Birthday of Princess Charlotte Friederike of Nassau-Siegen
30 November 2023 – While already living in Leipzig, Bach retained a role as court composer to Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, for whom he had worked full-time in the period 1717–1723. The cantata was written for the 24th birthday of the prince's second wife, Princess Charlotte Friederike Amalie of Nassau-Siegen on 30 November 1726, the likely date of the work's premiere, although this is not documented.
Although the music for the cantata is lost, we have some idea of what it sounded like. When Bach wrote for a one-off occasion such as a birthday, he sometimes recycled the music in another composition. In this case there appear to be several related works. The numbering of Steigt freudig in die Luft in the standard catalogue of Bach's works, the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, reflects a presumed relationship to extant cantatas, which use variants of Picander's celebratory text, Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36 with its different variations.
The piece has been reconstructed by Alexander Ferdinand Grychtolik, who has worked on other lost works by Bach. Grychtolik adapted the music from Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36c and composed new recitatives. He performed his reconstruction at Köthen's Bach Festival in 2012, and released a recording to which you can listen today. (Source: Wikipedia).
Music for today
- Steigt freudig in die Luft, BWV 36a
(first performance 30 November 1726, Leipzig period)
WBCF1130-Birthday of Princess Charlotte Friederike of Nassau-Siegen
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Image of the day
Portrait of Charlotte Friederike of Nassau-Siegen (1702-1785), wife of Leopold of Anhalt-Kothen, painted around 1751, probably by Christoph Gottfried Ringe.