BWV 257

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Original source: Chorale, Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, BWV 257
Chorale Text: Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit*, by Martin Luther (1524)
Tune: Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält, Wittenberg 1529 (Zahn 4441a)
First Performance: Unknown
Appearance in Early Collections (Key): Riemenschneider 285; Breitkopf 284; Dietel 61; AmB 46II p.273
Other Harmonizations: BWVs 114.7, 178.7, 256, 258


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: This setting possibly served as the 26th movement of the lost Mark Passion (BWV 247), using the 2nd verse of Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält by Justus Jonas (according to Smend). Other possibilities include the 3rd movement of the Mark Passion (using the 4th verse of Wo Gott der Herr) or the closing number to the Picander–Jahrgang cantata Kehret wieder, kommt zurücke for the 2nd Day of Christmas (Picander 6), using the 5th verse of Ach lieben Christen seid getrost, though Smend and Häfner consider these possibilities to be unlikely. (NBA III/2.2 KB, p.288 and III/2.1 KB, p.64)

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

bach– by Luke Dahn. Copyright 2018.