What are your favorite Bach cantatas?

The most beautiful cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach

  • I deliberately did not name the thread "the ten most beautiful cantatas", because everyone can write something in here, even if only one cantata has grown very dear to them for special reasons. I would also like to avoid the mere listing of cantatas, as I am very interested in your opinion as to why this or that work is very important to you. Of course, those who want to do this would also like to name a corresponding recording on which they would most like to hear the corresponding cantata.

    One cantata that has always affected me very much and that is also of great importance to me at the moment is the cantata

    "Dearest God, when will I die",
    BWV 8.

    I mainly hear this cantata in the following recording.

    This is just a very, very touching piece of music that only Bach could write. The cantata is permeated with a longing for death and, in musical terms, typical Bachian transcendence. And in my eyes only Bach was able to set this to music. There is no complaint, no grief, just a sincere wait for death. The music seems so beautiful to me that it completely contradicts how the cantata begins "Dearest God, when will I die? My time is always running out" When this time is accompanied by such beautiful music, I never want to this world go.

    29.08.1958 - 25.06.2009
    gone too soon

  • Dear Masetto,

    I've been sneaking around your thread for a few days. It is very difficult for me to choose my favorite ones from Bach's inexhaustible cantatas. But in the end I made a small selection that make my opinion clear:

    BWV 132 Prepare the way, prepare the path.
    This early solo cantata (probably from Weimar times) for the fourth Advent is my favorite Advent cantata because of the wonderful oboe accompaniment.

    BWV 182 King of Heaven, be welcome
    The Palm Sunday cantata deals with Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. Apart from the final chorale (Jesus, your Passion), it could even be played during Advent. In the Protestant churches, for example, the anti-scholarship hangings on the altar and pulpit are the same in these church seasons: violet color with a crown of thorns.

    BWV 12 Weeping, lamenting, worrying, and being worried
    Bach's cantata for Sunday Jubilate with the Gospel John 16, 16-23: Your sadness should be turned into joy. One of the jewels of Bach's compositional art.

    BWV 78 Jesus, who thou my soul
    One of several cantatas for the 14th Sunday after Trinity. I was particularly impressed by the alto-soprano duet "We hurry with weak, but industrious steps": I imagine I can hear the triple steps in the composition. In its seven movements, the cantata offers an unusual wealth of forms and contrasts.

    BWV 147 Heart and mouth and deed and life
    Composed for the feast of Mary's inquiry. The ten-movement cantata consists of two parts, which were performed before and after the sermon. The respective final chorals are among Bach's best-known compositions.

    BWV 79 God, the Lord, is sun and shield
    One of two cantatas for the Reformation Festival; I like this one better than "A solid castle is our God". Two horns give the work its particularly beautiful timbre.

    BWV 106 God's time is the very best time
    This cantata, entitled Actus tragicus, is also one of the best that Bach wrote; great spiritual penetration is expressed there. It is one of the earliest Bach cantatas ever: composed in Mühlhausen in 1707 or 1708.

    BWV 56 I would like to carry the cross staff
    Cantata for the 19th Sunday after Trinity. Originally created for the soprano voice of his second wife Anna Magdalena, but later reworked for alto or bass - usually heard today with the latter voice range. The text of the cantata refers to the Gospel of this Sunday, the healing of the gouty sufferer.

    BWV 21 I had a lot of distress
    Cantata for the third Sunday after Trinity - at least on this Sunday 1714 it was performed for the first time in Weimar. The work is relatively long with 40 minutes of performance. In this cantata Bach achieves great intensity and drama.

    As I said, only a small selection of my favorite cantatas. I almost feel like I have to apologize to everyone else, not listed ...

    .

    MUSIC WALKERS

  • Thomas Quasthoff sings 2 solo cantatas for bass "I would like to carry the cross stick" and "I have enough".
    They touch me because they deal with illness, recovery, hope, death, redemption, i.e. everything that one has to endure oneself, relatives, friends and neighbors. Illness and death accompany us constantly, but in our society the topic is suppressed.
    The young, healthy, enterprising person is the focus of society, the old, sick or frail person is on the sidelines.

