Freue dich, erlöste Schar (Rejoice, redeemed flock),
BWV 30,[a] is a church cantata composed by Johann
Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for the Feast
of St. John the Baptist ("Fest Johannes des Täufers",
also "Johannistag") and first performed it on 24 June
1738 or later.
The opening chorus is in a major key and displays
continuous dynamic musical movement. It adopts a
syncopated introductory rhythm that later reappears in
the alto aria. The form is between a da capo and a
rondo: the A section appears in the middle of the B
section. The movement also reverses expectations
regarding introductions, beginning with a combined
vocal and instrumental thematic statement before
presenting it without voices.
All of the recitatives in Part I are secco. The
"dazzling and brilliant" bass aria of Part I is
characterized by triplet figures and includes full
string accompaniment in roulades. It includes the same
foundational motive as the alto aria, and is formally
in modified ternary. The alto aria is remarkable for
its binary-form ritornello and "blues-like" final
cadence; structurally, the movement is a gavotte. Craig
Smith notes that "one can hardly think of another Bach
aria that so profoundly illustrates a state of grace.
The gentle dance rhythms are celestial and heavenly in
their inexorable progress". Part I concludes with the
cantata's only chorale.
Part II opens with the cantata's only recitativo
accompagnato, for bass with oboes and continuo. This
prepares a bass aria, which opens with an "aggressive
'scotch snap'" that repeats throughout the movement. A
secco soprano recitative prepares a 9/8 soprano aria
with chromatic bass, gigue rhythms, and an operatic
style. The penultimate movement is a tenor recitative
with "elongated phrases and weird chromatic harmonies",
representing a tortured soul. The piece concludes with
a repetition of the chorus on different text.
The piece is scored for four vocal soloists (soprano,
alto, tenor, bass), a four-part choir, two oboes, two
flauti traversi, oboe d'amore, two violins, viola, and
basso continuo and is in twelve movements, divided in
two parts, to be performed before and after the
I created this arrangement of the opening Chorus:
"Freue dich, erlöste Schar" (Rejoice, redeemed flock)
for Winds (Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, Bb
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, french Horn & Euphonium) & Strings
(2 Violins, Viola & Cello).