Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata No. 158, "Der Friede sei mit dir," BWV 158 (BC A61)

    Description by James Leonard

    Because the score for Bach's Cantata No. 158 "Der Friede sei mit dir" (Peace be with you) (BWV 0158) exists only in a later copy, it is difficult to correctly date the work. Additionally, the cover names both the Third Day of Easter and Candlemas (the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary) as the church services for which it was composed, thereby making its liturgical intent impossible to determine. Furthermore, scholars are fairly certain that at least one aria is missing and possibly a recitative. Be that as it may, "Der Friede sei mit dir" is still one of the most frequently performed cantatas because the four extant movements are of the highest quality and the second movement is one of the most frequently excerpted arias in all of Bach. "Der Friede sei mit dir" sets a text by Salomon Franck except for the closing chorale hymn, which is by Christoph Knoll from 1605. The cantata is simply scored for bass soloist, chorus, oboe, solo violin, and basso continuo. Because of its incomplete state, it is difficult to assign a tonality to "Der Friede sei mit dir." Its first and second movements are in G major, while its third and fourth movements are in E minor. The first movement is a very supple recitative for bass soloist and continuo. The second is the heart of the cantata: marked Aria con chorale, it is a fusion of a dulcet aria in the form of a trio sonata for bass soloist and solo violin over continuo with interjections of lines from Knoll's chorale for choral sopranos doubled by solo oboe. The combined effect of the serene solo violin, the heavenly sopranos, and the earnest bass soloist is sublime. The third movement is a second supple secco recitative for soloist and continuo. "Der Friede sei mit dir" concludes with a harmonization of Knoll's chorale for chorus with violin and oboe soloists doubling the sopranos and basso continuo doubling the basses.


    1. Der Friede sei mit dir
    2. Welt ade! ich bin dein müde
    3. Nun Herr, regiere meinen Sinn
    4. Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2019 Accentus ACC 30466
    2017 Alpha 241
    2017 Accentus ACC 30410
    2016 J.S. Bach-Stiftung B 431
    2016 BIS BIS 9055
    2013 Das Alte Werk / Teldec 2564647632
    2013 Warner Classics 81162
    2013 Teldec 467189
    2013 Passacaille PASS 997
    2013 Oehms Classics OC 887
    2011 Warner Classics 674464
    2011 Decca
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2008 BIS 1691
    2008 Challenge Classics 72283
    2008 Teldec 69943-7
    2008 Haenssler 94201
    2007 Soli Deo Gloria 131
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99697
    2006 Naxos 8557616
    2004 Deutsche Grammophon 000345802
    2004 Deutsche Grammophon 000384536
    2004 Deutsche Grammophon
    2003 EMI Classics
    2001 Haenssler 92563
    2001 Harmonia Mundi 1951365
    2001 Harmonia Mundi 2908116/18
    2000 Decca 466570
    2000 Harmonia Mundi 2951365
    2000 Haenssler 92048
    2000 Angel Records 67202B
    2000 Gloriae Dei Cantores 028
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Teldec 3984-25709-2
    1999 Lyrichord 8039
    1999 Harmonia Mundi 2908091/95
    1998 Decca 458 087-2OF2
    1994 Archiv Produktion 439 368-2AX26
    1994 Teldec 93687
    1994 Teldec 4509-91762-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91765-2
    1993 Archiv Produktion 439374
    1992 EMI Music Distribution 754453-2
    1988 Teldec 35657
    Brilliant 93102/101
    Brilliant 99704/25
    Brilliant Classics 99704
    Brilliant Classics 93102-VOL4
    Vox 9039
    Haenssler 98882
    Challenge Records 72221