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Bachs Oboe

A library of J.S.Bachs music for oboe

BWV 91 Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ

Cantata for Christmas Day

Complete score
Oboe 1
Oboe 2
Oboe 3
Continuo

Bach wrote the cantata „Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ“ for the first Christmas Day in 1724. It belongs to the 2nd cantata cycle (the choral cantata cycle) and is based on Martin Luthers song with the same name. It was the lutheran main song for first Christmas day. The cantata uses the first, second and seventh verse in the cantata (in the first, second and last movement). Bach used the song in the Christmas oratory, too (its 6th verse in the 7th movement of the first cantata and the 7th verse in 4th movement of the third cantata).

The score has the tenor aria for three oboes and basso continuo. It is based on the facsimile parts (Bachs complete score is more of a sketch - he left the articulations to its main copist J.A.Kuhnau, who knew his practical requirements and ideas very well). The articulation differs a bit in the oboe parts, I took it exactly as in the parts and leave it to the musicians faculty of judgement to adapt the differings. The aria has references to the third and fourth verse of Martin Luthers song:

Martin Luther „Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ

2. Des ew’gen Vaters einzig Kind
Jetzt man in der Krippen findt,
In unser armes Fleisch und Blut
Verkleidet sich das ewig Gut.
Kyrieleis!

3. Den aller Welt Kreis nie beschloß,
Der liegt in Marien Schoß;
Er ist ein Kindlein worden klein,
Der alle Ding’ erhält allein.
Kyrieleis!

4. Das ew’ge Licht geht da herein,
Gibt der Welt ein’n neuen Schein;
Es leucht’t wohl mitten in der Nacht
Und uns des Lichtes Kinder macht.
Kyrieleis!

Tenor Aria Libretto

Gott, dem der Erden Kreis zu klein,
Den weder Welt noch Himmel fassen,
Will in der engen Krippe sein.
Erscheinet uns dies ewge Licht,
So wird hinfüro Gott uns nicht
Als dieses Lichtes Kinder hassen.

Epistle: Titus 2, 11-14 or Jesaja, 9 1-7
Gospel: Luke 2, 1-14

Bach cantatas website
Cantata text
Choral text
Facsimile bach-digital.de
Facsimile parts bach-digital.de

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