Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata No. 107, "Was willst du dich betrüben," BWV 107 (BC A109)

    Description by James Leonard

    Composed for the seventh Sunday after Trinity, which fell on July 23, 1724, Bach's Cantata No. 107 "Was willst du dich betrübern" (What will you grieve) (BWV 107) sets a text by Johann Heermann of 1630. Like most cantata texts, Heermann's traces the path from earthly pain and suffering to the faith in heavenly salvation. The cantata is scored for bass, tenor, and soprano soloists and chorus, a pair of transverse flutes, a pair of oboe d'amore, strings, and basso continuo, plus trumpets doubling the chorale sopranos in the outer movements. "Was willst du dich betrübern" is in bleak B minor with its first, fifth, and seventh movements in the tonic; its second movement in the minor dominant of F sharp minor; its third movement in the dominant's relative major of A major; its fourth movement in the minor subdominant; and its sixth movement in the relative major of D major. The first movement is a spacious chorale fantasia with the choral sopranos taking the chorale melody, but with both the other choral voices and the instruments pursuing independent parts. The second is an exquisitely scored recitative for melismatic bass soloist, a pair of oboe d'amore, and continuo. The third is a Vivace aria for virtuoso bass soloist, obbligato first violins, strings, and powerful continuo. The fourth is an aria for tenor soloist and solo organ continuo. The fifth is a gracious aria in 12/8 time for soprano, an agile pair of oboe d'amore, and staccato continuo. The sixth is a delicately scored aria for tenor soloist, transverse flute doubled by muted first violins, and pizzicato continuo. "Was willst du dich betrübern" concludes with a chorale harmonization in 6/8 for chorus and independent full orchestra.


    1. Was willst du dich betrüben
    2. Denn Gott verlässet Keinen, der sich auf ihn verlasst
    3. Auf ihn magst du es wagen
    4. Wenn auch gleich aus der Hollen der Statan
    5. Er richt's zu seinen Ehren
    6. Drum ich mich ihm ergebe
    7. Herr, gib, dass ich dein' Ehre

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 BIS BIS 9055
    2015 J.S. Bach-Stiftung B 106CD
    2013 Teldec 671853
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2010 Guild 7333
    2009 SDG (Soli Deo Gloria) 156
    2008 Teldec 69943-7
    2007 Warner Classics
    2007 Teldec Classics 8573811775
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99697
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2006 Challenge Records 72212
    2004 Virgin 62252
    2004 BIS 1331
    2002 Erato 85842
    2002 Virgin 562025
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 561721
    2001 Haenssler 92562
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Haenssler 92034
    1999 Teldec 3984-25708-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91760-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91765-2
    Brilliant 99703/21
    Brilliant Classics 99703
    Brilliant 93102/67
    Brilliant Classics 93102-VOL3