Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata No. 134, "Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiss," BWV 134 (BC A59)

    Description by James Leonard

    Composed for Easter Tuesday, which fell on April 11, 1724, Bach's Cantata No. 134 "Ein Herr, das seinen Jesum lebend weiss" (The heart that truly knows Jesus) (BWV 134) is a parody cantata; that is, a re-working of an early work with new texts. In this case, the original work was a secular serenata-cum-duo-cantata, Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht (The Time, the Day and the Year make) (BWV 134a), that was composed for New Year's Day 1719. In the case of "Ein Herr, das seinen Jesum lebend weiss," Bach did not even bother to write out a new score, but rather, wrote out the new text below the original text. The result is scored for alto and tenor soloists, chorus, a pair of oboes, strings, and basso continuo. "Ein Herr, das seinen Jesum lebend weiss" is in B flat major with its first, second, fifth, and sixth movements in the tonic and its third and fourth movements in the major subdominant of E flat major. In keeping with its origins, the cantata starts with a duet recitative for alto and tenor soloists with florid continuo accompaniment. Its second movement is a richly scored da capo aria in fast triple time for tenor soloist and full orchestra. Its third is a second duet secco recitative for the two soloists and continuo and its fourth is a duet da capo aria in cut time for the two soloists and continuo. The fifth is a third secco recitative for the two soloists and continuo that becomes a very brief arioso in its closing bars. "Ein Herr, das seinen Jesum lebend weiss" concludes with a chorale fantasia in triple time for the chorus and orchestra interspersed with passages for the soloists.


    1. Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiss
    2. Auf, auf, Glaubige, singet die lieblichen Lieder
    3. Wohl dir, Gott hat an dich gedacht
    4. Wir danken, wir preisen dien brunstiges Lieben
    5. Doch wirke selbst den Dank in unserm Munde
    6. Erschallet, ihr Himmel, erfreue dich, Erde

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 BIS BIS 9055
    2014 Accent ACC 25317
    2013 Teldec 671846
    2011 Warner Classics 674149
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2010 Berlin Classics 0300034
    2008 Teldec 69943-7
    2008 Berlin Classics 018421
    2007 Soli Deo Gloria 128
    2007 Warner Classics
    2007 Berlin Classics 0184112
    2006 Brilliant 99697
    2006 Brilliant 93102
    2006 Challenge Records 72210
    2005 Berlin Classics 0013642BC
    2002 BIS 1251
    2001 Haenssler 92563
    2000 Haenssler 92042
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Teldec 3984-25708-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91761-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91765-2
    Brilliant 93102/100
    Brilliant 99704/24
    Brilliant 99704
    Brilliant 93102-VOL4
    Edel Records 1826
    Erato 80220
    Haenssler 98881