Trinitatis XV

Sunday 17 September 2023

Trinitatis XV or 15th Sunday after Trinitatis

17 September 2023 – Today is Trinitatis XV or the 15th Sunday after Trinitatis. Three Leipzig cantatas for you.

Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, BWV 138, is from the first cycle, but is a bit odd because Bach uses the lyrics from a well-known Protestant chorale, so you could say this is Bach experimenting with this musical form to which he would devote a complete chorale cantata cycle one year later.

Bach created three cantatas with the title Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, based on the hymn with the same title. Only at the end of the 1950s it was determined that the three cantatas (often referred to as I, II and III) actually date from 1726, 1724 and 1734. This one, Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan II, BWV 99, is part of the chorale cantata cycle in 1724.

The last cantata, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51, is from much later, written in 1730, a time when Bach did not compose many cantatas. It is also believed that the cantata was written for another special occasion, but the first formal performance known was in Leipzig on Trinitatis XV, 1730. It is also Bach's only cantata written for solo soprano and trumpet. Considering a female soprano was highly unlikely in conservative Leipzig, the soprano was probably a young boy (possibly the later composer Christoph Nichelmann, 13 at the time).

Music for today

  • Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, BWV 138
    (first performance 5 September 1723, Leipzig period)
  • Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 99
    (first performance 17 September 1724, Leipzig period)
  • Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51
    (first performance 17 September 1730, Leipzig period)

Extra information

The Netherlands Bach Society website has more information and performances of BWV 51 and BWV 99: