J. J. Festo Reformationis. Concerto. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott : á 4 Voci. 1 Haub. 2 Violini Viola e cont. / di Bach.

Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750 [Browse]
Uniform title
Musical score, Manuscript
[between 1727-31?]
1 leaf fragment : paper ; 8 x 22 cm


Former owner
Library of Congress genre(s)
Getty AAT genre
  • Added title from Schmieder, W. Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, 2d ed. (1990), pp. 132-34 (as BWV 80).
  • Caption title from Schulze, H.-J. and C. Wolff, Bach Compendium: Vokalwerke, Teil II (1987), p. 776 (A 183a).
  • Origin: First version, written in Leipzig ca. 1727-31. The second Leipzig version, BWV 80 dates from 1744-47 or earlier.
  • Both sides of the fragment show later handwritten annotations: the recto has underscored "(Sebastian Bach.)" beneath the final basso continuo notes of first movement; the verso shows "No 22 bis", "Sebastian Bach", and "Sebastien Bach" in the upper left above the oboe part and "No. 17" in the lower left under the first four continuo notes.
  • This fragment constitutes the bottom third of a manuscript folio cut horizontally into three strips (with some loss to original leaf) now preserved in three libraries: the upper third with caption title trimmed at right is in the Bibliothèque Polonaise de Paris - Société Historique et Littéraire (previously Musée Adam Mickiewicz), without shelf mark; the middle strip is in St. Petersburg, Rossiĭskai͡a nat͡sionalʹnai͡a biblioteka (previously the Saltykov-Shchedrin Library), without shelf mark. For a diplomatic reconstruction of the leaf's three fragments, see Bach, J. S.: Kantaten zum Reformationsfest und zur Orgelweihe, ed. F. Rempp (Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, ser. I, v. 3), pp. viii-ix.
  • The recto of the leaf contains the final two measures of the first-movement chorale for four voices and basso continuo (probably with colla parte instruments) on five systems with underlying text “[seines]gleichen” and the first 2 and 1/2 measures of the instrumental introduction to the second movement “Aria” (duet) “Mit unsrer Macht ist nichts getan,” for [oboe], violins and viola all'unisono, soprano, bass, and basso continuo; measures 17-20 occur on the verso (soprano text: “[ver-]loren”; bass text: “zum Siegen auserkoren”).
Binding note
Encapsulated, in folding case with printed label on reverse reading: "BACH (SÉBASTIEN). | 21 bis. - Autographe. (Original.)" and handwritten annotation "Collection Cherubini".
Language note
Text in German.
Staff notation.
Acquired 7 December 1983 through Otto Haas at Bloomsbury Book Auctions. This fragment stems from the collection of the English singer and church musician William Hayman Cummings. It was sold at auction on 17 May 1917 together with the Cummings collection by Sotheby's in London and acquired by a buyer named Rathbone. Two more, almost identical entries in the Sotheby auction catalogs of 15-17 December 1924 and 15-18 November 1926 suggest that it was either the Cummings fragment once again or another fragment offered for sale. The catalogs give no information about the buyers, and the fragment was regarded as lost until purchased for the Scheide Library.
  • Rempp, F. Kritischer Bericht to J. S. Bach: Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, Ser. 1, Bd. 31: Kantaten zum Reformationsfest under zur Orgelweihe (1988), pp. 47-52.
  • Bach, J. S. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott: erste Leipziger Fassung, BWV 80b, ed. K. Hofmann (2017), pp. 3-7.
  • Schmieder, W. Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, 2nd ed. (1990), p. 134.
Cite as
Scheide Library, Princeton University. M 154.
Other format(s)
Also available in an electronic version.
Place name(s)
Germany Leipzig.
Other title(s)
Ein feste Burg is unser Gott : Kantate am Reformationsfest (Festo Reformationis), BWV 80b.
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Supplementary Information