Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich (He who offers thanks
praises Me), BWV 17,[a] is a church cantata by Johann
Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for the
fourteenth Sunday after Trinity and first performed it
on 22 September 1726.
In his fourth year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, Bach
performed 18 cantatas composed by his relative Johann
Ludwig Bach, a court musician in Meiningen. He then set
some of the texts himself, including this cantata,
written probably by Ernst Ludwig, Duke of
Saxe-Meiningen. They follow a pattern: seven movements
are divided in two parts, both beginning with biblical
quotations, Part I from the Old Testament, Part II from
the New Testament.
That year in 1726, Bach presented 18 cantatas by his
relative Johann Ludwig Bach who was court musician in
Meiningen. Bach seems to have been impressed also by
the texts of those cantatas and follows similar
structures: seven movements, divided in two parts to be
performed before and after the sermon, both parts
opened by Bible words, Part I by a quotation from the
Old Testament, Part II by one from the New Testament.
Bach composes some texts that his relative set before,
including this cantata, which was written by Ernst
Ludwig, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, according to Christoph
Wolff. The cantata is regarded as part of Bach's third
The cantata is structured in two parts, Part I of three
movements to be performed before the sermon, Part II of
four movements after the sermon. Bach scored it for
four vocal soloists (soprano (S), alto (A), tenor (T)
and bass (B)), a four-part choir SATB, two oboes (Ob),
two violins (Vl), two violas (Va) and basso continuo
(Bc). The title of the autograph score reads: "Domin.
14 post Trin. / Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich / a /
4 Voci / 2 Hautb. / 2 Viol. / Viola / e Contin. / di /
I created this arrangement of the opening Chorus: "Wer
Dank opfert, der preiset mich" (He who offers thanks
praises Me) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, French Horn &
Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).