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3rd Cycle of Bach Cantatas in Leipzig
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Bach Cantata Cycle 3 & Beyond: 1st Sunday after Trinity

William Hoffman wrote (May 29, 2016):
[Discussion Leader’s Note: The following material is an edited, updated version of the Cantata 76 BCML Discussion Part 4 (June 14, 2015),]

Bach’s Trinity Time Work Schedule

The beginning of the Trinity Time of the Church Year was an important period for Johann Sebastian Bach as he pursued his calling as director of Leipzig's church music and the St. Thomas Church School. Charged with overseeing the presentation of vocal pieces at the main services on some 60 Sundays and feast days, Bach commenced his tenure with performances of his own compositions in annual cantata cycles. He began his first church year, on Sunday, May 30, 1723, with his official installation and the performance of his festive two-part Cantata BWV 75, "Die Elenden sollen essen, daß sie satt werden" (The wretched shall eat so that they are satisfied), that also celebrates his taking office and assuming his duties under his calling.

There followed Bach's pursuit of his goal of a "well-regulated church music to the glory of God." In the first two years, without interruption, he presented cantatas on virtually every occasion. The production of these works was an elaborate and demanding process: secure a "musical sermon" text addressing the designated Gospel readings, usually involving congregational hymns (chorales), with all necessary preparation, including getting approval and publication of the libretti in service books for four to eight services as well as composition of the score and parts set with rehearsal a day prior to performance.

Coincidentally, Bach began his work on the First Sunday after the Trinity Sunday Festival, which closed the first half, or Temporale [de tempore] of the Church Year and initiated the second half of the year, omnes tempore or Traditional Time. This also was the beginning of the St. Thomas Church School Year, which required much of Bach's time and energies. Given his primary responsibility as a teacher, he composed with great ambition, deliberation, intention, and efficiency while facing the challenges of acceptable libretti texts, competent musicians and singers, and limited resources.

As Bach proceeded, the emerging historical performance record suggests that the beginning of each succeeding Trinity Time was a bell-weather or bench-mark for changes in cantata forms and text writers, leading to necessary revision and reconstitution of the three extant church-service cantata cycles and eventual cessation of weekly cantata composition in favor of large-scale Passions, Mass segments, and feast-day oratorios as well as collections of church service songs and organ chorale preludes to complete his grand, “well-ordered” design. The church year officially began on the First Sunday in Advent in late November or early December. Bach scholars officially determined the annual cycles by the secession of service dates, although in succeeding years, Bach did not altered the make-up, or constitution, of the cycles of so-called “kirchenstücke” church pieces.

Interestingly, there is no record that Bach repeated any of these cycles, although he did present two published cycles in the mid-1730s of Gotha colleague Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel. While it is possible that Bach did repeat his second (chorale) cantata annual cycle in the first half of the 1730s, segments, particularly the 1731 Easter season involving only Cycles 1 and 3 cantatas, were reperformed.

As Bach’s production of new cantatas diminished in the late 1720s, his reperformances began at the latest on the second and third day of the Pentecost Festival in 1727 with first cycle Cöthen parody Cantatas BWV 173 and 184 is recorded on Monday and Tuesday, June 2-3, in a recently discovered service libretto book. Also printed are the premiere of Pentecost Sunday Cantata BWV 34, “O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe,” (O eternal fire, o source of love), and the premiere of Trinity Sunday pure-hymn chorale Cantata BWV 129, “Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott,” (Praise be to the Lord, my God, Luke 1:68), on June 8, completing the first half of the church year and the St. Thomas School annual session.

While Cantata Cycle 3 bears a similar resemblance in heterogeneous forms to Cycle 1, similarities to Cycles 1 and 2 (chorale cantatas), both beginning on the First Sunday after Trinity, 1723 and 1724, respectively, ends there. The Third cycle took almost two years to compile instead of one, its start date is confused, and its chronological record includes works of other composers. In fact, only Cycle 1 is self-contained and complete. Cycle 2 abruptly ended at the Easter Season 1725 and is further clouded by Bach’s subsequent efforts to compose 11 mostly pure-hymn cantatas that sometimes fit the missing service dates. Also performed were the later 1725 Easter Season string (mini cycle) of nine non-chorale cantatas (Exaudi to Trinityfest Sundays) with libretti of Leipzig poetess Christiane Mariana von Ziegler which eventually wound up in the third cycle estate division between oldest brothers Friedemann and Emmanuel in 1750.

Meanwhile, Cycle 3 lacks chronologically dated music for the 2nd to 4th Sundays after Trinity and the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany as well as these dated gaps: Exaudi Sunday to Pentecost Tuesday, June 2-11, 1726, and the Epiphany Feast to the third Sunday after Epiphany, January 6-26, 1727, and the Easter Season 1727 (April 14 to May 25, that is Easter Sunday to Exaudi Sunday). The Epiphany Time 1727 libretto texts of Thomas choir member Christoph Birkmann are now extant although the music is still lost (see Christime Blanken article, Bach Network UK, Understanding Bach 10 (2015),

Two third cycle puzzles remain for Bach scholars: the disposition of mostly pre-Leipzig compositions found mostly in first cycle double-bill performances but not part of the division of that cycle, as well as the beginning date, either the 1st Sunday after Trinity 1725 (June 3) or 1st Sunday in Advent (December 2). The missing double-bill services and cantatas (*Weimar solo) are: Trinity 4, BWV 24; Trinity 11, BWV 199*; Sexagesima, BWV 18*; Quinquagesima, BWV 22; Annunciation, BWV Anh. 199 (music lost); Easter Sunday BWV 249; Easter Tuesday, BWV 145; Pentecost Sunday 74 & 59; and Trinity Sunday, BWV165*.

The six-month period in the second half of 1725, when no systematic Bach performances are recorded based on surviving manuscript evidence, remains baffling. Increasing evidence suggests a transition period when Bach pursued other compositional interests and sought appropriate, published libretti for a third cycle. Again, as in the Easter Seasons of 1724 and 1725, Bach attempted to balance new compositional needs with other interests and challenges. This strategy seems to have operated for the next two years until Bach flirted with another homogeneous cycle set to Picander texts. Finally, at the end of the church year, June 12, 1729, Bach ceased regular cantata production and turned in the 1730s to composition of mostly parody-based major vocal works and collections of instrumental music for the rest of his life.


The Fourth Discussion round of the Bach Cantata Mailing Listing continues with the Church Year accounting of the so-called Third Cycle, beginning with the 1st Sunday after Trinity. The music that Bach presented on these dates will be explored, with greatest emphasis on new compositions, followed by music of other composers, primarily cousin Johann Ludwig Bach cantatas with Rudolstadt texts, and reperformances of earlier cantatas, with greater emphasis on the technique of transcription and parody or new-text underlay. The Fourth Discussion, which began in 2014 with 18 solo cantatas mostly from the third cycle, willcontinue to summarize the previous three BCML discussions of all Bach’s vocal works as well as related Bach Cantata Website (BCW) materials, recent discoveries and new recordings and books.


