Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden

Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden

BWV 6 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Jos van Veldhoven
Walloon Church, Amsterdam

  • Menu
  • 1. Bleib bei uns (Chor)
  • 2. Hochgelobter Gottessohn (Arie)
  • 3. Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ (Arie)
  • 4. Es hat die Dunkelheit (Rezitativ)
  • 5. Jesu, lass uns auf dich sehen (Arie)
  • 6. Beweis dein Macht, Herr Jesu Christ (Choral)

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

Unbelief on the road to Emmaus

Taking a sober, stern inward look

Could it be true? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? The women standing by his empty tomb say that this is the case. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus have their doubts about the long-awaited miracle. They beg the man accompanying them - who expertly taught them the scriptures along the way - to stay a little longer, as night is falling, the day is drawing to a close and they are afraid. But they did not see, or were not yet able to see, that all the time they had been talking to the resurrected Christ. Their faith was not strong enough.

This contrast between belief and unbelief, light and darkness, and salvation and sin, is the theme of this cantata. Bach was working with a rather laboured text, and many authors thus suspect it was written by a theologian. Bach represents nightfall by all sorts of slowly descending lines, for instance to the motif Bleib bei uns’, which is reminiscent of ‘Ruht wohl’ from the St John Passion, BWV 245, composed a year earlier. The imploring opening section revolves around an agitated fugue, maybe representing the inner tumult of the apostles. Like clarions, they call out in turn and then suddenly together: ‘Bleib bei uns!’

A paraphrase of the prayer by the alto and a warm oboe da caccia is followed by the first chorale: yet another fearful plea: ‘Stay with us’, but now decorated by a cautiously hopeful violoncello piccolo. Bach or his arranger included this movement in the Schübler Chorales. It is only in the fourth movement, a recitative for bass, that the lyricist is specific, giving a warning reference to the Book of Revelations: the light of Christ will not shine on those who remain in sin. With chafing steps, the tenor then illustrates the difficult, dusty path of sin, compared to the shining ‘light’, whereupon the choir ends with a short prayer in the form of a verse from the Lutheran hymn ‘Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort’.

Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden
alto, bass, soprano, tenor
Christoph Birkmann?
Easter Monday
First performance
2 April 1725
Special notes
Bach transcribed the chorale Ach bleib bei uns for organ in his Schübler-Choräle as BWV 649

In memory of

Maarten van der Vlerk

Extra videos

Jos van Veldhoven, Tim Mead

“The violoncello piccolo brings joy and optimism in this cantata.”

Vocal texts


1. Chor
Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend
werden, und der Tag hat sich geneiget.

2. Arie (Alt)
Hochgelobter Gottessohn,
lass es dir nicht sein entgegen,
dass wir itzt vor deinem Thron
eine Bitte niederlegen:
Bleib, ach bleibe unser Licht,
weil die Finsternis einbricht.

3. Arie (Sopran)
Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ,
weil es nun Abend worden ist,
dein göttlich Wort, das helle Licht,
lass ja bei uns auslöschen nicht.

In dieser letzt’n betrübten Zeit
verleih uns, Herr, Beständigkeit,
dass wir dein Wort und Sacrament
rein b’halten bis an unser End.

4. Rezitativ (Bass)
Es hat die Dunkelheit
an vielen Orten überhand genommen.
Woher ist aber dieses kommen?
Bloss daher, weil sowohl
die Kleinen als die Grossen
nicht in Gerechtigkeit
vor dir, o Gott, gewandelt
und wider ihre Christenpflicht gehandelt.
Drum hast du auch den Leuchter

5. Arie (Tenor)
Jesu, lass uns auf dich sehen,
dass wir nicht
auf den Sündenwegen gehen.
Lass das Licht
deines Worts uns helle scheinen
und dich jederzeit treu meinen.

6. Choral
Beweis dein Macht, Herr Jesu Christ,
der du Herr aller Herren bist;
Beschirm dein arme Christenheit,
Dass sie dich lob in Ewigkeit.


1. Chorus
Abide with us, for it is toward evening
and the day is far spent.

2. Aria (Alto)
Highly praised Son of God,
may it not displease Thee
that before Thy throne
we now entreat:
Abide, ah abide with us as our light,
for darkness descends.

3. Aria (Sopran)
Ah, abide with us, Lord Jesus Christ,
for evening now has fallen,
Thy holy Word, the bright light,
let it not cease to shine on us!

In this final, dismal hour,
lend us constancy, O Lord,
that we Thy Word and Sacrament
keep pure until our end is nigh.

4. Recitative (Bass)
Darkness has prevailed
in many places.
But wherefore has this come to pass?
Simply because
the lowly and the mighty
have not walked in righteousness
before Thee, O God,
and have violated their Christian duty.
Therefore hast thou removed the candlestick
out of his place.

5. Aria (Tenor)
Jesus, let us gaze on Thee,
that we might not
tread the paths of sin.
Let the light
of Thy Word shine more brightly upon us,
and truly signify Thee always.

6. Chorale
Prove Thy might, Lord Jesus Christ,
O Thou who art the Lord of Lords;
shield Thy poor Christendom,
that all Christians might praise Thee eternally.


  • Release date
    8 June 2018
  • Recording date
    11 February 2018
  • Location
    Walloon Church, Amsterdam
  • Conductor
    Jos van Veldhoven
  • Soprano
    Maria Keohane
  • Alto
    Tim Mead
  • Tenor
    Daniel Johannsen
  • Bass
    Matthew Brook
  • Ripieno soprano
    Hilde Van Ruymbeke, Marjon Strijk
  • Ripieno alto
    Barnabás Hegyi, Marleene Goldstein
  • Ripieno tenor
    Kevin Skelton, Guy Cutting
  • Ripieno bas
    Drew Santini, Matthew Baker
  • 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
  • Oboe da caccia
    Yongcheon Shin
  • Bassoon
    Benny Aghassi
  • Organ
    Leo van Doeselaar
  • Harpsichord
    Siebe Henstra
  • Director and editor
    Bas Wielenga
  • Music recording
    Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Pim van der Lee
  • Music recording, edit and mix
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera
    Merijn Vrieling, Ivo Palmen, Martin Struijf, Bjorn Tiebout
  • Director of photography
    Merijn Vrieling
  • 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
  • In memory of
    Maarten van der Vlerk (1961-2016)
  • >
    "Maarten abides with us, in our thoughts."

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