Johann Kuhnau (1660–1722) Frohlocket, ihr Völker, und jauchzet, ihr Heiden
Cantata for Christmas Day – Urtext edited by David Erler [solos,mix ch,orch] Duration: 25'
SATB – 0.0.0.0 – 220.127.116.11 – timp – str – bc
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This cantata is a composition by Kuhnau for the first of the Christmas holidays [Christmas Day] and one of his most extensive works. It is underlaid with the free poetry of a hitherto anonymous author, not including any Bible or chorale texts. Though the dating has not yet been clarified, the structure – two recitative-aria pairings, framed by two magnificent tutti movements – indicates a genesis period within the last years of the composer’s tenure as St. Thomas cantor in Leipzig. Additional indications are the triple use of the da capo form as well as the four-part vocal setting, partly differentiated in solo and tutti, taking the individual parts to the limits of their ambitus as was later customary with Johann Sebastian Bach.
Particularly noteworthy are two details of the instrumentation: Firstly, there are three violin parts in the score, the first of which has to master an exceptionally virtuoso solo part. Secondly, in the third movement, Kuhnau expressly notates an obbligato organ solo part, not to be found in any of his other extant compositions. This virtuosic part also already foreshadows the later and far more famous obbligato organ parts in various Bach cantatas.
|1. Frohlocket, ihr Völker, und jauchzet, ihr Heiden|
|2. Recitativo: Halleluja, der Heiden Trost ist nunmehr da|
|3. Aria: Kleines Kind und großer Held|
|4. Recitativo: Wie danken wir dir doch vor diese unverdiente Gnade|
|5. Aria da Ciaconno: Willkommen, mein Leben, willkommen, mein Licht|
|6. O Freuden Wort, mein Freund ist mein|