Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan (What God does is done
well), BWV 100, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian
Bach. He composed it in Leipzig between 1732 and 1735.
The chorale cantata is based on the hymn by Samuel
This work is a late chorale cantata for an unspecified
occasion. Bach likely composed and first performed it
in Leipzig between 1732 and 1735. This is considered
one of Bach's latest extant church cantatas.
The cantata is based on the hymn "Was Gott tut, das ist
wohlgetan" (1675) by Samuel Rodigast. This chorale was
traditionally used in Leipzig as a song for weddings.
Unlike most of Bach's earlier chorale cantatas, he used
the text unchanged.
Only the first and last movements use the chorale
melody, while the inner movements adopt "carefully
gradated sound colors". The rising fourth of the
chorale melody, however, recurs throughout the
The first movement draws on BWV 99 with added horn and
timpani parts. The change in instrumentation makes the
mood "celebratory and jovial", in contrast to the
intimate atmosphere of the original. The movement opens
with a presentation of two instrumental themes, which
repeat when the soprano enters with the chorale melody.
The instrumental lines are complex compared to the
The alto and tenor duet, according to Ludwig Finscher,
reflects the "Italian chamber duet (Steffani, Handel)
on account of the motet-style arrangement of the text
and the imitatory interweaving of the vocal parts". The
melody enters in imitative layers based on the
ascending-fourth interval. The continuo line is a
four-bar mostly scalar motif that repeats in several
The soprano aria is accompanied by what John Eliot
Gardiner terms "the most technically challenging of all
Bach's flute obbligati, with its roulades of
twenty-four successive demisemiquavers per bar".
The "jaunty" bass aria is accompanied by "lilting"
syncopated strings. The "splendid spacious" melody is
remarkable for its concluding descending motif. As in
the galant style, the accompanying violins play
parallel thirds and sixths. The formal structure of the
movement is unusual: rather than the conventional final
reprise of the A section expected in da capo form, the
B section is followed immediately by the closing
The alto aria is in 12/8 time and the minor mode, and
is accompanied by oboe d'amore and continuo. It focuses
on imagery of bitterness. The aria is introduced by a
flowing oboe d'amore solo melody.
The final movement is quite similar to the version of
the chorale that appeared in BWV 75, but adds horns and
timpani. Structurally, it begins with imitative
instrumental entries and lengthens several sections
compared to the previous work.
I created this arrangement of the second Aria: "Er ist
mein Licht, mein Leben" (He is my light, my life) for
Bb Trumpet & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).