Church cantata (Bach)
List page for Church cantata (Bach)
Top 3 Church cantata (Bach) related articles
- 1 History and context
- 2 Advent
- 3 Christmastide
- 4 After Epiphany
- 5 Pre-Lent
- 6 Lent
- 7 Easter
- 8 Pentecost to Trinity
- 9 Sundays after Trinity
- 9.1 Trinity I
- 9.2 Trinity II
- 9.3 Trinity III
- 9.4 Trinity IV
- 9.5 Trinity V
- 9.6 Trinity VI
- 9.7 Trinity VII
- 9.8 Trinity VIII
- 9.9 Trinity IX
- 9.10 Trinity X
- 9.11 Trinity XI
- 9.12 Trinity XII
- 9.13 Trinity XIII
- 9.14 Trinity XIV
- 9.15 Trinity XV
- 9.16 Trinity XVI
- 9.17 Trinity XVII
- 9.18 Trinity XVIII
- 9.19 Trinity XIX
- 9.20 Trinity XX
- 9.21 Trinity XXI
- 9.22 Trinity XXII
- 9.23 Trinity XXIII
- 9.24 Trinity XXIV
- 9.25 Trinity XXV
- 9.26 Trinity XXVI
- 9.27 Trinity XXVII
- 10 Fixed festivals within the Liturgical Year
- 11 Occasions outside of the liturgical year
- 12 Different occasions
- 13 Notes
- 14 References
- 15 Sources
- 16 External links
Johann Sebastian Bach
Throughout his life as a musician, Johann Sebastian Bach composed cantatas for both secular and sacred use. His church cantatas are cantatas which he composed for use in the Lutheran church, mainly intended for the occasions of the liturgical year.
Church cantata (Bach) Intro articles: 4
History and context
Bach's Nekrolog mentions five cantata cycles: "Fünf Jahrgänge von Kirchenstücken, auf alle Sonn- und Festtage" (Five year-cycles of pieces for the church, for all Sundays and feast days), which would amount to at least 275 cantatas, or over 320 if all cycles would have been ideal cycles. The extant cantatas are around two-thirds of that number, with limited additional information on the ones that went missing or survived as fragments.
The listing below contains cycle information as available in scholarship, and may include cantatas that are or were associated with Bach (e.g., listed in the BWV catalogue), but were not actually composed by him.
Bach's earliest cantatas date from more than 15 years before he became Thomaskantor in Leipzig in 1723. His earliest extant cantatas were composed in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen. In 1708 he moved to Weimar where he wrote most of his church cantatas before the Leipzig era. These pre-Leipzig cantatas are not generally grouped as one of the five cycles mentioned in the Nekrolog. The extant cantatas of the pre-Leipzig era are primarily known by their recasting as a cantata in one of the Leipzig cycles.
In Weimar, Bach was from 1714 to 1717 commissioned to compose one church cantata a month. In the course of almost four years there he thus covered most occasions of the liturgical year. The expression "Weimar cycle" has been used for the cantatas composed in Weimar from 1714 (which form the bulk of extant cantatas composed before Bach's Leipzig time).
In Köthen, where Bach worked from 1717 to 1723, he restaged some of his earlier church cantatas. Apart from composing several secular cantatas, Lobet den Herrn, alle seine Heerscharen, BWV Anh. 5, is the only new church cantata he appears to have composed there.
As Thomaskantor, director of music of the main churches of Leipzig, Bach was responsible for the Thomasschule and for the church music at the main churches, where a cantata was required for the service on Sundays and additional church holidays of the liturgical year. When Bach took up his office in 1723, he started to compose new cantatas for most occasions, beginning with Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75, first performed in the Nikolaikirche on 30 May 1723, the first Sunday after Trinity. He collected them in annual cycles; five are mentioned in obituaries, three are extant.
