Es wartet alles auf dich (Everything waits for You),
BWV 187, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach.
He composed it in Leipzig for the seventh Sunday after
Trinity and first performed it on 4 August 1726. Bach
later used the music from four movements of this
cantata for his Missa in G minor, BWV 235.
Bach wrote the cantata in 1726 for the seventh Sunday
after Trinity as part of his third annual cycle. The
prescribed readings for the Sunday are from the Epistle
to the Romans, "the wages of sin is death; but the gift
of God is eternal life" (Romans 6:19--23), and from the
Gospel of Mark, the feeding of the 4000 (Mark 8:1--9).
The opening chorus is based on Psalms 104:27--28,
directly related to the reading. Part two is opened by
a bass aria on Matthew 6:31--32 from the Sermon on the
Mount. The cantata is closed by verses 4 and 6 of Hans
Vogel's chorale "Singen wir aus Herzensgrund" (1563).
The poet of the other movements is unknown; Walther
Blankenburg suggested Christoph Helm. The poet
paraphrased in movement 1 more lines from Psalm 104 and
in movement 3 Psalms 65:12.
Bach performed the cantata at least three times, first
on 4 August 1726, a second time between 1735 and 1740,
and a third time on 26 July 1749. He used the music of
four movements, the opening chorus and the arias, for
movements of the Gloria of his Missa in G minor, BWV
In the opening chorus Bach achieves a unity of form,
but at the same time an individual handling of the four
ideas of the text, as in a motet. The motifs of the
instrumental sinfonia of 28 measures are continued
through most of the movement, creating unity. "Es
wartet alles auf dich" (a) is expressed in free
polyphony embedded in the instrumental music, then
repeated together with "daß du ihnen Speise gibest" (b)
in free polyphony with canonic imitation on two themes,
with the instruments playing mostly colla parte, then a
and b are repeated within a part of the sinfonia, which
is continued instrumentally. In the following second
section, "Wenn du ihnen gibest ..." (c) is the theme of
a choral fugue, "Wenn du deine Hand auftust ..." (d) is
the countersubject. The instruments play colla parte
first, then add motifs from the sinfonia. In the third
concluding section the complete text is repeated within
a part of the sinfonia.
The first aria praises God as the sustainer of life,
accompanied by the full orchestra in a dance-rhythm
with irregular grouping of measures in the
In movement 4 the biblical words from the Sermon on the
Mount are given to the bass as the vox Christi (voice
of Christ), accompanied by the violins in unison and
the continuo, which also takes part in their
The soprano aria is in two contrasting parts, the first
one accompanied by festive dotted rhythms and a broad
melody of the solo oboe, the second, marked un poco
allegro, again like a dance. Only the instruments
repeat the dotted rhythm of the beginning. The last
words of the soloist in the recitative are enriched by
the strings, like the vox Christi in Bach's St Matthew
The final chorale is a four-part setting for the choir
and all instruments.
Although originally scored for soprano, alto and bass
soloists, a four-part choir, two oboes, two violins,
viola, and basso continuo, I created this arrangement
for French Horn & Concert (Pedal) Harp.