BWV 421

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Original source: Chorale, Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, BWV 421
Chorale Text: Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz*, Anon. c.1560
Tune: Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, Frankfurt/Main 1557 (Zahn 1689)
First Performance: Unknown
Appearance in Early Collections (Key): Riemenschneider 300; Breitkopf 299; Dietel 90*; AmB 46II p.295
Other Harmonizations: BWVs 47.5, 420


This chorale survives without text. The text that appears here is the one provided by editors of the Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe (BGA).

Speculation regarding liturgical occasion: Since this chorale appears in the Dietel Collection, there is a strong possibility it came from a cantata (or other choral work) that is now lost. Furthermore, we can speculate that the setting originated from a cantata for the 17th Sunday after Trinity, based on the setting’s position in the Dietel Collection and on the fact that BWV 47.5, the only other four–part setting of this tune from extant choral works, is from a cantata for Trinity +17.
Dietel 74 & 75 = from Trinity +11
Dietel 76 & 77 = from Trinity +12
Dietel 80 & 82 (& 83?) = from Trinity +13 (See notes for Dietel 83 (BWV 335))
Dietel 84 = from Trinity +14
Dietel 85 & 87 = from Feast of the Archangel Michael
Dietel 88 & 89 = from Trinity +16
Dietel 90? & 91 = Trinity +17
Dietel 92 = Trinity +18
Dietel 93 = Trinity +19
Dietel 94 = Trinity +21

View a complete listing of speculations regarding the liturgical occasions of individual BWV 253–438 chorales.

Dietel variant: The setting presented above corresponds to both the Breitkopf publication and the AmB 46II manuscript. The chorale appears in the earlier Dietel manuscript in variant form. The two versions are shown side–by–side below.

bach– by Luke Dahn. Copyright 2017.