Thursday, February 4, 2010

JS Bach cantatas for Sunday, 7 February 2010

This Sunday, 7 February, on "Classical Sunrise" (6 am to 9 am EST), I'll be featuring two JS Bach church cantatas: BWV 144, Nimm was dein ist, und gehe hin (Take what is yours and go your way), and BWV 18, Gleichure der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fallt (Just as the rain and snow fall from Heaven)(probably fairly apt given the predictions of snow for this weekend). The first is for Septuagesima, that is the Third Sunday before Lent, and was first performed on 6 February 1724, during Bach's first year in Leipzig. The latter dates most likely from 19 February 1713 during Bach's Weimar years. The text is by Erdmann Neumeister.

According to "The Cantatas of J.S. Bach," by Alfred Durr (translated by Richard DP Jones), Bach composed 5 cycles of cantatas for the liturgical calendar, but only 3 cycles survive almost intact, with a few other sacred cantatas. The earliest Bach cantata that is known dates from his Mulhausen period (roughly 1707). The year 1713, the year BWV 18 likely was composed, also coincides with the first secular cantata of JS Bach (as far as we know).

I hope you are enjoying this presentation of JS Bach sacred cantatas matched to the liturgical calendar. Deborah

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