Cantata BWV 163


2010, November 12

JS Bach Cantata BWV 163: Nur jedem das Seine
(Only to each his due)
Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity (Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost) November 24 1715
Weimar Cantatas
Scoring: Violin I,II, viola, violoncello I,II, continuo (NBA: violoncello and keyboard)
  Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass
Bärenreiter vol 10; p 407
Reading: Epistle Philippians 3:17-21
Reading: Gospel Matthew 22:15-22
Words: Salomo Franck
Bach Bibliography


Sacred Cantatas Vol 9
Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Ensemble: Concentus Musicus Wien, Tölzer Knabenchor
Soprano: Tobias Eiwanger
Alto: Panito Iconomou
Tenor: Kurt Equiluz
Bass: Robert Holl
Label Teldec 4509-91763-2
Date: 1986


Bach Edition (out of print)
Conductor: Pieter Jan Leusink
Ensemble: Holland Boys Choir, Netherlands Bach Collegium
Soprano: Ruth Holton
Alto: Sytse Buwalda
Tenor: Nico van der Meel
Bass: Bas Ramsclaar
Label Brilliant Classics 93102/68
Date: 1999




Dürr p 619-622
Whittaker vol 1 p 84-90
Green p 350-351
Terry vol 2 p 438
Boyd Robin A. Leaver p 323


Dürr observes that this cantata is in a chamber music style, in common with other cantatas written in this year, 1715.

1 Nur jedem das Seine: Tenor aria

Green says that this is the most challenging movement, but within the ability of intermediate players.

2 Du bist, mein Gott, der Geber aller Gaben: Bass recitative

3 Laß mein Herz die Münze sein: Bass aria

Contains a cello duet independent of the continuo, Green calls it challenging. (Green has a misprint, he states that the duet is in part 2.) I prefer Leusink's performance, it is more prayerful, while Harnoncourt presents the plea rather as a demand. Also, I find the cello parts clearer in the Leusink performance, with Frank Wakelkamp and Thom Pitt.

4 Ich wollte dir: Soprano alto arioso

A lovely canonic duet with continuo. Dürr states this part is a prelude to the prayer in the next part.

5 Nimm mich mir und gib mich dir: Soprano alto chorus with chorale (Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht) in strings

The rendition of the chorale by the violins and viola is rather subtle, you really have to listen for it.

6 Führ auch mein Herz und Sinn: Chorale

Discussion of the chorale on Bach

This chorale comes to us as the soprano and bass with figures. The inner voices of the performances have been filled in from the figuration.

Discussion of final chorale and Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht in PDF excerpt by C.S. Terry

The music

Aria, recitative, aria Parts 1 2 3 Harnoncourt
Recitative, aria, chorale, Parts 4 5 6 Harnoncourt
A link to download the score with old style clefs

Instruments and voices for each part

Section Instruments, voices
1 Tenor aria, violin I,II, viola, continuo (NBA: violoncello and keyboard)
2 Bass recitative, continuo (NBA: violoncello and keyboard)
3 Bass aria, violoncello I,II (obbligato), continuo (NBA: violoncello and keyboard)
4 Soprano and alto recitativ, continuo (NBA: violoncello and keyboard)
5 Soprano and alto aria, violin I,II, viola (in unison on chorale), continuo (NBA: violoncello and keyboard)
6 Chorale SATB, continuo (NBA: violoncello and keyboard) only soprano part and continuo survive


Biblical reference

Matthew 22:15-22 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Matthew 22:15-22 Da gingen die Pharisäer hin und hielten einen Rat, wie sie ihn fingen in seiner Rede. Und sandten zu ihm ihre Jünger samt des Herodes Dienern und sprachen: Meister, wir wissen, daß du wahrhaftig bist und lehrest den Weg Gottes recht und fragest nach niemand; denn du achtest nicht das Ansehen der Menschen. Darum sage uns, was dünket dich? Ist's recht, daß man dem Kaiser Zins gebe, oder nicht? Da nun Jesus merkte ihre Schalkheit, sprach er: Ihr Heuchler, was versuchet ihr mich? Weiset mir die Zinsmünze! Und sie reichten ihm einen Groschen dar. Und er sprach zu ihnen: Wes ist das Bild und die Überschrift? Sie sprachen zu ihm: Des Kaisers. Da sprach er zu ihnen: So gebet dem Kaiser, was des Kaisers ist, und Gott, was Gottes ist. Da sie das höreten, verwunderten sie sich und ließen ihn und gingen davon.



Emmanuel Notes BWV 163.
Emmanuel Translation BWV 163.

Discussion from Bach Cantatas Website.
Recordingsfrom Bach Cantatas Website.

Discussion at discussion, Simon Crouch.
London Bach Society Database entry BWV 163

The Complete Cantatas
Barenreiter cat# TP 2004

Enter TP2004 in full text search box on the left.

This Website

This web site offers free midi, QT, MusicXML and PDF files of Bach's four-part harmonized chorales. They can be downloaded individually or in complete sets. Be aware that other sites offering files downloaded from this site in the past may not have current updates. Please see Chorale Editions, File Accuracy.


The revision is complete. Please read about tenor clef.

The old list of updates and corrections can be found in the Corrections Archive.


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