Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl, BWV 198

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl
BWV 198
secular cantata by J.S. Bach
Leipzig Universitätskirche.JPG
Paulinerkirche, Leipzig, 17th-century lithograph
Related St Mark Passion and BWV 244a
Occasion Funeral
Performed 17 October 1727 (1727-10-17) – Leipzig
Movements 11 in two parts (7, 4)
Cantata text Johann Christoph Gottsched
Vocal SATB soloists and choir
Instrumental

Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl (Let, Princess, let still one more glance) is a secular cantata as a funeral ode by Johann Sebastian Bach, first performed on 17 October 1727. In Wolfgang Schmieder's catalogue of Bach's works it is BWV 198.

History, text, scoring[edit]

Bach composed the cantata at the request of the University of Leipzig as a funeral ode for Christiane Eberhardine, wife of August II the Strong, and first performed on 17 October 1727 in the Universitätskirche. The text was written by Johann Christoph Gottsched, professor of philosophy and poetry. Divided into 11 movements, the first seven preceded the funeral oration. Set in the Italian style with recitatives and arias, for four soloists, four-part choir, two flutes, two oboes d'amore, two violins, viola, two violas da gamba, two lutes and basso continuo. Bach himself directed from the harpsichord.

The text is purely secular, proclaiming how the kingdom is in shock over the princess' death, how magnificent she was, and how sadly she will be missed. Sacred elements pertaining to salvation and the afterlife are absent. Bach, however, as was his custom, included a cryptic reference to salvation in the music. The first movement of the second section Der Ewigkeit saphirnes Haus ("Eternity's sapphiric house"), which was performed following the oration, contains underlying elements of the first movement of the cantata BWV 56, Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen ("I want to bear the cross") which Bach had composed one year earlier. The measures 70–75 contain a direct quote (played by the oboe) of the bass solo voice in measures 91–98 from BWV 56 where the text is Der führet mich nach meinen Plagen zu Gott, in das gelobte Land ("which leads me to God in the promised land after all my tribulation").

Bach later borrowed from the cantata for his Markus-Passion and for Klagt, Kinder, klagt es aller Welt, BWV 244a, another funeral ode written in 1729.

Selected recordings[edit]

External links[edit]