Johann Sebastian Bach (16851750)

Ah, how fleeting, ah, how futile BWV 26

Cantata for 24th Sunday after Trinity
Urtext Stuttgarter Bach-Ausgaben

for: 4 soloists (SATB), mixed choir (SATB), orchestra, basso continuo

Piano reduction (Urtext edition)

Item no.463886
Author/ComposerJohann Sebastian Bach
EditorTill Reininghaus
Piano scorePaul Horn
Languagesgerman, english
Scope28 pages; 19 × 27 cm
Year of origin1724
Release year2007
Publisher/ProducerCarus Verlag
Producer No.CV 31.026/03


Scoring: Soli SATB, Coro SATB, Fl, 3 Ob, Cor, 2 Vl, Va, Bc

Bach’s cantata BWV 26 belongs to the Leipzig cycle of chorale cantatas, 1724/25, and it was first performed on 19 November 1724. The underlying 13-vers hymn by Michael Franck provided Bach and his unidentified librettist with an abundance of metaphors and comparisons which, from verse to verse and movement to movement, illustrate the fleeting and transitory nature of earthly life: an impressive musical-poetic exposition of potent baroque pictures of ”vanity.”