Funeral service for Johann Christoph von Ponickau
6 February 2024 – On this day in 1727 occured the funeral of Johann Christoph von Ponickau, a Saxon nobleman and chamberlain. He was buried in the Wehrkirche (a fortified church) of Pomßen, a town close to Leipzig, and Bach wrote a funeral cantata for him, on a libretto from Picander.
Von Ponickau himself chose the title text, which quotes a text from Genesis. Because this text lends itself to an interpretation which suits the holy day of Maria Purification (Candlemas, February 2nd), Bach performed this cantata in later years in Leipzig on that day.
This cantata is not to be confused with the motet Ich lasse dich nicht, BWV Anh. 159, which originally was attributed to Bach's uncle Johann Christoph, but now appears to be an early Weimar work.
Music for today
- Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn, BWV 157
(first performance 6 February 1727, Leipzig period)
WBCF0206-Funeral service for Johann Christoph von Ponickau
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Image of the day
The interior of the Wehrkirche in Pomßen, where Bach performed BWV 157. The organ by Gottfried Richter (1640–1717) is the oldest organ in Sachsen.