The church year begins with the first Sunday in Advent, but Bach started his first Leipzig cycles on the first Sunday after Trinity, which "also marked the beginning of the second half of the Lutheran liturgical year: the Trinity season or "Era of the Church" in which core issues of faith and doctrine are explored, in contrast to the first half, known as the "Temporale" which, beginning in Advent and ending on Trinity Sunday, focuses on the life of Christ, His incarnation, death and resurrection".
Leipzig observed tempus clausum, quiet time, in Advent and Lent, when no cantatas were performed. All cantatas for these occasions date from Bach's earlier time. He reworked some cantatas from this period for different occasions. The high holidays Christmas, Easter and Pentecost were each celebrated on three days. Additionally, feasts were celebrated on fixed dates, the feasts of Purification of Mary (Mariae Reinigung, 2 February), Annunciation (Mariae Verkündigung, 25 March) and Visitation (Mariae Heimsuchung, 2 July), and the Saint's days of St. John the Baptist (Johannis, 24 June), St. Michael (Michaelis, 29 September), St. Stephen (Stephanus, 26 December, the second day of Christmas) and St. John the Evangelist (Johannes, 27 December, the third day of Christmas). Further feasts on fixed days were New Year's Day (Neujahr, 1 January), Epiphany (Epiphanias, 6 January) and Reformation Day (Reformationsfest, 31 October). Sacred cantatas were also performed for the inauguration of a new city council (Ratswechsel, in Leipzig in August), consecration of church and organ, weddings, confession, funerals, and functions of the University of Leipzig.
Bach's first (Leipzig) cantata cycle consists of cantatas or similar liturgical works (e.g. liturgical compositions in Latin) first performed from 30 May 1723 (first Sunday after Trinity) to 4 June 1724 (Trinity).
Bach started a second annual cycle on the first Sunday after Trinity of 1724, planned to contain only chorale cantatas, each based on a single Lutheran hymn. He began with O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 20, on the first Sunday after Trinity, composed chorale cantatas to the end of the liturgical year, began the next liturgical year with Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 62 for the first Sunday in Advent, and kept the plan up to Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1, performed on Palm Sunday. For the occasions from Easter to Trinity, he composed no chorale cantatas based exclusively on one hymn, but wrote a few of them in later years, such as Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140, for the 28th Sunday after Trinity which had not occurred in 1724.
Bach's second (Leipzig) cantata cycle consists of cantatas first performed from 11 June 1724 (first Sunday after Trinity) to 27 May 1725 (Trinity). The first 40 cantatas of this cycle are chorale cantatas, thus this cycle is also known as the chorale cantata cycle (at least the first 40 cantatas of the cycle are known thus). Bach's chorale cantatas written at a later date and restagings of earlier chorale cantatas are also usually understood as being included in this cycle.
Bach's third (Leipzig) cantata cycle is traditionally seen as consisting of cantatas first performed from the first Sunday after Trinity in 1725 to Trinity Sunday in 1726, or otherwise before the Picander cycle. More recent scholarship assigns the qualification "between the third and the fourth cycles" to the few known cantatas written from 1727 to the start of the fourth cycle.
In the "third cycle" period Bach also performed many cantatas composed by his second cousin Johann Ludwig Bach a Leipzig premiere. For the period from Purification, 2 February 1726, to Trinity XIII, 15 September 1726, there are extant copies by Johann Sebastian Bach and his usual scribes for 16 cantatas (JLB 1–16), covering nearly half of the occasions in that period. Another cantata, JLB 21, was likely also given its Leipzig premiere in this same period (Easter, 21 April 1726), but was for some time misattributed to Johann Sebastian Bach as his cantata BWV 15.
Bach's fourth (Leipzig) cantata cycle, known as the Picander cycle, consists of cantatas performed for the first time from 24 June 1728 (St. John's Day) to 10 July 1729 (fourth Sunday after Trinity), or later in 1729, to a libretto from the printed cycle of 70 cantata texts for 1728–29 by Picander. Later additions to this cycle and Picander librettos without extant setting from Bach's time in Leipzig can be seen as belonging to this cycle.
