Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Where were the Cantatas performed?

Without microphone / Smaller churches? / Bach’s voices and Bach’s churches

Bernard Nys wrote (May 10, 2002):
There is something else that has struck me, watching Bach DVD's : in the enormous Thomaskirche or in the even bigger Marienkirche, how could a solo voice be heart ?! Recently, I went to a live performance of the SJP in a church in Antwerp. I was sitting at the back of the church hall and I didn't hear the solo voices. The choir was audible. The orchestra too.

Very often they say that Bach's music was not appreciated during his lifetime. I wonder how he could compose +/- 500 Cantatas, if they were all considered as boring and bad. There must have been a kind of appreciation !

I have 2 explanations :
1) I think that the solo singer was in the pulpit (cfr. Gardiner DVD Bach Cantatas) and not at the "first floor" in front of the organ (cfr. B minor Mass by Biller in Thomaskirche Leipzig)
2) I think that the audience was singing along with the choir in the chorales (Karaoke was probably the only way to "endure" all those Cantatas)

Please give us your Top 3 Favorite Cantatas (with your Favorite Cantatas)! It's so great to re-discover a Cantata, when someone recommends it warmly.

Have a nice week-end !

Thomas Braatz wrote (May 10, 2002):
Bernard Nys inquired:
< There is something else that has struck me, watching Bach DVD's : in the enormous Thomaskirche or in the even bigger Marienkirche, how could a solo voice be heard ?! Recently, I went to a live performance of the SJP in a church in Antwerp. I was sitting at the back of the church hall and I didn't hear the solo voices. The choir was audible. The orchestra too.

I have 2 explanations :
1) I think that the solo singer was in the pulpit (cfr. Gardiner DVD Bach Cantatas) and not at the "first floor" in front of the organ (cfr. B minor Mass by Biller in Thomaskirche
Leipzig)
2) I think that the audience was singing along with the choir in the chorales (Karaoke was probably the only way to "endure" all those Cantatas) >
One thing that many singers today (with the exception of most operatic singers) lack is the ability to project the voice with sufficient volume through an extended range along with warmth, emotion, and conviction to an audience in a large setting such as the Thomaskirche. There may be a number of factors that contribute to this: 1) the usual habit of relying on a microphone for amplification leads to a sotto voce style of singing; 2) lack of proper vocal training which leads to the great number of voices that are either too soft, too constricted or too limited in range; and 3) the inability (after proper training has taken place) to 'sing from the soul' a message that really matters.

At the other end of the spectrum are the opera singers, many of which expended great efforts in attaining a voice that will carry convincingly with beauty and power and with the necessary extended range to sing most operatic parts, but few of which can survive singing against large orchestras without ruining their voices and losing vocal control. Such voices, although they could be heard in the Thomaskirche, are IMO unsuitable for the performances of Bach cantatas as they wobble about on their uncontrolled vibratos.

Perhaps, through your comment about not hearing the solo voices in the back of the church hall (could poor acoustics also have contributed to you bad listening experience?) it might be possible to understand why OVPP would not have been used in the Thomaskirche. The projection of single voices, even as a group of four, would have been generally too weak to hear properly if you were sitting in the congregation,(think here of the usual quartet of solo singers used in the Leusink series), while the trained operatic voices of today would have sounded like the quartet of soloists in the final mvt. of Beethoven's Ninth (generally rather unpleasant.)

For his the solo arias, recitatives and concertat choral sections of some larger mvts., Bach used singers who had the necessary qualities to project vocally the ideas contained in his vocal works. There would occasionally be some boys in their late teens who had acquired the vocal capabilities needed for such performances. Unfortunately, these would frequently 'wander off to greener pastures' (the Dresden opera which offered to pay well.) It is assumed, for instance, that Bach wrote some of his bass arias specifically for an adult voice (not one of the Thomanerchor boys), a voice that must have fulfilled Bach's expectations or even perhaps a voice that inspired Bach to compose the bass arias in a certain way in order to bring out the best characteristics (and range) of this voice. (His name was mentioned somewhere in the Bach literature, but I neglected to make a mental note of it.)