Bach Cantata Cycle 3 & Beyond, Part 2

William Hoffman wrote (May 30, 2016):
[Discussion Leader’s Note: The following material is an edited, updated version of BCML Cantata 39 Discussion Part 3, http://www.bach-cantatas.co9/BWV39-D3.htm, William Hoffman wrote (May 3, 2011): Introduction to BWV 39 -- Full cycles of Cantatas]

Third Cycle: Mixed Cycles with Others' Works

The late and noted Bach authority, Alfred Dürr in Cantatas of JSB,1 considered Bach third Leipzig cantata cycle to be "a mixtum compositum” of two cycles (or even three if we take account of the [non-chorale] cantatas borrowed from Cycle II). " The record of Bach performances suggests that Bach officially began his third cycle on the First Sunday in Advent, December 2, 1725, possibly with an early version of the cantata parody, "Schwingt freudig euch empor" (Swing yourself joyfully upward) BWV 36c, initially composed to a Picander text the previous April 5 for the birthday of a Leipzig University student.

The heterogeneous and incomplete third cycle involves almost entirely older cantata texts: the bulk - 25 -- constituting a church year cycle of libretti originating in Rudolstadt in 1704 and republished in 1726, attributed to Duke Ernst Ludwig of Saxe Meiningen or Thuringian poet and theologian Christoph Helm. Eighteen service texts for Epiphany-Purification, Easter and Trinity seasons are found in mostly two-part cantatas of Johann Ludwig Bach (JLB 1-17, and JLB 21), with Bach setting seven texts for cantatas for Ascension Day and the remainder for Trinity Time: BWV 43, 39, 88, 187, 45, 102, and 17.

Bach presented 26 of his own cantatas from various other sources. Eleven of these cantatas were possibly settings of hybrid older text sources assembled by Picander for BWV 146, 19 (St. Michael=Trinity +15), 27, 169, 56, 49, 98, 55, 52, 82, 158, with eight (BWV 19-82) for the later Trinity Time, possibly compiled for two church-service libretto books.

Eight services in 1726 for which no music has been found but possible texts exist include Lehms for the Feast of Epiphany and Rudolstadt texts for the of the Annunciation of Mary, Easter +5 and +6 and the early Trinity Times below: Trinity +2, +3, +4, as well as Trinity +9, and Reformation Day. No music has ever been found.

Cycle 3 (1726), During early Trinity Time, Bach established a compositional pattern for the third cycle in which he apparently alternated compositions of Johann Ludwig Bach (JLB) with his own use of the same Rudolstadt texts for original, mostly two-part compositions. Two of the five presumed Bach BWV works are not extant (and may never have been composed) and one JLB (07/14|Tr.+4) has not been found.

Date|Service BWV JLB Text incipit (Rudolstadt)
06/23|Tr.+1 39 Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot
06/24|John 17 Siehe, ich will mienen Engel senden
06/30|Tr.+2 (?) Und der Herr Zabaoth wird allen Völkern
07/02|Mary 13 Der Herr wird ein Neues im Lande erschaffen
07/07]Tr.+3 (?) Wo such aber der Gottlose behekret
07/14|Tr.+4 (?) Ich tue Barherzigkeit an vielen Tausenden
07/21|Tr.+5 88 Siehe, ich will viel Fischer aussernden
07/28|Tr.+6 7 Ich will meinen Geist in euch geben
(double-bill) 170 Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust

The June 30, 1726 performance of a cantata for the Second Sunday after Trinity is not documented. It is possible that the appropriate, extant Rudolstadt 1726 text, “Und der Herr Zebaoth wird allen Völkern,” was set by Bach, as he had done for Cantata BWV 39 for the previous First Sunday after Trinity, or that he utilized a Johann Ludwig Bach Cantata, as he had done with JLB-17, for the Feast of John the Baptist, on Monday, June 24, as well as on the following Tuesday, July 2 for the Feast of the Annunciation, with JLB-13. No J. L. Bach cantata for the Second Sunday after Trinity is extant. It is quite possible that Bach composed no setting, given his experience in the initial Cantata Cycle of 1723-24 of performing no cantatas on the Sundays After Trinity following the Feasts of John the Baptist and the Annunciation – a gap in the otherwise full cycle that he never filled.

Trinity Time 1725

For the beginning of his third year as Leipzig cantor, it is also possible that Bach had Cantatas 75 and 76 performed on the First and Second Sundays after Trinity, June 3 and 10, 1725, following the completion of his second Cycle with Cantata 176 on Trinity Sunday, May 27. Instead of a full-blown repeat of Cantata 75 and its sister, Cantata 76, source-critical materials show that both two-part works subsequently were greatly condensed into single parts presented before the sermon, with the choruses omitted. While Bach was on vacation in Coethen the first two weeks in June, music for the Sunday services could have been led by either his St. Thomas prefect or Georg Balthasar Schott, director of the University (St. Paul) Church (see below).

Pre-Cycle 3 (1725) begins with performances of the first five Sundays after Trinity and the Feasts of St. John the Baptist and Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

06/03 Trinity +1, ?BWV 75a(2), “Was hilft des Purpurs Majestät”;
06/10 Trinity +2, ?76a(II/9), “Gott segne noch die treure Scharr”;
06/17 Trinity +3, “Ich ruft zu dir, herr Jesu Christ” (chorale) [cf. BWV 177, chorale cantata, 1732 Tr.+4];
06/24 John/Tr.+4, ?Telemann TVWV 1:596 “Gelobet sei der Herr, der Gott Israel”;
07/01 Trinity +5, ?Telemenn TVWV 1:310 “Der Segen des Herrn machet reich ohne Muhe”;
07/02 Visitation Fest, (Johann Mattheson) "Meine Seel erhebt den Heern"; and
07/08 Trinity +6, ?Telemann TVWV 1:1600 “Wer sich rachet, an dem wird sich der Herr wider rachen. ”

The initial gap in the 1725 Trinity Season possibly involves two recycled/shortened church service cantatas as well as cantatas, apparently, of his colleague and friend, Georg Philipp Telemann.FN The 1st Sunday after Trinity, June 3, 1725, may have involved a repeat of Bach's Cantata BWV 75, originally composed two years previous to inaugurate Bach's Leipzig tenure and his initial Leipzig first cycle, on May 30, 1723. Instead of a full-blown repeat of Cantata BWV 75 and its sister, Cantata BWV 76, for the next, second Sunday After Trinity (June 10), source-critical materials show that both two-part works subsequently were greatly condensed into single parts presented before the sermon, with the choruses omitted. As W. Gillies Whittaker in Cantatas of JSB2 observes:

