BWV 380

Original source: Chorale, Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht, BWV 380
Chorale Text: Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht*, by Christian Keymann (1658)
Tune: Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht, by Andreas Hammerschmidt (1658) (Zahn 3449)
First Performance: Unknown*
Appearance in Early Collections (Key): Riemenschneider 299; Breitkopf 298; Dietel 86; AmB 46II p.293
Other Harmonizations: BWVs 70.11, 124.6, 154.8, 157.5, 244b.29


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: According to Häfner’s speculations, this chorale came from one of two possibly Picander–Jahrgang cantatas — Welt, behalte du das deine for Quasimodogeniti (1st Sunday after Easter), using the 1st verse of Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht (Picander 31), or Ich bin betrübt for the 1st Sunday after Epiphany, using the 6th verse of the same text (Picander 12). (See NBA III/2.1 KB, p.74 or III/2.2 KB, pp.295–296.)

However, the position of this chorale in the Dietel Collection, portions of which are arranged by the liturgical calendar, would suggest an alternative. The liturgical occasions of the surrounding chorales would place Dietel 86 somewhere around the 15th Sunday after Trinity:
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 (10 September 1724)
Dietel 85 & 87 = from Feast of the Archangel Michael (29 September 1724, Friday after Trinity +16)
Dietel 86 = ?
Dietel 88 & 89 = from Trinity +16

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. In particular, the second and final phrases differ, as shown below.

The Breitkopf version is certainly an improvement on the Dietel in several respects. Each of the two phrases unique to the Dietel version contain poorly–masked problematic parallel motion. The soprano–bass counterpoint in the second phrase contains octaves on consecutive downbeats (Eb–D), which is strictly forbidden in second species counterpoint regardless of the chordal leap in the bass. The final phrase contains poorly masked parallel fifths in the alto and bass (m.13, beat 1) — the alto’s accented passing tone (D) does not sufficiently attenuate the problematic parallels. Furthermore, the rather aimless and disjunct tenor line in this final phrase lacks the coherence and directionality of the Breitkopf version.

bach– by Luke Dahn. Copyright 2017.