< Very often they say that Bach's music was not appreciated during his lifetime. I wonder how he could compose +/- 500 Cantatas, if they were all considered as boring and bad. There must have been a kind of appreciation! >
Who is 'they?' Investigate yourself, study and listen to the recordings whenever you can; and make up your own mind on this matter!

Bernard Nys wrote (May 10, 2002):
[To Thomas Braatz] My English is so bad that there must have been a misunderstanding. "They" = the Cantatas.

I mean that we often assume that J.S. Bach's music was not appreciated during his lifetime. JSB was only appreciated for his fabulous organ performances.

Let me try to make my question clear :
How is it possible that the audience and the employers allowed JSB to compose +/- 500 Cantatas, if nobody could appreciate his music ?

Thanks for the remarks about the volume of solo singers. I even forgot that small boys had to sing the solo soprano & alto arias in those enormous churches. It still remains quite a mystery. I have a video recording of the SMP by La Petite Bande directed by Sigiswald Kuyken ("live" here in Antwerp), who uses a boy for the soprano arias. What a stress for that child ! It's a fake "live" recording, with plenty of microphones and 'takes' and mix.

A boy singing "live" without microphone in such a big church for thousands of people... I still can't get it. Is it possible that people had a better voice in the past ?

Santu De Silva wrote (May 10, 2002):
Bernard Nys wrote:
< A boy singing "live" without microphone in such a big church for thousands of people... I still can't get it. Is it possible that people had a better voice in the past ? >
The churches have been rebuilt and expanded, I believe.

Juozas Rimas wrote (July 10, 2002):
< Let me try to make my question clear:
How is it possible that the audience and the employers allowed JSB to compose 500 Cantatas, if nobody could appreciate his music ? >
Why appreciation? In my opinion, his music had the only function to his employers - the function of providing musical background for Sunday prayers or other religious rituals. Similarly to today's film composers who are writing soundtracks and songs for movies or commercials. So the appreciation was not necessary - as long as the music performed its function, Bach could safely compose the cantatas and get his much-needed salary.

Moreover, as I've mentioned before, I don't see why there should be more people that appreciated serious music than pop in the 18th century than these days.

Michael Grover wrote (May 10, 2002):
Juozas Rimas wrote:
“Moreover, as I've mentioned before, I don't see why there should be more people that appreciated serious music than pop in the 18th century than these days."
On the other hand, what we consider "serious" music today was often considered as "pop" when it was first performed. Look at the Magic Flute, for example, or any number of operas "for the masses". Or consider Shakespeare. The audience has evolved from rowdy peasants on the floor to stuffed shirts in padded seats.

Bernard Nys wrote (May 10, 2002):
[To Santu De Silva] You suggest that the churches have been expanded and rebuilt after the XVIIIth century. Original and interesting theory. So, the solo singers of JSB's time would have been singing ia relatively small church and would have needed less volume. But I really doubt your theory, because faith and the number of church-goers went downwards after the "Age of Enlightenment", I think. Nowadays, the churches are often empty or closed down, but in Bach's time, I think they were plenty.For me, it remains a mystery : how could the audience hear a quiet piece like the "Esurientes" of the Magnificat, with those 2 flutes ?

Somebody else suggested that real appreciation of JSB's music was not required because the employers just needed some musical background for the sermon. I cannot agree. Some Cantatas, like BWV 147, have 2 parts, one before and one after the sermon, if I'm not wrong. What about the 3 hour SMP, the 2 hour SJP ? Another member of the list stated that JSB gave always more than he was asked for. I like that statement. But if appreciation was reduced to a minimum, why didn't the employers ask JSB to keep it short ?