Cantatas not belonging to any of the previous: e.g. first performed after the Picander cycle, uncertainty when it was first performed or for which liturgical occasion it was composed, etc. Generally it is not believed that cantatas composed after the Picander cycle amount to a cycle in its own right, at least there are not enough extant cantatas to unambiguously conclude that a fifth Leipzig cantata cycle ever existed.
The Lutheran church of Bach's time prescribed the same readings every year, a section from a Gospel and, recited before this, a corresponding section from an Epistle. A connection between the cantata text and the readings (or at least one of the prescribed hymns for the occasion) was desired. Relevant readings and hymns are linked to the church cantata article for each occasion.
Roman numerals refer to the position of the given Sunday with respect to a feast day or season. For example, "Advent III" is the third Sunday in Advent and "Trinity V" is the fifth Sunday after Trinity. The number of Sundays after Epiphany and Trinity varies with the position of Easter in the calendar. There can be between 22 and 27 Sundays after Trinity. The maximum number of Sundays after Epiphany did not occur while Bach wrote cantatas.
Church cantata (Bach) History and context articles: 53
Advent is celebrated on the four Sundays before Christmas. In Leipzig, only on the first Sunday a cantata was performed, because it was a Fastenzeit (season of abstinence).
1 – First year in Leipzig, 28 November 1723:
- BWV 61 restaged
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 3 December 1724:
- BWV 36, early version, first presented between 1725 and 1730
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 28 November 1728:
- Machet die Thore weit (same libretto as planned for Palm Sunday 10 April 1729, see below, with no known setting by Bach)
- Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! BWV 70a (6 December 1716; in 1723 expanded to BWV 70 for Trinity XXVI)
4 – Picander libretto for 5 December 1728:
- Erwache doch mein Herze (no known setting by Bach)
- Ärgre dich, o Seele, nicht, BWV 186a (13 December 1716; in 1723 expanded to BWV 186 for Trinity VII)
4 – Picander libretto for 12 December 1728:
- Alle Plagen, alle Pein (no known setting by Bach)
- Georg Philipp Telemann's Das ist je gewißlich wahr, TWV 1:183 (1719 or 1720; misattributed to Bach as BWV 141)
- Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn, BWV 132 (22 December 1715)
- Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147a (20 December 1716; in 1723 expanded to BWV 147 for Visitation)
4 – Picander libretto for 19 December 1728:
- Vergiß es, doch, mein Herze, nicht (no known setting by Bach)
Church cantata (Bach) Advent articles: 10
The Christmas season was celebrated from Christmas Day (25 December) through Epiphany (6 January). In Leipzig, three consecutive days were observed for Christmas, with a Christmas cantata performed every day (25–27 December). If a Sunday fell between 27 December and 1 January, the first Sunday of Christmas (Christmas I), it was celebrated with a cantata too. Other cantatas were composed for New Year's Day (1 January), a Sunday between 1 and 6 January (if any: Christmas II or New Year I) and Epiphany.
For the Christmas season of 1734–35 Bach composed the Christmas Oratorio in six parts, each part a cantata to be performed on one of the six feast days that occurred in that Christmas period (there was no Christmas I Sunday in 1734): three days of Christmas, New Year, the Sunday after New Year and Epiphany.
