BWV 231

All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society

Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren

BWV 231 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society conducted by Jos van Veldhoven
St. Martin's Church, Groningen

In this masterly motet, Bach shows his thorough command of the time-honoured techniques of polyphony, says Jos van Veldhoven.

An upgrade for the middle section

For a long time, this music was earmarked ‘not by Bach’. Now we know better.

This piece was buried in the repository of compositions known as ‘dubious’ and ‘attributed wrongly’ - a collection of music that bears Bach’s name in certain sources, but where there is uncertainty as to whether Bach actually composed it. Adding a famous composer’s name to a piece of music, especially in a later source, can make the music more attractive and saleable.

Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren was doubly well buried. In most sources from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, it is included as the middle section of a three-part piece entitled Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt. This complete motet was attributed to Bach in many sources. But because the last section has been taken from Telemann’s cantata Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich, and the first section is probably also by Telemann, the complete motet was categorised as ‘probably not by Bach’.

In 1983, however, musicologist Klaus Hoffman gave the middle section – Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren – an upgrade, as it comes from the second section of Bach’s cantata Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende. So the piece was given its own BWV number: 231, which was later changed again to 28/2a.

231 or 28/2a

Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren

motet (chorale section)



Johann Gramann

Special notes
This motet is based on the second part of the cantata 'Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende', BWV 28

Cast & Crew

release date 14 November 2014
recording date 15 March 2014
Location St. Martin's Church, Groningen
Conductor Jos van Veldhoven
choir soprano Marjon Strijk, Hilde Van Ruymbeke, Klaartje van Veldhoven, Orlanda Velez Isidro
choir alto Victoria Cassano MCDonald, Barnabás Hegyi, Saskia Kruysse, Elena Pozhidayeva
choir tenor Robert Buckland, Diederik Rooker, Ronald Threels, Endrik Üksvärav
choir bass Pierre-Guy le Gall White, Martijn de Graaf Bierbrauwer, Michiel Meijer, Lionel Meunier
Organ Leo van Doeselaar
CONCERT production Marco Meijdam, Imke Deters
Producer Frank van der Weij
Film directors Lucas van Woerkum, Joost Honselaar
CAMERA Sal Kroonenberg, Robert Berger, Ruben van den Broeke, Benjamin Sparschuh, Indy Hamid
FILM EDITORS Lucas van Woerkum, Frank van der Weij
GAFFER Alban Riphagen
Best boy Sam Dupon
producion assistant Zoë de Wilde
Score reader Jan Van den Bossche
MAKE UP Marloes Bovenlander, Jamila el Bouch, Marloes de Jong
MUSIC RECORDING ASSISTANTS Jaap Firet, Gilius Kreiken, Jaap van Stenis
MUSIC EDIT and MIX Leo de Klerk, Frank van der Weij
MUSIC EDIT and MIX asSSISTANT Martijn Snoeren
Colorist Jef Grosfeld
interview Onno van Ameijde
Acknowledgements Jan Haak

Vocal Texts


Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren
Gott Vater, Sohn und Heil'gem Geist!
Der woll in uns vermehren,
was er uns aus Gnaden verheisst,
dass wir ihm fest vertrauen,
gänzlich verlass'n auf ihn,
von Herzen auf ihn bauen,
dass uns'r Herz, Mut und Sinn
ihm tröstlich solln anhangen.
Drauf singen wir zur Stund:
amen, wir werd'ns erlangen,
glaub'n wir aus Herzensgrund.


1. Chorus 

May there be praise and glory and honour 
May it be his will to increase in us 
for God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! 
what he promised us through his grace, 
so that we firmly trust him, 
surrender ourselves wholly to him, 
build on him in our hearts, 
so that our heart, spirit and mind 
steadfastly depend on him. 
For this reason we sing now: 
Amen, we shall achieve this, 
we believe from the bottom of our hearts.


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