I still like the karaoke theory that the church audience was singing along with the choir in the chorales. After all, that's what we ARE STILL DOING NOWADAYS IN CHURCH : when you go in, someone gives you a small book with all the songs. You know that we still sing "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden" (cfr. SMP) ? I noticed that this "hit" existed already before Bach's time. So the audience knew that song. We'll never know how it was, nor how it sounded in Bach's time, but my guess is that the audience understood (don't forget the Cantata always talks about the Bible theme of that day) and appreciated quite well.

I think it's like a movie sound track : when you see the movie, you appreciate the music without problem (even Ligeti in The Shining), but most people will not appreciate that same music without movie. The same happened, IMO, to Bach's music: appreciated quite well by his contemporaries, forgotten quickly by the following generations. Don't forget that most of you don't speak German (I speak Dutch and that's quite the same as German). For Bach contemporary church-goers, I think it was EASY LISTENING, uplifting church music.

We also know that Bach had no time for rehearsal: Gardiner wonders how Bach's work load must have been stressy. Again, I think that the contemporaries played his music quite easily, because they felt what it's all about. It sure was HIP !!!

Juozas Rimas (May 10, 2002):
< Somebody else suggested that real appreciation of JSB's music was not required because the employers just needed some musical background for the sermon. I cannot agree. Some Cantatas, like BWV 147, have 2 parts, one before and one after the sermon, if I'm not wrong. What about the 3 hour SMP, the 2 hour SJP ? Another member of the list stated that JSB gave always more than he was asked for. I like that statement. But if appreciation was reduced to a minimum, why didn't the employers ask JSB to keep it short ? >
It was I in both cases :) but I don't regard these statements as contradicting. By the way, I've mentioned that Bach was indeed asked by the employers to stay calm in his organ improvisations because they (improvisations) distracted the church-goers from praying.

I'm not very well aware of the church customs but I presume the SMP could be used as a sermon as well or a kind of an analogy of today's movies about Jesus Christ. Now people may rent a video with a biblical film but in the 18th century they could go to the church and have the bible story told to them with musical illustrations. Incidentally, I remember reading that SMP was "staged" only several times during Bach's life - by any means it wasn't performed routinely.

I also wonder if church composers of the time had to write a cantata every Sunday (as Bach was probably doing) or was it at their discretion to decide whether they can use old cantatas for many occasions.

Pete Blue wrote (Maay 11, 2002):
[To Bernard Nys] I've been attending Baroque vocal performances for years in New York churches large and small, including one of the biggest in the world, St. John the Divine, sitting in all parts of the sanctuary, and I never remember having the kind of audibility problems you describe even with soft voices. Maybe it's a phenomenon restricted to the particular churches in your experience.

Matthew Westphal wrote (May 11, 2002):
Bernard wonders how Bach's solo singers could possibly have been heard in the cavernous Thomaskirche and Marienkirche. Arch says that he believes that those churches have been rebuilt and enlarged over the course of the centuries since Bach's time. That's my understanding as well -- that the Thomaskirche as Bach knew it is long gone.

If memory serves, I've read that the Nikolaikirche is still more or less the size (and in the condition) it was when Bach performed there. Has anyone on the list been to the Nikolaikirche?

Bernard also suggests that the congregation must have sung along with the chorales in Bach's cantatas. My understanding is that the congregation had plenty of chances to sing the Lutheran chorales - that there were places in the service where they sang chorales with organ accompaniment pretty much as congregations sing hymns today.

Regardless of what you think of his one-singer-per-part approach, it's worth getting Paul McCreesh's Bach "Epiphany Mass" recording to get some idea of the Lutheran Hauptgottesdienst service for which Bach wrote his sacred music. (To get an idea of the similarities and differences that a century or so made in the Lutheran liturgy, it's also worth checking out McCreesh's Praetorius "Christmette", a speculative reconstruction of a Christmas morning service at the court chapel in Wolfenbuettel when Michael Praetorius was Kapellmeister.)

