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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)

My God alone this heart possesses BWV 169

Cantata for the 18th Sunday after Trinity
Urtext Stuttgarter Bachausgaben

forSoloist (alto), mixed choir (SATB), orchestra, basso continuo
Musical EditionsPiano reduction
Item no.661119
Author / ComposerJohann Sebastian Bach
EditorUlrich Bartels
Languagesgerman, english
Scope32 pages; 19 × 27 cm
Duration17 minutes
Year of origin1726
Release year2016
Publisher / ProducerCarus Verlag
Producer No.CV 31.169/03


Solo A, Coro SATB, 2 Obda, Taille (Eh), 2 Vl, Va, Bc, Org obl

Bach's cantata "My God alone this heart possesses" BWV 169 is from his third annual cantata cycle in Leipzig; it was first performed on 20 October 1726 for the 18th Sunday after Trinity. As recent research has shown, the text was written by the Leipzig student, Christoph Birkmann. With the exception of the final chorale, this is a cantata for solo alto with, of course, a rich orchestral scoring consisting of three oboes, obbligato organ and strings.

The first purely instrumental movement can be traced back to an instrumental concerto, which has been lost, after Bach had also composed the Keyboard Concerto in E major BWV 1053. The lyrical-vocal highpoint of the cantata is the fifth movement, which is also based on the concerto and it shows off Bach's arranging artistry to the highest degree. Among the movements are an aria-like recitative vocal movement, as well as another aria with an almost virtuoso organ accompaniment.

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