Bach: Ihr, die ihr euch von Christo nennet, BWV 164

Cantata for the 13th Sunday after Trinity

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  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Format: Vocal Score
  • Instrumentation (this edition): Piano Reduction, SATB Choir
  • Originally for: SATB Choir, Orchestra
  • Work: Ihr, die ihr euch von Christo nennet (Cantata for the 13th Sunday after Trinity), BWV 164
  • Work Languages: English, German
  • ISMN: 9790007187187
  • Size: 7.5 x 10.6 inches
  • Pages: 28
  • Urtext / Critical Edition


This six-movement cantata BWV 164 was performed for the first time on 26 August 1725 in Leipzig. The text was written by Bach's Weimar cantata poet Salomon Franck and had been published earlier in 1715 in his collection "Evangelisches Andachts-Opffer". Here, Bach bases his work around the form of the Weimar cantatas which take their texts from Franck's printed collection (BWV 132, 152, 161–163, 165): the first five movements of the cantata in chamber music arrangement are performed by vocal soloists, while only the final chorus is given to the chorus. The key concepts of the text are Barmherzigkeit (compassion), Erbarmen (mercy) and wahre Christenliebe (true Christian love). The two arias for tenor and alto, and the duet for soprano and bass do not contain da capo sections, but repeat the entire text in a condensed form. The instruments do not contrast as a rule, but are treated as a string group (movements 1, 4), duetting (movement 3), and as full unison (movement 5). What is remarkable in all three movements is the thematic linking of the instrumental ritornello parts with the vocal parts through which Bach achieves a kind of unity of form.