Birthday crown prince Friedrich Christian von Saksen
5 September 2021 – Today's cantata, Laßt uns sorgen, laßt uns wachen (Let us take care, let us watch over), BWV 213, is a secular cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach composed it in Leipzig on a text by Picander and first performed it on 5 September 1733 at the Café Zimmermann in Leipzig. It is also known as Die Wahl des Herkules (The choice of Hercules) and Hercules am Scheidewege (Hercules at the crossroads).
The cantata was composed for the 11th birthday of crown prince Friedrich Christian von Saksen, the son of Frederick Augustus II, Prince-Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.
You will no doubt recognise the opening chorus, because it is identical to the opening chorus of the 4th part of the Weihnachtsoratorium: Fallt mit Danken, fallt mit Loben, BWV 248 IV. And the aria 'Schlafe, mein Liebster' is a revised version of that same oratorium, now part II, the aria 'Schlafe, mein Liebster, genieße die Ruh'.
I would have appreciated a full Bach cantata for my eleventh birthday. I hope Friedrich Christian enjoyed his!
- Laßt uns sorgen, laßt uns wachen, BWV 213
(first performance 5 September 1733, Leipzig period)
WBCF0905-Birthday crown prince Friedrich Christian von Saksen
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Image of the day
Portrait of crown prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony by Rosalba Carriera around 1739-1740 (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden). Rosalba Carriera was a female rococo painter from Venice, Italy, who was admired by the crown prince's father Frederick Augustus II, Prince-Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.