Krzysztof Penderecki

Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020) conducting his oratorio "Seven Gates of Jerusalem" at the Winter Palace, St Petersburg, in 2001. Photo by Dmitry Lovetsky

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata BWV 182 – Thomanerchor Leipzig, Gewandhausorchester, Georg Christoph Biller (Audio video)

In March 1714, Johann Sebastian Bach, who had been organist at the ducal chapel in Weimar since 1708, was promoted to the post of concertmaster. Among the additional duties that came with the new post was the obligation to provide a church cantata each month. The Cantata BWV 182 ("King of heaven, be thou welcome"), was composed for the Feast of the Annunciation or Palm Sunday, which in 1714 fell on March 25. Given that the Lutheran church did not allow cantatas during Lent (the exception being when, as in 1714, the Annunciation fell on a Sunday), it is almost certain that BWV 182 represents the first work Bach composed as part of his new post. Compared to most of the composer's earlier cantatas, it is particularly extensive (comprising eight sections) and elaborate, suggesting that the composer set out to provide something special for his first effort in the service of Duke Wilhlem Ernst. The author of the texts has not been positively identified, but was most likely Salomo Franck, the Weimar court librarian and poet whose texts Bach is known to have begun to setting upon assuming his new duties.

The text has three sources: Psalm 40:8-9, the Palm Sunday Gospel (Matthew 21:1-9) recounting Christ's entry into Jerusalem, and a strophe from the hymn "Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod" (1633) by Paul Stockmann. Like the majority of Bach's earlier cantatas, BWV 182 opens with an instrumental movement, in this instance marked "sonata" rather than the more usual "sinfonia". It is scored for solo recorder and violin with a pizzicato accompaniment by violins, divided violas, cello and bass continuo. The second movement, a lively da capo chorus, uses the words of the welcoming crowds in Jerusalem as Jesus enters the city. The succeeding bass recitative, the only one in the cantata, uses Jesus' words as He prepares to submit to his father's will; here Bach makes use of the arioso style that he later adopted in setting the words of Christ in his Passions. Three other arias follow: the first, for bass, has words that might be taken to allude to the Assumption as well as the forthcoming Passion; the next, for alto, is a meditative call for submission to the Savior, supported by obbligato recorder; finally, a dramatic, declamatory aria for tenor evokes the agony of the road to the Cross. The last two movements are choral: The first is a chorale fantasia based on Stockmann's hymn, the second a lightly dancing chorus that returns to the rejoicing mood of the opening.

Source: Brian Robins (

Η εκκλησιαστική καντάτα "Himmelskönig, sei willkommen", BWV 182, γράφτηκε από τον Μπαχ στη Βαϊμάρη το 1714 και παρουσιάστηκε για πρώτη φορά την Κυριακή των Βαΐων, στις 25 Μαρτίου του ίδιου έτους, ημέρα που συνέπεσε με την εορτή του Ευαγγελισμού.

Το έργο το οποίο αποτελείται από επτά μέρη, απαιτεί μικρό σύνολο από τρεις σολίστες (άλτο, τενόρο και μπάσο), τετραμερή χορωδία, φλάουτο, δύο βιολιά, δύο βιόλες, βιολοντσέλο και μπάσο κοντίνουο (στην παρούσα ηχογράφηση το μπάσο κοντίνουο αποτελούν ένα φαγκότο, ένα βιολοντσέλο, ένα κοντραμπάσο και ένα κοντίνουο όργανο).

Την καντάτα "Himmelskönig, sei willkommen", BWV 182, του Γιόχαν Σεμπάστιαν Μπαχ ερμηνεύουν η Χορωδία Αγοριών του Αγίου Θωμά της Λειψίας και η Ορχήστρα Gewandhaus της Λειψίας. Συμπράττουν, από τα μέλη της χορωδίας ο Jakob Wetzig (άλτο), και οι σολίστες Patrick Grahl (τενόρος) και Gotthold Schwarz (μπάσος). Διευθύνει ο Γερμανός αρχιμουσικός, βαρύτονος, συνθέτης και ακαδημαϊκός Γκέοργκ Κρίστοφ Μπίλερ, σημερινός Κάντορας της Χορωδίας, από το 1992, και 16ος μετά τον Μπαχ.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

♪ Cantata BWV 182, "Himmelskönig, sei willkommen" (Weimar, 1714)

i. Sonata
ii. Chorus: Himmelskönig, sei willkommen
iii. Recitative (bass): Siehe, ich komme, im Buch ist von mir geschrieben
iv. Aria (bass): Starkes Lieben
v. Aria (alto): Leget euch dem Heiland unter
vi. Aria (tenor): Jesu, laß durch Wohl und Weh
vii. Chorale: Jesu, deine Passion ist mir lauter Freude
viii.  Chorus: So lasset uns gehen in Salem der Freuden

Thomaner Jakob Wetzig, alto
Patrick Grahl, tenor
Gotthold Schwarz, bass

Thomanerchor Leipzig
Georg Christoph Biller

Rondeau Production 2014

(HD 1080p – Audio video)

First publication: April 28, 2015 – Last update: March 29, 2018

See also

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata BWV 23 – Thomanerchor Leipzig, Georg Christoph Biller (Audio video)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata BWV 22 – Thomanerchor Leipzig, Georg Christoph Biller (Audio video)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata BWV 67 – Thomanerchor Leipzig, Georg Christoph Biller (Audio video)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata BWV 4 – Thomanerchor Leipzig, Georg Christoph Biller (Audio video)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata BWV 31 – Thomanerchor Leipzig, Georg Christoph Biller (Audio video)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata BWV 190 – Thomanerchor Leipzig, Georg Christoph Biller (Audio video)

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