The merry chase, the hunt is my delight
Hunting Cantata
by Johann Sebastian Bach
TB - Sheet Music

Item Number: 22749085
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(Soli SSTB, Chor SS(A)TB, 2 Blf, 2 Ob, Taille (Sinfonia: 3 Ob), Fg, 2 Cor, 2 Vl, Va, Vne, Bc) - Grade 3

SKU: CA.3120831010000

Hunting Cantata. Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. Edited by Ulrich Leisinger. Single Part. Composed 1713. BWV 208, BWV3 208.1. 8 pages. Duration 38 minutes. Carus Verlag #3120831010000. Published by Carus Verlag (CA.3120831010000).

ISBN 9790007332792. German/English. Text: Franck, Salomo.

“A joyful dispute of the gods” is how Johann Sebastian Bach’s librettist Salomon Franck described the Birthday Cantata for the court of Saxony-Weißenfels, now generally known as the “Hunting Cantata” BWV 208. The work was probably first performed with the composer present on 23 February 1713, Duke Christian’s 31st birthday. On that occasion the choir may have numbered just four soloists, but it can of course be larger. Bach also went on to perform this colorful and varied work, comprising 15 short movements, several times.

As the cantata begins with a recitative, there is an opportunity to precede it with an instrumental movement. A suitable piece is the opening movement of the 1st Brandenburg Concerto BWV 1046 with its hunting horn sounds, which Bach also used later in other works such as the church cantata BWV 52. The edition includes this movement from BWV 1046a (the oldest version) as a performance suggestion.