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Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, BWV 1083

Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, BWV 1083, is an arrangement by Johann Sebastian Bach of Pergolesi's 1736 Stabat Mater.[1] Bach used a German paraphrase of psalm 51 as text for his composition. The incipit translates as "Cancel, Highest, my sins".[2] Bach wrote his version in the 1740s, slightly expanding the orchestral material.


History and textEdit

Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden is a musical parody of the Stabat Mater Giovanni Battista Pergolesi had composed in 1736. It uses a German text based on Psalm 51.[3][4] The parody version was made c. 1745/1747. A first performance in 1746-1747 in Leipzig has been assumed.[2] Bach's performance of Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, before Pergolesi's work was printed for the first time in 1748, is the earliest demonstrable performance of this music by Pergolesi in Germany.[5]


Bach's version is scored for soprano and alto soloists, two concertante violin parts, two ripieno violin parts, viola, violone, violoncello, and basso continuo.[1] Bach's orchestration is richer than Pergolesi's original. Where in Pergolesi's version the viola often plays in unison with the continuo, Bach increases the independence of this instrument, thus creating the four-part harmony typical of his own style.[6]


  • American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas. J.S. Bach: Transcriptions of Italian Music. Koch International, 1993.
  • Neue Hofkapelle München, Christian Brembeck. Bach & die Italiener. Christophorus, 1996.
  • Balthasar-Neumann Ensemble, Thomas Hengelbrock. Scarlatti · Bach · Durante. Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, 1998.
  • Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart / Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Helmuth Rilling. Edition Bachakademie Vol. 73. Hänssler, 1999.
  • Les Violons du Roy, Bernard Labadie. Bach: Psaume 51 d’après le Stabat Mater de Pergolesi; Cantate BWV 82 "Ich habe genug". ATMA, 2004.
  • Netherlands Bach Collegium, Pieter Jan Leusink. Bach Edition Vol. 17. Brilliant Classics, 2000.
  • Theatre of Early Music, Daniel Taylor. Stabat Mater. BIS, 2006.
  • Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki. J.S. Bach: Secular Cantatas Vol. 6 (Trauerode). BIS-2181 SACD/CD, 2015
  • Le Banquet Céleste, Damien Guillon, Céline Scheen. J.S. Bach: Psalm 51 BWV 1083 (after Pergolesi's Stabat Mater). Glossa, 2016 GCD 923701.


  1. ^ a b Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden BWV 1083 at
  2. ^ a b Tilge, Höchester, meine Sünden at
  3. ^ Lyrics of Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden at
  4. ^ "Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden" at The LiederNet Archive
  5. ^ Jürgen Heidrich. Protestantische Kirchenmusikanschauung in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts: Studien zur Ideengeschichte "wahrer" Kirchenmusik, p. 65. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2001 ISBN 9783525279069
  6. ^ Clemens Romijn. Liner notes for Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden BWV 1083 (after Pergolesi's Stabat Mater). Brilliant Classics, 2000. (2014 reissue: J.S. BACH COMPLETE EDITION. "Liner notes" p. 54)

External linksEdit