Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata No. 126, "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort," BWV 126 (BC A46)

    Description by James Leonard

    Composed for Sexagesima Sunday, which fell on February 4, 1725, Bach's Cantata No. 126 "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort" (Sustain us, Lord, with your word) (BWV 126) sets a chorale of Martin Luther in its first and third movements and a chorale by Johann Walter for its sixth and final movement; the remaining movements set anonymous texts paraphrasing Luther's chorale and on the Gospel According to Luke (8 4-15). Taking Luther's minatory text as the basis for his militant music, the cantata is scored for tenor, alto and bass soloists, chorus, a concertante trumpet in the opening movement, a pair of oboes, strings, and basso continuo. "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort" is in A minor, with its first and final movements in the tonic, its second and third in the minor subdominant of E minor, its fourth in the relative major of C major, and its fifth starting in the tonic of A minor and closing in the minor subdominant of D minor. The cantata's first movement is essentially a trumpet concerto with full orchestral accompaniment interspersed with verses of Luther's chorale for chorus. The second movement is an aria in the form of a trio sonata for tenor and two obbligato oboes above a walking continuo bass. The third movement is a secco recitative for soprano alternating with a more lyrical Adagio for tenor soloists with both soloists joining together for the closing Adagio. The fourth movement is an aggressive da capo aria for bass with forceful continuo. The fifth movement is a secco recitative for tenor and organ continuo. "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort" concludes with a harmonization of Walter's chorale for chorus and full orchestra colla parte.


    1. Erhalt' uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort
    2. Sende deine Macht von oben, Herr der Herren
    3. Der Menschen Gunst und Macht wird wenig nützen
    4. Stürze zu Boden, schwülstige Stolze!
    5. So wird dein Wort und Wahrheit offenbar
    6. Verleih' uns Frieden gnädiglich

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Carus CV 83311
    2016 BIS BIS 9055
    2016 Sony Classical 88985320832
    2013 Teldec 671846
    2011 Warner Classics 674182
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2009 SDG (Soli Deo Gloria) 153
    2008 Teldec 69943-7
    2007 BIS 1551
    2007 Teldec Classics 8573811715
    2007 Warner Classics
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2004 Challenge Records 72214
    2001 Haenssler 92562
    2001 East Side Digit ESD 81622
    2000 Haenssler 92040
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Teldec 3984-25708-2
    1994 Archiv Produktion 439 368-2AX26
    1994 Teldec 4509-91761-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91765-2
    1993 Archiv Produktion 439374
    Brilliant 99704/28
    Brilliant 93102/104
    Brilliant Classics 99704
    Brilliant Classics 93102-VOL4
    Haenssler 98878