  • They touch me because they deal with illness, recovery, hope, death, redemption, i.e. everything that one has to endure oneself, relatives, friends and neighbors. Illness and death accompany us constantly, but in our society the topic is suppressed.
    The young, healthy, enterprising person is the focus of society, the old, sick or frail person is on the sidelines.

    Ohhh yes, I agree with you 10000 percent. And the longer I think about it, the sadder I get about it.

    29.08.1958 - 25.06.2009
    gone too soon

  • Thomas Quasthoff sings 2 solo cantatas for bass "I would like to carry the cross stick" and "I have enough".


    Beautiful, comforting and sublime, these two sacred cantatas - especially "I would like to carry the cross staff".

    But my favorite cantata is a secular one: "Be silent, don't chat" (BWV 211), also known as the coffee cantata. This is simply due to the fact that I sang them years ago (rather decades) in the school choir - in historical costumes!
    Here are a few sentences:
    "It is likely that Bach wanted to caricature the emerging attempts by the authorities against coffee culture, which led to Frederick the Great's state coffee monopoly.
    In the factory, for example, Mr. Schlendrian tries to wean his daughter Liesgen from the bad habit of drinking coffee every day. The headstrong daughter only gives in when she is allowed to marry, but at the same time makes it known that she will only accept a man who allows her to drink coffee at any time.
    The text comes from the pen of Christian Friedrich Henrici, Bach's most ardent text supplier. It was published in 1732 in the third part of the "Ernst-Scherzhafften und Satyrische Gedichte". Two years later, Johann Sebastian Bach composed his coffee cantata based on this libretto, which he himself probably expanded to include the ninth recitative and the concluding chorus. "

  • Favorite cantatas ... Although I've heard each one at least once, I don't want to pretend to be able to overlook them all.
    Some of the big highlights for me are:

    - BWV 4 Christ was in death bands: Bach's drama in perfect form!

    - BWV 36 Soar up joyfully: This wonderful Advent cantata with the poignant oboe aria "Love moves with gentle steps" and the soprano aria "Also with muffled weak voices" (Rilling picks it up a lot too quickly, definitely with Herreweghe !!) exudes a solemn Advent mood

    - BWV 54 Resist sin: One of the little cantatas, but one that has a wonderful main theme

    - BWV 56: I would like to carry the cross staff: A perfect work of art in a sublimity that only Bach could achieve. To the closing chorale "Komm o Tod du Schlafes Bruder" I recently read the nice comment on YouTube from a user from the metal scene (!): "Oh Bach, when will you stop surprising me?"

    - BWV 62: Now come the Savior of the Gentiles: Furious Advent cantata. The tenor aria "O people admire this great secret" is one of the most beautiful and freshest Bach arias for me.

    - BWV 106 God's time is the very best: One of the cantatas that is full of quiet size. Consolation, majesty, humility, gratitude

    - BWV 131 From the depths I call Lord to you: I just love the oboe cantatas. The final "Israel" is huge!

    - BWV 132 Prepare the way, prepare the railway: Again wonderful oboe accompaniment and the great violin aria "Christi Glieder, Ach bedenket"

    - BWV 147 heart and mouth and deed and life: Not necessarily because of. of the well-known chorale "Jesus remain my joy" but because of the two poignant arias "Shame you o soul not" (oboe) and "Prepare for Jesus still the way" (violin).

    - BWV 182 King of Heaven is welcome: A great example of Bach's joy in composing regarding praise to God

    - BWV 1, 8, 12, 161, 180, 184, 202: Are also still in the front row ...

    Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. If the music opens up to you, you have to be free from all the misery with which other people drag themselves.
    (Ludwig van Beethoven)

  • Hello,
    and how do you feel about his motets?

    greeting
    second bass

    Whoever wins music has received (won) a heavenly good ... Eduard Mörike / Hugo Distler

  • From one of his most beautiful cantatas, BWV 147 "Wake up, call us the voice", we sang the chorale "Glad me that I have Jesus" in a very atmospheric penitential devotion on Sunday, April 3rd (4th Sunday of Lent) , along with other beautiful movements by Baldassare Galuppi and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.

    best regards

    Willi

    1. "The most necessary, the hardest and the main thing in music is the tempo". (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart).
    2. "There is only one pace and that is the right one". (Wilhelm Furtwängler).

  • Hello,
    and how do you feel about his motets?

    With the moths, the selection is definitely more manageable
    BWV 229 "Come Jesus come" I would definitely call it, impressive Bach counterpoint, quite furious!
    BWV 227 "Jesus, my joy" is certainly the best known, but the predominant vanitas tone is really impressive!
    BWV 225 "Singt dem Herr" I would like to mention because it is so perfectly ambivalent for me. Joy in praising God is combined with moving, comforting, softer tones as only Bach could. I like it best with RIAS.

    Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. If the music opens up to you, you have to be free from all the misery with which other people drag themselves.
    (Ludwig van Beethoven)

  • BWV 225 "Singt dem Herr" I would like to mention because it is so perfectly ambivalent for me. Joy in praising God is combined with moving, comforting, softer tones as only Bach could. I like it best with RIAS.


    Hello,

    thank you for your answer - this motet is number 1 for me - with the Windsbacher boys' choir - already several times in the month. Motets with the Windsbachern in St. Lorenz, Nuremberg, heard (also recorded under Thamm and, which was still possible back then - in mid-1970 - was recorded).

    What is the meaning behind your nickname "KV 364" or is it secret?

    Best wishes
    second bass

    Whoever wins music has received (won) a heavenly good ... Eduard Mörike / Hugo Distler

  • What is the meaning behind your nickname "KV 364" or is it secret?

    No, it's not a secret
    Behind this is Mozart's Sinofnia concertante for orchestra, violin and viola, Köchelverzeichnis 364. For me one of the absolute masterpieces of Mozart. This work is so full of musical inventiveness and joy in making music that it is still something special even for Mozart. For me the second movement represents a majesty and sad beauty ("smile through tears", as we find it a few times in Mozart's work, if we listen properly) that is rarely heard. Unfortunately, you don't hear this work as often as, for example, many of the lighter serenades.
    To show that I am not only focused on Mozart, I mixed a Beethoven quote and a Bruckner picture with the Mozart nickname.

    Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. If the music opens up to you, you have to be free from all the misery with which other people drag themselves.
    (Ludwig van Beethoven)

  • Behind this is Mozart's Sinofnia concertante for orchestra, violin and viola, Köchelverzeichnis 364. For me one of the absolute masterpieces of Mozart.


    I was just wondering why KV 364? Now I know; I know and have KV 364 and will listen to it again, taking into account your remark.

    Best wishes
    second bass

    Whoever wins music has received (won) a heavenly good ... Eduard Mörike / Hugo Distler


  • I was just wondering why KV 364? Now I know; I know and have KV 364 and will listen to it again, taking into account your remark.

    Best wishes
    second bass

    That's nice! Tell me about your listening experience if you like ...

    Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. If the music opens up to you, you have to be free from all the misery with which other people drag themselves.
    (Ludwig van Beethoven)

  • Hello KV 364,

    In the meantime I have noticed that my recording of KV 364 is still an LP from the 1960s and that there is no longer a new pickup system for my record player (1970). My decision, which I had previously canceled, whether I should digitize to the hard drive or buy a new turntable that is appropriate to my finances, I have now opted for the latter; but ordered a CD for KV 364 anyway, when will it come?

    So when I get in touch after "listening again", then under a new thread "Mozart - Sinfonia concertante KV 364" - please check it out from time to time. We can then exchange ideas "at the right place" there, and there may be other interested parties.

    second bass

    Whoever wins music has received (won) a heavenly good ... Eduard Mörike / Hugo Distler

  • My favorite Bach cantatas are BWV 1, 4, 12, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 36, 51, 56, 58, 61, 62, 63, 78, 93, 102, 103, 106, 107, 125, 126, 131, 132, 135, 146, 164, 172, 186, 198, 199, 213 recorded with sound Koopman.

  • My favorite Bach cantatas are BWV 1, 4, 12, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 36, 51, 56, 58, 61, 62, 63, 78, 93, 102, 103, 106, 107, 125, 126, 131, 132, 135, 146, 164, 172, 186, 198, 199, 213 recorded with sound Koopman.


    I have forgotten BWV 82 and 137.