Cantata "No. 75, abridged and altered, beginning with the first recitative, was subsequently known as "Was hilft des Purpurs Majestät'. (Cantatas of JSB>, Part II of No. 76 was afterwards used for a Reformation Festival, “Gott segne noch die treure Scharr” (May God bless his faithful flock). “The choruses must have been beyond the capabilities of the singers," suggests Whittaker. Cantata 76, Part 2, opening with the sinfonia (No. 8), followed by the bass recitative, “Gott segne noch die treue Schar” probably was performed at Reformation, in 1724 on a double bill with Cantata 80, “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, according to Gerhardt Herz in Bach Cantata 140.3

The initial gap was first identified in Stephen Daw's The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach.4 The source is a Leipzig church libretto book found with others in the St. Petersburg (Leningrad) Library in 1971 and described in detail by Andreas Glöckner in a Bach Jahrbuch 1992 article.5 Three of them are Telemann cantatas for Sundays After Trinity as set to Neumeister 1711 Texts and performed in 1712 in Erfurt. They are listed in BCW Telemann Short Biography, "Vocal Works arranged / performed by J.S. Bach":

1. Cantata Gelobet sei der Herr, der Gott Israel, for Feast of St John or 4th Sunday after Trinity, TVWV 1:596 (Text: Erdmann Neumeister - performed by J. S. Bach or ?Georg Balthasar Schott in Leipzig on June 24, 1725.
2. Cantata Der Segen des machet reich ohne Muhe, for 5th Sunday after Trinity, TVWV 1:310 (Text: Erdmann Neumeister) - performed by J.S. Bach or ?Georg Balthasar Schott in Leipzig on July 1, 1725.
3. Cantata Wer sich rachet, an dem wird sich der Herr wider rachen, for 6th Sunday after Trinity, TVWV 1:1600 (Text: Erdmann Neumeister) - performed by J.S Bach or ?Georg Balthasar Schott in Leipzig on July 8, 1725.

The other two works are:

4. "Ich ruft zu dir, herr Jesu Christ," 3rd Sunday after Trinity (June 17, 1725); five-stanza Johann Agricola chorale; text also found in Chorale Cantata BWV 177 (per omnes versus) for the 4th Sunday after Trinity (July 6, 1732). Also, it is a possible composition of Aurora von Königsmarck, mistress of Augustus II, “the Strong,” Saxon Court.
5. "Meine Seel erhebt den Heern," Feast of the Visitation/4th Sunday after Trinity, July 2, 1725; Luther's German <Magnificat> text. Identified as a possible 1716 composition of Johann Mattheson of Hamburg.6

During this period Bach took his first vacation, at the beginning of the Thomas School term, June 2, 1725, and quite possibly relied on Georg Balthasar Schott, music director of the progressive Leipzig New Church, says Glöckner. Schott and others in Leipzig had a profound respect for Telemann, the director of the New Church in 1703, and his music often was performed there. Glöckner surmises that Bach may well have spent much of the time with Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen, where during the same summer period in 1718 and 1720, as capellmeister, Bach and the court musicians had been with their Prince at the Carlsbad resort and spa in Bohemia.

Glöckner also points out that the printed libretto text for the five services -- the three Sundays After Trinity, the Feast of St. John on June 24 that coincidentally fell on the 4th Sunday after Trinity, and the Feast of the Visitation, July 2 -- would have required six weeks advanced preparation, printing, and distribution. He suggests the possibility that the work for the Feast of St. John to the Neumesiter text may have been a cantata by Bach student and New Church assistant Christoph Gottlieb Fröber. Eventually the cantata was performed as a test piece on the Feast of Annunciation, March 25, 1729. Later, on Good Friday, April 15, 1729, Fröber also presented his setting of the Brockes Passion-oratorio at the New Church. Unfortunately, Fröber was unsuccessful in filling Schott's vacant position.

Remaining Trinity Time 1725 Perfrmances

For the remained of 1725 only a few Bach cantata performances have been identified: premieres of two festive works with chorus, chorale Cantata BWV 137 (per omnes versus) on the 12th Sunday after Trinity and Cantata 79 for the Reformation Festival, October 31; and possible reperformances of Weimar Cantata BWV Anh. 209 (text only, music lost) on the 7th Sunday after Trinity, July 15; Cantata BWV 168 on the Ninth Sunday After Trinity, July 29; Cantata BWV 164 on the 13th Sunday after Trinity, August 26; and possibly Leipzig Cycle 1 Cantata BWV 148, on the 17th Sunday after Trinity, September 23, that is another festive work based on a Picander poem that might have done double duty for the important Feast of St. Michael, six days later on September 29, beginning the Leipzig Fall Fair. Research suggests two additional performances: on 15th Sunday after Trinity (September 7, 1725), lost Cantata BWV Anh. 209, and the 16th Sunday after Trinity (September 16, 1725), repeat of Weimar Cantata 161. 7

It is interesting to note that the Weimar Cantatas BWV 164, BWV 168, and presumably BWV Anh. 209, are solo works without choruses. It is also interesting to observe that all of the works fell on odd-numbered early Sundays After Trinity except for Cantata BWV 137, which filled a gap in the chorale cantata cycle for the same Sunday in 1724. It has been suggested that on the other Trinity Sundays in 1725, Bach may have reperformed the appropriate chorale cantatas for those respective Sundays.

Possibly, instead of opening the particular cantata with a demanding chorale fantasia chorus, he easily could have substituted the closing four-part chorale chorus set to the opening stanza text and repeated the music at the end of the cantata set originally for the closing stanza. Supporting this suggestion is the fact that 44 Bach chorale cantata parts sets were donated to the Thomas School in late 1750, perhaps at Bach's previous directive, to allow his widow and underage children to remain in their quarters until the beginning of 1751, where they (the parts sets!) remain to this day, while Friedemann kept the scores and later tried unsuccessfully to sell them to Forkel.

There is further speculation that Bach may have repeated the entire chorale cantata cycle (except for the Easter Season), possibly beginning at Advent 1731 or 1733. Bach also may have presented a repeat of the Cycle 1 Easter Season in 1731 and a half-cycle de tempore mix of the three cycles, interspersed with the feast day oratorios for Christmas, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost in 1734-35. What was good for cantata cycle recycler Telemann in Hamburg as well as for Erfurt and Frankfurt from 1716 to 1730, would certainly be sufficient for Sebastian in Leipzig.

Thus, when all is done and said, more or less (more less than more!), Bach may have presented - rendered? -- a half-cycle for the 1725 Trinity Time, paving the way for a hybrid, possibly collaborative, open-ended, heterogeneous, incomplete third cantata cycle -- extending far into the future. Or maybe, the third cycle is really two cycles, which, with the later repeated "mini" cycles would give us, or induce us to determine, a total of at least five "cycles" (that go around and come around!).


