First Sunday after New Year
1 January 2023 – New Year I is the liturgical day which falls on the first Sunday after New Year, if this Sunday occurs before Epiphany (January 6th). This year, that is not the case (this happens in 3 out of 7 years), so in theory I could not present the following cantatas to you. But I would not want you to miss out, especially since the 5th cantata of the Weihnachtsoratorium is one of them...
The first cantata, Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind, BWV 153, dates from Bach's first Leipzig Christmas period, during which his musicians created new works like the Magnificat, BWV 243 and other cantatas, so after this busy period Bach proposes this cantata with a very modest setting to spare his Thomanerchor and orchestra.
The same remark can be made for Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid, BWV 58, created in 1727, and actually a chorale cantata completing the 1724 cantata cycle, because this liturgical day did not occur in January 1725.
Finally there's the fifth cantata of the Christmas Oratorio, Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen, BWV 248, which covers the voyage of the Three Magi.
- Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind, BWV 153
(first performance 2 January 1724, Leipzig period)
- Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid, BWV 58
(first performance 5 January 1727, Leipzig period)
- Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen, BWV 248
(first performance 2 January 1735 - Christmas Oratorio Part V, Leipzig period)
WBC10-First Sunday after New Year
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Image of the day
The journey of the Three Magi, carrying gold, frankincense and myrrh, following the star in the right hand corner. Mosaic in the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy, from the 6th century.