- Christen, ätzet diesen Tag, BWV 63 (1714, Weimar)
1 – First year in Leipzig, 1723:
- BWV 63 restaged
- Magnificat, BWV 243a (including Christmas interpolations)
- Sanctus in D major, BWV 238
2 – Second year in Leipzig, 1724:
- Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 91 (chorale cantata, early version)
- Sanctus for six vocal parts, BWV 232III (early version: a slightly modified version of this Sanctus became the Sanctus, Part III of the Mass in B minor
3 – Third cycle, 1725:
4 – Picander cycle, 1728:
- Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe, BWV 197a (incomplete)
- BWV 110 restaged between 1728 and 1731
- BWV 91 (later version: movement 5 and 6 different)
- Magnificat, BWV 243 (1733, performed on Christmas Day and/or Visitation)
- Jauchzet, frohlocket! Auf, preiset die Tage, BWV 248I (Christmas Oratorio Part I, 1734)
- BWV 238 restaged 1735 and/or later
- Gloria in excelsis Deo, BWV 191 (1745, based on the Gloria of his 1733 Mass for the Dresden court)
- Uns ist ein Kind geboren, BWV 142 (probably spurious)
Second Day of Christmas
1 – First cycle, 1723:
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 1724:
3 – Third cycle, 1725:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 1728:
- Kehret wieder, kommt zurücke (no known setting by Bach)
Third Day of Christmas
1 – First cycle, 1723:
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 1724:
3 – Third cycle, 1725:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 1728:
- Ich bin in dich entzündt (no known setting by Bach)
- Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn, BWV 152 (30 December 1714)
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 31 December 1724:
3 – Third cycle, 30 December 1725:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 1728 (there was however no Sunday between Christmas 27 December 1728 and New Year 1729):
- Niemand kan die Lieb ergründen (no known setting by Bach)
New Year's Day
On 1 January the feast of the Circumcision of Christ was celebrated, as well as the New Year.
1 – First cycle, 1724:
- Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 190 (instrumental parts lost)
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 1725:
3 – Third cycle, 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, 1729:
New Year I
In some years, a Sunday falls between New Year's Day and Epiphany. It is known as the Sunday after New Year's Day or as the second Sunday of Christmas.
1 – First cycle, 2 January 1724:
- BWV 58, although not fully conforming to the chorale cantata format, was a later addition to the chorale cantata cycle (there hadn't been a Sunday between New Year and Epiphany in 1725).
3 – Third cycle or "between the third and the fourth cycles", 5 January 1727:
- Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid, BWV 58 (early version, incomplete)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 2 January 1729:
- Steh auf, mein Herz (no known setting by Bach)
- BWV 58, later version: 4 January 1733 or 3 January 1734 — although not fully conforming to the chorale cantata format this cantata was later added to the chorale cantata cycle.
- Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen, BWV 248V (Christmas Oratorio Part V, 2 January 1735)
1 – First cycle, 1724:
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 1725:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 1729:
- Dieses ist der tag (no known setting by Bach)
Church cantata (Bach) Christmastide articles: 40
Depending on the date of Easter, a variable number (up to six) of Sundays occurred between Epiphany and Septuagesima, the third Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
1 – First cycle, 9 January 1724:
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 7 January 1725:
3 – Third cycle, 13 January 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 9 January 1729:
- Ich bin betrübt (no known setting by Bach)
- Gedenke, Herr, wie es uns gehet, BWV 217 (very doubtful, possibly composed by Johann Christoph Altnickol)
- Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange? BWV 155 (19 January 1716)
1 – First year in Leipzig, 16 January 1724:
- BWV 155 restaged
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 14 January 1725:
3 – Third cycle, 20 January 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 16 January 1729:
- Ich hab in mir ein fröhlich Herze (no known setting by Bach)
1 – First cycle, 23 January 1724:
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 21 January 1725:
3 – Third cycle, 27 January 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, 23 January 1729:
- BWV 73 restaged 1732–35 and 1748–49
1 – First cycle, 30 January 1724:
- No Epiphany IV in 1725 – see below: Septuagesima
- BWV 14 (see below) was later added to the chorale cantata cycle
3 – Third year in Leipzig, 3 February 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 30 January 1729:
- Wie bist du doch in mir (no known setting by Bach)
- Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, BWV 14 (30 January 1735: latest of Bach's extant chorale cantatas, added to the chorale cantata cycle)
There is no extant Bach-cantata for Epiphany V, nor for Epiphany VI, Sundays that did not occur every year. In Bach's first year in Leipzig the last Sunday before Pre-Lent was Epiphany IV. In his second year it had been Epiphany III (Bach's chorale cantata for Epiphany IV was composed a decade later, see above). In his third year in Leipzig the last Sunday before Pre-Lent was Epiphany V, on which occasion he staged a cantata by Johann Ludwig Bach. In the Picander cycle the last Sunday before Pre-Lent was also Epiphany V, but there is no extant cantata for that occasion in 1729.
