|Was soll ich aus dir machen, Ephraim
|"Church cantata by "J. S. Bach|
|Occasion||22nd Sunday after "Trinity|
|Performed||24 October 1723"Leipzig:|
|Bible text||Hosea 11:8|
|Chorale||"Wo soll ich fliehen hin"
by "Johann Heermann
"Johann Sebastian Bach composed the "church cantata Was soll ich aus dir machen, Ephraim (What shall I make of you, Ephraim), BWV 89,[a] in "Leipzig for the 22nd Sunday after "Trinity and first performed it on 24 October 1723.
Bach wrote the cantata in his first year in Leipzig for the "22nd Sunday after Trinity. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the "Epistle to the Philippians, thanks and prayer for the congregation in Philippi (Philippians 1:3–11), and from the "Gospel of Matthew, the "parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:23–35).
The unknown poet of the cantata text stressed the opposites of the gospel, God's justice versus unjust men. The text begins with a related quotation from the prophet "Hosea, Hosea 11:8. The next two "movements, "recitative and "aria, reflect the sinful condition of man, another set of recitative and aria deals with God's mercy. The closing "chorale is "stanza 7 of "Wo soll ich fliehen hin" by "Johann Heermann (1630), which Bach would treat completely one year later in his "chorale cantata "Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 5.
Bach first performed the cantata on 24 October 1723.
The cantata is scored like "chamber music. Only the chorale is set for four parts; the alto voice sings of man's sin, the soprano of God's grace, and the bass is God's voice in the opening movement. On some copies of the parts, the movement is marked aria but we don't know if that marking is authorized by Bach. Formally it has some characteristics of an aria, such as a "ritornello to open the movement and frame the text sections, and some aspects of an "arioso, for example the free setting of the sections. The last section, which speaks of God's "meine Barmherzigkeit ist zu brünstig" (too fervent mercy) is embedded in the ritornello, then the ritornello is repeated once more. One "motif in the ritornello is similar to one in the chorus "Lasset uns den nicht zerteilen" from Bach's "St John Passion and may illustrate undecidedness in both cases. The following three movements, two "recitatives and an expressive aria, are only accompanied by the continuo, the last aria also by an "obbligato oboe. The closing chorale is set for four parts; the melody in the soprano is doubled by the horn, the oboes, and violin I.