Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren

Last updated
"Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren"
Lutheran hymn
English"My Soul, now Praise thy Maker"
Textby Johann Gramann
Melodyby Hans Kugelmann
Published1540 (1540)

"Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren" (Now praise, my soul, the Lord) is a Lutheran hymn written in German by the theologian and reformer Johann Gramann in 1525. It was published in 1540 and appears in 47 hymnals. A translation by Catherine Winkworth, "My Soul, now Praise thy Maker!", was published in 1863.


History and text

The hymn is a general song of praise, paraphrasing Psalm 103 [1] in four stanzas of 12 lines each. [2] It is supposed to have been written in 1525 "at the request of the Margrave Albrecht, as a version of his favourite Psalm". [2] The hymn was published in Nürnberg as a broadsheet around 1540, and in Augsburg in the hymnal Concentus novi by Hans Kugelmann  [ de ] in 1540, [2] with a melody derived from the secular song "Weiß mir ein Blümlein blaue". [3] A fifth stanza was added in a reprint in Nürnberg in 1555, "Sey Lob und Preis mit Ehren". [2] The hymn appears in 47 hymnals. [4]


The text has been set by composers. Christoph Graupner wrote a cantata, Johann Hermann Schein composed a motet, Michael Praetorius a motet for eight voices. Heinrich Schütz set the hymn as part of Book I of his Psalmen Davids in 1619 (SWV 41). [5] and Johann Pachelbel used the melody in a chorale prelude in about 1693. Johann Sebastian Bach used the hymn in several cantatas. He composed four-part settings to close cantatas Ihr Menschen, rühmet Gottes Liebe, BWV 167 (1723), Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich, BWV 17 (1726), Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51 (1730) and Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, BWV 29 (1731). He set the hymn as a complex motet as movement 2 of his cantata for the Sunday after Christmas, Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende, BWV 28, reflecting thanks for a year coming to a close. [6] Bach also used the third stanza of the hymn for the second of three movements of the motet Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225. [7]

Dieterich Buxtehude composed a chorale fantasia, BuxWV 212, in C major, and three organ preludes, BuxWV 213–215. An organ prelude was also written by Johann Pachelbel.


It was translated in several languages, including "My Soul, now Praise thy Maker!" by Catherine Winkworth, published in her Chorale Book for England in 1863. J. C. Jacobi translated it in 1722 as "My soul! exalt the Lord thy God", H. Mills as “Now to the Lord sing praises", published in 1845. [2]

Related Research Articles

<i>Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir</i>, BWV 29 church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach

Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, BWV 29, is a sacred cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig in 1731 for Ratswechsel, the annual inauguration of a new town council, and first performed it on 27 August of that year. The cantata was part of a festive service in the Nikolaikirche. The cantata text by an unknown author includes in movement 2 the beginning of Psalm 75, and as the closing chorale the fifth stanza of Johann Gramann's "Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren". Bach scored the work in eight movements for four vocal parts and a festive Baroque orchestra of three trumpets, timpani, two oboes, strings, an obbligato organ and basso continuo. The organ dominates the first movement Sinfonia which Bach derived from a Partita for violin. The full orchestra accompanies the first choral movement and plays with the voices in the closing chorale, while a sequence of three arias alternating with two recitatives is scored intimately.

<i>Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen</i>, BWV 51 church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach composed the church cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen LandenBWV 51, in Leipzig. The work is Bach's only church cantata scored for a solo soprano and trumpet. He composed it for general use, in other words not for a particular date in the church calendar, although he used it for the 15th Sunday after Trinity: the first known performance was on 17 September 1730 in Leipzig. The work may have been composed earlier, possibly for an occasion at the court of Christian, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels, for whom Bach had composed the Hunting Cantata and the Shepherd Cantata.

<i>Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich</i>, BWV 17 church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach composed the church cantata Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich, BWV 17} in Leipzig for the fourteenth Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 22 September 1726.

<i>Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende</i>, BWV 28 Cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach

Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende, BWV 28, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach for the Sunday after Christmas. He first performed it on 30 December 1725.

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland song

"Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland" is a Lutheran chorale of 1524 with words written by Martin Luther, based on "Veni redemptor gentium" by Ambrose, and a melody based on its plainchant. It was printed in the Erfurt Enchiridion of 1524.

Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten song

"Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten" is a 1641 hymn by Georg Neumark, who also composed the melody for it. It has seven verses and deals with the Christian putting their trust in God. Its author referred to it as a "Trostlied" or song of consolation and it first appeared in his Fortgepflantzer musikalisch-poetischer Lustwald. It also appeared in Johann Crüger's 1672 Praxis pietatis melica and in the first part of Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen's 1704 Geistreiches Gesangbuch.

There are 52 chorale cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach surviving in at least one complete version. Around 40 of these were composed during his second year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, which started after Trinity Sunday 4 June 1724, and form the backbone of his chorale cantata cycle. The eldest known cantata by Bach, an early version of Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4, presumably written in 1707, was a chorale cantata. The last chorale cantata he wrote in his second year in Leipzig was Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1, first performed on Palm Sunday, 25 March 1725. In the ten years after that he wrote at least a dozen further chorale cantatas and other cantatas that were added to his chorale cantata cycle.

Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott Lutheran hymn for Pentecost

"Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott" is a Lutheran hymn for Pentecost, with words written by Martin Luther based on "Veni Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium". The hymn in three stanzas was first published in 1524. For centuries the chorale has been the prominent hymn (Hauptlied) for Pentecost in German-speaking Lutheranism. Johann Sebastian Bach used it in several chorale preludes, cantatas and his motet Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226.

A church cantata or sacred cantata is a cantata intended to be performed during a liturgical service. The liturgical calendar of the German Reformation era had, without counting Reformation Day and days between Palm Sunday and Easter, 72 occasions for which a cantata could be presented. Composers such as Georg Philipp Telemann composed cycles of church cantatas comprising all 72 of these occasions. Such a cycle is called an "ideal" cycle, while in any given liturgical year feast days could coincide with Sundays, and the maximum amount of Sundays after Epiphany and the maximum amount of Sundays after Trinity could not all occur.

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin psalm

"Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin" is a hymn by Martin Luther, a paraphrase in German of the Nunc dimittis, the canticle of Simeon. Luther wrote the text and melody in 1524 and it was first published in the same year. Originally a song for Purification, it has been used for funerals. Luther included it in 1542 in Christliche Geseng ... zum Begrebniss.

Jauchzet dem Herrn alle Welt is a three-movement pasticcio motet for double SATB choir. It includes music by Georg Philipp Telemann and Johann Sebastian Bach. The text of the motet is a German paraphrase of Psalm 100.

"Herzlich tut mich verlangen" is a German hymn, with lyrics written in 1611 by Christoph Knoll, with a melody adapted from a secular song by Hans Leo Hassler. It is a prayer for a blessed death, beginning "Herzlich tut mich verlangen nach einem sel'gen End".

"Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn" is a Lutheran hymn with a text written by Johann Georg Albinus as a paraphrase of Psalm 6. It was first printed with a formerly secular melody in Dresden in 1694. The song was included in 31 hymnals. The melody inspired musical settings both for organ and vocal works. The hymn was translated by Catherine Winkworth as "Not in anger, Mighty God", which appeared in 13 hymnals.

"Werde munter, mein Gemüte" is a Lutheran evening hymn by Johann Rist in twelve stanzas of eight lines each, printed in 1642. The hymn was translated to English and appeared in 67 hymnals.

In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr German Lutheran hymn, paraphrasing Psalm 31

"In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr" is a Lutheran hymn in seven stanzas, written by Adam Reusner and first published in 1533. He paraphrased the beginning of Psalm 31. It was first sung to the melody of a Passion hymn. The melody connected with the hymn in 1560 was derived from models dating back to the 14th century. A third melody from 1608 became a hymn tune for several other songs and translations to English. In the German Protestant hymnal Evangelisches Gesangbuch, the hymn appears as EG 257 with the second melody. Johann Sebastian Bach used the second and third melodies in chorale preludes, and the third also in cantatas and the St Matthew Passion.

Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag

"Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag" is a German Easter hymn, with text and tune written by Nikolaus Herman and published in 1561. It has inspired musical settings by composers from the 17th to the 20th century. It appears in several hymnals, including the German Protestant hymnal Evangelisches Gesangbuch. Other hymns, especially Easter hymns, in both German and English, are sung to the same melody.

Nun laßt uns Gott dem Herren

"Nun lasst uns Gott dem Herren" is a Lutheran hymn of 1557 with words by Ludwig Helmbold. It is a song of thanks, with the incipit: "Nun lasst uns Gott dem Herren Dank sagen und ihn ehren". The melody, published by Nikolaus Selnecker, appeared in 1587. Today, the song appears in German hymnals, including in the Protestant Evangelisches Gesangbuch as EG 320.

<i>Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren</i>, BWV 28/2a

Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren, BWV 28/2a, formerly BWV 231, identical to the second movement of BWV Anh. 160, is a motet composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was composed some time in 1725.

"Nun liebe Seel, nun ist es Zeit", alternatively written "Nun, liebe Seel, nun ist es Zeit", is a Lutheran hymn for Epiphany, in five stanzas of six lines each, by Georg Weissel. It was first printed in 1642, set as a motet by Johannes Eccard. A version with an additional stanza is attributed to Johann Christoph Arnschwanger.


  1. "Hans Kugelmann / Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren". Carus-Verlag . Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Johann Graumann". Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  3. Herbst, Wolfgang (2001). Wer ist wer im Gesangbuch?. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. p. 188.
  4. "Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren". Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  5. "Heinrich Schütz: Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren / aus: Psalmen Davids" (in German). Carus-Verlag . Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  6. Gardiner, John Eliot (2007). "Cantatas for the Third Sunday after Easter (Jubilate) / Schlosskirche, Altenburg" (PDF). pp. 4–5. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  7. BWV2a: Alfred Dürr, Yoshitake Kobayashi (eds.), Kirsten Beißwenger. Bach Werke Verzeichnis: Kleine Ausgabe, nach der von Wolfgang Schmieder vorgelegten 2. Ausgabe. Preface in English and German. Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1998. ISBN   3765102490 - ISBN   978-3765102493, p. 228