All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society

Der Friede sei mit dir

BWV 158 performed by Matthew Brook and the Netherlands Bach Society conducted by Hans-Christoph Rademann
Grote Kerk, Harlingen

"You don't need a preacher: Bach is all there for you."

Heavenly peace and earthly unrest

We do not know for what occasion this austere cantata was intended.

Was this piece composed for the third day of Easter or for the Purification? The music has survived only in copies, which refer to both occasions. The fact that the words are about Simeon argues in favour of the Purification, which celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the temple. According to the Gospel of Luke, the devout Simeon held the new-born baby Jesus in his arms, thus fulfilling the prophecy and allowing Simeon to die in peace. Arguing in favour of Easter, however, is the final chorale, which is a real Easter hymn. So the score stands at 1-1.

It is also possible that it concerns parts from various cantatas, put together at a later date by Bach or somebody else, for an unknown occasion. Four singers are needed for the final chorale, but only a bass and a soprano for the rest of the score. The cantata is extremely short and has an austere setting. All the movements revolve around the contrast between heavenly peace and earthly unrest. Heaven beckons, as the earth is filled with wars, fighting and vanity.


Der Friede sei mit dir




unknown, chorales by Johann Georg Albinus and Martin Luther

The Purification or the third day of Easter

First Performance

Special Notes
This cantata may be compiled of excerpts from two different pieces. It is thought that the second and third movements originated in Weimar and the first and fourth were added in Leipzig.

Cast & Crew

Release Date 1 July 2016
Recording Date 23 January 2016
Location Grote Kerk, Harlingen
Conductor Hans-Christoph Rademann
Bass Matthew Brook
Soprano Zsuzsi Tóth
ripieno alto Barnabás Hegyi
ripieno tenor Daniel Johannsen
Violin Sayuri Yamagata
cello Lucia Swarts
double bass Robert Franenberg
Oboe Martin Stadler
Organ Bart Naessens
Harpsichord Siebe Henstra
Director Simon Aarden
Assistant Director Ferenc Soetman
Music recording Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Micha de Kanter
Gaffer Daan de Boer, Arjen Seykens
Camera Bart ten Harkel, Thijs Struick, Chris Reichgelt
Data handler Vincent Nugteren
editor Pjotr 's Gravesande
Project Manager Peter Ribbens
Technique Martin Struijf, Glenn van den Eerden, Marco Korzelius
Data management Jasper Blok
Producer Marco Meijdam, Imke Deters

Vocal Texts


1. Rezitativ (Bass)

Der Friede sei mit dir,
du ängstliches Gewissen!
Dein Mittler stehet hier,
der hat dein Schuldenbuch
und des Gesetzes Fluch
verglichen und zerrissen.
Der Friede sei mit dir,
der Fürste dieser Welt,
der deiner Seele nachgestellt,
ist durch des Lammes Blut
bezwungen und gefällt.
Mein Herz, was bist du so betrübt,
da dich doch Gott durch Christum liebt?
Er selber spricht zu mir:
Der Friede sei mit dir!

2. Aria (Bass, Soprano)

Welt, ade, ich bin dein müde,
Salems Hütten stehn mir an,
Welt, ade, ich bin dein müde,
ich will nach dem Himmel zu,
wo ich Gott in Ruh und Friede
ewig selig schauen kann.
da wird sein der rechte Friede
und die ewig stolze Ruh.
Da bleib ich, da hab ich Vergnügen zu wohnen,
Welt, bei dir ist Krieg und Streit,
nichts denn lauter Eitelkeit;
da prang ich gezieret mit himmlischen Kronen.
in dem Himmel allezeit
Friede, Freud und Seligkeit.

3. Rezitativ, Arioso (Bass)

Nun, Herr, regiere meinen Sinn,
damit ich auf der Welt,
so lang es dir, mich hier zu lassen,
noch gefällt,
ein Kind des Friedens bin,
und lass mich zu dir aus meinen Leiden
wie Simeon in Frieden scheiden!
Da bleib ich, da hab ich
Vergnügen zu wohnen,
da prang ich gezieret mit himmlischen Kronen.

4. Choral

Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm,
davon Gott hat geboten,
das ist hoch an des Kreuzes Stamm
in heißer Lieb gebraten,
des Blut zeichnet unsre Tür,
das hält der Glaub dem Tode für,
der Würger kann uns nicht rühren.


1. Recitative

Peace be unto you,
O troubled conscience!
Your intercessor stands here,
He has annulled and torn up
your book of guilt
and the curse of the Law.
Peace be unto you:
the Prince of this world,
who has lain in wait for your soul,
has been overcome and laid low
by the blood of the Lamb.
My heart, why are you so downcast,
since God loves you through Christ?
He Himself saith to me:
Peace be unto you!

2. Arie

World, farewell, I am weary of you,
Salem’s dwellings are what is meet for me,
World, farewell, I am weary of you,
I wish to enter Heaven,
where I may contemplate God
in peace and calm and eternal bliss.
where there is true peace
and eternal stately repose.
There shall I abide,
there delight to dwell,
World, you know but war and strife,
naught but merest vanity;
there be crowned in the glory of heavenly splendour.
in Heaven there always reigns
peace, happiness and bliss.

3. Recitative, Arioso

Now, O Lord, govern my thoughts,
that I in this world,
for as long as it pleases Thee to let me stay,
may be a child of peace,
and let me turn
from my affliction to Thee,
like Simeon, in peace!
There shall I abide,
there delight to dwell,
there be crowned in the glory of heavenly splendour.

4. Chorale

Here is the true Easter Lamb,
that God has offered;
high on the tree of the cross
it was burned in ardent love.
His blood marks our door,
faith holds it up in the face of death,
the strangler cannot touch us.


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