the NBA, the group thus also includes Bach's Magnificat and separate mass movements.

Further the second series of the NBA and/or the 1998 updated edition of the BWV (BWV2a) group some new additions to the BWV catalogue with the masses, passions and oratorios (e.g. Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, BWV 1083, Bach's adaptation of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater), and regroup some compositions that were formerly associated with other genres in the masses, passions and oratorios group (e.g. BWV 11, published as a cantata in the 19th century, added to the group as an oratorio).

Also various items in the BWV Anhang (BWV Anh., appendix to the BWV), or even unmentioned in the BWV (BWV deest, lacking a BWV number) are associated with this group, for instance the motet Der Gerechte kömmt um, BC C 8, arranged, probably by Bach, from the Tristis est anima mea motet attributed to Johann Kuhnau. Such compositions or movements usually have a Bach Digital Work (BDW) page at the website.

Masses, mass movements and Magnificat[edit]

Mass with all usual sections[edit]

Kyrie–Gloria masses[edit]

Cantata based on BWV 232I[edit]

Separate mass movements[edit]

Latin Magnificat[edit]

German Magnificat cantatas[edit]


Passions and oratorios[edit]

Passions composed by Bach[edit]

  • BWV 244 – St Matthew Passion (Matthäus-Passion)
    • BWV 244b – St Matthew Passion, early version(s)
  • BWV 245 – St John Passion (Johannes-Passion), various versions, including:[22]
    • St. John Passion, 2nd version, with opening chorus "O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß" (1725), BDW 0308, containing:
      • BWV 245a – Aria "Himmel reiße, Welt erbebe"
      • BWV 245b – Aria "Zerschmettert mich, ihr Felsen und ihr Hügel"
      • BWV 245c – Aria "Ach, windet euch nicht so, geplagte Seelen"
    • St. John Passion, Bach's last revision (1749), BDW 0310
  • BWV 247 – St Mark Passion (Markus-Passion) (libretto is extant; although the music is lost much of it is reconstructable based on associated compositions)
  • BWV deest – Weimarer Passion (lost, music partially recuperated in other compositions), BDW 1533

Passions by other composers with movements by Bach[edit]

  • BWV 246 – St Luke Passion (Lukas-Passion) by an unknown composer and librettist, includes one movement by Bach:
    • BWV 246/40a – Chorale "Aus der Tiefen rufe ich", BDW 0312
  • BWV deest – St Mark Passion (attributed to Keiser), surviving in various (pasticcio) versions, with three movements associated with Bach:
    • BWV 500a – Chorale "So gehst du nun, mein Jesu, hin", BDW 0571
    • BWV 1084 – Chorale "O hilf Christe, Gottes Sohn", BDW 1270, and earlier version BDW 1677
    • BWV deest – Chorale "O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid", BDW 1679, and earlier version BDW 1678
  • BWV deest – Passion oratorio Wer ist der, so von Edom kömmt (pasticcio), with three movements associated with Bach:
    • BWV 127/1 (variant) – Chorus "Herr Jesu Christ, wahr' Mensch und Gott", BDW 0155
    • BWV 1088 – Arioso "So heb ich denn mein Auge sehnlich auf", BDW 1274
    • BWV deest – Chorus "Der Gerechte kömmt um", also as separate motet (BC C 8),[23] BDW 1532

Other vocal compositions associated with Passion music[edit]


  • BWV Anh. 169 – Passion text Erbauliche Gedanken auf den Grünen Donnerstag und Charfreitag über den Leidenden Jesum by Picander, not set by Bach (apart from some movements of the St Matthew Passion)

Oratorios and associated cantatas[edit]


  1. ^ The New Bach Edition, Series II: Masses, Passions, Oratorios at the Bärenreiter website
  2. ^ Boyd, Malcolm (1999). Oxford Composer Companions: J.S. Bach. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 299. ISBN 0-19-866208-4.
  3. ^ Cantata BWV 189 Meine Seele ruhmt und preist at
  4. ^ Georg Melchior Hoffmann: Meine Seele rühmt und preist at
  5. ^ Spitta 1884, p. 374 ff.
  6. ^ Frederick Hudson and Alfred Dürr. "An Investigation into the Authenticity of Bach's ‘Kleine Magnificat’" in Music and Letters XXXVI (3), 1955 – pp. 233-236
  7. ^ Andreas Glöckner. "Die Leipziger Neukirchenmusik und das 'Kleine Magnificat' BWV Anh. 21" in Bach-Jahrbuch 1982, pp. 97-102
  8. ^ a b c d e f Kirsten Beißwenger (ed.) Werke zweifelhafter Echtheit, Bearbeitungen fremder Kompositionen (Volume 9 of Series II: Masses, Passions, Oratorios from the New Bach Edition). Bärenreiter, 2000.
  9. ^ Mass, a BWV Anh. 24 / Anh. III 167‑>; BNB I/P/6 at
  10. ^ Missa (Kyrie and Gloria), C BWV Anh. 25; BNB I/An/1 at
  11. ^ Mass, c BWV Anh. 29; BNB I/An/2 at
  12. ^ Magnificat in C BWV Anh. 30; BNB I/An/7 at
  13. ^ Magnificat in C major BWV Anh 30 at
  14. ^ a b c Mass in E minor, BWV Anh 166 at
  15. ^ Geiringer, Karl and Irene. The Bach Family: Seven Generations of Creative Genius, footnote p. 117. New York: Oxford University Press, 1954.
  16. ^ Missa (Kyrie and Gloria), e JLB 38; BWV Anh. 166; BNB I/B/18 at
  17. ^ Missa, G BWV Anh. 167; BNB I/An/3 at
  18. ^ D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 659 at
  19. ^ Alfred Dörffel. "Statistik der Concerte im Saale des Gewandhauses zu Leipzig" p. 3, in Geschichte der Gewandhausconcerte zu Leipzig vom 25. November 1781 bis 25. November 1881: Im Auftrage der Concert-Direction verfasst. Leipzig, 1884.
  20. ^ Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Missa sine nomine a 6 at
  21. ^ Missa sine nomine (arr. of Kyrie and Gloria, copy of the following movements) at
  22. ^ The New Bach Edition – Revised Edition
  23. ^ Morton, Wyant (1992). Questions of authenticity in three motets attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach (Thesis) (PDF). University of Arizona. pp. 11–25.