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HALLELUJAH, from Cantata BWV 143, “Praise the Lord, My Soul”

Hallelujah, from Cantata BWV 143, “Praise the Lord, My Soul”

Watch The Choir perform Hallelujah, from Cantata BWV 143, “Praise the Lord, My Soul”.

ABOUT 'HALLELUJAH, from Cantata BWV143, “Praise the Lord, My Soul”'

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach
Text: Jakob Ebert
Translation: Henry S. Drinker

In his cantatas and church works, Bach frequently employs lively dance rhythms to express the most exuberant forms of worship. In the conclusion to his cantata “Praise the Lord, My Soul” (BWV 143), for example, the “Hallelujah” fairly leaps with joy through its dancing meter and energized rhythms. Floating over the top of the hearty “hallelujahs,” the sopranos steadily sing the third verse of the chorale on which the whole cantata is based, Jakob Ebert’s hymn “Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ.”

This cantata was probably intended for a New Year’s Day service, but the soprano lyrics in this finale solicit Christ’s help as the “Prince of Peace,” connecting the cantata directly to Isaiah’s prophecies of the coming of a Messiah.



Bethink Thee, Jesus, of Thy charge,
The Prince of Peace Thou art.
And to Thy people, far and wide,
Thy saving grace impart.
So may we hear Thy holy word
In songs of peace resounding.