Chorale cantata for the Sunday Misericordias Domini
The Cantata “Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt” is a chorale cantata from Bachs later Leipzig years. He performed it for the first time on 8th of April 1731 in the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig (the printed libretto for the service is preserved).
Bach fills a hole in his 2nd Leipzig chorale cantata cycle, where he stopped composing chorale cantatas in spring 1725 (one explanation might be that his librettist Andreas Stübel, Konrektor of the St.Thomas church, died on 27th January 1725). In his later Leipzig years he added the missing pieces for the appropriate Sundays in the liturgical year from Eastern to Trinity.
BWV 112 is special, as it takes all the verses from its underlying chorale “Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt” , composed by Wolfgang Meuslin from 1530. In his 1724 chorale cantata cycle the first and last verses where used and the verses in between were paraphrased in the arias and recitativos. The chorale is based on Psalm 23, which uses the same theme as the gospel for the Sunday Misericordias Domini: the parabel of The Good Shepherd, John 10, 12-16.
The opening chorale is a joyful piece of music, it is written in clean copy - which may indicate that Bach took it from one of its former works - maybe an instrumental concert? It is one of the shortest opening chorales of the whole cycle.
The parts are based on Bachs autograph scores.