Thomas Braatz wrote (May 11, 2002):
Bernard Nys stated:
< I still like the karaoke theory that the church audience was singing along with the choir in the chorales. >

and Matthew Westphal responded:
< Bernard also suggests that the congregation must have sung along with the chorales in Bach's cantatas. My understanding is that the congregation had plenty of chances to sing the Lutheran chorales - that there were places in the service where they sang chorales with organ accompaniment pretty much as congregations sing hymns today. >
The congregation never 'joined in' with the singing of the final chorale in a Bach cantata.

In The Oxford Composer Companions: J.S. Bach [Boyd], 1999, p. 93, Robin Leaver states:

Even though a good many of the four-part chorales are to be found in modern hymnals, they were not composed for congregational use. Most were originally included in cantatas and Passions, to be sung by the choir....

Matthew Westphal also stated:
< Bernard wonders how Bach's solo singers could possibly have been heard in the cavernous Thomaskirche and Marienkirche. Arch says that he believes that those churches have been rebuilt and enlarged over the course of the centuries since Bach's time. That's my understanding as well -- that the Thomaskirche as Bach knew it is long gone. >
Arnold Schering, and others as well, have attempted to reconstruct what the Thomaskirche must have been like in Bach's time (during which a major renovation was also undertaken which most likely affected Bach's revisions to the SMP.) Although the aid of many experts was enlisted in this project, only theories can be put forth from which you might choose one that might suit your way of looking at this material. Along with the interior construction that was torn down and rebuilt according to the newer tastes of each subsequent period, there is, however, evidence of the extension and expansion of the west entrance. This indicates that the building was increased in size at least at the west end, and possibly this expansion continued toward the east end as well. This, then, would mean that the church definitely increased in size and would no longer be suitable for ascertaining what the acoustics might have been like in Bach's day. (Reference: Arnold Schering: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Leipziger Kirchenmusik, 1936, p. 157.)

Tom Hens wrote (May 12, 2002):
Bernard Nys wrote:
< But I really doubt your theory, bfaith and the number of > church-goers went downwards after the "Age of Enlightenment", I think. >
The European population as a whole kept growing steadily, and therefore the number of churchgoers. Leipzig in Bach's time had about 30,000 inhabitants, today it has over half a million. There may have been a slow downward trend in percentage terms, but when the overall population keeps growing that makes little difference. The really steep decline in church attendance in Europe is a post-WW2 phenomenon. That's why the various denominations now have to deal with the problems of owning too many as well as usually ridiculously oversized church buildings.

< For me, it remains a mystery : how could the audience hear a quiet piece like the "Esurientes" of the Magnificat, with those 2 flutes ? >
I suggest that the fact that Bach wrote his music the way he did means it could be heard. Why would any musician, in the 18th century or now, write a huge body of music for practical performance purposes that was too quiet to be heard by most of the audience? It makes no sense. In the right acoustic it's not a problem, as is shown in practice by many performances today.

< I still like the karaoke theory that the church audience was singing along with the choir in the chorales. After all, that's what we ARE STILL DOING NOWADAYS IN CHURCH : when you go in, someone gives you a small book with all the songs. >
There is no mystery about the order of service in a Lutheran church in Bach's time, this was laid down in detail. We know exactly who sung what and at what point in the service, what variations there were over the course of the church year, and where the cantatas fit in. Wolff gives a detailed table of this in his description of Bach's responsibilities as cantor.

The congregation sang plenty of chorales throughout the service, which was about three hours long overall, one hour of which was the sermon, but these were separate from the chorale settings within the cantata, which were only sung by the choir. They were the basic monophonic chorale tunes, sung by the congregation accompanied by the organ. It was also the job of the organist to play a prelude before each chorale so that the congregation would know the tune, the songbooks they had only contained the texts. This is also why Bach was criticised early in his career as church organist in Arnstadt: he made his preludes too complicated so that the congregation got confused and couldn't make out the tune to sing.

