Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen

Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen

BWV 49 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Shunske Sato
Walloon Church, Amsterdam

  • Menu
  • 1. Sinfonia
  • 2. Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen (Arie)
  • 3. Mein Mahl ist zubereit (Rezitativ)
  • 4. Ich bin herrlich (Arie)
  • 5. Mein Glaube (Rezitativ)
  • 6. Dich hab ich je und je geliebet (Duett)

Behind the music



A conversation between the soul and Christ, with a festive opening

The cantata Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen is one of several dialogue cantatas written by Bach. As in the case of the other dialogues, the lyrics Bach used were already suited to the form beforehand. Bach underlines the form musically: a characteristic element in nearly all his dialogue cantatas is the choice of soprano and bass as the only soloists. The underlying idea is always the same. The soul (soprano) and Christ (bass) converse together and eventually declare their love for one another.

Sometimes, the dialogue consists of a strict alternation between bass and soprano, as in BWV 57. In other dialogue cantatas, the dialogue results in a duet, as here, for example, and in BWV 32 and BWV 58. Usually, a chorale melody also emerges somewhere near the ending. Sometimes, that is the usual four-part setting, or else (as in this case) Bach gives a chorale melody to the soprano, with decoration from the orchestra and commentary from the bass.

Within the parameters of the dialogue form, Bach searches for variation in a variety of ways. In this cantata, he does so by starting with an instrumental sinfonia, for example, with a starring role for the organ. Two other striking instruments are not immediately apparent in the foreground: the oboe d’amore and the violoncello piccolo. Bach chose the first of these for its name, as a “love oboe” belongs in a love dialogue. The violoncello piccolo (“small violoncello”) has always been a mysterious instrument. Was it a slightly smaller cello (with or without an extra string)? Or was it the same as the violoncello da spalla (the “shoulder cello”), as used by Sigiswald Kuijken in BWV 22? For this performance, cellist Lucia Swarts chose the former instrument.

In the aria Ich bin herrlich ich bin schön, both instruments eventually come to the fore together. The opening theme continually circulates between the oboe, violincello and soprano in a balanced, three-voiced conversation. It is as if the soul, besides entering into dialogue with Christ, also consults the orchestra around her.

Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen
bass, soprano
Christoph Birkmann
twentieth Sunday after Trinity
First performance
3 November 1726
Special notes
The sinfonia is an arrangement of an early version of the third movement of the Harpsichord Concerto in E Major, BWV 1053

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Extra videos

Vocal texts


1. Sinfonia

2. Arie (Bass)
Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen
dich, meine Taube, schönste Braut.
Sag an, wo bist du hingegangen,
dass dich mein Auge nicht mehr schaut?

3. Rezitativ (Sopran - Seele, Bass - Jesus)
Mein Mahl ist zubereit’
und meine Hochzeittafel fertig,
nur meine Braut ist noch nicht gegenwärtig.
Mein Jesu redt von mir;
O Stimme, welche mich erfreut!
Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen
dich, meine Taube, schönste Braut.
Mein Bräutigam, ich falle dir zu Füßen.
Komm, Schönste, komm und lass dich küssen,
du sollst mein fettes Mahl genießen.
Komm, liebe Braut, und eile nun,
die Hochzeitkleider anzutun.
Komm, Schönster, komm und lass dich küssen,
lass mich dein fettes Mahl genießen.
Mein Bräutigam! ich eile nun,
die Hochzeitkleider anzutun.

4. Arie (Sopran)
Ich bin herrlich, ich bin schön,
meinen Heiland zu entzünden.
Seines Heils Gerechtigkeit
|ist mein Schmuck und Ehrenkleid;
und damit will ich bestehn,
wenn ich werd in’n Himmel gehn.

