Bach, J.S.: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1 - Kantate zum Fest Mariae Verkündigung (Vocal Score)

Vocal Score for Bach Cantata no. 1. Urtext of the New Bach Edition.
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KomponistBach, Johann S.
InstrumentationVocal Score
1. (Coro): Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern / How bright and fair the morning star
2. Recitativo (Tenore): Du wahrer Gottes und Marien Sohn / Thou very son of God and Mary born
3. Aria (Soprano): Erfüllet, ihr himmlischen, göttlichen Flammen / Come kindle, thou heavenly bright shining beacon
4. Recitativo (Basso): Ein ird'scher Glanz, ein lieblich Licht / Our hearts rejoice in no false light
5. Aria (Tenore): Unser Mund und Ton der Saiten / Harp and viol, voices blending
6. Choral: Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh / What joy my Saviour brings to me

The cantata “ Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” BWV 1 was written for 25 March 1725, when the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary coincided with Palm Sunday.
It forms the conclusion of Bach’s cantata cycle of 1724/25.

The anonymous librettist retained the outer verses 1 and 7 of Philipp Nicolai’s text (1599) which is assigned to the feast of Epiphany according to old tradition but was also sung at the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary. Verses 2 to 6 form the basis for the tenor and bass recitatives and the soprano and tenor arias.

Bach’s composition has a particularly festive brilliance with his use of 2 horns, 2 oboes da caccia and the two concertante solo violins. The violins’ lively figurations clearly reflect an image of the shining morning star.

- Urtext of the New Bach Edition
- Original German text with English singing translation
- Idiomatic and easy-to-play piano reduction

Detailed instrumentation: Soprano solo, Alto solo, Tenor solo, Bass solo, Mixed choir (SATB), Horn (2), Oboe (2), Strings, Organ, Basso continuo