BWV 245.11

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Original source: Passion, St. John Passion, BWV 245
Chorale Text: O Welt, sieh hier dein Leben (verses 3 & 4), by Paul Gerhardt (1647)
Tune: O Welt, ich muss dich lassen, Anon. c.1505, based on a 15th c. secular melody (Zahn 2293b)
First Performance: 7 April 1724, Good Friday
Appearance in Early Collections (Key): Riemenschneider 63; Breitkopf 62; Birnstiel 65; Dietel 138; Fasch p.1
Other Harmonizations: BWVs 13.6, 44.7, 97.9, 244.10, 244.37, 392, 393, 394, 395

Original manuscripts
Score: 1) D–B Mus. ms. Bach P 28 (earliest score available, 1739/1749)
2) D–B Mus. ms. Bach P 29 (bach–digital page) (2nd half of 18th c.)
Parts: 1) D–B Mus. ms. Bach St 111, Faszikel 1 (1st Version, 1724)
2) D–B Mus. ms. Bach St 111, Faszikel 2 (2nd Version, 1725)
3) D–B Mus. ms. Bach St 111, Faszikel 3 (3rd version, 1728–1732; viola da gamba mvmt 30 and organ mvmt 19 only)
4) D– Mus. ms. Bach St 111, Faszikel 4 (4th Version, 1749; vn 1, va, harps. only)


Unlike BWVs 245.3 and 245.5, BWV 245.11 and all subsequent chorales in the St. John Passion are identical in both first and second versions of the passion.
Measure 9, beat 4, alto. D or D#? — Among all early manuscripts, only the alto part in the original 1724 parts (D–B Mus. ms. Bach St 111, Fasz. 1) has a D#. All others – both scores linked above, parts for the 2nd version, and even the Violin 2 part in the same 1724 set of parts – have a D–natural. Both the origial alto and violin parts (which disagree) are in the hand of the same copyist ("Anon. Io") while the earliest score (D–B Mus. ms. Bach P 28) is in Bach’s own hand. Musically, both D and D# work while a D# sounds a bit more natural considering both the E major tonality of the phrase and the other D#s that appear on both sides of this beat. Both the Fasch and Breitkopf collections include the D–natural.
Measure 10, beats 1–2, alto — Both early scores linked above have two quarter note F#s rather than a half note. All parts include the half note here. As with measure 9, the Fasch and Breitkopf collections are consistent with the score here.

bach– by Luke Dahn. Copyright 2017.