Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei
(See to it, that your fear of God be not hypocrisy),
BWV 179, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach.
He composed it in Leipzig for the eleventh Sunday after
Trinity and first performed it on 8 August 1723.
Bach composed the cantata in his first year in Leipzig,
which he had started after Trinity of 1723, for the
eleventh Sunday after Trinity. The prescribed readings
for the Sunday were from the First Epistle to the
Corinthians, on the gospel of Christ and Paul's duty as
an apostle (1 Corinthians 15:1--10), and from the
Gospel of Luke, the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax
Collector (Luke 18:9--14). The unknown poet stayed
close to the gospel and alluded to several Bible
passages. The cantata is opened by a line from Wisdom
of Sirach 1:29. the closing chorale is the first stanza
of Christian Tietze's hymn "Ich armer Mensch, ich armer
Bach first performed the cantata on 8 August 1723.
Alfred Dürr assumes that Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut,
BWV 199, composed for the same occasion in Weimar, was
also performed in the service.
In the opening chorus the instruments go with the
voices as in a motet. The words are set in a strict
counter-fugue: each entrance is followed by an entrance
in inversion. The sequence is concluded by a canonic
imitation on a new theme: in the words und diene Gott
nicht mit einem falschen Herzen (and do not serve God
with a false heart) the falseness is expressed by
chromatic. A second expanded fugue presents even more
complex counterpoint than the first.
A secco recitative prepares the aria with an
accompaniment of the two oboe da caccia and violin I in
syncopation, which even the tenor voice picks up in the
first part. It is not a da capo aria, as only the
ritornello repeats the beginning. The final words of
the second recitative end like an arioso to stress So
kannst du Gnad und Hilfe finden! (so that you can find
mercy and aid). The soprano aria expresses like a
prayer Liebster Gott, erbarme dich (Beloved God, have
mercy). The two oboes da caccia illustrate a movement
of supplication even together with the soprano
The final chorale is sung on the melody of Wer nur den
lieben Gott läßt walten, which Bach used also in his
choral cantata BWV 93.
Bach used the music of the opening chorus again for the
Kyrie of his Missa in G major, the first aria for the
Quoniam of that mass, and the second aria for the Qui
tollis of the Missa in A major.
Although the Cantata was originally written for
soprano, tenor and bass soloists and a four-part choir,
two oboes da caccia, two violins, viola, and basso
continuo, I created this arrangement for String Quartet
(2 Violins, Viola & Cello).