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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)

O Holy Spirit’s solemn rite BWV 165

Cantata for the Trinity Sunday – "O heilges Geist- und Wasserbad"
Urtext Stuttgarter Bach-Ausgaben (revised edition)

for4 soloists (SATB), mixed choir (SATB), 2 violins, viola, bassoon, basso continuo
Musical EditionsStudy score
Item no.681135
Author / ComposerJohann Sebastian Bach
EditorFrauke Heinze
Languagesgerman, english
Scope24 pages; 14.5 × 21 cm
Duration13 minutes
Release year2018
Publisher / ProducerCarus Verlag
Producer No.CV 31.165/07


The cantata "O heilges Geist- und Wasserbad" (O Holy spirit’s solemn rite) BWV 165 is one of Bach's earliest cantata compositions and was presumably first performed in the Weimar Schlosskirche for Trinity Sunday in 1715. With a simple instrumentation of only strings and basso continuo (including bassoon), the cantata offers an alternative to the later Leipzig cantatas for the Feast of the Holy Trinity, also with regard to the vivid interpretation of the text in the librettos by Salomon Franck. In the two expressive recitatives and the three distinctively different arias, Bach repeatedly emphasizes the central words of the text, which focuses on the meaning of the rebirth of the spirit through baptism.

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