Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens (Bring to the Lord
honour of His name), BWV 148, is a church cantata
written by Johann Sebastian Bach probably in 1723 in
Leipzig for the 17th Sunday after Trinity.
Bach probably wrote the cantata in 1723 in his first
year in Leipzig for the 17th Sunday after Trinity. The
prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the
Epistle to the Ephesians, the admonition to keep the
unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:16), and from the
Gospel of Luke, healing a man with dropsy on the
Sabbath (Luke 14:111). The cantata text refers not to
the healing, but to the honour due to God on the
Sabbath. The words for the opening chorus are from
Psalm 29 (Psalms 29:2). The lyrics of the cantata are
based on a poem in six verses of Picander, Weg, ihr
irdischen Geschäfte, published in 1725 in his first
spiritual book Erbauliche Gedanken. The musicologist
Alfred Dürr has nevertheless reason to date the cantata
in 1723 already, suggesting that the cantata text may
have preceded the poem, but there is no certain
evidence that the cantata was not composed some years
The first recitative describes the desire for God as in
Psalm 42 (Psalms 42:1). Only the melody of the closing
chorale Auf meinen lieben Gott (Lübeck, 1603) is known.
Some musicologists including Neumann suggested the
words of the fourth verse of that chorale, others such
as Philipp Spitta and the edition of the Bach
Gesellschaft preferred the final verse of Wo soll ich
fliehen hin of Johann Heermann (1630) which was sung on
the same melody in Leipzig.
The opening chorus begins with as instrumental
sinfonia, presenting the themes. The choir sings two
fugues on different themes, but both derived from the
beginning of the sinfonia. The trumpet plays a fifth
part in the fugues. The movement concludes with the
voices embedded in the sinfonia.
The solo violin in the first aria illustrates both the
joy in God and the Eilen (running) mentioned in the
words. The alto recitative is accompanied by the
strings. In the following aria the mystical unity of
the soul with God is expressed in the unusual scoring
for two oboe d'amore and oboe da caccia. The closing
chorale is set for four parts.
Although originally scored for alto and tenor soloists,
a four-part choir, trumpet, three oboes, two violins,
viola, and basso continuo, I created this arrangement
for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, French Horn &
Bassoon) and Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello) &
Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).