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Art.Nr. ETM 1883

Jesus bleibet meine Freude

Quick Overview

Score and Parts

: Orchestra

Wohl mir, dass ich Jesum habe – Jesus bleibet meine Freude (Well for me that I have Jesus – Jesus remains my joy) are the beginning lines of the text for one of the best-known chorale settings by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the work for four-part choir, strings, oboes and trumpet in 1723 for his cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147 (Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life). He closes its first part with the text Wohl mir, dass ich Jesum habe and with the text Jesus bleibet meine Freude, he closes the musically identical second part. In the English-speaking world, and reimported from there into the German-speaking area, it became under the title Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring one of the most popular and most arranged melodies in classical music.

This arrangement is such that it can be played by just a string ensemble and three solo violins. The individual parts all move only within the first position; additionally, the viola can be replaced by a 3rd violin.

What’s more, the solo C parts can also be given to clarinets (in B flat) or to saxophones (in E flat or B flat). Moreover, the string parts can also be played by clarinets (in B flat) – whether this be to support the strings or as an ensemble of solo clarinets. All such transposed parts are already included in this edition.

The level of difficulty ranges from easy to moderately difficult (Violin I); the performance time is approx. 4 minutes.

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