A very practical aspect showing that there was no singing along is that the four-part chorale settings are always the conclusion of the cantata, and the second part of the cantata (or the second cantata, as the case might be) was played after the sermon, during communion. The congregation couldn't sing along: while the music was performed they were moving about the church and eating the communion bread.

It also makes no sense musically: why would Bach compose complex, subtle four-part harmonies to be sung by a small choir, when he knew that that choir would be swamped out by the congregation, hundreds of untrained voices singing more-or-less-along with the top voice but in parallel octaves?

< We also know that Bach had no time for rehearsal : >
This is not true, there were rehearsals on Saturday IIRC. Of course, this was very limited by today's standards, but this situation must have been exactly the same for everyone with a job similar to Bach's at the time.

< Again, I think that the contemporaries played his music quite easily, because they felt what it's all about. >
This is not what Bach himself said. He pointed out to the city council that he needed more good musicians, because his music was so difficult to play, and that many of the boys of the Thomasschule had so little musical talent they could barely ("nothdörfftig") sing a chorale. And these were boys who were actually receiving musical training. Imagine how the general Leipzig population sitting in church must have sounded if they'd tried to sing along to a Bach chorale setting.

 

Best place to live to hear bach cantatas

Aphilla the Hun wrote (May 11, 2006):
So if you want to hear Bach Cantatas live, where is the best place to be? I am reflecting on the fact that for several years people who lived where Bach did were able to enjoy his music on a weekly basis. Is there somewhere in the world today where people get to enjoy this relatively often?

Eric Bergerud wrote (May 11, 2006):
[To Aphilla the Hun] Moving to Germany would be a good idea. Lacking that check the web site: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Concerts/Concert-2006.htm for a schedule of performances through the summer of 2006.

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 11, 2006):
[To Aphilla the Hun] If you want to find places where the Bach Cantatas are performed on a regular basis, you are invited to take a look at the page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Links/Links-Festivals.htm
Judging by the number of Cantata Series, it seems that Holland is the best place to live.

As a bonus you have many dozens of Passion performance in this country every year (-:

Michael Pratorius wrote (May 12, 2006):
[To Aryeh Oron] OK. Holland sounds great.

But, this question can be carried further or even interpreted somewhat differently.

Where is the best place to hear a Bach cantata?
The Thomaskirche?
The Concertgebouw?
Carnegie Hall?
The Hollywood Bowl?

Perhaps just a simple parish church where the cantata is integrated into the service?
How about through headphones in your living room?
What is the ideal environment then to hear a cantata?

Eric Bergerud wrote (May 13, 2006):
[To Michael Praetorius] That's a cinch: emulate the Esterházy family and rent your own world-class ensemble year round. You might want to go OVPP to allow for more intimate surroundings. Think of it: you can't match the sound of live music (unless it's played in a hostile environment); you could confer with the performers over the "daily special", you could have fellow Bach fanciers join you - or not - at your whim. No long church service to sit through (you could still do that on Sunday - probably at the family chapel). Nobody would look twice if you popped a bottle of bubbly or sipped Cognac. And you'd never have to worry about being late to performance, parking your car or wearing the proper attire. I see no down side to this approach except that you'd probably have to give the musicians some time off periodically. So buy a portable CD player and a good set of phones for back-up. Problem solved. (A while back I saw a recording of Hogwood and members of the AAM playing an early Haydn symphony at the Esterhazy estate. Hogwood found the acoustics most admirable, although things were a bit cramped. Mind you, the AAM was using less than 20 players.)

