Cantata BWV 69aLobe den Herrn, meine Seele

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Translation

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German TextEnglish Text

Analysis

There are two cantatas that open with the same line (“Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele”). The first one was written in 1723 and is a ‘classic’ sacred cantata and is now known as BWV 69a. The second, later, adaptation is BWV 69, no alphabetical suffix. (This numbering/lettering is slightly annoying, in that a suffix tends to make one think a thing comes after its non-suffixed cousin; unfortunately, in the Bach cantatas, it’s the other way around: a suffix in this case indicates it precedes the un-suffixed equivalent!)

Anyway, to say it in one phrase: this cantata is the 1723 one.

Also a quick note regarding Ephphatha, mentioned in the fourth movement: it’s Aramaic (Jesus’ native language) for ‘Be opened!’, and comes directly from the gospel of the day, where Jesus cures the deaf-mute.


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