1 Dürr, Alfred. Cantatas of J. S. Bach, revised and translated by Richard D. P. Jones (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005: 36).
2 Whittaker, W. Gillies. The Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach: Sacred & Secular (London: Oxford University Press: 1958: I: 194).
3Gerhard Herz, “The New Chronology of Bach’s Vocal Music” in Bach Cantata 140 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1972: 17).
4Daw, Stephen. The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach: The Choral Works (Rutherford NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1981: "Appendix: Chronology of known performances," p. 227).
5Andreas Glöckner, Observations on the Leipzig Cantata Performances from the Third to the Sixth Sundays After Trinity 1725" (Bach Jahrbuch 1992: 73-76).
6 Steffen Voss, Did Bach Perform Sacred Music of Johann Mattheson in Leipzig? (Bach Notes No. 3, Spring 2005, Newsletter of the American Bach Society: 1-5).
7 Tatiana Shabalina, ‘Texte zur Music‘ in Sankt Petersburg’ (Bach-Jahrbuch 2009, 95); English version, “Recent Discoveries in St Petersburg and their Meaning for the Understanding of Bach’s Cantatas” (Understanding Bach 4 (2009), Back UK Network, 77-99,


TO COME: First Sunday after Trinity and Cantata 39.


Third Cycle: Trinity 2 1725-26 Possible Performances

William Hoffman wrote (June 6, 2016):
Only two Bach (two-part) cantatas are extant for the Second Sunday after Trinity in Leipzig: June 6, 1723, chorus Cantata BWV 76, “Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes” (The heavens declare the glory of God, Ps. 19:1), and June 18, 1724, chorale Cantata BWV 2, "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein (Ah God, look down from heaven).1 Bach utilized two Psalm chorales of Martin Luther with strong early Reformation connections: baptismal hymn setting of Psalm 67, "Es wollt uns Gott genädig sein" (May it be God's will to be gracious to us), closing Parts 1 and 2 of Cantata 76, and a setting of Psalm 12 in a plea for God’s help for the chorale Cantata 2, both dating to 1524 with texts of Luther and musical settings of Johann Walther, the church’s first cantor.

The record for the beginning of Trinity Time 1725 and beyond is lacking. Bach’s Leipzig performance calendar for the Second Sunday after Trinity shows no extant new works after the first two cycles:

June 6, 1723 (Cycle 1), chorus Cantata BWV 76 “Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes”(The heavens declare the glory of God, Ps. 19:1).
June 18, 1724 (Cycle 2), chorale Cantata BWV 2 “Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein” (Ah God, look down from heaven).
June 10, 1725 (pre-Cycle 3), possibly Cantata 76(a) (76 Part 2, Nos. 8-14), “Gott segne noch die treue Schar” (May God bless his faithful flock).
June 30, 1726 (Cycle 3), no performance documented).
June 22, 1727, no performance documented.
June 6, 1728, no performance documented.
June 26, 1729, Picander Cycle text only P-23, Kommt, eilet, ihr Gäste, zum seligen Mahle, no performance documented; no chorale text.
June 3, 1731, Bach may have repeated Cantata BWV 76(a).
June 22, 1732, Bach may have repeated Cantata BWV 2 as part of a repeat of Cycle 2.
June 14, 1733, closed period, mourning for Augustus II.
June 19, 1735, performance at St. Thomas of Gottfried Heinrich Stözel’s "String Music" cycle of double cantatas to Benjamin Schmolck texts. Only the texts for Trinity 13 to 19 are extant.
June 10, 1736 or later, Stözel-Schmolck double cycle "Book of Names of Christ" (Gotha 1731-32) presented in Leipzig, “Schmecket und sehet, wie freudlich der Herr ist” (O taste and see that the LORD is good, Ps. 34:8 KJV) and “Esset, meine Lieben, und tricket, meine Freunde” (Eat, my love, and drink my friend, paraphrase of Song of Solomon 5:1).
1740s, reperformance of Cantata BWV 76.

Pre-Cycle 3 (1725) performance calendar, with service cantata texts for Trinity 3-6 found in extant church libretto book for which Bach would have been responsible, are the following:

06/03 Trinity 1 ?BWV 75(a) Was hilft des Purpurs Majestät
06/10 Trinity 2 ? BWV 76II Gott segne noch die treure Scharr
06/17 Trinity 3 Ich ruft zu dir, herr Jesu Christ (chorale text) [cf. BWV 177, chorale cantata, 1732 Tr.+4]
06/24 John/Tr.4 TVWV 1:596 Gelobet sei der Herr, der Gott Israel (Neumeister 1711, ?Telemann)
07/01 Trinity 5 TVWV 1:310 Der Segen des Herrn machet reich ohne Muhe (Neumester 1711, ?Telemann)
07/02 Visit. ? (?Johann Mattheson 1718) "Meine Seel erhebt den Heern" (German Magnificat)
07/08 Trinity 6 TVWV 1:1600 Wer sich rachet, an dem wird sich der Herr wider rachen (Neumeister 1711, ?Telemann).

First-cycle Cantata 76II, Part 2, (Nos. 8-14), “Gott segne noch die treue Schar” (May God bless his faithful flock), may have been reperformed on the 2nd Sunday after Trinity, June 10, 1725, at the main early service of the Thomas Church, while Bach probably was on vacation in Cöthen. Cantata 75a (Part 1, Nos. 2-7, “Was hilft des Purpurs Majestät” (What use are royal robes [lit. purple]) may have been performed the previous 1st Sunday after Trinity (June 3, 1725). Also, Cantata 76a was performed initially by Bach on a double bill the previous Reformation Day Festival, Tuesday, October 31, 1724, with an early version (not extant) of Cantata 80, “Ein feste Burg is unser Gott” (I mighty fortress is our God. For the first two Sundays after Trinity 1725, the Thomas School choir would have been directed by the Prefect, probably Johann Christian Köpping (1704-1772) or Christian Gottlob Meißner (1707-1760), Bach’s principal copyists at that time.2

On the previous Sunday, June 3, 1725, abbreviated Cantata 75(a) may have been presented at the Nicolaikiche in the same manner, with no opening chorus, only the closing chorale. In a similar situation, Georg Philipp Telemann in Frankfurt, during a sabbatical in 1718, left in charge his assistant (and successor), Johann Christoph Bodinus (1690-1727), to present the service cantatas, including five Johann Ludwig Bach works (JLB 8, 13, 14, 22-23). While Telemann was away on trips to Gotha and Eisenach in the summer, JLB Cantata 13 was performed in Frankfurt on the feast of Visitation (July 2) as well as JLB 23 on the 5th Sunday after Trinity, July 17, “Siehe, ich will viel Fischer aussernden,” Jeremiah 16:16).3 Bach also set the same Rudolstadt text for his Cantata 88, “Siehe, ich will viel Fischer aussernden for the 5th Sunday after Trinity (July 21, 1726), his first documented performance since Cantata 39 for the 1st Sunday in Trinity, June 23.

