Dietrich Buxtehude

Alles, was ihr tut, for SATB voices, 2 violins, 2 violas, violone & continuo, BuxWV 4

    Description by Andrus Madsen

    In this cantata Buxtehude sets a whole conglomeration of texts. The work includes texts from the Old and New Testaments, portions of a Lutheran chorale text, and a bit of German poetry. It is scored for soprano, alto, tenor, bass, three violins, viola, violone, and continuo. The cantata combines all three of Buxtehude's most common cantata types: the concerto type, which usually sets a prose biblical text; the strophic aria type, setting a strophic poem; and the chorale cantata, borrowing both text and melody from a chorale. The cantata opens and closes with Buxtehude's setting of Colossians 3:17, sung by the full chorus and strings. This passage from Colossians was part of the Epistle reading for the fifth Sunday after Epiphany, and it is entirely likely that the cantata was intended for performance on that particular Sunday in the Lutheran church calendar. The aria portion of the cantata is a three-verse strophic aria sung by all four voices. Each phrase of the aria is punctuated by an incursion from the strings, and the verses are separated by brief string ritornellos. The cantata also includes a brief solo for bass and continuo, setting Psalm 37:4. The chorale portion of the cantata sets verses five and six of the chorale Aus meines Herzens Grunde by Georg Niege, from about 1587. First the soprano sings the melody and the words to the fifth verse of the chorale, accompanied by a five-part web of string polyphony in a manner reminiscent of the first verse of Buxtehude's chorale cantata Herzlich Lieb hab ich dich, o Herr BuxWV 41. The choir sings the sixth verse of the chorale, with the melody in the soprano.


    1. Sonata
    2. Coro. Alles, was ihr tut
    3. Sonata
    4. Aria. Dir, dir Höchster
    5. Arioso. Habe deine Lust
    6. Choral. Gott will ich lassen
    7. Sonata
    8. Coro: Alles, was ihr tut

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2008 Challenge Classics 72246
    2007 Naxos 8570494
    2003 Carus 83134
    1994 Christophorus 74588
    Dacapo 8 224160