Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, BWV 21 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Summary

', is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Weimar, possibly in 1713, partly even earlier, and used it in 1714 and later for the third Sunday after Trinity. The work marks a transition between motet style on biblical and hymn text to operatic recitatives and arias on contemporary poetry. He catalogued the work as '' (and for all times), indicating that due to its general theme the cantata is suited for any occasion.

The text is probably written by the court poet Salomon Franck, including four biblical quotations from three psalms and the Book of Revelation, juxtaposed in one movement with two stanzas from Georg Neumark's hymn "". The cantata possibly began as a work of dialog and four motets on biblical verses. In its 1723 version, it is structured in eleven movements, including an opening sinfonia and additional recitatives and arias. It is divided in two parts to be performed before and after the sermon, and scored for three vocal soloists (soprano, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir, three trumpets, timpani, oboe, strings and basso continuo. Bach led a performance in the court chapel of Schloss Weimar on 17 June 1714, known as the Weimar version. He revised the work for performances, possibly in Hamburg and several revivals in Leipzig, adding for the first Leipzig version four trombones doubling the voices.

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