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 13, 2006):
Sacred Music in context

Eric Bergerud wrote:
< That's a cinch: emulate the Esterházy family and rent your own world-class ensemble year round. You might want to go OVPP to allow for more intimate surroundings. Think of it: you can't match the sound of live music (unless it's played in a hostile environment); you could confer with the performers over the "daily special", you could have fellow Bach fanciers join you - or not - at your whim. No long church service to sit through (you could still do that on Sunday - probably at the family chapel). >
Following the lead of Paul Mcreesh, some performing groups are recreating the musical sequence of the liturgies for which composers wrote their sacred works. Tomorrow evening, the Talls Choir of Toronto is recreating a Mozart high mass. The "Coronation Mass", instead of being an endless shout in C major, suddenly becomes the great pillars of a whole musical architecture when placed in its liturgical context. For those interested, the concert order is listed below:

Preludium: Sonata No. 14 in C Major, KV 329
Kyrie: ³Coronation Mass², KV 317
Gloria with Intonation ³Coronation Mass², KV 317
Lesson: Plainsong
Gradual Sonata: Sonata in E Flat, KV 67
Motet for Gradual: Sub Tuum Presidium, KV 198
Motet for Gradual: Sancta Maria, KV 273
Gospel: Plainsong ­ Faux-bourdons: Lassus
Sonata after Gospel: Maestoso, March in C, K. 408
Credo with intonation: ³Coronation Mass², KV 317

Interval

Sonata for Offertory: Sonata No. 12 in C Major, KV 278
Motet for Offertory: Alma Dei Creatoris
Motet for Offertory: Exsultate Jubilate, KV 276
Preface: Plainsong ­ Faux-bourdons: Lassus
Organ Intonation to Sanctus
Sanctus & Benedictus: ³Coronation Mass², KV 317
Pater Noster: Plainsong ­ Faux-bourdons: Lassus
Agnus Dei: ³Coronation Mass², KV 317
Motet for Communio: Ave Verum Corpus, KV 618
Post-Communion Collect: Plainsong ­ Faux-bourdons
Dismissal: Plainsong ­ Faux-bourdons: Lassus
Motet for Angelus: Regina Coeli Laetare, KV 276

Eric Bergerud wrote (May 13, 2006):
[To Douglas Cowling] Maybe if Germany is too far one could move to Toronto. Music fans have to happy if they're in the Toronto-Montreal corridor. Tafelmusik, Aradia, LVDR, a couple of major symphonies etc. Considering the fact that there are more people in California (or about the same) as in Canada, someone has their priorities right, and it isn't California. Are Canadian ensembles subsidized by government or do they live in the Darwinian jungle of donor competition found in the USA?

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 13, 2006):
Eric Bergerud wrote:
< Are Canadian ensembles subsidized by government or do they live in the Darwinian jungle of donor competition found in the USA? >
There are some grants, more from the provinical than the federal government, but aggressive fund-raising in the private and corporate sectors is the name of the game.

Toronto has a very strong choral tradtion in the professional, semi-professional and church streams, so the major choral works of Bach are performed regularly. The popular cantatas (BWV 4, BWV 106, BWV 140, etc) are sung quite often but the lesser-known works are rare. The Bach Festival with Helmut Rilling at the University of Toronto in October showcases a half-dozen cantatas in October.

 

List of cantata performances at specific Leipzig churches

Thomas Braatz wrote (October 23, 2006):
I am submitting here for the record a corrected and better-organized list of cantata performances for which the cantata booklets (I know of only 2 from 1724, 1 from 1725, 2 from 1731, 1 from 1734) still exist.

If anyone can provide further information to complete this list, it would be very helpful in obtaining a more complete picture. As it stands now, there are 3 cantata booklets from 1724 and 1725 that reside in a St. Petersburg library. Wolf Hobohm has an article: "Texte zur Leipziger Kirchen-Music" in the Bach Jahrbuch, 1973, pp. 5-32 which might provide additional information. The Bach-Archiv Leipzig has the cantata booklets for 1731 and 1734. These latter booklets are not of such great interest in that Bach, after about 1727 or 1728, was no longer composing music with a particular church in mind.

