Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata No. 58, "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid," BWV 58 (BC A26)

    Description by James Leonard

    Composed for the First Sunday after the New Year, also known as the Feast of the Circumcision, of 1727 and re-composed in 1733 or 1734, Bach's Cantata No. 58 "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzelied" (Dialogus) (Ah, God, how much sorrow) (Dialogue) (BWV 58) sets an anonymous text based on a chorale by Martin Moller in its opening movement and a chorale by Martin Behm in its closing movement. Taking as his foundation the episode called "The Flight into Egypt" from Matthew (2, 13-23), the cantata's poet traces the soul's journey through a life "full of sorrow" to the salvation of heaven. As its subtitle indicates, "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzelied (Dialogus)" is a duet cantata scored for soprano and bass soloists, a pair of oboes with taille, strings, and basso continuo. "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzelied (Dialogus)" is in C major, with its first and last movements in the tonic, its second movement starting in A minor (the relative minor of C major) and ending in F major, its third in D minor (the relative minor of F major), and its fourth starting in F major and ending in A minor, thereby reversing the harmonic motion of the second movement. The first movement is a stately Adagio da capo duetto between the soloists, who are accompanied by the entire orchestra with the soprano intoning Moller's chorale while the bass sings an arioso beneath it. The second movement is a painfully chromatic secco recitative for bass and continuo. The third is a dolcet aria for soprano, concertante violin, and continuo and the fourth movement is a secco recitative for soprano and continuo. The cantata concludes with a quick duetto aria between the soloists in which the soprano intones Behm's chorale, the bass sings elaborate embellishments beneath it, and the whole orchestra accompanies them.


    1. Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid
    2. Verfolgt dich glecih die arge Welt
    3. Ich bin vergnügt in meinem Leiden
    4. Kann es die Welt nich lassen
    5. Ich hab' für mir ein' schwere Reis' (Arioso)

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 CPO 5550682
    2016 Warner Classics 0190295975135
    2016 BIS BIS 9055
    2016 Oehms Classics OC 1815
    2013 Archiv Produktion / DG Deutsche Grammophon 4791712
    2013 DG Archiv
    2012 SDG (Soli Deo Gloria) / Soli Deo Gloria SDG 718
    2011 Warner Classics 671365
    2010 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2008 SDG (Soli Deo Gloria) 150
    2008 BIS 1631
    2008 Teldec 69943-7
    2006 Brilliant 99697
    2006 Brilliant 93102
    2006 Teldec Classics 8573811975
    2006 Warner Classics 381197
    2005 Challenge Records 72217
    2001 Haenssler 92561
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Haenssler 92019
    1999 Accent 9395
    1999 Teldec 3984-25707-2
    1998 DG Deutsche Grammophon 459032
    1998 DG Deutsche Grammophon 459 069-2GCC12
    1997 Accent 97000
    1994 DG Archiv 439 368-2AX26
    1994 DG Archiv 439369
    1994 Teldec 4509-91757-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91765-2
    Brilliant 93102/89
    Brilliant 99704/13
    Brilliant 99704
    Brilliant 93102-VOL4
    Haenssler 98871