5. Rezitativ (Sopran - Seele, Bass - Jesus)
Mein Glaube hat mich selbst so angezogen.
So bleibt mein Herze dir gewogen,

so will ich mich mit dir
in Ewigkeit vertrauen und verloben.
Wie wohl ist mir!
Der Himmel ist mir aufgehoben:
Die Majestät ruft selbst und sendet ihre Knechte,
dass das gefallene Geschlechte
im Himmelssaal
bei dem Erlösungsmahl
zu Gaste möge sein,
hier komm ich, Jesu, lass mich ein!
Sei bis in Tod getreu,
so leg ich dir die Lebenskrone bei.

6. Duett (Sopran - Seele, Bass - Jesus)
Dich hab ich je und je geliebet,
Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh,
dass mein Schatz ist das A und O,
der Anfang und das Ende.
und darum zieh ich dich zu mir.
Er wird mich doch zu seinem Preis
aufnehmen in das Paradeis;
des klopf ich in die Hände.
Ich komme bald,
Amen! Amen!
ich stehe vor der Tür:
Komm, du schöne Freudenkrone,
bleib nicht lange!
Mach auf, mein Aufenthalt!
Deiner wart ich mit Verlangen.
Dich hab ich je und je geliebet,
und darum zieh ich dich zu mir.


1. Sinfonia

2. Aria (Bass)
I go and seek with longing
thee, my dove, my fairest bride.
Tell me, where hast thou gone,
that I can no longer see thee?

3. Recitative (Soprano - Soul, Bass - Jesus)
My feast is prepared
and my marriage-table ready,
only my bride is not yet present.
My Jesus speaks of me;
O voice, that makes me glad!
I go and seek with longing
thee, my dove, my fairest bride.
My bridegroom, I fall at Thy feet.
Come, fairest, come and let me kiss thee,
thou shalt enjoy my sumptuous meal.
Come, my bride, and hasten now
to put on the wedding raiment.
Come, fairest, come and let me kiss Thee,
let me enjoy Thy sumptuous meal.
My bridegroom! I hasten now
to put on the wedding raiment.

4. Aria (Soprano)
I am glorious, I am fair,
to kindle my Saviour.
The righteousness of His salvation
is my adornment and cloak of honour;
and I shall wear it
when I go to heaven.

5. Recitative (Soprano - Soul, Bass - Jesus)
My faith itself has dressed me so.
My heart is well disposed towards you,
thus shall I plight to you
my troth and pledge for ever more.
How well I feel!
Heaven is in my keeping:
its majesty itself calls and sends its servants,
that the fallen generations
might be guests
in the hall of heaven
at our Salvation’s meal.
Here I am, Jesus, let me in!
Be faithful unto death,|
and I will bequeath you the crown of life.

6. Duet (Soprano - Soul, Bass - Jesus)
I have always loved you,
How truly glad I am
that my treasure is the A and O,
the beginning and the end.
and so I draw you to me.
He shall, for His praise,
receive me in paradise;
for which I clap my hands.
I’m coming soon,
Amen! Amen!
I stand before the door,
Come, O lovely crown of joy,
tarry not!
open up, my abode!
I wait for Thee with longing.
I have always loved you,
and so I draw you to me.


  • Release date
    3 March 2022
  • Recording date
    26 August 2021
  • Location
    Walloon Church, Amsterdam
  • Violin and direction
    Shunske Sato
  • Soprano
    Dorothee Mields
  • Bass
    Stephan MacLeod
  • Violin 2
    Pieter Affourtit
  • Viola
    Femke Huizinga
  • Violoncello piccolo
    Lucia Swarts
  • Double bass
    Robert Franenberg
  • Oboe d’amore
    Marcel Ponseele
  • Bassoon
    Benny Aghassi
  • Harpsichord
    Siebe Henstra
  • Organ
    Matthias Havinga
  • 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, Bjorn Tiebout
  • Lights
    Emile Groenewoud
  • Grip
    Tommie Janssen, Thomas Leur
  • Assistant director
    Lilita Dunska
  • Set technique
    Renger Hartog
  • Project manager nep
    Marco Korzelius
  • Assistant music recording
    Marloes Biermans
  • Producer concert
    Marco Meijdam
  • Producer film
    Jessie Verbrugh
  • With support from

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