Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe

Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe

BWV 22 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Sigiswald Kuijken
Walloon Church, Amsterdam

  • Menu
  • 1. Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe (Arioso)
  • 2. Mein Jesu, ziehe mich nach dir (Arie)
  • 3. Mein Jesu, ziehe mich (Rezitativ)
  • 4. Mein alles in allem (Arie)
  • 5. Ertöt uns durch dein Güte (Choral)

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

No frivolities

Was Bach trying to suit prevailing musical tastes in Leipzig in this audition cantata?

Bach wrote this cantata as an ‘audition piece’. He was applying for the position of cantor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, and part of his application procedure was to perform two cantatas he had written himself. The starting point for these compositions was, of course, the words, which had been sent to his home beforehand and which he would have used as his basis. But there is discussion about whether he tried his best to please the council in Leipzig. Conductor Sigiswald Kuijken believes this was not the case, whereas others claim that these cantatas do show that Bach tried to suit prevailing musical tastes in Leipzig.

They think this is demonstrated, for instance, by the fact that he did not go over the top regarding virtuosity, as he did not yet know exactly how good the musicians in Leipzig were. Or by the lack of arias in which the opening is repeated at the end and the absence of recitatives with only continuo accompaniment. This sort of da capo aria and secco recitative were commonly used in opera, and some members of the Leipzig council believed that church music should not be interlaced with theatrical frivolities.

The fact that Bach certainly based his composition on the words is demonstrated in the first movement. He divides the reading from the Gospel of St Luke into three parts, respectively introducing a narrator, the bass who sings Vox Christi and then the whole ensemble, who express the amazement of the disciples in a fugue.

Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe
alto, bass, tenor
Quinquagesima (the last Sunday before Lent)
First performance
7 February 1723
Special notes
One of Bach’s two audition cantatas for his appointment as cantor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig.

Extra videos

Sigiswald Kuijken

“It is top-quality music, but it would have been the same if it hadn't been a test piece.”

Sigiswald Kuijken and Lucia Swarts

“Especially for this concert Lucia Swarts learned to play the violoncello da spalla.”

Bassist Robert Franenberg on the violone

“It's a challenge to try and understand which instrument might had been used for a particular performance.”

Vocal texts


1. Arioso (Tenor, Bass, Chor)
Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe und sprach:
Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem,
und es wird alles vollendet werden,
das geschrieben ist von des Menschen Sohn.

Sie aber vernahmen der keines
und wussten nicht, was das gesaget war.

2. Arie (Alt)
Mein Jesu, ziehe mich nach dir,
ich bin bereit, ich will von hier
und nach Jerusalem zu deinen Leiden gehn.
Wohl mir, wenn ich die Wichtigkeit
von dieser Leid- und Sterbenszeit
zu meinem Troste kann durchgehends wohl verstehn!

3. Rezitativ (Bass)
Mein Jesu, ziehe mich, so werd ich laufen,
denn Fleisch und Blut
verstehet ganz und gar, nebst deinen Jüngern nicht,
was das gesaget war.
Es sehnt sich nach der Welt
und nach dem größten Haufen.
Sie wollen beiderseits, wenn du verkläret bist,
zwar eine feste Burg auf Tabors Berge bauen
hingegen Golgatha,
so voller Leiden ist,
in deiner Niedrigkeit mit keinem Auge schauen.
Ach! kreuzige bei mir in der verderbten Brust
zuvörderst diese Welt und die verbotne Lust,
so werd ich, was du sagst,
vollkommen wohl verstehen
und nach Jerusalem mit tausend Freuden gehen.

4. Arie (Tenor)
Mein alles in allem, mein ewiges Gut,
verbessre das Herze, verändre den Mut;
schlag alles darnieder,
was dieser Entsagung des Fleisches zuwider!
Doch wenn ich nun geistlich ertötet da bin,
So ziehe mich nach dir in Friede dahin!

5. Choral
Ertöt uns durch dein Güte,
erweck uns durch dein Gnad;
den alten Menschen kränke,
dass der neu' leben mag.
Wohl hie auf dieser Erden,
den Sinn und all Begehren
Und G'danken hab'n zu dir.


1. Arioso (Tenor, Bass, Chorus)
Jesus took aside the twelve [disciples] and said:
See, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and all will be fulfilled that is written [by the prophets]
about the son of man.

But they apprehended none of this, and did not
discern what was said [about Jesus’s death].

2. Aria (Alto)
My Jesus, draw me after you;
I am ready; I wish to go from here
And to Jerusalem for your sufferings.
Well for me if I can understand the weight [of glory]
From this time of suffering and death
Thoroughly well for my consolation.

3. Recitative (Bass)
My Jesus, draw me [after you]; so will I run [the race of faith]; For flesh and blood
does not understand well and truly, along with your disciples, what was said [about your death].
It [flesh and blood] craves the world,
and the greatest throng;
They [your disciples] wish, when you are transfigured,
Indeed to build, along either side [of you], a secure fortress on Tabor’s mountain; Golgotha, on the other hand, so full of suffering In your humiliation,
[they wish] not to see with their eyes.
Ah, crucify in me, within my corrupted breast,
Above all, this world and forbidden pleasure;
Thus will I perfectly well
understand what you say,
And go to Jerusalem with a thousand joys.

4. Aria (Tenor)
My all in all things, my eternal good:
Reform my heart, transform my mettle;
Strike down all
That is opposed to this renunciation of the flesh.
But now when I am spiritually put to death here [on earth], Then draw me after you, into peace, there [in heaven].

5. Chorale
Put us to death through your goodness;
Raise us [from the dead] through your grace;
Mortify the Old Adam [within us],
That the New [Adam within us] may live
Here on this earth as well,
And have his disposition and all desires
And thoughts be toward you.

transl. © Daniel R. Melamed and Michael Marissen
For the annotated version of the text and translation, see here.


  • Release date
    29 July 2016
  • Recording date
    23 April 2016
  • Location
    Walloon Church, Amsterdam
  • Violoncello da spalla and direction
    Sigiswald Kuijken
  • Soprano
    Miriam Feuersinger
  • Alto
    Damien Guillon
  • Tenor
    Wolfram Lattke
  • Bass
    Christian Immler
  • Ripieno soprano
    Griet de Geyter
  • Ripieno alto
    Barnabás Hegyi
  • Ripieno tenor
    Kevin Skelton
  • Ripieno bass
    Sebastian Myrus
  • Violin 1
    Shunske Sato, Pieter Affourtit
  • Violin 2
    Sayuri Yamagata, Anneke van Haaften
  • Viola
    Staas Swierstra
  • Violoncello da spalla
    Lucia Swarts
  • Violone
    Robert Franenberg
  • Oboe
    Martin Stadler
  • Bassoon
    Benny Aghassi
  • Trumpet
    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 editor
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera
    Jochem Timmerman, Martin Struijf, Merijn Vrieling, Chris Reigelt
  • Lights
    Zen Bloot, Gijs 't Hoen
  • Score reader
    Ferenc Soeteman
  • Video engineers
    Vincent Nugteren, Justin Mutsaers
  • Camera assistants
    Robert Wijermans, Leon Mignon
  • Set technicians
    Justin Mutsaers, Chris Reichgelt
  • Data handling
    Jesper Blok
  • Project manager
    Peter Ribbens
  • Interview
    Onno van Ameijde
  • Producer
    Marco Meijdam, Imke Deters, Jessie Verbrugh
  • Acknowledgements
    Nienke Meuleman

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