"Art makes life, makes interest, makes importance"

April 10, 2012

Bach Cantatas (20): Easter Tuesday

Easter Tuesday is the third day of Easter. In Bach's time, important church festivals were celebrated on three consecutive days instead of two. There are three cantatas for this day.


Acts 13:26–33, sermon of St. Paul in Antiochia
Luke 24:36–47, the appearance of Jesus to the Apostles in Jerusalem

  • Der Friede sei mit dir, BWV 158, after 1723

    Rezitativ Bass: Der Friede sei mit dir
    Arie Bass und Choral Soprano: Welt, ade, ich bin dein müde
    Rezitativ und Arioso Bass: Nun, Herr, regiere meinen Sinn
    Choral: Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm

    ("Peace be with you"). Solo cantata for bass voice. Could well be a fragment of a larger work - normally there would have been one more aria before the chorale. On the other hand, it is also satisfying as it is. The center of the cantata is formed by the bass aria woven around a soprano chorale. This chorale is accompanied by a singing violin accompaniment (originally for violino piccolo). Textually, the cantata is one of Bach's frequent meditations on the necessary readiness to leave the world. (***)

  • Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß, BWV 134, 11 April 1724

    Recitativo (alto, tenor): Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß
    Aria (tenor): Auf, Gläubige, singet die lieblichen Lieder
    Recitativo (alto, tenor): Wohl dir, Gott hat an dich gedacht,
    Aria (alto, tenor): Wir danken und preisen dein brünstiges Lieben
    Recitativo (alto, tenor): Doch würke selbst den Dank in unserm Munde
    Coro: Erschallet, ihr Himmel, erfreuet dich, Erde

    ("A heart that knows the living Jesus"). Reworking of a secular, congratulatory cantata for New Year. The text sings the praises of the risen Christ. It is full of adulatory phrases of the type also used to sing the praises of worldly lords. Starts with a tenor recitative that leads into an alto arioso. Very pleasant is the ensuing tenor aria, which goes quite high ("Auf, auf!"). Next follows a fine duet for alto and tenor with a wonderful string orchestral introduction, in the style of the Brandenburg Concertos. The cantata ends with soloists and chorus gloriously answering the tenor aria. (***)

  • Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen, BWV 145, 1729

    [Chor: Auf, mein Herz, des Herren Tag]
    Arie (Duett) T S: Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzten
    Rezitativ T: Nun fordre, Moses, wie du willt
    Arie B: Merke, mein Herze, beständig nur dies
    Rezitativ S: Mein Jesus lebt
    Choral: Drum wir auch billig fröhlich sein

    ("I live, my heart, for your delight"). An oddity, as this cantata survives only in a 19th c. manuscript prefaced with an opening chorus by Telemann. Bach's original opening must have been lost. The substance of this cantata are therefore the two arias (one a duet for soprano and tenor and the second for bass), both  thoroughly pleasant pieces of music. The first is a dialogue between Jesus and the Soul, the second has the character of a passepied. The text calls on the believer to be mindful of the salvation that Christ's resurrection has brought. (**)

(1) New Year's Day (2) New Year I (3) Epiphany (4) Epiphany I (5) Epiphany II (6) Epiphany III (7) Epiphany IV (8) Feast of Purification of Mary (9) Septuagesima (10) Sexagesima (11) Quinquagesima (Estomihi) (12) The Consecration of a New Organ (13) The Inauguration of the Town Council (14) Oculi (15) Wedding Cantatas (16) Feast of Annunciation (17) Palm Sunday (18) Easter Sunday (19) Easter Monday (20) Easter Tuesday (21) Easter I (Quasimodogeniti) (22) Easter II (23) Easter III (24) Easter IV (25) Easter V (26) Ascension Day (27) Ascension I (28) Pentecost Sunday (29) Pentecost Monday (30) Pentecost Tuesday (31) Trinity Sunday (32) Trinity I (33) Trinity II (34) Trinity III (35) St. John's Day (36) Trinity IV (37) Visitation (38) Trinity V (39) Trinity VI (40) Trinity VII (41) Trinity VIII (42) Trinity IX (43) Trinity X (44) Trinity XI (45) Trinity XII (46) Trinity XIII (47) Trinity XIV (48) Trinity XV (49) Trinity XVI (50) Trinity XVII (51) Trinity XVIII (52) Trinity XIX (53) Trinity XX (54) Trinity XXI (55) Trinity XXII (56) Trinity XXIII (57) Trinity XXIV (58) Trinity XXV-XXVII (59) Advent I-IV (60) Christmas Day (61) Second Day of Christmas (62) Third Day of Christmas (63) Sunday after Christmas