Here is the updated list based upon what I could find in the NBA KBs:

"Leipziger=Kirchenmusik"


1724

On the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany
(Only at St. Thomas Church)
"Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange" [BWV 155]

On the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany
(Only at St. Nicholas Church)
"Herr, wie du willt, so schicks mit mir" [BWV 73]

On the 4th Sunday after Epiphany
(Only at St. Thomas Church)
"Jesus schläft, was soll ich hoffen" [BWV 81]

On the Feast Day of Mary's Purification
(At the early service at St. Nicholas and at Vespers at St. Thomas Church)
"Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde" [BWV 83]

On the Sunday Quinquagesimae
(Only at St. Thomas Church)
"Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe" [BWV 22]

On the Sunday Septuagesimae
(Only at St. Thomas Church)
"Nimm was dein ist, und gehe hin" [BWV 144]

On the Feast Day of Mary's Annunciation
(Early service at St. Thomas and at Vespers at St. Nicholas Church)
"Siehe, eine Jungfrau ist schwanger" (Cantata lost)

On Quasimodogeniti Sunday
(Only at St. Thomas Church)
"Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ"

On Misericordias Domini Sunday
(Only at St. Nicholas Church)
"Du Hirte Israel höre" [BWV 104]

Easter Sunday
(Early service at St. Nicholas and at the Vespers service at St. Thomas Church)
"Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubiliret" [BWV 31]


1725

5th Sunday after Trinity
(Only at St. Nicholas Church)
"Der Segen des Herrn machet reich ohne Mühe" (Cantata lost)

Visitation of Mary Feast
(Early service at St. Thomas Church, in the afternoon at St. Nicholas Church)
"Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn, und mein Geist freuet sich Gottes meines Heilandes" (Cantata lost)

6th Sunday after Trinity
(Only at St. Nicholas Church)
"Wer sich rächet, an dem wird sich der Herr wieder rächen" (Cantata lost)


1731

Easter Sunday
(Early service at St. Nicholas, in the afternoon at St. Thomas)
"Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubiliret" [BWV 31]

On the Sunday Quasimodogeniti
(Only at St. Thomas Church)
"Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbaths" [BWV 42]

On the Sunday Misericordias
(Only at St. Nicholas Church)
"Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt" [BWV 112]

2nd Feast Day of Pentecost
Early service at St. Thomas, in the afternoon at St. Nicholas Church
"Erhöhtes Fleisch und Blut" (BWV 173)

On the 3rd Feast Day of Pentecost
(Only at St. Nicholas Church)
"Erwünschtes Freudenlicht" [BWV 184]

Trinity Sunday (Feast Day of the Holy Trinity)
(Early service at St. Thomas, in the afternoon at St. Nicholas Church)
"Höchsterwünschtes Freudenfest" [BWV 194]


1734

On the 1st Day of Christmas
(Early service at St. Nicholas and in the afternoon at St. Thomas Church)
"Jauchzet! frohlocket!" (from the Christmas Oratorio BWV 248)

On the 2nd Day of Christmas
(Early service at St. Thomas and in the afternoon at St. Nicholas Church)
"Und es waren Hirten" (from the Christmas Oratorio BWV 248)

On the 3rd Day of Christmas
(Only at St. Nicholas Church)
"Herrscher des Himmels" (from the Christmas Oratorio BWV 248)

On the Feast of the Christ's Circumcision
(Early service at St. Thomas and in the afternoon at St. Nicholas Church)
"Fallt mit Danken" (from the Christmas Oratorio BWV 248)

On the Sunday after New Years
(Only at St. Nicholas Church)
"Ehre sei dir Gott gesungen" (from the Christmas Oratorio BWV 248)

On the Feast of the Epiphany of Christ
(Early service at St. Thomas and in the afternoon at St. Nicholas Church)
"Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben" (from the Christmas Oratorio BWV 248)

I hope that the raw evidence from this list will help to correct some erroneous notions about cantata performances regularly taking place in both main churches of Leipzig on a normal Sunday. What needs to be investigated further is Konrad Küster's contention that Bach changed his style of composition to suit a particular church while still engaging in experimentation with the cantata form within the parameters he sensed were necessary for 'political' reasons.

 

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: ưOctober 24, 2006 ư01:21:47