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Sie werden euch in den Bann tun, BWV 44

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Title: Sie werden euch in den Bann tun, BWV 44  
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Subject: Paul Fleming (poet), List of Bach cantatas by liturgical function, Monteverdi Choir, Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid
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Sie werden euch in den Bann tun, BWV 44

Sie werden euch in den Bann tun (They will put you under banishment), BWV 44, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for Exaudi, the Sunday after Ascension, and first performed it on 21 May 1724.

History and words

Bach wrote the cantata in his first year in Leipzig for the Sunday Exaudi, the Sunday after Ascension.[1] The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the First Epistle of Peter, "serve each other" (1 Peter 4:8–11), and from the second Farewell discourse in the Gospel of John, the promise of the Paraclete, the "Spirit of Truth", and the announcement of persecution (John 15:26–16:4). The unknown poet begins with a quotation from the Gospel. One year later, poetess Christiana Mariana von Ziegler would begin her cantata text for the same occasion, Sie werden euch in den Bann tun, BWV 183, with the same quotation, but other than that, the two works have little in common. The poet reflects the persecution of the Christians,[1] confirmed by a chorale as movement 4, the first stanza of Martin Moller's "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid".[2] In movement 5 the poet gives a reason, the Antichrist even thinking to work for God by fighting the Christians and their teaching.[1] In movement 6, the suffering ones are promised God's help. The closing chorale is the final stanza of Paul Fleming's In allen meinen Taten.[3]

Bach first performed the cantata on 21 May 1724.[1] It is the last original cantata composition of his first annual cycle, followed by reworkings of older music until the beginning of the second annual cycle of chorale cantatas on the first Sunday after Trinity.[4]

Scoring and structure

The cantata in seven movements is scored for four soloists, soprano, alto, tenor and bass, a four-part choir, two oboes, two violins, viola and basso continuo:[1]

  1. Duetto (tenor, bass): Sie werden euch in den Bann tun
  2. Coro: Es kömmt aber die Zeit
  3. Aria (alto): Christen müssen auf der Erden
  4. Chorale (tenor): Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid
  5. Recitativo (bass): Es sucht der Antichrist
  6. Aria (soprano): Es ist und bleibt der Christen Trost
  7. Chorale: So sei nun, Seele, deine


As with many works of Georg Philipp Telemann, but rare in Bach's cantatas, the Bible quotation is split in two movements, a duet and a chorus which follows immediately in a different time and faster tempo.[1] The duet is an expressive lamento, introduced by the two oboes in imitation on themes which the voices pick up. The chorus has been described as "tumultuous and excited" and likened to the rendering of the excited crowd (turba) in Bach's St John Passion and St Matthew Passion.[5] It follows the text in mostly homophonic sections with independent instruments. The beginning, "Es kömmt aber die Zeit" (But the time will come), is rendered in block chords (Akkordblöcke)[1] as "repeated rhetorical calls".[4] In the following "daß, wer euch tötet" (when whoever kills you), the word "töten" is "twice emphasized by a sudden, mysterious piano and wan, chromatically tinged harmonies", according to Klaus Hofmann,[5] or "menacing chromatic texture of sustained notes underpinned by unexpected harmonies", according to Julian Mincham.[4] Finally "wird meinen, er tue Gott einen Dienst daran" (will think that he does God a service by it) is interpreted by free imitation. After this sequential presentation of the three ideas of the text, they are repeated in variation and combination.[1] Mincham summarises the "uncompromising" tone of the statement "the time will come when your murderer will believe that he has done a service to God".[4]

Movement 3 refers to the opening in tranquil 3/4 time with an obbligato oboe. The words "Marter, Bann und schwere Pein" (martyrdom, exile, and bitter pain) are coloured in expressive chromatic, although the text speaks of overcoming them.[1] Hofmann describes "sigh-like suspension and emotionally charged harmonic darkening".[5] The commenting chorale, on the almost unadorned melody of "Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht",[6] is sung by the tenor on an ostinato in the continuo derived from the first line of the chorale.[1] Hofmann observes in the continuo ostinato that "at the place where the song text has the word "Herzeleid" (heart ache), it is expanded by means of chromatic notes in between - a figurative expression of sorrow, of the lamentation that characterizes the whole movement".[5] Mincham notes that this central chorale "seems almost to pre-empt the atonal harmonies of the twentieth century"."Mincham" /> The following short secco recitative marks a turning point, resulting in an aria of consolation in dance-like movement, accompanied by the string doubled by the oboes. In the middle section, storms and "winds of trouble" give way to "the sun of joy soon smiled" (die Freudensonne bald gelacht), expressed in vivid coloraturas.[1] The cantata is closed by a four-part chorale setting on the melody of O Welt, ich muß dich lassen,[7] which resembles the setting of the same melody in movement 10 of the St Matthew Passion, "Ich bins, ich sollte büßen".[5]

Selected recordings



The first source is the score.

Several databases provide additional information on each cantata:

  • Cantata BWV 44 Sie werden euch in den Bann tun history, scoring, sources for text and music, translations to various languages, discography, discussion, bach-cantatas website
  • Emmanuel Music
  • Sie werden euch in den Bann tun history, scoring, Bach website (German)
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Alberta

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