Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele, BWV 69

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Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele
BWV 69
Sacred cantata by J. S. Bach
Leipzig Nikolaikirche BW 2012-09-10 18-11-46 cropped.jpg
Nikolaikirche, where the inauguration of a new Leipzig town council was annually performed
Related BWV 69a
Occasion Ratswechsel
Performed 1748 (1748) – Leipzig
Movements 6
Cantata text anonymous
Chorale by Martin Luther
Vocal SATB choir and solo

Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele (Praise the Lord, my soul), BWV 69,[a] is a cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach.

History and text[edit]

Bach composed a cantata with this title (BWV 69a) in 1723 during his first year in Leipzig. Bach revived the work later in the 1720s, changing the instrumentation of one of the arias. Much later, in 1748, he reworked the cantata for the church service which was held to mark the inauguration of a town council.[1] The recitatives and the chorale were changed. In this form, it was first performed on 26 August 1748.[2] The festive orchestration of the original work was suitable for the new occasion.

The text of the first movement is from Psalm 103. The chorale is the third verse of "Es woll uns Gott genädig sein" by Martin Luther (1524). The author of the rest of the text is unknown.[2]

Scoring and structure[edit]

The cantata is scored for four solo voices (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir, three trumpets, timpani, three oboes, oboe d'amore, bassoon, two violins, viola, and basso continuo.[3]

The work is in six movements:

  1. Chorus: Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele
  2. Recitative (soprano): Wie groß ist Gottes Güte doch
  3. Aria (alto): Meine Seele, auf, erzähle
  4. Recitative (tenor): Der Herr hat große Ding an uns getan
  5. Aria (bass): Mein Erlöser und Erhalter
  6. Chorale: Es danke, Gott, und lobe dich


The chorus and the bass aria are taken without significant alteration from BWV 69a. The second movement is a secco soprano recitative which opens much like in the original version before modulating to G major. The other aria is transposed from the tenor original for the alto voice, and is accompanied by violin and oboe instead of flute and oboe da caccia. The following tenor recitative with string accompaniment is "an example of Bach's highly emotional recitative melodic line at its most mature and expressive", but midway through, it moves into a dissonant and chromatic passage. The closing chorale includes prominent parts for trumpet and drums.[4]



  1. ^ "BWV" is Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, a thematic catalogue of Bach's works.


  1. ^ Bach wrote a number of works for this ceremony. See for example Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille, BWV 120
  2. ^ a b "Cantata BWV 69". bach-cantatas. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "BWV 69". University of Alberta. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Mincham, Julian. "Chapter 84 BWV 69". jsbachcantatas. Retrieved 23 July 2013.