Cantata No.1 Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (BWV 1) (Vocal Score)

Bach, Johann Sebastian

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J S Bach Cantata No. 1 (BWV 1) Vocal Score

Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern | How bright and fair the morning star: Cantata for the Feast of Annunciation Day

Urtext of the New Bach Edition

Original German text with English singing translation

Idiomatic and straightforward piano reduction

The cantata “ Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” BWV 1 was written for 25 March 1725, when the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary coincided with Palm Sunday.  It forms the conclusion of Bach’s cantata cycle of 1724/25.

The anonymous librettist retained the outer verses 1 and 7 of Philipp Nicolai’s text (1599) which is assigned to the feast of Epiphany according to old tradition but was also sung at the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary.  Verses 2 to 6 form the basis for the tenor and bass recitatives and the soprano and tenor arias.

Bach’s composition has a particularly festive brilliance with his use of 2 horns, 2 oboes da caccia and the two concertante solo violins.  The violins’ lively figurations clearly reflect an image of the shining morning star.

Wendt, Matthias
Baerenreiter Germany
Soprano solo, Alto solo, Tenor solo, Bass solo, Mixed choir (SATB), Horn (2), Oboe (2), Strings, Organ, Basso continuo


  1. 1. (Coro): Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern / How bright and fair the morning star [Bach, Johann Sebastian]
  2. 2. Recitativo (Tenore): Du wahrer Gottes und Marien Sohn / Thou very son of God and Mary born [Bach, Johann Sebastian]
  3. Aria (Soprano): Erfüllet, ihr himmlischen, göttlichen Flammen / Come kindle, thou heavenly bright shining beacon [Bach, Johann Sebastian]
  4. 4. Recitativo (Basso): Ein ird'scher Glanz, ein lieblich Licht / Our hearts rejoice in no false light [Bach, Johann Sebastian]
  5. 5. Aria (Tenore): Unser Mund und Ton der Saiten / Harp and viol, voices blending [Bach, Johann Sebastian]
  6. 6. Choral: Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh / What joy my Saviour brings to me [Bach, Johann Sebastian]

Additional Information

Baroque Period
Mixed Voices
English, German