3 – Third year in Leipzig, 10 February 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 6 February 1729:
- Erwache, du verschlaffnes Herze (no known setting by Bach)
Picander provided a libretto for the sixth Sunday after Epiphany in his 1728–29 cycle of cantata texts, although that Sunday did not occur in the liturgical year for which he wrote his cycle. Epiphany VI did not occur in any of the years Bach was composing his cantata cycles.
4 – Picander cycle, libretto for Epiphany VI:
- Valet will ich dir geben (no known setting by Bach)
Church cantata (Bach) After Epiphany articles: 18
Septuagesima is the third Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
1 – First cycle, 6 February 1724:
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 28 January 1725:
- Johann Ludwig Bach's Darum will ich auch erwählen, JLB 3 (17 February 1726, BDW 08184)
- Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84 (9 February 1727)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 13 February 1729:
- Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Stande (no known setting by Bach; around 1733–34 C. P. E. Bach set the three first movements of the libretto, see below)
- Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Stande (c.1733–34: setting of the first three movements of the Septuagesima cantata libretto of the Picander cycle, BDW 09341)
Sexagesima is the second Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
- Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt, BWV 18 (early version in G minor, Chorton: 24 February 1715)
1 – First year in Leipzig, 13 February 1724:
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 4 February 1725:
3 – Third year in Leipzig, 24 February 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 20 February 1729:
- Sey getreu biß in den Tod (no known setting by Bach)
- BWV 181 restaged c.1743–46
- Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn, BWV 23 (1722–23, C minor, three movements)
1 – Audition and first cycle, 7 February 1723 (Leipzig audition for the post as Thomaskantor) and 20 February 1724 (first cycle):
- Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe, BWV 22
- BWV 23 restaged in its first Leipzig version (B minor, four movements)
2 – Chorale cantata cycle, 11 February 1725:
- Johann Ludwig Bach's Ja, mir hast du Arbeit gemacht, JLB 5 (3 March 1726, BDW 08208)
- BWV 23 restaged 1728–31, in its final version (C minor, four movements)
4 – Picander cycle, 27 February 1729:
- BWV 23, final version: this version was possibly premiered in 1730 or 1731, see above
Church cantata (Bach) Pre-Lent articles: 18
During Lent, the Sundays between Ash Wednesday and Easter, "quiet time" was observed in Leipzig. Only the feast of Annunciation was celebrated with a cantata, even if it fell in that time. On Good Friday, a Passion was performed in Leipzig in a Vespers service.
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 6 March 1729:
- Weg, mein Herz, mit den Gedanken (no known setting by Bach)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 13 March 1729:
- Ich stürme den Himmel mit meinem Gebethe (no known setting by Bach)
- Widerstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54 (4 March 1714?)
- Alles, was von Gott geboren, BWV 80a (24 March 1715 or 15 March 1716; music lost)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 20 March 1729:
- Schliesse dich, mein Herze zu (no known setting by Bach)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 27 March 1729:
- Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten (no known setting by Bach)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 3 April 1729:
- Böse Welt, schmäh immerhin (no known setting by Bach)
The only two extant church cantatas Bach composed for Annunciation (see below) are also Palm Sunday cantatas. He composed one for this combined occasion in Weimar (BWV 182). In Leipzig Annunciation was the only occasion for which concerted music could be performed during Lent, apart from the Passion performed on Good Friday. When 25 March, the normal date for the feast of Annunciation, fell in Holy Week the feast for Annunciation was moved forward to Palm Sunday, which happened in 1728, the second time Bach restaged his Weimar cantata for the combined Annunciation and Palm Sunday occasion.
