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Track(s) taken from CDD22041

Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten 'Wedding Cantata', BWV202

? 1718/23
author of text

Emma Kirkby (soprano), The Taverner Players, Andrew Parrott (conductor)
Recording details: March 1981
St James's Church, Clerkenwell, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: December 1987
Total duration: 19 minutes 21 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Gillian Keith (soprano), Armonico Consort, Christopher Monks (conductor)


'Still by far the best version. The stronger sense of occasion is boosted by Peter Holman’s inspired topping and tailing with sinfonias' (International Record Review)
BWV202 Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten is by far the most popular of all Bach’s wedding cantatas, and has long been a favourite in the soprano repertoire. But whose wedding was it for? Many suggest that it was performed by Anna Magdalena herself at her own wedding to Bach on 3rd December 1721, when they were “married at home, by command of the Prince”, his then-employer. Although it would have been strange even then for a bride to perform in her own marriage ceremony, the fact that the Prince commanded a home wedding gives some credence to the notion that something unconventional happened. The other suggestion is that the cantata was performed in the celebrations after the service, making it less strange for the bride to participate in the music-making. In any case, scholars date the piece between 1717 and 1723 when Bach was Court Concert Master to Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen.

The text, by an unknown author, compares nature’s awakening in spring to the blossoming of love between two people. Scored for strings and continuo with oboe obbligato, in the opening movement the tender warmth of the oboe line is the musical description of the sun emerging to banish the gloomy winter weather. Several mythical characters are evoked in the poetry: Flora, Phoebus, and even Cupid himself do their work to bring joy and blessings to the lovers. With Bach’s contrapuntal genius evoking Phoebus’ galloping ride in a notably fiendish cello line, and portraying Cupid’s “stepping out” with a sprightly walking bass line.

from notes by Gillian Keith © 2017

Other albums featuring this work

Bach: The complete solo soprano cantatas, Vol. 1
Studio Master: SIGCD488Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
The Emma Kirkby Collection
This album is not yet available for downloadCDA66227Archive Service
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