Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott (Take away from us,
Lord, faithful God), BWV 101, is a church cantata by
Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata
in Leipzig for the tenth Sunday after Trinity and first
performed it on 13 August 1724. It is based on the hymn
by Martin Moller (1584).
Bach composed the cantata in Leipzig for the tenth
Sunday after Trinity as part of his second cantata
cycle. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from
the First Epistle to the Corinthians, different gifts,
but one spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1–11), and from the
Gospel of Luke, Jesus announcing the destruction of
Jerusalem and cleansing of the Temple (Luke
The text of the cantata is based on the seven stanzas
of Martin Moller's chorale (1584), which he had written
during a time of plague, as a paraphrase of the Latin
poem Aufer immensam (1541). The chorale is sung on the
melody of Martin Luther's "Vater unser im Himmelreich"
on the Lord's Prayer. The words are used unchanged in
movements 1 and 7. An unknown poet transcribed the
ideas of stanzas 2, 4 and 6 to arias. He kept the text
of stanzas 3 and 5, but interpolated it by recitative.
The cantate text is only generally related to the
readings, unlike Schauet doch und sehet, ob irgend ein
Schmerz sei, BWV 46, a year before, dealing with the
lament of Jerusalem in text from Lamentations. But the
poet hinted at the destruction of Jerusalem by "Daß wir
nicht durch sündlich Tun wie Jerusalem vergehen!" (so
that, through sinful acts, we might not be destroyed
like Jerusalem!) in movement 2.
The chorale melody in Dorian mode is present in all
movements but the first aria. The opening chorus is a
chorale fantasia with the cantus firmus in the soprano,
each line prepared by the lower voices. A choir of
trombones plays colla parte with the voices, embedded
in a setting of oboes and strings, which is also rather
vocal. John Eliot Gardiner notes Bach's "disturbing
intensification of harmony and vocal expression for the
words 'für Seuchen, Feur und großem Leid' (contagion,
fire and grievous pain) at the end of the
The first aria is accompanied by a virtuoso flute,
replaced by a violin in a later version. The flute
writing suggests that Bach had a capable flute player
at hand in 1724, as in Was frag ich nach der Welt, BWV
94, composed a week before. The recitative combines an
embellished version of the chorale melody with secco
recitative. The central movement starts like a dramatic
aria, marked vivace, in three oboes and continuo. But
after this "furious ritornello" the bass begins
unexpectedly, marked andante, with the first line of
the chorale stanza on the chorale melody, raising the
question "why are you so incensed with us". In the
middle section, the complete chorale is played by the
instruments, while the voice sings independently.
The second recitative is symmetric to the first.
Movement 6 combines two voices, the flute and the oboe
da caccia, which plays the chorale melody. The
instrumentation is similar to the central movement of
Bach's St Matthew Passion, Aus Liebe will mein Heiland
sterben. The final stanza is set for four parts.
Although originally scored for four vocal soloists
(soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir,
cornett, three trombones, two oboes, taille (tenor
oboe), flauto traverso (or violin), two violins, viola
and basso continuo, I created this arrangement for
Viola & Concert (Pedal) Harp.