The other cantata Bach composed for the combined occasion was the last chorale cantata written in his second year in Leipzig, first performed on 25 March 1725 (BWV 1). In 1729, the Picander cycle year, Annunciation fell more than two weeks before Palm Sunday (10 April). Picander did not, however, provide a separate libretto for Palm Sunday in his 1728–29 cycle: he proposed to use the same libretto as for Advent I (see above). There is no extant setting of this libretto by Bach, nor of the separate Annunciation libretto.
Bach's Passion settings are not listed as cantatas, nor are such Passions usually included in cantata cycles. As an indication of which Passion was performed in the course of which cycle they are listed here:
- "Keiser"'s St Mark Passion, version BC D 5a (early 1710s, with possibly a few movements added or arranged by Bach)
- Weimarer Passion (26 March 1717, lost)
1 – First year in Leipzig, 7 April 1724
- St John Passion, BWV 245, 1st version
2 – Second year in Leipzig, 30 March 1725:
- "Keiser"'s St Mark Passion, version BC D 5b (19 April 1726, slight revision of BC D 5a)
- St Matthew Passion, BWV 244b (on a libretto by Picander: possibly 11 April 1727)
4 – Period of the Picander cycle, 15 April 1729:
- BWV 244b possibly premiere, or repeat performance
- St Luke Passion, BWV 246 (by anonymous composer; 7 April 1730 and 8 April 1735; revised version: 16 April 1745)
- St Mark Passion, BWV 247 (music lost; 23 March 1731; revised version: 3 April 1744)
- BWV 245 restaged at least 11 April 1732 (third version) and 4 April 1749 (fourth version)
- Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel's Ein Lämmlein geht und trägt die Schuld (23 March 1734)
- St Matthew Passion, BWV 244, revised version of BWV 244b restaged 30 March 1736; next revision staged 23 March 1742; later revision(s) probably not staged during Bach's lifetime.
- Georg Philipp Telemann's and Georg Frideric Handel's settings of the Brockes Passion libretto (some movements of the last one also in a pasticcio with movements of the "Keiser" St Mark Passion) and/or the Wer ist der, so von Edom kömmt pasticcio: late 1730s to 1740s.
Church cantata (Bach) Lent articles: 17
The Easter season comprises the time up to Pentecost, starting with three days of Easter.
- Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4 (early version probably 24 April 1707; chorale cantata)
- Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubilieret, BWV 31[a] (Weimar version: 21 April 1715)
1 – First year in Leipzig, 9 April 1724:
- BWV 4 restaged (Leipzig version)
- BWV 31 restaged (Leipzig version)
2 – Second year in Leipzig and/or chorale cantata cycle, 1 April 1725:
- BWV 4 restaged (expanded Leipzig version; adopted into the chorale cantata cycle)
- Kommt, eilet und laufet, BWV 249 (first version of the Easter Oratorio, then still a cantata)
3 – third year in Leipzig, 21 April 1726:
- Johann Ludwig Bach's Denn du wirst meine Seele nicht in der Hölle lassen, JLB 21 (misattributed to J. S. Bach as BWV 15)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 17 April 1729:
- Es hat überwunden der Löwe, der Held (no known setting by Bach)
- BWV 31 restaged (25 March 1731, Leipzig version)
- BWV 249 restaged several times (expanded into an Oratorio)
- Georg Philipp Telemann's Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt, TWV 1:877 (composed 1725; misattributed to J. S. Bach as BWV 160)
- Auf, mein Herz! (or) So du mit deinem Munde bekennest Jesum, BWV 145 (Easter Tuesday cantata Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen, BWV 145, converted to a cantata for Easter Sunday by adding two preceding movements, one of which, i.e. the opening movement of TWV 1:1350, was composed by Telemann: it is unlikely that this pasticcio was realised by Bach; BDW 00177)
1 – First cantata cycle, 10 April 1724:
2 – Second cantata cycle, 2 April 1725:
3 – Third year in Leipzig, 22 April 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 18 April 1729:
- Ich bin ein Pilgrim auf der Welt (fragment of a setting of this libretto by J. S. or C. P. E. Bach is known as BWV Anh. 190, BDW 01501)
- BWV 6 restaged (perhaps already 13 April 1727, and at least two further undated performances)
- BWV 66 restaged (26 March 1731 and 11 April 1735)
1 – First cantata cycle, 11 April 1724:
2 – Second cantata cycle, 2 April 1725:
- BWV 158? – dating of the cantata is uncertain (see below). Despite its brevity (four movements) the cantata appears as a pasticcio involving two movements of an earlier (Weimar?) cantata for Purification. Its two outer movements fit it to the Eastertide occasion: the text for the first movement is based on the gospel reading for Easter Tuesday, and its last movement sets a stanza of Luther's Easter hymn "Christ lag in Todes Banden", echoing the chorale cantata based on that hymn which was performed at Easter 1724 and 1725.
