Palm Sunday

Sunday 5 April 2020

Palm Sunday or Palmarum

Today is Palm Sunday or Palmarum, the Sunday before Easter. This day still falls under Tempus Clausum, but luckily we have two cantatas today, both from years when Palm Sunday fell on the day of Annunciation (March 25th), the only day during Lent when music was permitted in mass in Leipzig.

So I can present again the two cantates created for Annunciation: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1 and Himmelskönig, sei willkommen, BWV 182, a cantata from the Weimar period. You can read more information about these cantatas in my post for Annunciation:

But because you already heard these 2 cantatas a few weeks ago, I've added something else to today's playllist. For many years, together with close family, I attended the Passion concerto in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. The Matthäus or Johannes passion are performed there (alternating every year) on Palm Sunday, a tradition dating back to the nineteenth century. So I've added the Johannes Passion to the playlist.

Because of the Corona crisis, all typical Easter performances of Bach's music, most notably the Matthaeus and the Johannes passion have been cancelled all over Europe. It is a pity for us music lovers, but it is a disaster for the performers, who are losing an important income source.

One of those ensembles is the Collegium Vocale, who I also selected in the playlist. To give people a possibility to be present at a performance, they've filmed the last repetition of the Johannes passion they did (the day before the cancellations started falling everywhere) and put it online at

If you like their performance, consider giving them a donation by bank transfer to vzw Collegium Vocale, Drongenhof 42, 9000 Ghent IBAN BE 08 8939 4405 7013 – BIC VDSP BE91 stating “Passions 2020” or by buying virtual tickets in their shop at Thank you!


  • Himmelskönig, sei willkommen, BWV 182
    (first performance 25 March 1714, Weimar period)
  • Passio secundum Joannem, BWV 245
    (first performance 7 april 1724, Leipzig period)
  • Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1
    (first performance 25 March 1725, Leipzig period)

Extra information

The Netherlands Bach Society website (in Dutch) has more information and a performance of BWV 245, the Johannes Passion:


WBC25-Palm Sunday or Palmarum

Playlist cover on Spotify

Choose one of these streaming services to listen to this playlist:

Image of the day

The Entry into Jerusalem, 14th century painting by Giotto (c.1267-1337).

The Entry into Jerusalem, 14th century painting by Giotto (c.1267-1337).