Marriage to Anna Magdalena Bach

Sunday 3 December 2023

Marriage to Anna Magdalena Bach

3 December 2023 – Today's cantata is a wedding cantata. It is not known with certainty when the cantata was created. Some claim as early as 1714, during Bach's tenure in Weimar, because of certain style elements he rarely used later on.

The classic thesis puts this cantata in Bach's Köthen period. There is a theory that it might have been created in the spring of 1720, because of the libretto which uses spring scenes as an allegory for growing love in marriage.

But for some reason this cantata was always linked to Bach's marriage to his second wife, Anna Magdalena Wilcken, on December 3rd 1721, which is why I programmed it today. It is not a cantata for the church service of the marriage, but rather for the following festivities. The chamber music-like instrumentation support this.

Music for today

  • Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten, BWV 202
    (first performance ? 1720, Köthen period)