Score: Bach-Luther cantata

“Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen” (On the freedom of a Christian)

For soprano, alto, tenor and bass; horn I+II, oboe I+II, bassoon, timpani, strings and basso continuo

A contemporary Bach-Luther cantata inspired by baroque masters

The world premiere of “Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen” (On the freedom of a Christian), a Bach-Luther cantata composed by Rudolf Lutz, was celebrated at the opening concert of the 2018 Appenzeller Bachtage festival.

For composer Rudolf Lutz and librettist Karl Graf, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 provided an occasion to contemplate the radical ideas at the heart of Martin Luther’s world-changing theology and, by extension, to explore how the Reformation shaped the Protestant tradition of music through to the era of Johann Sebastian Bach.

The libretto, framed by a prologue and epilogue, links Luther’s exile in Wartburg Castle with Bach’s detention in a Weimar cell, thus setting the stage for the baroque composer to reflect on the Reformer Luther. The result is an imagined Luther cantata written by Bach during his Weimar period that displays the typical, festive occasional style of the era alongside the emotional depth of Bach’s inner turmoil.

The climax of the composition is the eponymous double fugue on the opening phrase of Luther’s treatise on Christian liberty: “Von der Freiheit eines Christmenschen” (On the freedom of a Christian). Here, the music embarks on a powerful exploration of the tension between freedom through faith and earthly constraints.

Set for a large baroque orchestra and soloists, the cantata is a musical reflection on Luther’s theological legacy from a contemporary vantage. The work seeks to enter into a self-assured dialogue with the Protestant chorale tradition and Bach’s oeuvre, while also serving as a valuable companion to the master’s Reformation cantatas.

Composer: Rudolf Lutz
Librettist: Karl Graf

59.00 CHF

49 in stock

Information on the publication

Item number

J.S. Bach-Stiftung


Anzahl Seiten


21.0 x 29.7 cm