Third day of Christmas

Friday 27 December 2019

Third day of Christmas

A great way to unwind after the festive Christmas days are the cantatas Bach created for the Third day of Christmas, which was also a holy day in Leipzig.

Sehet, welch eine Liebe hat uns der Vater erzeiget, BWV 64, was created in 1723 in Leipzig for this day, which is also the feast of John the Evangelist.

Ich freue mich in dir, BWV 133, is from the following year, 1724, again in Leipzig, and is part of the choral cantata cycle.

Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt, BWV 151, is from 1725. A cantata where the first four parts are for the soloists, and the choir only has to sing the last part. Bach did this often in cantatas for a third consecutive feast day, to spare the poor choir boys of the Thomanerchor.

Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen, BWV 248, is the third cantata of the Christmas Oratorio, describing the adoration of the Shepherds. For the fourth cantata of this magnificent Oratorio, you'll have to be patient... That's for New Year's day.

Cantatas

  • Sehet, welch eine Liebe hat uns der Vater erzeiget, BWV 64
    (first performance 27 December 1723, Leipzig period)
  • Ich freue mich in dir, BWV 133
    (first performance 27 December 1724, Leipzig period)
  • Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt, BWV 151
    (first performance 27 December 1725, Leipzig period)
  • Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen, BWV 248
    (first performance 27 December 1734 - Christmas Oratorio Part III, Leipzig period)

Extra information

The Netherlands Bach Society website (in Dutch) has more information and a performance of BWV 151:
https://bachvereniging.nl/nl/bwv/bwv-151/