O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht [1. Fassung] BWV 118.1; BWV 118 / 231‑>; BC B 23a GND

Funeral Service, without assignment
S, A, T, B, Lituo I, Lituo II, Cornetto, Trombone I, Trombone II, Trombone III ["Lituo/Lituus" = Horn in B?]

Date of origin, Work history
1736-1737 (1. Fassung)
Date of composition around 1736–1737. The wind instrumentation suggests a procession or funeral music. The instruments meant by the singular term “due Litui” in Bach’s work are disputed (Discussion see Prinz 2005); they are likely horns, as indicated by a Dresden archive record and sources related to Bach (Schulze 1993; Wollny BJ 2016); compare with Suppl 2, page 672
relation to other works:
is alternate of BWV 118.2 / BC B 23b
is part of BWV diverse [o.Jg.]
first version with trombones (no string instruments).
2 autograph versions. Performance of the second version (with strings) about 1746/1747.
Link to videos:
O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, BWV 118.1 (Netherlands Bach Society)

Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht (anonymous, 1608; presumably M. Behm 1610), stanza 1 (and presumably additional stanzas of the traditional death choral)
Link to lyrics

Original sources
US-PRscheide BWV 118 [Score]
Additional sources
D-B Mus.ms. Bach P 1037 [Score]
D-B Mus.ms. Bach P 461, Faszikel 3 [Score]
D-HAmi Ms. 155 [verschollen] [Score]
Verschollen BWV 118 (1), J. G. Hientzsch [Score]

Schulze 1993; Wollny BJ 2016

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Last changed
2023-08-22 : 11:33:28