Es ist nichts Gesundes an meinem Leibe (There is
nothing sound in my body), BWV 25,[a] is a church
cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in
Leipzig for the 14th Sunday after Trinity and first
performed it on 29 August 1723.
Similar to Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben, BWV
77, composed a week before, Bach creates the opening
chorus as a chorale fantasia on a complete instrumental
quotation of a chorale tune. The melody is known as
"Herzlich tut mich verlangen nach meinem selgen End".
But probably Bach had in mind the words of "Ach Herr,
mich armen Sünder" which he used later in his chorale
cantata Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, BWV 135, a
paraphrase of Psalm 6 which begins in stanza 2 "Heil du
mich, lieber Herre, denn ich bin krank und schwach"
(Heal me, dear Lord, because I am sick and weak). In a
complex structure, Bach combines an instrumental
introduction with the chorale tune in long notes in the
continuo with figuration of strings and oboes, a choral
double fugue, and the presentation of the choral by a
choir of trombones with the cornetto as the soprano
instrument, reinforced by three recorders which play an
octave higher. John Eliot Gardiner regards the unusual
use of the trombones, playing the chorale tune
independent of the voices, as an "anticipation of the
finale to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony".
The following three movements are all only accompanied
by the continuo. A new perspective is opened in
movement 5 in dance music for a concerto of strings and
oboes, echoed by the recorders. The music relates to
the text "im höhern Chor werde mit den Engeln singen"
(in the exalted choir I shall sing with the angels).
The closing chorale is set for four parts.
The cantata in six movements is scored for three vocal
soloists (soprano, tenor and bass), a four-part choir,
and a colourful orchestra of cornetto, three trombones,
three recorders, two oboes, two violins, viola, and
I created this arrangement of the last Aria: "Öffne
meinen schlechten Liedern" (Open to my pitiful songs)
for Woodwinds (2 Flutes & 2 Oboes) & Strings (2
Violins, Viola & Cello).