Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata No. 165, "O heilges Geist- und Wasserbad," BWV 165 (BC A90)

    Description by James Leonard

    Composed in Weimar for the Feast of Trinity Sunday, which fell on June 16, 1715, and probably performed again on Trinity Sunday of 1724 in Leipzig, Bach's Cantata No. 165 "O heilges Geist und Wasserbad" (O Holy and Sanctified Fountain) (BWV 165) sets a text by Salomon Franck from 1715 in its first five movements and a chorale by Ludwig Helmbold from 1757 for its final movement. Like most of his cantatas from the Weimar period, "O heilges Geist und Wasserbad" is austerely scored for soprano, bass, alto, and tenor soloists and chorus, strings, and basso continuo. "O heilges Geist und Wasserbad" is in G major with its first, fifth, and sixth movements in the tonic, its third movement in the relative minor of E minor, and its second and fourth movements serving as harmonic bridges. The cantata's first movement, marked concerto, is a remarkable fusion of fugue and rondo for soprano soloist, strings, and continuo. The second movement is a dire secco recitative for bass soloist and continuo. The third movement is a dour aria for alto soloist and continuo. The fourth movement is a placid recitative for bass soloist, strings, and continuo. The fifth movement is an assured aria in the form of a trio sonata for tenor soloist, unison violins, and continuo. "O heilges Geist und Wasserbad" concludes with a straightforward harmonization of Helmbold's chorale for chorus, strings, and continuo.


    1. O heil'ges Geist-und Wasserbad
    2. Die sündige Geburt verdammter Adams-Erben
    3. Jesu, der aus grosser Liebe
    4. Ich habe ja, mein Seelenbräutigam
    5. Jesu, meines Todes Tod
    6. Sein Wort, sein' Taufe, sein Nachtmahl

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 BIS BIS 9055
    2015 Analekta AN 29144
    2013 Teldec 671897
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2008 Soli Deo Gloria 138
    2008 Teldec 69943-7
    2007 Warner Classics
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99697
    2003 Challenge Records 72203
    2001 Haenssler 92563
    2000 Haenssler 92050
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Teldec 3984-25709-2
    1997 BIS 801
    1996 Erato 14336
    1994 Teldec 4509-91763-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91765-2
    1988 Teldec 35658
    Brilliant 99703/7
    Brilliant Classics 99703
    Brilliant 93102/53
    Brilliant 99705/33
    Brilliant Classics 99705
    Brilliant Classics 93102-VOL3
    Haenssler 98891