Trinity 2 1726 Performance

A cantata performance of for the Second Sunday after Trinity (June 30, 1726) is not documented. It is possible that the appropriate, extant Rudolstadt 1726 text, “Und der Herr Zebaoth wird allen Völkern” (And shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people) was set by Bach, as he had done for Cantata BWV 39 for the previous First Sunday after Trinity, or that he utilized a Johann Ludwig Bach Cantata, as he had done with JLB-17, “Siehe, ich will meinen Engel senden” (Behold, I will send my messenger, Malachi 3:1 KJV) for the Feast of John the Baptist, on Monday, June 24, as well as on the following Tuesday, July 2 for the Feast of the Annunciation, with JLB-13, “Der Herr wird ein Neues im Lande erschaffen” (Then the Lord hath created a new thing on the earth, Jeremiah 31:22). No J. L. Bach cantata for the Second Sunday after Trinity (June 30, 1726) is extant. It is quite possible that Bach composed no setting, given his experience in the initial Cantata Cycle of 1723-24 of performing no cantatas in 1723 on the 5th (June 27) and 6th (July 4) Sundays After Trinity around the Feasts of John the Baptist (June 24) and the Visitation of Mary (July 2). These are the only two dates in the first cycle lacking music for cantata performances.

Cycle 3 1726 possible Bach performance calendar:

Date|Service BWV JLB Text incipit (Rudolstadt)
06/23|Tr.1 BWV 39 “Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot”
06/24|John JLB 17 “Siehe, ich will mienen Engel senden”
06/30|Tr.2 (?) JSB? deest “Und der Herr Zabaoth wird allen Völkern”
07/02|Mary JLB 13 “Der Herr wird ein Neues im Lande erschaffen”
07/07]Tr.3 (?) JSB deest “Wo such aber der Gottlose behekret”
07/14|Tr.4 (?) JLB deest “Ich tue Barherzigkeit an vielen Tausenden” or ?BWV 24 repeat, “Ein ungefärbt gemüte”
07/21|Tr.5 BWV 88 “Siehe, ich will viel Fischer aussernden”
07/28|Tr.6 (?double bill) JLB 7 “Ich will meinen Geist in euch geben” and BWV 170 “Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust” (Lehms text 1711)

For Cycle 3 (1726) during early Trinity Time, Bach established a compositional pattern for the third cycle in which he apparently alternated compositions of Johann Ludwig Bach (JLB) with his own, using the same Rudolstadt texts for original, mostly two-part compositions. Two of the five presumed works (JSB deest) for Trinity 2 and 3 are not extant (and may never have been composed by Sebstian) and one JLB deest (07/14|Tr.+4) has not been found. Cantatas JLB 17, 13, and 7 are extant. Bach’s Cantatas BWV 39, 88, and 170 are extant and were part of the 1750 estate division of the third cycle, with Emmanuel receiving the score and Friedemann the parts (all extant). Emmanuel inherited the 18 J. L. Bach works in manuscript. For the 4th Sunday after Trinity, it is possible that Bach reperformed Cantata 24, “Ein ungefärbt gemüte,” presented at the same Trinity 4 service on a double bill with Weimar Cantata 185 in 1723. In the 1750 estate division of the Third Cycle, Friedemann inherited both the Cantata 24 score and parts (still extant). Meanwhile, in the third cycle distribution of Cantata 76II, it appears that no score or parts set was made and needed. The score of Cantata 75a probably was inherited by Friedemann and survives as part of the first cycle distribution of Cantata 75 when Emmanuel inherited the score and Friedemann the parts set (now lost).

Early Trinity Time Chorales, Trinity 2

Bach’s choice of chorales for the church’s Trinity Time half-church year of omnes tempore ordinary time was determined from among its plethora of teaching and thematic hymns. These were chosen with the close collaboration, particularly in the unified but incomplete 1724-25 second, chorale cantata cycle, of the pastor preaching the day’s sermon, the librettist paraphrasing internal stanzas of established hymns, and the Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch (NLGB) of 1682 by then-cantor Gottfried Vopelius with 432 sacred songs for the range of services. Besides a variety of prescribed hymns, Bach had the flexibility of choosing those he felt best suited to his musical sermon cantatas that rarely in Trinity Time, except for thfew feast days, directly quoted the Gospel and Epistle teachings. Essentially, he was guided by the thematic and traditional teachings of these often, almost two-centuries old Lutheran hymns.

Hymns for the Second Sunday After Trinity reveal several similarities to those of the First Sunday After Trinity. They reflect the Epistle themes of the Love of God and God's Love through Grace, as well as the themes of the Gospel Reading Lukan parables of Dives (the Rich man) and Lazarus (the blind beggar) in Chapter 16:19-31, that he who claims to love God will love his brother, and in the 2nd Sunday after Trinity, the Parable of the Great Supper (Chapter 14:16-24) where the downtrodden are invited to come as the guests at the feast in place of those well-off who have refused the invitation.

Specifically, several of the chorales were repeats of the previous Sunday, as Hymns of the Day and Communion Hymns, especially the Trinity Time ubiquitous "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesus Christ" (I call to you, Lord Jesus Christ, chorale Cantata 177, Trinity +4). At the same time, other popular hymns were introduced, particularly Philip Niccolai's versatile "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" (How beautifully shines the morning star) and "Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme" (Wake up, the voice calls us), as Martin Luther's "Es wollt uns Gott genädig sein"

Chorales were interchangeable, as hymns used in both Sundays after Trinity: for example, "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein," a Communion Hymn for both Sundays becomes the featured hymn for Bach's Chorale Cantata BWV 2 on the Second Sunday after Trinity, and "Es spricht den Unwissened Mund wohl" (The mouth of fools doth God confess), the Hymn of the Day in the First Sunday after Trinity, is the Communion Hymn for the Second, Ninth and 20th Sundays after Trinity.


1Much of the material below was adapted from the BCW article, “Motets and Chorales for the Second Sunday After Trinity,
2 Andreas Glöckner, “Observations on the Leipzig Cantata Performances for the Third to the Sixth Sunday after Trinity (Bach Jahrbuch 78 (1992): 73f.
3 Conrad Bund, “Johann Ludwig Bach and the Frankfurt Chapel Music in the Time of Georg Philipp Telemann,” Bach Jahrbuch 70 (1982): 121). Bund also cites the 1726 reprint of the 1704 Rudolstadt text book of service devotional readings from the Schwartzburg Court Chapel, found in the Frankfurt-an-Main Municipal Archives.


To Come: Missae Brevis (Kyrie-Gloria) BWV 233 in F Major, and BWV 234 in A Major, suitable for festival and Trinity Time Sundays as liturgy before the sermon. All four Lutheran Short Masses (BWV 233-236) were adapted through contrafaction from German-language cantatas, rather than parody or new-text (word-for-word) underlay.


