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BWV 129 Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott

Cantata for the Trinity Sunday

Complete score
Oboe d’amore
Continuo

The cantata „Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott“ is a choral cantata for the Trinity Sunday. It was probably perfomed on 16th of june in 1726 (maybe one year later, on 8th of june 1727) as an addition to his 2nd Leipzig cantata cycle, the so called choral-cantatas. Bach later filled the holes in his unfinished choral cantatas cycle (he stopped after eastern 1725) and exchanged BWV 176 with this cantata. Some musicologists claim that Bach intended to perfom this cantata for the feast of reformation but changed his mind later.

The cantata is based on Johann Olearius’ song „Gelobet sei der Herr“ from 1665. He wrote it for his collection called „Geistliche Singe-Kunst“, containing more than 1200 songs. Other than in the choral cantatas from his 2nd year in Leipzig, Bach took each verse from Olearis song for all the arias and did not used recitativos in this cantata (as he did in one of his first choral cantata, BWV 4).

Olearius song is titled „Ermunterung aus dem Fest-Evangelio Johannes 3 zur dankbaren Betrachtung des hohen Geheimnisses der Dreieinigkeit“ (encouragement from gospel St.John 3 for thankful contemplation on the high mystery of Trinity) and is as such considered an important song for the Trinity sunday. The song has five verses, where the first is for God:

1. Gelobet sei der Herr,
Mein Gott, mein Licht, mein Leben,
Mein Schöpfer, der mir hat
Mein Leib und Seel gegeben,
Mein Vater, der mich schützt
Von Mutterleibe an,
Der alle Augenblick
Viel Guts an mir getan.

the second verse is for Jesus:

2. Gelobet sei der Herr,
Mein Gott, mein Heil, mein Leben,
Des Vaters liebster Sohn,
Der sich für mich gegeben,
Der mich erlöset hat
Mit seinem teuren Blut,
Der mir im Glauben schenkt
Sich selbst, das höchste Gut.

and the third verse for The Holy Spirit:

3. Gelobet sei der Herr,
Mein Gott, mein Trost, mein Leben,
Des Vaters werter Geist,
Den mir der Sohn gegeben,
Der mir mein Herz erquickt,
Der mir gibt neue Kraft,
Der mir in aller Not
Rat, Trost und Hülfe schafft.

Verse four and five praise the Holy Trinity:

4. Gelobet sei der Herr,
Mein Gott, der ewig lebet,
Den alles lobet, was
In allen Lüften schwebet;
Gelobet sei der Herr,
Des Name heilig heißt,
Gott Vater, Gott der Sohn
Und Gott der Heilge Geist.

5. Dem wir das Heilig itzt
Mit Freuden lassen klingen
Und mit der Engel Schar
Das Heilig, Heilig singen,
Den herzlich lobt und preist
Die ganze Christenheit:
Gelobet sei mein Gott
In alle Ewigkeit!

The score has the fourth aria on Olearius’ 4th verse for alto, oboe d’amore and basso continuo and is based on Bachs autograph and the facsimile parts.

Epistle: Romans 11, 33-36
Gospel: John 3, 1-15

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

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