Election anniversary of August III as King of Poland

Saturday 5 October 2019

Election anniversary of August III as King of Poland

In 1733, Augustus III succeeded his father (Augustus II) as King of Poland and Elector of Saxony. In 1734, on very short notice, a visit by Augustus to Leipzig was announced, and the anniversary of his election as Elector would fall in that visit.

Bach, being court composer to the King and the Elector (as he wrote himself on the manuscript of the Goldberg Variations), immediately went to work. He composed Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen, BWV 215, in no more than three days. Luckily he had some older material to reuse, like the opening movement which probably was used in the now lost cantata Es lebe der König, der Vater im Lande, BWV Anh 11, written in 1732 for the nameday of his father. Nonetheless... only three days, a strong feat.

This cantata was first performed on October 5th, 1734, in front of the Apels Haus, the Elector's palace on the market square in Leipzig, to great enjoyment of Augustus ("herzlich wohlgefallen" read the accounts).

Cantatas

  • Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen, BWV 215
    (first performance 5 October 1734)