Trinitatis VIII

Sunday 2 August 2020

Trinitatis VIII or 8th Sunday after Trinitatis

Today is Trinitatis VIII or the 8th Sunday after Trinitatis. Three cantatas for you today.

Erforsche mich, Gott, und erfahre mein Herz, BWV 136, is from the first cycle, so only a few months after Bach arrived in Leipzig. He found out that the requirement for a weekly cantata (or more often) was a serious burden for a composer, especially if the cantatas were expected to be in two parts, one part before and one after the sermon. So he created a series of slightly simpler cantatas, for which he also used older compositions as inspiration.

Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält, BWV 178, is from the second cycle, so it's a chorale cantata. This cantata is based on a hymn from 1524 by Justus Jonas (1493-1555), preacher, professor and colleague reformer of Martin Luther.

Es ist dir gesagt, Mensch, was gut ist, BWV 45, dates from 1726, when Bach did not write a weekly cantata anymore. Just like last Sunday, this cantata is based on a text by Duke Ernst Ludwig von Sachsen-Meiningen, who wrote a series of cantata libretto's in 1705. These texts were used previously by Bach's cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach, but he liked the texts so much he wrote 7 cantatas based on these lyrics.

Cantatas

  • Erforsche mich, Gott, und erfahre mein Herz, BWV 136
    (first performance 18 June 1723, Leipzig period)
  • Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält, BWV 178
    (first performance 30 July 1724, Leipzig period)
  • Es ist dir gesagt, Mensch, was gut ist, BWV 45
    (first performance 11 August 1726, Leipzig period)

Playlist

WBC49-Trinitatis VIII or 8th Sunday after Trinitatis

Playlist cover on Spotify

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Image of the day

The Bach glass window in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig.

The Bach glass window in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig.