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Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende, BWV 28

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Title: Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende, BWV 28  
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Subject: List of Bach cantatas by liturgical function, Erdmann Neumeister
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Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende, BWV 28

Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende ("Praise God! The year now draws to a close"), BWV 28, is a church cantata composed by Johann Sebastian Bach.

History and text

The work was composed in Leipzig in 1725 for the first Sunday after Christmas, which fell that year on December 30, the date of the work's premiere.

The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the Epistle to the Galatians, through Christ we are free from the law (Galatians 4:1–7), and from the Gospel of Luke, Simeon and Hannah talking to Mary (Luke 2:33–40).

The texts are of mixed authorship, with Erdmann Neumeister responsible for the text of movements 1, 4 and 5, Johann Gramann for that of movement 2, Paul Eber for the final chorale, and the book of Jeremiah, chapter 32, verse 41, for the third movement.[1]

The chorale theme Helft mir Gotts Güte preisen (Zahn 5267) is of unknown authorship.

Scoring and structure

The piece is scored for four vocal soloists (soprano, altus, tenor, bass) and four-part choir, cornetto, oboes I/II/III, trombe I/II/III, taille, violins I/II, viola, and basso continuo.

  1. Aria (soprano): Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende
  2. Coro: Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren
  3. Recitative and arioso (bass): So spricht der Herr
  4. Recitative (tenor): Gott ist ein Quell
  5. Duet aria (alto and tenor): Gott hat uns im heurigen Jahre gesegnet
  6. Chorale: All solch dein Güt wir preisen


The cantata opens with an oboe trio playing an Italianate ritornello of four phrases, accompanied by the strings; the roles of the two choirs are later reversed. The soprano sings a virtuosic and melismatic aria commanding the listener to praise God.[2][3] The following chorus expands the command from the individual to the collective, adopting an "archaic" motet form. The third movement, a bass arioso, repeats the ascending scalar motif of the chorus. The tenor recitative is accompanied by sustained chordal strings and concludes on a major harmony. The continuo opens the duet aria with a two-part ritornello – dancing eighth notes followed by fast arpeggiated figures – that is repeated three more times during this movement. The vocal lines sing three blocks of imitative motivic entries. The piece concludes with a chorale in A minor.[2]



External links

  • Cantatas, BWV 21-30: Free scores at the International Music Score Library Project
  • Cantata BWV 28 Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende: history, scoring, sources for text and music, translations to various languages, discography, discussion, bach-cantatas website
  • Emmanuel Music
  • Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende: history, scoring, Bach website (German)
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Alberta
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