Bach cantata (German: Bachkantate) became a term for a cantata of the German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) who was a prolific writer of the genre. Although many of his works are lost, at least 209 cantatas have survived.
Especially during Bach's tenure as a Kantor at the St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, and the St. Nicholas Church it was part of his job to perform a church cantata every Sunday and Holiday, related to the readings prescribed by the Lutheran liturgy for the specific occasion. In his first years in Leipzig, starting after Trinity of 1723, he composed a new work every week and conducted soloists, the Thomanerchor and orchestra as part of the church service. Works from three annual cycles of cantatas have survived.
In addition to the church cantatas he composed sacred cantatas for functions like weddings or Ratswahl (the inauguration of a new town council), music for academic functions of the University of Leipzig at the Paulinerkirche, and secular cantatas for anniversaries and entertainment in nobility and society, some of them Glückwunschkantaten (congratulatory cantatas) and Huldigungskantaten (homage cantatas). He composed church cantatas mainly in Leipzig on a weekly basis, but his earliest date back to 1707 in Mühlhausen, his last was probably written in 1745. His cantatas usually require four soloists and a four-part choir, but he also wrote solo cantatas for typically one soloist and dialogue cantatas for two singers. The words for many cantatas combine Bible quotes, contemporary poetry and chorale, but he also composed a cycle of chorale cantatas based exclusively on one chorale.
Bach's cantatas are regarded as the greatest achievements in the genre.
Read more about Bach Cantata: Name, BWV Number, Structure of A Bach Cantata, Singers and Instrumentation, Words of A Sacred Cantata, Periods of Cantata Composition, Parodies, Oratorios, Performances and Recordings, The Fifth Gospel
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... Baroque Soloists, undertook an ambitious tour, the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, where it performed all of J.S ... Bach's sacred cantatas in more than 60 churches in Europe, the UK and the US to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer's death ... Some cantatas were excluded a priori from the pilgrimage, as their composition is not associated with religious calendar commitments ...
... In 1929 the Swedish bishop Nathan Söderblom, a recipient of the Nobel Prize, called Bach's cantatas the Fifth Gospel ...
... The London Bach Society was founded in 1946 by Paul Steinitz who, at that time, was organist of St Peter’s Church, Dulwich Common ... music and it was his long-term intention to 'get back to Bach in its original form' ... Bach’s music, especially his vocal music, had fallen into decline and virtual oblivion after his death in 1750 except for the attentions of his second son C ...
Famous quotes containing the word bach:
“The authors conviction on this day of New Year is that music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance; that poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music; but this must not be taken as implying that all good music is dance music or all poetry lyric. Bach and Mozart are never too far from physical movement.”
—Ezra Pound (18851972)