Bach's Third Cantata Cycle (1725-27): Revised Classification

William Hoffman wrote (January 1, 2017):
Unlike his colleagues, most notably Georg Philipp Telemann and Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel, Sebastian Bach selectively composed only three cycles of church year cantatas and none of these utilizes in its entirety the poetry of a single librettist as they did in their numerous cycles. At the same time, Bach carefully stored his three extant Leipzig cycles in his office and had them distributed to family members after his death in 1750. Once Bach scholars in the 1950s determined the dates of performance, based on paper watermarks and handwriting, these cycles were determined accurately and catalogued as such. A further, close examination of the history of the composition and distribution of these three sets of musical sermons reveals that there are three ways to classify them in cycles. First, are the chronological cycles by actual dates of composition/presentation: first cycle 1723-24, second cycle, 1724-25, third cycle, 1725-27. The second classification entails Bach’s storage in divider shelves by church year event, from Advent to Trinityfest, with the manuscript scores and parts sets tied together in bundles and stored from the bottom or first cycle to the top or third cycle. The visible title page of the score listed in Bach’s hand the church year service and incipit of each work. Thus Bach could easily select the works when he planned reperformances or took out the materials for study with his students, as parodies with new text underlay, or loaning to colleagues for performances elsewhere.

The actual distribution of these three cycles of 62 Sunday and feast day services resulted in yet another, third classification. The designated family recipients, probably chosen by Bach and conveyed to wife Anna Magdalena and/or first-born son Wilhelm Friedemann, observed this pattern: the scores and so-called doublet parts (strings and continuo) were separated from the parts sets and were divided between Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emmanuel (second-born son), with Anna Magdalena eventually receiving 44 parts sets of the second cycle instead of Emmanuel.1 Only Emmanuel’s estate catalogue of 1790 provides an accounting of his portion. Secondary source materials show Friedemann performed some cantatas while it is possible that youngest son Johann Christian received some of the so-called third cycle works which Emmanuel later kept but are not listed in the catalogue.

The actual physical separation and distribution of Sebastian’s musical estate probably was performed by Friedemann, who came to Leipzig from Halle, according to Gerhard Herz in Bach Sources in America.1

Friedemann “saw to the distribution of the manuscripts, than delivered to his brother Carl Philipp Emmanuel in Pottsdam his portion of the inheritance,” says Herz (Ibid.). Anna Magdalena “had a hand in the division of the other remaining Bach sources,” says Stephen Roe in The Routledge Research Companion to Johann Sebastian Bach.2 Friedemann’s “early and prominent role in the advancement and distribution of his father’s music can be seen in his espousal of cantatas by J. S. Bach in the 1740s and 1750s in Halle,” says Roe (Ibid.: 445).3

To ensure the selection of the second cycle of chorale cantatas, Friedemann would easily have identified them by their chorale incipits on the score title page. Interestingly, a dilemma occurred because the second cycle was incomplete. Sebastian had composed only 49 actual chorale cantatas with designated church year services, while none were composed for the 1725 Easter-Pentecost season, from Easter Monday to Trinityfest, involving 13 services. As a result, the 13 non-chorale cantatas found there way into the third cycle distribution in which Friedemann/Christian kept the parts sets and Emmanuel received the scores. These have nine libretti by Leipzig poet Christiane Mariane von Ziegler and four possibly by Christian Weise or Weiss, Bach’s confessional-father and St. Thomas pastor. The exception to this third-cycle pattern were the 12 services during the first half of omnes tempore Trinity Time when Emmanuel kept most of the scores and parts sets, possibly because Friedemann, as Halle music director, had no use for presenting original music during this time.

A more detailed examination of the third cycle cantatas reveals various patterns that help achieve a better understanding of Sebastian’s compositional practices, particularly his intentional pursuit of types of works, the most appropriate librettists, and a variety of other pertinent interests. As with the first cycle, Bach used various poets, now most previously published, as texts usually for chorus cantatas primarily for feast days and other important services and solo cantatas for many of the Sunday services. Bach also selectively introduced previously-composed music, both instrumental and vocal for individual movements.

At the same time, Bach was quite deliberate and intentional in pursuing this cycle since he also was composing his monumental, double-ensemble St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, both taking two years to complete. The Leipzig cantor had a back-up plain, particularly during Lenten Time, when he focused most of his compositional efforts on tannual biblical oratorio Passions for Good Friday vesper services. Bach’s reserve was a cycle of mostly two-part cantatas by his Meiningen cousin Johann Ludwig, set to Rudolstadt texts. In 1726 Sebastian copied out and presented some 13 cantatas instead of his own music for services from the Feast of the Purification (February 2) to the Ascension Feast (May 30) near the end of the Easter Season. When Bach resumed his third-cycle composition he was more deliberate, alternating his music to Rudolstadt texts to some six of his cousins. Bach resumed weekly composition only during the second half of Trinity Time 1726, using various published texts of Georg Christian Lehms (11), Rudolstadt (8), and Erdmann Neumeister, and new texts possibly by Leipzig theology student Christoph Birkmann (8), according to Wikipedia,'s_third_to_fifth_year_in_Leipzig.4 Beginning at Christmas 1726, Bach ceased new composition except for selective services to fill gaps in the third cycle (BWV 58, 82, 84) while he worked to complete his Passion music, presented on Good Friday, 11 April 1727.

The most telling facet of Bach’s third cycle is its diversity of forms and content, more than in the first cycle, which relied on chorus cantatas with biblical dicta and their variant having internal plain chorales. This cycle also has solo cantatas revived from Weimar, in addition to two-part works, often in the form of two cantatas with expansions of Weimar chorus works. In the third cycle, Bach focused on two types of printed texts: Rudolstadt two-part works beginning with biblical dicta and solo or dialogue cantatas of Lehms and Birkmann, with selective pieces of Neumeister, Salomo Franck, and Picander. Bach also utilized borrowed instrumental and vocal materials. In contrast to revival of some 22 Weimar chorus and solo cantatas reperformed in the first cycle, Bach began to reintroduce cantatas composed in the first cycle, at Pentecost 1726 (BWV 173, 184). Besides instrumental sinfonias in non-chorus cantatas, Bach selectively used parody in Cantatas 68/2=208/13, and 175/4=173a/7.

An overview of the third cycle as distributed cantatas that were performed from Easter Season 1725 to Epiphany Time 1727 shows that Bach compiled mini-cycles during the seasons, for example the Ziegler 1725 Easter Season texts that focus on focus on the Farewell Discourses in John’s Gospel, Chapters 14-17 (BCML Discussions, to come spring 2017), Lehms-texted works at Christmas to Early Trinity Time, 1725-26; Bach’s setting of eight Rudolstadt texts, mostly at Trinity Time 1726; and Birkmann’s possible libretti for solo cantatas in later Trinity Time (the Trinity Time third cycle works Bach composed were discussed in the BCML, beginning May 29, 2016 (see As with the first cycle, there are no gaps in Bach’s performances and compilation of cantatas in the third cycle, as there is in the chorale cantata second cycle during Easter/Pentecost Season.

