Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (A mighty fortress is our
God), BWV 80, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian
Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig for
Reformation Day, 31 October, first performed between
1727 and 1731. It is based on Martin Luther's hymn "Ein
feste Burg ist unser Gott".
Bach wrote the cantata in Leipzig for Reformation Day.
The cantata's inception is largely unknown. It was
probably composed in 1723 or between 1728 and 1731. It
is a simplified version of Ein feste Burg ist unser
Gott, BWV 80b. It is based on the earlier Alles, was
von Gott geboren, BWV 80a – all the music for BWV 80a
is lost, but it is known that it was based on a text by
Salomo Franck (1659–1725) and produced in Weimar in
1715 or 1716. BWV 80 includes all four stanzas of
This, the central chorale "Und wenn die Welt voll
Teufel wär" (And if the world were full of the devil)
presents the chorale theme in unison voices, an unusual
practice for Bach. The melody is unadorned and in 6/8
time. The orchestral accompaniment becomes more
agitated and complex as the movement progresses.
Although originally written for four vocal soloists
(soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir,
two oboes, two oboe d'amore, oboe da caccia, two
violins, viola, violoncello and basso continuo, I
created this arrangement for Woodwinds (Flute, Oboe &
English Horn) and Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).