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Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm, BWV 171

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Title: Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm, BWV 171  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: New Year's Day, Mass in B minor, List of Bach cantatas by liturgical function, Monteverdi Choir, Bach cantata, Jesu, nun sei gepreiset, BWV 41
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm, BWV 171

Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm (God, as Your name is, so is also Your praise), BWV 171, is a church cantata of Johann Sebastian Bach, written for New Year's Day, probably first performed on 1 January 1729.

Scoring, words and structure

The prescribed readings for the feast day were from the Epistle to the Galatians, by faith we inherit (Galatians 3:23–29), and from the Gospel of Luke, the Circumcision and naming of Jesus (Luke 2:21).

The cantata is written for soprano, alto, tenor and bass soloists, choir, three trumpets, timpani, two oboes, two violins, viola and basso continuo. The words for the first movement are taken from Psalm 48:11, movements 2 to 5 were written by Picander (published 1728), and the final chorale is by Johann Herman, the second verse of "Jesu, nun sei gepreiset".[1]

  1. Coro: Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm
  2. Aria (tenor): Herr, so weit die Wolken gehn
  3. Recitativo (alto): Du süßer Jesus-Name du
  4. Aria (soprano): Jesus soll mein erstes Wort
  5. Recitativo (bass): Und da du, Herr, gesagt
  6. Chorale: Laß uns das Jahr vollbringen

The first movement dealing with the universal praise of God's name is a choral fugue with independent trumpets, the first trumpet also playing the fugue theme.[1] Bach reworked this music to the Patrem omnipotentem, factorem coeli et terrae of his Mass in B minor. The reflection of the name of Jesus is close to the reading of the day and similar to part IV of Bach's Christmas Oratorio, written for the New Year's Day of 1734. The tenor aria is accompanied by two instruments not specified in the manuscript score, perhaps violins. The soprano aria is a parody of an aria from Zerreißet, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft, BWV 205 with a virtuoso violin solo. The bass recitativo begins as an arioso, only accompanied by the continuo, leading to prayer, recitativo accompanied by two oboes, concluding in an arioso with the oboes. The final chorale is taken from Jesu, nun sei gepreiset, BWV 41, its instrumentation is similar to the opening chorus here.[1]




The first source is the score.

General sources are found for the Bach cantatas. Several databases provide additional information on each single cantata:

  • Cantata BWV 171 Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm history, scoring, sources for text and music, translations to various languages, discography, discussion, bach-cantatas website
  • Emmanuel Music
  • Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm history, scoring, Bach website (German)
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Alberta
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