Herr Gott, dich loben wir
Today we'll take a moment to see how Bach uses Luther's of this hymn in one of his cantatas.
The Te Deum Laudaumus is a solid exposition of God's grace, mercy, and power, placing our faith, hope, and trust, for salvation in the hands of the Holy Trinity--Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:
Because of its strength, the text has been set by various composers over the centuries. In our liturgy, when we sing the Te Deum we join Christians for the past ~2000 years as well as the heavenly choir in praising our God. The hymn is also confessional and educational--reminding us of God's majesty, our sin and despair, and Christ's redemptive work.
In Bach's catalog, it appears in several places (cantatas BWV 16, 119, 120, 19/190a).
In BWV 16 (composed for the celebration of Christ's circumcision), the first four lines of the hymn (the cantus firmus -- Luther's melody) are presented in augmentation (rhymically elongated) in the Soprano, while the other three voices enter imitatively/contrapuntally.
(We praise Thee, O God; we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord. All the earth doth worship Thee, the Father everlasting.)
See the complete text (Latin, German, English) at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale036-Eng3.htm
Time to Listen!
Please take a moment and enjoy this brief movement--and the entire cantata!