2nd Sunday of Lent or Reminiscere
5 March 2023 – Today is the 2nd Sunday of Lent or Reminiscere. Because of Tempus Clausum, which meant no music in massd in his prolific Leipzig period, again no cantatas survive for this day (I'll be repeating myself a couple more Sundays I'm afraid).
So I'm filling your Sunday playlist with three more cantatas that have an unknown occasion or first performance date.
First up is Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150, one of Bach's earliest cantatas from his period as court organist in Mühlhausen, most likely written as a homage to or for the birthday of the mayor of Mühlhausen, who supported his appointment. The verses contain an achrosticon (the first letter of each line spells out a word) that was long hidden through a spelling mistake in the manuscript with the name of the mayor: Doktor Conrad Meckbach.
Next we have O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe, BWV 34a, a marriage cantate of which only fragments remain, and Helmut Rilling has the only recent recording of these 3 fragments. Unfortunately Deezer does not have this work available, so there I've selected O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe, BWV 34, the cantata for Whit Sunday (Pentecost) which was derived from 34a.
Finally Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut, BWV 117, one of the about ten choral cantatas which Bach wrote in later Leipzig years to complete the choral cantata cycle of 1724-1725, which he ended abruptly with 10 cantatas short, most likely because his librettist passed away. Because the manuscript is missing the front page, we do not know for which liturgical Sunday it was intended, nor in what year it was composed; most likely between 1728 and 1731.
- Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150
(first performance ? before 1707, Mühlhausen period)
- O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe, BWV 34a
(first performance 1726, Leipzig period)
- Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut, BWV 117
(first performance ? 1728–1731, Leipzig period)
The Netherlands Bach Society website (in Dutch) has more information and a performance of BWV 150:
WBC21-2nd Sunday of Lent or Reminiscere
Choose one of these streaming services to listen to this playlist:
Image of the day
Hommage to Bach, a painting by French Fauvist painter Raoul Dufy (1877-1953). Dufy has made several paintings honouring classical composers.