3 – Third year in Leipzig, 23 April 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 19 April 1729:
- Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen, BWV 145 (sets Picander's libretto in 5 movements: for the pasticcio version of this cantata expanded by two preceding movements, see above #Easter Sunday)
- Der Friede sei mit dir, BWV 158 (c.1730?; incomplete?)
- BWV 134 restaged 27 March 1731, and probably also 12 April 1735
The Sundays between Easter and Pentecost have Latin names, derived from the beginning of the prescribed readings. The first Sunday after Easter is called Quasimodogeniti. Some sources name the Sunday after Easter the second Sunday in Easter, counting Easter Sunday as the first.
1 – First cantata cycle, 16 April 1724:
2 – Second cantata cycle, 8 April 1725:
- Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats, BWV 42
- An abandoned sketch of seven bars, BWV deest, BC A64, is possibly Bach's first attempt to compose a cantata for this Sunday (BDW 01529).
3 – Third year in Leipzig, 28 April 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 24 April 1729:
- Welt, behalte du das deine (no known setting by Bach)
- BWV 42 restaged 1 April 1731
The second Sunday after Easter is called Misericordias Domini.
1 – First cantata cycle, 23 April 1724:
- Ich bin ein guter Hirt, BWV 85 (15 April 1725, premiered in Bach's second year in Leipzig)
- BWV 112 (see below) later added to chorale cantata cycle
3 – Third year in Leipzig, 5 May 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 1 May 1729:
- Ich kan mich besser nicht versorgen (no known setting by Bach)
- Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt, BWV 112 (chorale cantata, 8 April 1731 → chorale cantata cycle)
The third Sunday after Easter is called Jubilate.
1 – First year in Leipzig, 30 April 1724:
- BWV 12 restaged in a version with a slightly modified instrumentation
2 – Second year cycle, 22 April 1725:
3 – Third year in Leipzig, 12 May 1726:
- Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal, BWV 146 (or: 18 April 1728?)
- Johann Ludwig Bach's Die mit Tränen säen, JLB 8 (BDW 08290)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 8 May 1729:
- Faße dich betrübter Sinn (no known setting by Bach)
- BWV 103 restaged probably 15 April 1731
The fourth Sunday after Easter is called Cantate.
- Leb ich, oder leb ich nicht, BWV Anh. 191 (19 May 1715; music lost, extant libretto by Salomon Franck published Weimar 1715; BDW 01502)
1 – First cantata cycle, 7 May 1724:
2 – Second year cycle, 29 April 1725:
- Es ist euch gut, daß ich hingehe, BWV 108 (C. M. von Ziegler libretto)
3 – Third year in Leipzig, 19 May 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 15 May 1729:
- Ja! Ja! Ich bin nun ganz verlassen (no known setting by Bach)
The fifth Sunday after Easter is called Rogate.
