Cantata BWV 179


2011, April 23

JS Bach Cantata BWV 179: Siehe zu, dass deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei
(See to it that thy God-fearing be not hypocrisy)
Eleventh Sunday after Trinity August 8 1723
Scoring: Oboe or Oboe da caccia I, II, Violin I,II, Viola, Continuo
  Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass
Bärenreiter vol 8; p 104
Reading: Epistle 1 Corinthians 15:1-10
Reading: Gospel Luke 18:9-14

Words: Anonymous
Bach Bibliography


Sacred Cantatas Vol 9
Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Ensemble: Consentus Musicus Wien, TölzerKnabenchor
Soprano: Helmut Wittek
Alto: Rene Jacobs
Tenor: Kurt Equiluz
Bass: Robert Holl
Label Teldec 4509-91763-2
Date: 1988


Bach Edition (out of print)
Conductor: Pieter Jan Leusink
Ensemble: Holland Boys Choir, Netherlands Bach Collegium
Soprano: Ruth Holton
Alto: Sytse Buwalda
Tenor: Knut Schoch
Bass: Bas Ramsclaar
Label Brilliant Classics 93102/67
Venue: St. Nicolaschurch, Elburg, Holland
Date: 1999


Bach Cantatas vol 6
Conductor: Ton Koopman
Ensemble: Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Soprano: Ruth Ziesak Alto: Elisabeth von Magnus
Tenor: Paul Agnew
Bass: Klaus Mertens
Label: Challenge 72208
Venue: Waalse Church, Amsterdam, Netherlands (04/1997 - 09/1997)
Release date: 11/08/2005



Bach Cantatas vol 10
Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki
Ensemble: Bach Collegium Japan
Soprano: Miah Persson
Countertenor: Robin Blaze
Tenor: Makoto Sakurada
Bass: Peter Kooij
Label: Bis 951
Release Date: 09/01/1999



Bach Cantatas vol 5
Conductor: Sigiswald Kuijken
Ensemble: La Pitite Bande
Soprano: Gerlinde Sämann
Alto: Petra Noskaiová
Tenor: Jan Kobow
Bass: Dominik Wörner
Label: Accent 25305
Release Date: 05/29/2007


Bach Messen
Conductor:Martin Flämig
Ensemble: Dresdner Kreuzchor, Dresden Kreuzchor, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
Soprano: Renate Krahmer
Alto: Annelies Burmeister
Tenor: Peter Schreier
Bass: Theo Adam
Label: Berlin Classics 0091302BC
Release Date: 1995




Dürr p 493-496
Whittaker vol 1 p 594-600
Green p 380-381
Terry vol 2 p 456
Boyd p 449


Unlike the last two cantatas which started with a chorus built: Instrumental introduction, Prelude, Fugue, this cantata plunges right into a complex vocal fugue. Perhaps this was the second of a two part performance with Cantata BWV 199 composed earlier in Weimar.

1 Chorus: Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht

179.1 Chorus
236.1 G Kyrie

Green: phrases long, many chromaticisms including descending chromatic scales that may prove a challenge for good intonation.

Whittaker calls this chorus wild, fierce and vehemently denunciatory.

A complex fugue, one wonders how much the Leipzig listeners were able to appreciate the music. Comparing the two versions from Kuijken and Koopman, the musical structure comes through more clearly in Kuijken's one voice per part.

2 Tenor recitative: Das heutge Christentum

The tenor sings with just the continuo accompanying.

3 Tenor aria: Falscher Heuchler Ebenbild

179.3 Tenor aria
236.5 Quonium

Green: complex melodic line in unison by violin I and oboes.

Koopman takes this aria at a much faster tempo than Kuijken, leaving me a little breathless.

4 Bass recitative: Wer so von innen wie von außen ist

Klaus Mertens is perfect, the tempo is right, Koopman's tempo is nearly the same. I like them both.

5 Soprano aria: Liebster Gott, erbarme dich

179.5 Soprano aria: oboes da caccia gardiner
179.5 Soprano aria: Kuijken, Gerlinde Sämann
234.4 A Qui tollis: flutes

Green: sustained and long duet for oboes da caccia.

A very lovely soprano aria with a beautiful oboe duet. Koopman at 5 minutes is significantly faster than Kuijken at 6 minutes, 21 seconds, but once it gets going the tempo does not seem at all forced.

6 Chorale: Ich armer Mensch, ich armer Sünder

Discussion of the chorale on Bach
Discussion of the chorale from C.S. Terry, in a PDF excerpt

The last phrase of the chorale is very interesting.
Listen to the last phrase by Leusink
Listen to the last phrase by Leonhardt
Listen to the last phrase by Kuijken
Listen to an mp3 of the last phrase on an organ
Listen to the last phrase on the piano
Thank you Taylor Morgeson, at the University of North Texas, for help with the harmonic analysis.

Whittaker says of this last phrase that the last line is highly chromatic, almost baffling to us even today; there are few choirs that could sing the final bar unaccompanied and in perfect intonation...The chromaticism is explained by the agonized cry of the text.


The music

Harnoncourt - 1 2 3 4 Chorus, Tenor recitative, Tenor aria, Bass recitative
Harnoncourt - 5 6 Soprano aria, Chorale

Complete cantata in old clefs, PDF

Instruments and voices for each part

Section Instruments, voices
1 Chorus, violin I with soprano, violin II with alto, viola with tenor, continuo
2 Tenor recitative, continuo
3 Tenor aria, violin I,II, oboe I,II, continuo
4 Bass recitative, continuo
5 Soprano aria, oboe da caccia I,II, continuo
6 Chorale SATB, violin I, oboe I,II with soprano, violin II with alto, viola with tenor, continuo


Biblical references for each part

References for the text: Luther's German Bible, King James Bible

Ecclesiasticus 1:28-9
King James from unbound bible, does not appear in my bound edition
28. Distrust not the fear of the Lord when thou art poor: and come not unto him with a double heart.
29. Be not an hypocrite in the sight of men, and take good heed what thou speakest.
google translator of king james
Misstrauen nicht die Furcht des Herrn, wenn du bist arm: und kommen nicht zu ihm mit einem Doppel-Herz.
Seien Sie nicht ein Heuchler in den Augen der Menschen und beherzigen, was du redest.
Durr 1-34 in German bible
Sei nicht ungehorsam dem Gebot der Gotesfurcht, und deine Gott nicht mit falschem Herzen.
google translation
Do not be disobedient to the commandment of the fear of God and your God is not with the wrong heart.
movement 1 lyrics
Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei, und diene Gott nicht mit falschem Herzen!


Emmanuel Notes BWV 179.
Emmanuel Translation BWV 179.

Discussion from Bach Cantatas Website.
Recordingsfrom Bach Cantatas Website. discussion, Simon Crouch.
Julian Mincham's article

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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