Beginning in 1726, Bach selectively composed the church year calendar of the third cycle, aware as he proceeded of previously composed music that would meet his needs for a “well-ordered church music to the Glory of God,” such as the nine Ziegler and four anonymous cantatas. During the Christmas and early Epiphany period in 1726 Bach used six texts of Lehms and selected individual texts of Neumeister (BWV 28, Sunday after Christmas) and Salomo Franck (BWV 72, Epiphany 3) that he probably had considered in Weimar. Beginning with the Marian Feast of the Putification on February 2, Bach presented a succession of Ludwig Bach works, while he probably turned to composing the St. Matthew Passion through Lenten Time. Meanwhile, for Purification, Bach did composed BWV 82 in 1727. For the important three pre-Lenten Sundays (Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Estomihi), Bach composed BWV 84 in 1727 and had previously composed/presented Cantatas BWV 18, 22, in 1724, along with BWV Anh. 199 (now lost) for Annunciation, as past of three successive double bills. Bach also had available for his third cycle Cantatas BWV 24 (Trinity 4) and BWV 199 (Trinity 11), composed or presented in 1723.

Event, Date, Title, Type, Librettist, Distrib. CPEB WFB/JCB [S=Score, P=Parts, ?=Lost]

Advent 1, ?12/02/25, BWV 36, Schwingt freudig euch empor, Chorus, ?Picander, S P
Christmas 1, 12/25/25, BWV 110 Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, Chorus, Lehms, S P
Christmas 2, 12/26/25, BWV 57, Selig ist der Mann, Solo SB, Lehms, S P
Christmas 3, 12/27/25, BWV 151, Süsser Trost mein Jesus kömmt, Solo SATB, Lehms, S P
Sun. a Xmas, 12/30/25, BWV 28 Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende, Chorus, Neumeister IV, S P
New Year’s, 01/01/26, BWV 16 Herr Gott, dich loben wir, Chorus, Lehms, S. P
Sun. a NY, 01/05/27, BWV 58 Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid, Birkmann, dist. Cycle 2
Epiphany, 01/06/26, no performance recorded
Epiphany 1, 01/13/26, BWV 32 Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen, Solo SB, Lehms, S P
Epiphany 2, 01/20/26, BWV 13 Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen, SATB solo, Lehms S P
Epiphany 3, 01/27/26, BWV 72 Alles nur nach Gottes Willen, Chorus, Franck, S P
Purification, 02/02/27, BWV 82 Ich habe genug, B/S Solo, ?Birkmann, SP -
Septuagesima, 02/09/27, BWV 84 Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, S Solo, ?Birkmann, S P
Sexagesima, 02/13/24, BWV 18, Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee, STB Solo, Neumeister III, - P ?S
Quin. Estomihi, 02/20/24, BWV 22, Jesus Nahm zu sich die Zwölfe, Chorus, ?Weise, SP -
Annunciation, 03/25/24, BWV Anh. 199, Siege, ein Jungfrau ist Schwanger, Lost, Weise, - ?SP
Easter Sun., 04/01/25, BWV 249, Kommt, eilet und laufet, Chorus, ?Picander, SP -
Easter Mon., 04/02/25, BWV 6, Bleib bei uns, denn ist will Abend warden, Chorus, ?Weise, S P
Easter Tues., 04/03/25, BWV 145, Ich liebe, mein Herz, zu deinen Ergötzen, Chorus, Picander, - ?SP
Easter 1, 04/08/25, BWV 42, Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats, SATB Solo, ?Weise, S P
Easter 2, 04/15/25, BWV 85, Ich bin ein gutter Hirt, SATB Chorus, ?Weise, S P
Easter 3, 04/22/25, BWV 103, Ich werdet weinen und heulen, Chorus, Ziegler, S P
Easter 4, 04/29/25, BWV 108, Es ist euch gut, dab ich hingehe, Chorus, Ziegler, S P
Easter 5 05/06/25, BWV 87, Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinen Namen, SATB Chorus, S P
Ascension, 05/10/25, BWV 128, Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein, Chorus, Ziegler, dist. Cycle 2 WFB SP
05/30/26, BWV 43, Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen, Chorus, Rudolstadt, S P
Easter 6, 05/13/25, BWV 183, See warden euch in den Bann tun II, SATB Solo, Ziegler, S P
Pentecost Sun., 05/20/25, BWV 74 Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten II, Chorus, Ziegler, S P
Pentecost Mon., 05/21/25, BWV 68 Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt, Chorus, Ziegler, WFB- PThomas
Pentecost Tues., 050/22/25, BWV 175, Er rufet seinen Schafen mit Namen, ATB Solo, Ziegler, S P
Trinityfest, 05/27/25, BWV 176 Es ist ein trotzig und verzagt Ding, Chorus, Ziegler, S P
Trinity 1, 06/03/25, ?BWV 75/II, Was hilf des Purpurs Majestät, anon., - P
Trinity 1, 06/23/26, BWV 39, Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot, Rudolstadt, S P
Trinity 2, 06/10/25, ?BWV 76II, Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes, anon., - S
Trinity 3, 07/07/26, no performance documented
Trinity 4, 06/20/23, BWV 24, Ein ungefärb Gemüte, anon. - SP double bill
John the Baptist, ?06/24/38, Freue dich, erlöste Schar, ?Picander, SP -
Trinity 5, 07/21/26, BWV 88, Sieche, ich will viel Fischer aussenden, Rudolstadt, SP -
Trinity 6, 07/28/26, BWV 170, Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, Lehms, S P
Trinity 7, 08/04/26, BWV 187, Es wartet alles auf dich, Rudolstadt, SP -
Trinity 8, 08/11/26, BWV 45 Es ist dir gesagt, Mensch, was gut, Rudolstadt, S P
Trinity 9, 08/18/25, BWV 168, Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort, Franck, SP -
Trinity 10, 08/25/25, BWV 102, Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben, Rudolstadt, SP -
Trinity 11, 08/08/23, BWV 199, Mein Herz Schwimmt im Blut, Lehms, SP - double bill
Trinity 12, 09/08/26, BWV 35, Geist und Sewir verwirret, Lehms, SP -
Trinity 13, 08/26/25, BWV 164, Ohr die ihr euch von Christo nennet, Franck, S P
Trinity 14, 09/22/26, BWV 17, Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich, Rudolstadt, S P
Michael, 09/29/26, BWV 19 Es erhub sich ein Streit, after Picander, S P
Trinity 15, 09/17/30, BWV 51, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen! Anon. S P
Trinity 16, 10/06/25, BWV 27, Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende, Birkmann, S P
Trinity 17, 10/13/26, BWV 47, Wer sich selbst erhöhet, Helbig, S P
Trinity 18, 10/20/26, BWV 169, Gott soll allein mein Herze haben, Birkmann, S P
Trinity 19, 10/27/26, BWV 56 Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, Birkmann, S P
Reformation, 10/31/25, BWV 79, Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild, chorale, SP -
Trinity 20, 11/03/26, BWV 49 Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen, Birkmann, S P
Trinity 21, 11/10/26, BWV 98 Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan Birkmann, S P
Trinity 22, 11/17/26, BWV 55 Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht, Birkmann, S P
Trinity 23, 11/24/26, BWV 52 Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht, Birkmann, S P

