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Vocal: Cantatas BWV 1-224 | Motets BWV 225-231 | Latin Church BWV 232-243 | Passions & Oratorios BWV 244-249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Lieder BWV 439-524
Instrumental: Organ BWV 525-771 | Keyboard BWV 772-994 | Solo Instrumental BWV 995-1013 | Chamber & Orchestral BWV 1014-1080

Bach Books



Bach Vocal Music Guide to the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) Year B



Performer Guide / Scores

J.S. Bach Works:

BWV 1-200


Gary Harney









316 pages




Bach on Budget



J.S. Bach's cantatas are among the greatest achievements in the history of church music, yet with the exception of the expanded chorale from Cantata BWV 147 (usually sung today to the words “Jesu, joy of man’s desiring”), J.S. Bach's cantata movements are seldom heard in liturgies, even though portions of other large collections (e.g., the Byrd Gradualia or the motets of Palestrina) appear with regularity on church music lists. Why is this the case?
The Bach on a Budget project was undertaken to address some of the likely causes for this omission, including selection, language, and accompaniments. For more information on the scope of the project, go to the following URL from the Bach Cantatas Website (BCW):[Harney].pdf
This Guide focuses on the issue of selection. Due to the nature of the Bach on a Budget project, the suggestions contained in this Guide are confined to those which it is felt can be effectively reduced to organ alone, organ and one obbligato instrument, or organ and two obbligato instruments.
There is so much music in J.S. Bach's roughly 200 church cantatas that it is difficult knowing where to begin the selection process. The prospect of sifting through roughly 170 choruses, almost 200 chorales (of differing types), 425 arias, and over 80 duets and trios searching for movements with texts suitable for a particular set of lessons in the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) is both daunting and time-consuming. To this end, Part I identifies appropriate selections for each occasion in Year B of the RCL. It should be noted that this extends beyond the occasion for which any specific cantata was written (e.g., if a movement from an Epiphany cantata has a text appropriate for Advent, that movement will be shown as suggested for the applicable Sunday(s) in Advent). After this, a listing of choruses, chorales, and arias/duets for general use is provided.


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Contributor: Gary Harney (September 2017)

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Last update: Saturday, September 16, 2017 01:08