BWV 279

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Original source: Chorale, Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 279
Chorale Text: Christ lag in Todesbanden*, by Martin Luther (1524)
Tune: Christ lag in Todesbanden, by Martin Luther (1524), based on sequence Victimae Paschali laudes (Zahn 7012a)
First Performance: Unknown*
Appearance in Early Collections (Key): Riemenschneider 261; Breitkopf 261; Dietel 24; AmB 46II p.237
Other Harmonizations: BWVs 4.8* (see note below), 158.4* (see note below), 277, 278

Comparative score: Five settings of Christ lag in Todesbanden aligned and placed in the same key (PDF)


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

BWV 158.4 is a slight variant of this setting.

Speculation regarding liturgical occasion: According to Häfner, BWV 277, BWV 278, or BWV 279 could have served as the closing chorale for the lost Picander–Jahrgang cantata Es hat überwunden der Löwe written for Easter Day (Picander 28), in which case verse 6 of the hymn would have been used. (See NBA III/2.1 KB, pp.95–96 under Dietel 133; see also III/2.1 KB, p.50 or III/2.2 KB, p.276)

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

bach– by Luke Dahn. Copyright 2018.