Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht

Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht

BWV 105 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Jos van Veldhoven
Walloon Church, Amsterdam

  • Menu
  • 1. Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht (Chor)
  • 2. Mein Gott (Rezitativ)
  • 3. Wie zittern (Arie)
  • 4. Wohl aber dem (Rezitativ)
  • 5. Kann ich nur (Arie)
  • 6. Nun, ich weiss (Choral)

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

Firm ground

The string parts are significant in this cantata

The special slide trumpet steals the show in this cantata from Bach’s first year in Leipzig – rather unjustly. It is actually the strings in this cantata that appear to lend extra emphasis to the message of the text. Although it is not immediately apparent, in the first half of the opening chorus all four of the string parts (partially doubled by the oboes and the trumpet) retain their independence from the singing parts. In this type of piece, the instruments usually support the vocal parts now and then, but this cantata is different. Even when everyone is singing and playing together, the cello and double bass play slightly differently to the basses in the choir, and the violas and first and second violins are also independent from the tenors, altos and sopranos.

In the soprano aria, the role of the strings is even more important, as Bach leaves out the basso continuo. In his day, the continuo was the foundation of the musical system. If it is left out, there is always something unusual going on, as the music then has no firm ground underfoot. The oboe is plaintive, the violins tremble and the balance is precarious. Everything is poised on the narrow base of the violas. Stability returns to the piece only gradually. In the bass recitative, the cello and double bass do no more than pluck. At the same time, the other strings spin a mysterious aura around the singing voice, which somehow appears to say more than a thousand words.

It is not until the lively tenor aria that everything apparently returns to normal, with a strong bass line once again. But actually, here too the first violins are rather lacking in direction, circling busily around themselves. Just like the tenor, they seem to be mainly plucking up courage. And indeed the trembling uncertainty and the qualms of remorse return immediately afterwards in the final chorus. But now the believer knows that Jesus will calm the pangs of conscience. In a masterly musical stroke, which is both simple and effective, Bach gradually slows the trembling of the strings to a halt. Peace descends at last.

Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht
Ninth Sunday after Trinity
First performance
25 July 1723
Special notes
Bach uses a special instrument - the corno da tirarsi

Extra videos

Jos van Veldhoven and Robert Vanryne

“The corno da tirarsi is a very obscure instrument.”

Vocal texts


1. Chor
Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht.
Denn vor dir wird kein Lebendiger gerecht.

2. Rezitativ (Alt)
Mein Gott, verwirf mich nicht,
indem ich mich in Demut vor dir beuge,
von deinem Angesicht.
Ich weiss, wie groß dein Zorn
und mein Verbrechen ist,
dass du zugleich ein schneller Zeuge
und ein gerechter Richter bist.
Ich lege dir ein frei Bekenntnis dar
und stürze mich nicht in Gefahr,
die Fehler meiner Seelen
zu leugnen, zu verhehlen!

3. Aria (Sopran)
Wie zittern und wanken
der Sünder Gedanken,
indem sie sich untereinander verklagen
Und wiederum sich zu entschuldigen wagen.
So wird ein geängstigt Gewissen
durch eigene Folter zerrissen.

4. Rezitativ (Bass)
Wohl aber dem, der seinen Bürgen weiss,
der alle Schuld ersetzet,
so wird die Handschrift ausgetan,
wenn Jesus sie mit Blute netzet.
Er heftet sie ans Kreuze selber an,
er wird von deinen Gütern,
Leib und Leben, wenn deine Sterbestunde schlägt,
dem Vater selbst die Rechnung übergeben.
So mag man deinen Leib,
den man zum Grabe trägt,
mit Sand und Staub beschütten,
dein Heiland öffnet dir die ewgen Hütten.

5. Aria (Tenor)
Kann ich nur Jesum mir zum Freunde machen,
So gilt der Mammon nichts bei mir.
Ich finde kein Vergnügen hier
bei dieser eitlen Welt und irdschen Sachen.

6. Choral
Nun, ich weiss, du wirst mir stillen
mein Gewissen, das mich plagt.
Es wird deine Treu erfüllen,
was du selber hast gesagt:
dass auf dieser weiten Erden
keiner soll verloren werden,
sondern ewig leben soll,
wenn er nur ist Glaubens voll.


1. Chorus
Enter not into judgement with Thy servant, O Lord;
for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified.

2. Recitative (Alto)
My God, cast me not,
when I humbly bow before Thee,
away from Thy countenance.
I know how great Thine anger
and my transgressions are,
and that Thou art a swift witness
and a righteous judge.
I freely acknowledge my guilt before Thee,
and do not run the risk
of denying or concealing
the errors of my soul!

3. Aria (Soprano)
How the thoughts of sinners
tremble and reel
as they accuse
and then dare to excuse one another.
Thus is the anguished conscience
torn asunder by its own torture.

4. Recitative (Bass)
Fortunate though is he who knows his guarantor,
who redeems all his debts.
Thus will the handwriting of ordinances be blotted out,
if Jesus sprinkles it with His blood.
He Himself then nails it to the cross.
He will, at your death knell,
Himself hand to His father
the record of your goods, body and life,
and though your body
be carried to the grave
and be covered with sand and dust,
your Saviour will open for you the everlasting mansions.

5. Aria (Tenor)
I only have to make Jesus my friend,
and Mammon will mean nothing to me.
I shall find not pleasure here
amid this empty world and earthly objects.

6. Chorale
Now, I know, Thou shalt quiet
my conscience that torments me.
Thy good faith will fulfil
what Thou Thyself has said:
that throughout this wide world
no single person shall be lost,
but shall instead enjoy eternal life,
provided he be full of faith.


  • Release date
    14 June 2019
  • Recording date
    10 February 2018
  • Location
    Walloon Church, Amsterdam
  • Conductor
    Jos van Veldhoven
  • Soprano
    Maria Keohane
  • Alto
    Tim Mead
  • Tenor
    Daniel Johannsen
  • Bass
    Matthew Brook
  • Ripieno soprano
    Marjon Strijk, Hilde Van Ruymbeke
  • Ripieno alto
    Barnabás Hegyi, Marleene Goldstein
  • Ripieno tenor
    Kevin Skelton, Guy Cutting
  • Ripieno bas
    Matthew Baker, Drew Santini
  • Violin 1
    Shunske Sato, Anneke van Haaften, Pieter Affourtit
  • Violin 2
    Sayuri Yamagata, Lidewij van der Voort, Paulien Kostense
  • Viola
    Staas Swierstra, Jan Willem Vis
  • Cello
    Lucia Swarts, Richte van der Meer
  • Double bass
    Robert Franenberg
  • Oboe
    Martin Stadler, Peter Frankenberg
  • Bassoon
    Benny Aghassi
  • Corno da tirarsi
    Robert Vanryne
  • Organ
    Leo van Doeselaar
  • Harpsichord
    Siebe Henstra
  • Director and editor
    Bas Wielenga
  • Music recording
    Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Pim van der Lee
  • Music edit and mix
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera
    Merijn Vrieling, Ivo Palmen, Martin Struijf, Bjorn Tiebout
  • Lights
    Zen Bloot, Henry Rodgers, Patrick Galvin
  • Assistant director
    Ferenc Soeteman
  • Video engineer
    Vincent Nugteren
  • Set technique
    Dennis van Hoek
  • Data handling
    Jesper Blok
  • Project manager nep
    Peter Ribbens
  • Interview
    Onno van Ameijde, Marloes Biermans
  • Producer concert
    Imke Deters
  • Producer film
    Jessie Verbrugh

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