Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata No. 114, "Ach, lieben Christen, seid getrost," BWV 114 (BC A139)

    Description by James Leonard

    Composed for the seventeenth Sunday after Trinity, which fell on October 1, 1724, Bach's Cantata No. 114 "Ach, lieben Christen, seid getrost" (Ah, dear Christians, be brave) (BWV 114) sets a hymn by Johannes Gigas from 1561 in its first, fourth, and seventh movements with paraphrases of Gigas' text in the second, third, fifth, and sixth movements. In typical Lutheran fashion, the text begins in despair and ends with the hope of redemption. The cantata is scored for tenor, bass, soprano, and alto soloists and chorus, a recorder, a pair of oboes, strings, and basso continuo, plus trumpet/horn in the outer movements. "Ach, lieben Christen, seid getrost" is overwhelmingly in dour G minor with its first, fourth, sixth, and seventh movements in the tonic, its second movement in the minor dominant of D minor, its third starting in the tonic but ending on the minor dominant, and its fifth in the relative major of B flat major. The first movement is a Vivace chorale fantasia with the choral sopranos intoning Gigas' chorale plus embellishments by the lower choral voices while the orchestra plays an expansive ritornello based on motifs drawn from the chorale. The second is a da capo aria in the form of a trio sonata for expressive tenor soloist, extremely virtuostic recorder, and continuo. The third is a secco recitative for bass soloist and continuo with a more lyrical Andante interpolated at the end. The fourth is a setting of Gigas' chorale for soprano soloist over melodic continuo. The fifth is a lovely aria for piano alto soloist, graceful oboe soloist, strings, and continuo. The sixth is a very brief secco recitative for soloist and continuo. "Ach, lieben Christen, seid getrost" concludes with a harmonization of Gigas' chorale for chorus and full orchestra colla parte.


    1. Ach, lieben Christen, seid getrost
    2. Wo wird diesem Jammertale
    3. O S├╝nder, trage mit Geduld
    4. Kein' Frucht des Wezenk├Ârnlein bringt
    5. Du machst, o Tod, mir nun nicht ferner bange
    6. Indes bedenke deine Seele
    7. Wir wachen oder schlafen ein, so sind wir doch dies Herrn

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 BIS BIS 9055
    2013 Teldec 671853
    2011 Warner Classics 674287
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2009 Soli Deo Gloria 159
    2008 Teldec 69943-7
    2007 Warner Classics
    2007 Teldec Classics 8573811755
    2006 Brilliant 99697
    2006 Brilliant 93102
    2006 Challenge Records 72212
    2004 BIS 1361
    2002 Erato 85842
    2001 Haenssler 92562
    2000 Haenssler 92036
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Teldec 3984-25708-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91760-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91765-2
    Brilliant 99703/8
    Brilliant 99703
    Brilliant 93102/54
    Brilliant 93102-VOL3