BWV 12 Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen

Jubilate (Third Sunday after Easter).

Salomo Franck.(1)

3. Act 14:22; 6. Johann Crüger's chorale melody for "Jesu, meine Freude" by Johann Franck, 1650 (cf. BWV 227); 7. Samuel Rodigast, final verse of "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan," 1674 (Fischer-Tümpel, IV, #467).

22 April 1714, Weimar; 30 April 1724, Leipzig; Parody: ---> Mass in B Minor, BWV 232/16(II,5).

BG 2; NBA I/11.



1. Sinfonia

2. Chorus (S, A, T, B)

Weeping, wailing
Grieving, fearing,
Dread and need
Are the Christians' tearful bread,

    Them the sign of Jesus bearing.

3. Recit. [Dictum] (A)

We must pass through great sadness that we come into God's kingdom.

4. Aria (A)

Cross and crown are joined together,
Gem and conflict are made one.

    Christians must at ev'ry hour
    Have their torment and their foe,
    But Christ's wounds shall be their comfort.

5. Aria (B)

I'll follow after Christ,
I will not e'er forsake him
In health and in distress,
In living and in dying.
I kiss of Christ his shame,
I'll take his cross unto me.
I'll follow after Christ,
I will not e'er forsake him.

6. Aria (T) with instr. chorale

Be steadfast, ev'ry pain
Will have but a trifle been.
After showers
Blessing flowers,
Ev'ry tempest will have past.
Be steadfast, be steadfast.(2)

7. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

What God doth, that is rightly done,
To that will I be cleaving,
Though out upon the cruel road
Need, death and suff'ring drive me,
E'en so will God,
All fatherhood,
Within his arms enfold me:
So I yield him all power.



1. So Dürr, p. 263. For further evidence of Franck's authorship see Ambrose, BJ (1980), pp. 35-44, and Bach (1982), pp. 20-22.

2. The idea of ameliorative metamorphosis in this movement is so strongly dependent upon the repetition of the sound ai, the sound of lamentation, I have chosen to rhyme the translation. It is particularly interesting that the final verse of Johann Frank's chorale "Jesu, meine Freude" concludes with the same conceit:

    Dennoch bleibst du auch im Leide,
    Jesu, meine Freude.

Eu and ei were pronounced virtually alike in Bach's region, allowing the metamorphosis of "sadness" to "gladness" the support of a rhyme. Even without words the wailing of the trumpet which plays this chorale in this movement conveys effectively the sound ai in its text. This concept is also exploited in the other two cantatas for Jubilate Sunday, BWV 103 and BWV 146.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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