1 – First cantata cycle, 14 May 1724:
2 – Second year cycle, 6 May 1725:
- Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen, BWV 87 (based on a C. M. von Ziegler libretto)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 22 May 1729:
- Ich Schreye laut mit meiner Stimme (no known setting by Bach)
1 – First cantata cycle, 18 May 1724:
2 – Second year cycle, 10 May 1725:
- Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein, BWV 128 (C. M. von Ziegler libretto)
3 – Third cantata cycle, 30 May 1726:
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 26 May 1729:
- Alles, alles Himmel-werts (no known setting by Bach)
The Sunday after Ascension is called Exaudi.
1 – First cycle, 21 May 1724:
2 – Second cycle, 13 May 1725:
- Sie werden euch in den Bann tun, BWV 183 (C. M. von Ziegler libretto)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 29 May 1729:
- Quäle dich nur nicht, mein Herz (no known setting by Bach)
Church cantata (Bach) Easter articles: 48
Pentecost to Trinity
Leipzig publications with the text of the cantatas for the four occasions from Pentecost to Trinity are extant for 1727 and 1731.
Pentecost Sunday (1. Pfingsttag) is also called Whit Sunday.
- Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! BWV 172 (Weimar version in C major: 20 May 1714)
1 – First year in Leipzig, 28 May 1724:
- BWV 172 restaged in its first Leipzig version (D major)
- Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten, BWV 59
2 – Second cycle, 20 May 1725:
- Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten, BWV 74 (C. M. von Ziegler libretto)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 5 June 1729:
- Raset und brauset ihr hefftigen Winde (no known setting by Bach, however in 1740 Johann Friedrich Doles, then a student of Bach, produced a setting of this libretto, see below)
- BWV 59 and BWV 172 (second Leipzig version in C major) restaged 13 May 1731
- Johann Friedrich Doles' Raset und brauset ihr hefftigen Winde (on a libretto of the Picander cycle, composed and possibly performed in Leipzig in 1740)
- BWV 34 restaged on 12 May 1746 in Halle (start of W. F. Bach's tenure there)
- Georg Philipp Telemann's Gott der Hoffnung erfülle euch, TWV 1:634, spuriously attributed to J. S. Bach as BWV 218.
Pentecost Monday (2. Pfingsttag) is also called Whit Monday.
2 – Second cycle, 21 May 1725:
- Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt, BWV 68 (C. M. von Ziegler libretto)
- Erhöhtes Fleisch und Blut, BWV 173 (2 June 1727)
4 – Picander cycle, 6 June 1729:
- BWV 173 restaged 14 May 1731
Pentecost Tuesday (3. Pfingsttag) is also called Whit Tuesday.
1 – First cycle, 30 May 1724:
2 – Second cycle, 22 May 1725:
- Er rufet seinen Schafen mit Namen, BWV 175 (C. M. von Ziegler libretto)
- BWV 184 restaged 3 June 1727
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 7 June 1729:
- Ich klopff an deine Gnaden-Thüre (no known setting by Bach)
- BWV 184 restaged 15 May 1731
- O heilges Geist- und Wasserbad, BWV 165 (16 June 1715)
1 – First year in Leipzig, 4 June 1724:
- Es ist ein trotzig und verzagt Ding, BWV 176 (27 May 1725; last of the extant cantatas on a C. M. von Ziegler libretto)
- BWV 129 (see below) later added to chorale cantata cycle
- BWV 194, second Leipzig version with the movements in a different order, restaged 16 June 1726
- Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott, BWV 129 (8 June 1727, chorale cantata added to the chorale cantata cycle)
4 – Picander cycle, libretto planned for 12 June 1729:
- Gott will mich in den Himmel haben (no known setting by Bach)
- Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 192 (4 June 1730, probably not in Leipzig)
- BWV 194, first Leipzig version, restaged 20 May 1731