Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata No. 108, "Es ist euch gut, dass ich hingehe," BWV 108 (BC A72)

    Description by Erik Eriksson

    Notated by Bach as a cantata for the fourth Sunday after Easter, this work for chorus and alto, tenor, and bass soloists was composed to a text by Marianne von Ziegler as emended by the composer. Thus, Cantata No. 108 was one of nine for which Ziegler's volume of poems provided most of the texts. The cantata addresses the topic of the Holy Ghost promised to his disciples by the departing Christ. Two quotations from the Gospel of John are added as is a chorale based on a hymn by Paul Gerhardt. In common with the other eight cantatas to Ziegler's texts, No. 108 lacks an opening choral movement. Scholars have detected in this group of cantatas a greater freedom of invention on Bach's part, given that he was not obliged to follow the form of the liturgical chorale. Although Ziegler wrote more texts that Bach might have utilized, his engagement with her texts abruptly ended. Perhaps criticism from within the Lutheran Church caused this, or it may have been that the need for fresh texts had lessened, at least in the composer's estimation. Bach scholar Eric Chafe referred to Cantata No. 108 as a catabasis cantata, that is, one in which a downward progression of key signatures can be observed, signifying a descent from the divine to the human. The bass soloist begins the work with a recitative, "Es ist euch gut, dass ich hingehe" (It is for you that I now depart), telling of his sending the comforter "to you." The tenor soloist next sings an aria, asserting that no doubt will detain him. In the following recitative, the tenor soloist vows "Thy Spirit shall guide me," leading to a chorus stating that the arrival of truth's spirit will result in him leading his followers to every truth. The alto soloist then voices the belief that whatever the heart seeks shall be bestowed and that the supplicant will spend an eternity in which heaven's majesty may be enjoyed. The concluding chorale assures the listener that the spirit sent by God shall lead the faithful on a well-prepared pathway and that they should not stray from that path where salvation lies.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Es ist euch gut, dass ich hingehe
    2. Mich kann kein Zweifel stören
    3. Dein Geist wird mich also regieren
    4. Wenn aber jener, der Geist der Wahrheit, kommen wird
    5. Was mein Herz von dir begehrt
    6. Dein Geist, den Gott von Himmel gibt

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 16010
    2016 BIS BIS 9055
    2014 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 13054
    2013 Teldec 671853
    2010 Accent 25310
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2008 Teldec 4697666
    2008 Teldec 69943-7
    2007 Elatus
    2007 Teldec
    2007 BIS 1611
    2007 Teldec Classics 8573811775
    2007 Warner Classics
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99697
    2005 Soli Deo Gloria 107
    2004 Challenge Records 72215
    2004 Haenssler 98837
    2002 Haenssler 94027
    2001 Haenssler 92562
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Haenssler 92034
    1999 Teldec 3984-25708-2
    1996 Teldec 99874
    1994 Archiv Produktion 439 368-2AX26
    1994 Teldec 4509-91760-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91765-2
    1993 Teldec 77614
    1993 Archiv Produktion 439374
    Brilliant 93102/84
    Brilliant 99704/8
    Brilliant Classics 99704
    Brilliant 99705/33
    Brilliant Classics 99705
    Brilliant Classics 93102-VOL4
    Haenssler
    Haenssler 98884