Here are the 18 Johann Ludwig Bach cantatas Bach copied and presented in 1726 as substitutes. Subsequently, he composed “gesima” works and designated the 13 Easter/Pentecost 1725 non-chorale cantatas as part of the third cycle (a more detailed accounting of the Ludwig Bach cantatas is found at Wikiedia

Purification 02/02/26, JLB 9, Mache dich auf, werde Licht
Epiphany 4, 02/03/26, JLB 1, Gott ist unser Zuversicht
Epiphany 5, 02/10/26, JLB 2, Der Gottlosen Albeit wird fehlen
Septugesima, 02/17/26, JLB 3, Darum will ich auch erwählen
Sexagesima, 02/24/26, JLB 4, Darum säet euch Gerechtigkeit
Etomihi, 03/03/26, JLB 5, Ja, nun hast du Arbeit gemacht
Easter Sunday, 04/21/26, JLB 21/BWV 15, Denn du wirst meine Seele nicht in der Hölle lassen,
Easter Monday, 04/22/26, JLB 10, Es ist aus der Angst und Gericht
Easter Tuesday, 04/23/26, JLB 11, Er machet uns lebendig
Easter 1, 04/28/26, JLB 6, Wie lieblich sind auf den Bergen
Easter 2, 05/05/26, JLB 12, Und ich will ihnen einen einigen Hirten erwecken
Easter 3, 05/12/26, JLB 8, Die mit Tränen säen
Easter 4, 05/19/26, JLB 14, Die Weisheit kommt nicht in eine boshafte Seele
Easter 5, 05/26/26, no performance determined
Easter 6, 06/02/26, no performance documented
John Baptist 06/24/26, JLB 17, Siehe ich will meinen Engel senden
Visitation 07/02/26, JLB 13, Der Herr wird ein neues im Land erschaffen
Trinity 6, 07/28/26, JLB 7, Ich will meinen Geist in auch geben
Trinity 11, 09/01/26, JLB 15, Durch sein Erkenntnis wird wire er, mein Knecht
Trinity 13, 09/15/26, JLB 16, Ich aber ging für dir über
Cantatas by other composers probably scheduled by Sebastian in early Trinity Time 1725
Trinity 3, 06/17/1725, anon., Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ
John Baptist, 06/24/25, ?TVWV 1:596, Gelobet sei der Herr, der Gott Israel (?Telemann)
Trinity 5, 07/01/25, ?TVWV 1:310, Der Segen des Herrn machet reich ohne Muhe (?Telemann)
Visitation, 07/02/25, anon., Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn (?Keiser or Mattheson)
Trinity 6, 07/08/25, ?TVWV 1:1600, “Wer sich rachet, an dem wird sich der Herr wider rachen (?Telemann)


1 Gerhard Herz (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1984:34). Herz’s dissertation, Johann Sebastian Bach im Zeitalter des Rationalismus und der Früh-romantik (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1935), examines the provenance and early reception of Bach’s vocal music. His pioneering study is printed in English as Johann Sebastian Bach in the age of rationalism and early romanticism (Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research, Vol. 31, 1985: xiii-124). Thus, the view that Bach music was virtually unknown from 1750 to c.1800 is refuted in Bach-Dokumente, Bach-Archiv Leipzig, Vol. 5: neue Dokumente, Nachträge und Berichtigungen zu Vol. I – III, Hans-Joachim Schulze (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2007).
2 Transmission of Bach’s music by Bach’s widow and Friedemann, The Routledge Research Companion to Johann Sebastian Bach (London & New York: Routledge, 2017), ed. Robin A. Leaver; Part V, Dissemination; Chapter 17, “Sons, Family and Pupils,” Stephen Roe: 440ff).
3 Friedemann apparently sold or loaned his portion of his father’s music, some lost. The only accounting is found in Emmanuel’s 1790 Estate Catalogue, where he meticulously lists his portion, including major vocal works and secular cantatas, as well as Anna Magdalena’s inheritance of the chorale cantatas now found at the Thomas School. By implication and surviving source documentation, Friedemann’s inheritance can be projected.
4 See Christine Blanken. "A Cantata-Text Cycle of 1728 from Nuremberg: a Preliminary Report on a Discovery relating to J. S. Bach's so-called 'Third Annual Cantata Cycle'", pp. 9–30 in Understanding Bach, Vol. 10, 2015;

Julian Mincham wrote (January 1, 2017):
[To William Hoffman] Following Will's introduction to the third cycle, a summarising and pinpointing of some of the characteristics and patterns of the post chorale cycle of 1724-5 that marked it out from the previous two cycles e.g.

The organ was more frequently used as a soloist both in the sinfonias and as an obbligato instrument. It had been used before in this way but very seldom--and never in the second cycle.

There was presented a range of solo cantatas for all voices (one in the first cycle and none in the second).

A range of instrumental movements, often very large in scale, were borrowed from previous compositions to act as sinfonias and, occasionally as arias and choruses.

There are variants and developments of the da capo structure.

The instrumental ritornello themes are increasingly woven from motives which have clear imagic functions and specific relationships to the given texts.

Chorales are sometimes combined with final arias giving different endings to the works.

Dialogue cantatas become more common than previously (none in the second cycle)

Opening choruses, usually in 2 or 3 parts are often now quite massive in their length and construction particularly when there is no sinfonia.

There is no doubt that Bach had not lost the urge to continually experiment and develop the conception of what a cantata might be.

Regarding the numbering of the cycles, and remembering that CPE's statement in the obituary that JS composed five complete cycles, I have often wondered if he counted the Weimar cantatas as a complete independant cycle forgetting that so many were reused in the first Leipzig cycle. This might account for one of the supposed 'missing' two cycles.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (January 1, 2017):
[To William Hoffman] I like to point out that Bach's peer, G. H. Stoelzel, also penned several Cantatas with solo obbligato organ, with Clarino trumpets, and timpani. They are wonderful pieces; and were some were performed Rochester for a Bach society meeting. Evan Cortens attended and was complimentary about the music and performances.

Happy New Year,

William Hoffman wrote (January 2, 2017):
[To Julian Mincham] Thank you for your fine additions and thoughts about the five cycles. The new Routledge Research Companion to JSB has some further information and citations to which I will add a further summary which I will make the BCML Discussion in two weeks. The Five Cycles is a great mystery with an amazing cast of characters and their motives, methods, opportunities, and connections.

Julian Mincham wrote (January 2, 2017):
[To William Hoffman] Look forward to it.


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