Johann Sebastian Bach

3. Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt

  • Soprano solo + Cornetto ad lib. · D#4 – F#5
  • Alto solo + Trombone I ad lib. · A3 – C#5
  • Continuo: Organo

German Text by Unknown

Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt
Bei allen Menschenkindern;
Das macht’ alles unsre Sünd,
Kein Unschuld war zu finden.
Davon kam der Tod so bald
Und nahm über uns Gewalt,
Hielt uns in seinem Reich gefangen.

English Translation

Nobody could restrain death,
Among all the children of humankind;
Our sin made all that so;
No innocence was to be found.
As a result, death came immediately
And seized power over us,
Held us imprisoned in its realm.


  • Full score: Neue Bach-Ausgabe I/9, p. 20
  • Background: Alfred Dürr, Cantatas of J. S. Bach (Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 262
  • Libretto: from Martin Luther’s Easter hymn of 1524, adapted from the Latin sequence Victimae paschali laudes, and modelled on the hymn Christ ist erstanden (Dürr 2005, 263–264).
  • Scripture readings: 1 Corinthians 5:6–5:8; Mark 16:1–16:8
  • Bach Cantata Texts
  • Bach Digital
  • Scores at IMSLP
  • Wikipedia