Sunday 21 March 2021

5th Sunday of Lent or Judica

Today is the 5th (and last) Sunday of Lent or Judica. Yes, you guessed it, still Tempus Clausum in Leipzig (no music allowed in mass) so no original cantata for this day. Which means I have to come up with a playlist for your enjoyment, with three cantatas with unknown first performance dates or occasions.

All three are very late cantatas, long after his most prolific cantata creation period, the first three years in Leipzig. In allen meinen Taten, BWV 97, dates from 1734 and is a choral cantata, one of the dozen cantatas he wrote in later years to complete that cycle which he started in 1724 but ended prematurely in 1725, possibly due to the death of his main collaborator and librettist, Andreas Stübel, on January 31st of that year. Author of the hymn is Paul Fleming (1609-1640).

Only the aria remains of the cantata Bekennen will ich seinen Namen, BWV 200, dating from 1742. The piece was only discovered in 1924 and published in 1935. I've chosen the outstanding countertenor Andreas Scholl as performer of this aria.

You'll probably recognise the music of Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, BWV 1083, as it is a musical parody of the very famous Stabat Mater by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736), written in the last weeks of his life before succumbing to tuberculosis aged only 26. Bach used a German paraphrase of Psalm 51 as the text for this cantata, and performed it in Leipzig somewhere between 1745 and 1747, making it the first demonstrable performance of Pergolesi's music in Germany. Stabat Mater itself was only printed for the first time in 1748.


  • In allen meinen Taten, BWV 97
    (first performance ? 1734, Leipzig period)
  • Bekennen will ich seinen Namen, BWV 200
    (first performance ? 1742, Leipzig period)
  • Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, BWV 1083
    (first performance ? 1745–1747, Leipzig period)