This chorale is the twentieth stanza of the same hymn used for movement 20. The harmony is different here, however, with the penultimate line being particularly colourful. The association of the words of this stanza with the action immediately preceding it, where Christ provides guardianship for his mother from the cross, is obvious. 




Er nahm alles wohl in acht

in der letzten Stunde,

seine Mutter noch bedacht,

setzt ihr ein’ Vormunde.

O Mensch, mache Richtigkeit,

Gott und Menschen liebe,

Stirb darauf ohn alles Lied,

Und dich nicht betrübe!  

In his final hour

he took care of everything,

thought of his mother,

provided a guardian for her.

O mankind, do what is right,

love God and man,

then die without suffering,

and be not troubled.

As Christ speaks his final words from the cross Bach sets the phrase to a six-note descending phrase, suggestive of the bowing of the head and the expiration of breath. 






Und von Stund an nahm sie der Jünger zu sich. Darnach, als Jesus wußte, daß schon alles vollbracht war, daß die Schrift erfüllet würde, spricht er:


And from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home. After this, Jesus knowing that all things ere now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled saith:


  Christ “Mich dürstet!” “I thirst!”
  Evangelist Da stund ein Gefäße voll Essigs. Sie fülleten aber einen Schwamm mit Essig und legten ihn um einen Isopen, und hielten es ihm dar zum Munde. Da nun Jesus den Essig genommen hatte, sprach er: Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar. And they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said:
  Christ “Es ist vollbracht!” “It is finished”

The words of this aria are by C.H. Postel. The aria, originally scored for viola da gamba,  is essentially in binary form with a stirring second section in triple time; The Hero of Judah is victorious. The opening motif, which provides the musical inspiration for most of the aria, is based on the six-note descending figure with which Bach ended movement 57. The second section is based on ascending fanfare-type arpeggios, suggesting a call to battle. The opening material is briefly reprised at the end when the counter tenor repeats exactly the Evangelist’s final phrase of 57, before, in 59, the Evangelist announces the death of Christ.


Counter Tenor


Es ist vollbracht! O Trost für die gekränkten Seelen! Die Trauernacht läßt nun die letzte Stunde zählen. Der Held aus Juda siegt mit Macht, und schließt den Kampf. 

Es ist vollbracht! 

It is finished!  O solace for the injured souls! The night of sadness has now reached its final hour. The hero of Judah is victorious with might, and concludes the fight. 

It is finished!



Und neiget das Haupt und verschied.

And he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.

Silence is kept