Cantata BWV 69Lobe 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. This one (just plain old BWV 69, no alphabetical suffixes) was adapted from that earlier one very late in Bach’s career -in 1748- and performed to inaugurate the new Town Council that year (and hence all the references to the best thing God can do for us is to give us wise governors). I’m calling this a ‘civic cantata’ in consequence, even though it is sacred in nature and content, to make the distinction between the two of them clear.

Note that BWV 69 differs from 69a mostly in the recitatives: fresh text and music was prepared for those, whilst the arias and opening chorus were largely unchanged between the two versions. BWV 69’s closing chorale is also different from 69a’s.


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