BWV 106 Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit

Actus Tragicus

A Funeral (possibly of Bach's uncle, Tobias Lämmerhirt, d. 10 August 1707).

Poet unknown.

2a. Adaptation of Acts 17:28; 2b. Ps. 90:12; 2c. Is. 38:1; 2d. Ecclus. 14:17 and Rev. 22:20 with instrumental chorale: "Ich hab mein Sach Gott heimgestellt" ("I have put my life in God's hands"), Johann Leon, 1582/1589; 3a. Ps. 31:6; 3b. Lk. 23:43 and Martin Luther, verse 1 of "Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin" (an adaptation of "Simeon's Song of Praise" = "Nunc Dimittis"), 1524 (Wackernagel, I, #205, and III, #25); 4. Adam Reusner, verse 4 of "In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr," 1533 (Wackernagel, III, #170).

Probably 1707, Mühlhausen.

BG 23; NBA I/34.

A Tragic Performance

1. Sonatina

2a. Chorus [Dictum] (S, A, T, B)

God's own time is the very finest time.
In him living, moving, we exist, as long as he wills. In him shall we die at the right time, when he wills.

2b. Arioso [Dictum] (T)

Ah, Lord, teach us to remember that our death is certain, that we might gain wisdom.

2c. Aria [Dictum] (B)

Set ready thine house; for thou shalt perish and not continue living!

2d. Chorus and Arioso [Dictum] (S, A, T, B and S) with instr. chorale (S, A, T, B)

This is the ancient law: man, thou must perish!

Yes, come, Lord Jesus!

3a. Aria [Dictum] (A)

Into thine hands now do I commit my soul; for thou hast redeemed me, Lord, thou my faithful God.

3b. Arioso [Dictum](1) (B) and Chorale (A)

This day shalt thou with me in paradise be.

In peace and joy do I depart,
As God doth will it;
Consoled am I in heart and mind,
Calm and quiet.
As God me his promise gave:
My death is changed to slumber.

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

Glory, laud, praise and majesty
To thee, God, Father, and Son, be giv'n,
The Holy Ghost, with these names!
May godly strength
Make us triumph
Through Jesus Christ, Lord, Amen.

1. Representing the vox Christi.

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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