Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht

Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht

BWV 345 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Christoph Prégardien
Grote Kerk, Alkmaar

Behind the music


Plenty of movement in upper part

Bach may also have written the chorale melody himself

After Bach’s death, his four-part chorale settings remained the best known. As early as the 1760’s, two sets of a hundred four-part chorales each were printed, with the inscription “collected by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach”. But in fact Carl Philipp had nothing to do with this publication. In a letter sent to a Hamburg newspaper, he even criticised the edition for its errors and incorrect attributions. Between 1784 and 1787, he was involved in a more reliable edition of his father’s chorale settings for the music publisher Breitkopf. The four Breitkopf collections contain no fewer than 348 different harmonisations of chorale melodies without text. These settings are notated on two staves, like a keyboard score. So they formed an inexhaustible series of examples of how to endlessly harmonise creative chorale melodies (giving them a four-part accompaniment).

The chorale Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht is found in part three of the edition. There is plenty of movement in the upper part. So the soprano part does not sound like a typical chorale melody, which are usually a bit older. This melody dates from 1735. The only source is a manuscript from Bach’s circle – and it is possible that Bach wrote it himself. Whether he had Simon Dach’s text Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht in mind for it is not certain. Although the text does fit the upper part well, it is not such a good match for the lower parts. Moreover, in Bach’s day this text was usually sung to a melody by Heinrich Albert from 1648. Bach also made his own four-part harmonisation of this better-known melody (BWV 464).

Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht
Simon Dach

Extra videos

Vocal texts


Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht
Du hast mich an das Licht gebracht
Und du erhältst mir auch das Leben,
Du kennest meiner Monden Zahl,
Weisst wann ich diesem Jammerthal
Auch wieder gute Nacht soll geben.
Wo, wie und wann ich sterben soll,
Das weisst du, Vater, mehr als wohl.


O Lord, you hold me in your might
It’s you who gave me life and light
And you who gives me all my living.
You know the number of my years
You know when to this vale of tears
My last goodnight I’m giving.
When I shall die, and where and how
You know, my Father, here and now.

translation © Ruth van Baak Griffioen, 2019



  • Release date
    23 January 2020
  • Recording date
    28 February 2019
  • Location
    Grote Kerk, Alkmaar
  • Conductor
    Christoph Prégardien
  • Soprano
    Lucia Caihuela, Maria Valdmaa, Klaartje van Veldhoven, Lauren Armishaw, Orlanda Velez Isidro, Marjon Strijk
  • Alto
    Marine Fribourg, Elsbeth Gerritsen, Eimi Witmer, Inga Schneider, Bart Uvyn, Laura Lopes
  • Tenor
    Guy Cutting, Immo Schröder, David Lee, Adriaan de Koster, Yves Van Handenhove, Diederik Rooker
  • Bass
    Drew Santini, Matthew Baker, Martijn de Graaf Bierbrauwer, Donald Bentvelsen, Michiel Meijer, Joep van Geffen
  • Organ
    Siebe Henstra
  • Director and editor
    Bas Wielenga
  • Music recording
    Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Pim van der Lee
  • Music edit and mix
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera
    Martin Struijf, Jesper Blok, Wesley Schipper
  • Lights
    Zen Bloot, Patrick Galvin, Fiona Verkleij, Henry Rodgers
  • Assistant director
    Stefan Ebels
  • Video engineer
    Justin Mutsaers
  • Project manager team
    Ron Vermeulen
  • Producer concert
    Imke Deters, Marco Meijdam
  • Producer film
    Jessie Verbrugh

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