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If Thou Be Near (arr Moehlmann)

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (arr. Roland Moehlmann)

This work is also known by its German title Bist du Bei Mir. It bears the designation BWV 508.

General Info

Year: 1725 / 1940
Duration: c. 4:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of Print

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
D-flat Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet
Horn or Alto in E-flat I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

From the 1725 untitled collection of small keyboard works and songs compiled for Bach’s second wife, Anna Magdalena (commonly referred to for English-speaking audiences as the Anna Magdalena Notebook), “Bist du bei mir” (If you are with me), BWV 508, is based on an aria by Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690-1749), which was probably a popular tune at the time. The origin of the text remains unknown, but this uplifting melody has become an often requested selection for modern weddings.

If you are with me, then I will go gladly
unto [my] death and to my rest.
Ah, what a pleasant end for me,
if your dear hands be the last I see,
closing shut my faithful eyes to rest!

- Program Note by Gregg Wager from California State University, Long Beach, Symphonic Band concert program, 6 October 2016

If Thou Be Near (Bist Du Bei Mir) is a beautiful and sensitive adaptation of a song that Bach supposedly wrote for his second wife, consoling himself with the fact that he could even face death if his beloved was with him.

- Program Note from publisher


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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