Epiphany I

Sunday 12 January 2020

Epiphany I

Today is the first Sunday after Epiphany, and Bach has three Leipzig cantatas for you, from the first three complete cantata cycles he wrote in that city.

Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren, BWV 154, premiered in Leipzig on January 9th, 1724, so immediately after the very busy Christmas weeks. He reused parts he wrote in Weimar, and to spare the choir boys there are only two chorals, which may have been sung 'a prima vista', so on first sight of the musical score.

Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht, BWV 124, is a choral cantata from Bach's second Leipzig cycle, based on a hymn by Christian Keymann from 1658.

Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen, BWV 32, is based on a libretto which is part of a bundle of cantata libretto's written by Georg Christian Lehms, a librarian from Darmstadt, for the local court composer Christoph Graupner. Bach already disposed of these texts in Weimar, because Widerstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54,written for Trinitatis VII in 1714, is also part of the bundle.

Cantatas

  • Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren, BWV 154
    (first performance 9 January 1724, Leipzig period)
  • Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht, BWV 124
    (first performance 7 January 1725, Leipzig period)
  • Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen, BWV 32
    (first performance 13 January 1726, Leipzig period)

Extra information

The Netherlands Bach Society website (in Dutch) has more information and a performance of BWV 32:
https://bachvereniging.nl/nl/bwv/bwv-32/