Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam, BWV 7

Christ our Lord came to the Jordan ( BWV 7) is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He wrote the chorale cantata in Leipzig for locust and performed it on June 24, 1724 for the first time. It is based on the same baptismal hymn of Martin Luther and is the third cantata in Bach's second annual cycle.

History and words

Bach composed the cantata in his second year in Leipzig for the St. John's as the third cantata in his second annual cycle, which he had after Trinity with O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 20, started on the first Sunday. The prescribed readings were as epistle Isaiah 40.1-5 LUT, " It is the voice of one crying ", and as the Gospel Lk 1.57 to 80 LUT, the birth of John the Baptist and the Benedictus of his father, Zacharias. The work is the same Lutheran baptismal hymn based in seven verses of Martin Luther. The first and the last chorale verse are retained in the wording in sentences 1 and 7, while an unknown poet umdichtete the inner verses in a sequence of as many arias and recitatives. The song was the main song for the holiday. It starts from the baptism of Jesus and is therefore no direct relationship to the gospel, which is about the birth of John the Baptist.

Bach led the cantata on 24 June 1724 for the first time.

Scoring and structure

The cantata is staffed with three soloists, alto, tenor and bass, four-part choir, two oboe d' amore, two violins, viola and basso continuo.


In the opening chorus, a chorale fantasia, the tenor sings the melody as cantus firmus, while the other voices are set in free polyphony. In the first cantata of the cycle, O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, Bach had the cantus firmus entrusted to the soprano, in the second, Oh God, look down from heaven into it, BWV 2, the Old. The set resembles an Italian Violin Concerto. The first aria is accompanied only by continuo. A secco recitative leads to an aria with two violins, which are referred from a later performance of Bach as a solo. The following recitative is entrusted to the bass as the Vox Christi and is accompanied by strings, similar to the words of Jesus in Bach's St. Matthew Passion. The reference in the text to baptize is highlighted as expressive arioso. According to the occupation to increase aria aria of the oboes and strings accompany the final aria. The final chorale is a simple four-part set.


  • Bach Cantatas No.. 8 BWV 7, BWV 18, BWV 107 Rudolf Lutz, choir and orchestra of the JS Bach Foundation, Nuria Rial, Julia Doyle ( soprano), Alex Potter (Alt ), Makato Sakurada, Julius Pfeifer (tenor ), Dominik Wörner, Wolf Matthias Friedrich ( bass). Gallus Media, 2013.
  • "Christ our Lord came to the Jordan ." Cantata BWV 7 Rudolf Lutz, choir and orchestra of the JS Bach Foundation, Alex Potter, Julius Pfeifer, Dominik Wörner. Velvet introductory workshop and reflection of Hardy Ruoss. Gallus Media, 2013.