Septuagesima

Sunday 9 February 2020

Septuagesima - Third Sunday before Ash Wednesday

Winter is still upon us, but today we take the first step in the build-up to Easter! Because today we start with dates which are dependent on the Easter date. Today is the 3rd Sunday before Ash Wednesday, also called Septuagesima because it is less than 70 days (but more than 60) until Easter.

This pre-Lent period, Shrovetide, was for Bach and his contemporaries the countdown to one of the most sacred periods in the liturgical calendar. No wonder he created important cantatas for this day, all of them from the Leipzig period.

Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin, BWV 144, and Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84, are both based on the Evangelical reading of the day from Matthew, the parable of the workers in the vineyard, which summons Christians to be content with what God gives them.

Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn, BWV 92, is from Bach's chorale cantata cycle, and is based on a hymn from 1647 by Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676), a German theologian, Lutheran minister and hymnodist. It is Bach's only cantata based on a hymn by Gerhardt.

Cantatas

  • Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin, BWV 144
    (first performance 6 February 1724, Leipzig period)
  • Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn, BWV 92
    (first performance 28 January 1725, Leipzig period)
  • Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84
    (first performance 9 February 1727, Leipzig period)

Extra information

The Netherlands Bach Society website (in Dutch) has more information and performances of BWV 84 and BWV 144:
https://bachvereniging.nl/nl/bwv/bwv-84/
https://bachvereniging.nl/nl/bwv/bwv-144/

Playlist

WBC17-Septuagesima - Third Sunday before Ash Wednesday

Playlist cover on Spotify

Choose one of these streaming services to listen to this playlist:

Image of the day

The parable of the workers in the vineyard by Austrian painter Johann Christian Brand (1722-1795).

The parable of the workers in the vineyard by Austrian painter Johann Christian Brand (1722-1795).