Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Sing a new song to the
Lord), BWV 190, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian
Bach. He wrote it in Leipzig for the New Year's Day and
first performed it on 1 January 1724. He adapted it in
1730 to Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 190a, for
the celebration of the bicentennial of the Augsburg
Bach wrote the cantata in his first year in Leipzig for
the New Year's Day, which is also the Feast of the
Circumcision of Christ. The prescribed readings for the
feast day were from the Epistle to the Galatians, by
faith we inherit (Galatians 3:23--29), and from the
Gospel of Luke, the circumcision and naming of Jesus
eight days after his birth (Luke 2:21). The unknown
poet, possibly Picander, refers only in a general way
to the readings: he mentions the naming at the end of
movement 4, "Jesu Namen" (name of Jesus), and he starts
every line in the following aria with "Jesus".
Otherwise the text stresses praise and thanks for the
gifts of the past and prayer for further blessings. The
poet compiled for the opening chorus three verses from
Psalms, Psalms 149:1 and Psalms 150:4,6, and in between
the first two lines of Martin Luther's "Deutsches
Tedeum" (German Te Deum) "Herr Gott, dich loben wir"
(Lord God, Thee we praise). The words from the "Te
Deum" appear again in the second movement, interspersed
by recitative. The closing chorale is the second stanza
of Johannes Hermann's "Jesu, nun sei gepreiset"
Bach first performed the cantata on 1 January 1724. He
performed it again in the second half of the 1730s.
Probably in Bach's revision process, parts of the
original music got lost: for the first two movements
only the vocal parts and the violin parts survived.
Reconstruction of the missing parts was attempted by
Bernhard Todt (1904), Walther Reinhart (1948), Olivier
Alain (1971), Diethard Hellmann (1995), Ton Koopman and
In his Christmas Oratorio of 1734, Bach dedicated the
complete Part IV for New Year's Day to the naming of
Jesus, told in the one verse from the Gospel of Luke,
first performed on 1 January 1735.
Although this Cantata was scored for alto, tenor and
bass soloists, a four-part choir, three trumpets,
timpani, three oboes, oboe d'amore, two violins, viola,
and basso continuo including bassoon, I created this
arrangement for English Horn & Strings (2 Violins,
Viola & Cello).