Unser Mund sei voll Lachens

Unser Mund sei voll Lachens

BWV 110 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Jos van Veldhoven
Grote Kerk, Naarden

  • Menu
  • 1. Unser Mund sei voll Lachens (Chorus)
  • 2. Ihr Gedanken und ihr Sinnen (Aria)
  • 3. Dir, Herr, ist niemand gleich (Recitative)
  • 4. Ach Herr, was ist ein Menschenkind (Aria)
  • 5. Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe (Aria)
  • 6. Wacht auf, ihr Adern (Aria)
  • 7. Halleluja! Halleluja! (Chorale)

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

Glorious music

Bach greets the newborn Child in festive spirit

The opening chorus of this cantata immediately draws all the attention. Bach reused the music from his Orchestral Suite no. 4 in D major, BWV 1069, but added another choir and four soloists to it, to greet the newborn Child in festive spirit. Another interesting fact about this opening chorus, from conductor Jos van Veldhoven, is that it is one of the few pieces where Bach gives instructions for the alternation of solo and tutti sections.

The words of this cantata are a wonderful description of how God in his glory wants to get close to humble mankind on earth. The music fits the words perfectly. The glory, for example, is obviously heard in the opening chorus, but also in the recitative and the powerful aria ‘Wacht auf’ by the bass with a trumpet solo. In the heart of the cantata, the alto meditates on the wonders of the Christmas message: God giving up his own son in order to suffer for the salvation of mankind. The operative word here is love, so the oboe d’amore plays a prominent role alongside the alto. For the duet ‘Ehre sei Gott’, Bach refers back to the ‘Virga Jesse’ from his Magnificat of one year earlier. The austere final chorale is also particularly effective, providing a contrast with the grandeur of the preceding bass aria.

Unser Mund sei voll Lachens
1725, revivals in 1728 and 1731
Georg Christian Lehms, 1711
Christmas Day
First performance
25 December 1725
Special notes
For the opening chorus, Bach used the Ouverture from his Orchestral Suite no. 4, BWV 1069, and for the 5th movement one of the ‘Einlagen’ (Virga Jesse) from the Magnificat.

Extra videos

Conductor Jos van Veldhoven on the cantata

“The first movement is like a red carpet for the arrival of the Christ-child”

Conductor Jos van Veldhoven on ripieno

“Conductor Jos van Veldhoven likes to work with ripieno. Why?”

Vocal texts


1. Chor
Unser Mund sei voll Lachens
und unsre Zunge voll Rühmens.
Denn der Herr hat
Grosses an uns getan.

2. Arie (Tenor)
Ihr Gedanken und ihr Sinnen,
schwinget euch anitzt von hinnen,
steiget schleunig himmelan
und bedenkt, was Gott getan!
Er wird Mensch, und dies allein,
dass wir Gottes
Kinder sein.

3. Rezitativ (Bass)
Dir, Herr, ist niemand gleich.
Du bist gross,
und dein Name ist gross 
und kannst’s mit der Tat beweisen.

4. Arie (Alt)
Ach Herr, was ist ein Menschenkind,
dass du sein Heil
so schmerzlich suchest?

Ein Wurm, den du verfluchest,
wenn Höll und Satan um ihn sind;
doch auch dein Sohn, den Seel und Geist
aus Liebe seinen Erben heisst.

5. Arie (Sopran, Tenor)
Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe
und Friede auf Erden
und den Menschen ein Wohlgefallen!

6. Arie (Bass)
Wacht auf, ihr Adern und ihr Glieder,
und singt dergleichen Freudenlieder,
die unserm Gott gefällig sein.
Und ihr, ihr andachtsvollen Saiten,
sollt ihm ein solches Lob bereiten,
dabei sich Herz und Geist erfreun.

7. Choral
Alleluja! Alleluja! Gelobt sei Gott,
singen wir all aus unsers
Herzens Grunde.

Denn Gott hat heut gemacht
solch Freud,
die wir vergessen solln zu
keiner Stunde.


1. Chorus
Let our mouth be full of laughter
and our tongue of singing.
For the Lord hath done
great things for us.

2. Aria
All you thoughts and meditations,
soar aloft at once,
climb swiftly heavenwards
and think what God has done!
He becomes man, merely
that we might be
heaven’s children.

3. Recitative
There is none like unto Thee, O Lord.
Thou art great,
and Thy name is great
in might.

4. Aria
Ah, Lord, what is man
that Thou, through such pain,
would redeem him?

A worm, whom Thou dost curse,
when hell and Satan surround him;
but yet Thy Son, whom soul and spirit
out of love call their inheritance.

5. Aria
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace,
good will toward men!

6. Aria
Awake, you veins and limbs,
and sing those songs of joy
which are pleasing to our God.
And you, you strings of deep devotion,
should offer Him such praise,
that heart and soul rejoice.

7. Chorale
Alleluia! Alleluia! All praise to God,
let us all sing from the
depths of our hearts.

For God today has
wrought such joy,
that we shall
always remember.


  • Release date
    25 December 2016
  • Recording date
    17 December 2015
  • Location
    Grote Kerk, Naarden
  • Conductor
    Jos van Veldhoven
  • Soprano
    Maria Keohane
  • Alto
    Alex Potter
  • Tenor
    Charles Daniels
  • Bass
    Matthias Winckhler
  • Ripieno soprano
    Lucie Chartin, Marie Heeschen
  • Ripieno alto
    Elsbeth Gerritsen, Michaela Riener
  • Ripieno tenor
    Immo Schröder, Yves van Handenhove
  • Ripieno bass
    Jelle Draijer, Michiel Meijer
  • Violin 1
    Shunske Sato, Annelies van der Vegt, Anneke van Haaften, Lidewij van der Voort
  • Violin 2
    Sayuri Yamagata, Pieter Affourtit, Paulien Kostense
  • Viola
    Staas Swierstra, Jan Willem Vis
  • Cello
    Lucia Swarts, Richte van der Meer
  • Double bass
    Robert Franenberg
  • Traverso
    Frank Theuns, Doretthe Janssens
  • Oboe
    Martin Stadler, Peter Frankenberg, Yongcheon Shin
  • Bassoon
    Benny Aghassi
  • Trumpet
    Robert Vanryne, Stephen Keavy, Mark Geelen
  • Timpani
    Luuk Nagtegaal
  • Harpsichord
    Siebe Henstra
  • Organ
    Pieter-Jan Belder
  • Director
    Joost Honselaar
  • Assistant director
    Ferenc Soetman
  • Music recording
    Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Micha de Kanter
  • Audiomontage -en mix
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera
    Jochem Timmerman, Rene Holbrugge, Martin Struif, Chris Reichgelt
  • Lights
    Zen Bloot
  • Lighting assistant
    Patrick Galvin
  • Video engineer
    Justin Mutsaers
  • Set technique
    Glenn van den Eerden
  • Data handling
    Charlotte Storm
  • Project manager nep
    Peter Ribbens
  • Interview
    Onno van Ameijde
  • Producer concert
    Marco Meijdam
  • Producer film
    Jessie Verbrugh, Imke Deters
  • Acknowledgements
    Angela Mast

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