Johann Kuhnau (1660–1722) O Holy Time
Cantata for Christmas – Urtext edited by David Erler [solos,ch,orch]
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The cantata O Holy Time, extant in two versions differing from another in scoring and disposition, has a special place in Kuhnau’s oeuvre. The present version is the “large” version for 4 solo parts (SATB), choir, and orchestra. It was composed in 1704/05 during Kuhnau’s term in Leipzig as St. Thomas cantor. Here, in lending a modern text a just as modern, musical garb, Kuhnau interrelates the two in a manner that was absolutely important to him. Using a structural artifice as simple as it is effective, he provides a ritornello-like musical equivalent to the repeatedly recurring line of text “O Holy Time!”.