Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet, BWV 212
Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet (We have a new governor), BWV 212, is a secular cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was entitled the "Cantate burlesque" (burlesque cantata) by Bach himself, but is now popularly known as the Peasant Cantata. It is the latest definitely dated Bach cantata.
This cantata's libretto was written by Christian Friedrich Henrici, known as Picander, and was written for performance on 30 August 1742. On that day the Erbherr, Lehnherr and Gerichtsherr Carl Heinrich von Dieskau, Saxon-Crown-Princely Kammerherr to the Rittergut Kleinzschocher near Leipzig, celebrated his thirty-sixth birthday with a huge fireworks display and, as was customary, took homage from the peasants on the same occasion. It is thought that Picander asked Bach to set his poetry to music.
An unnamed farmer laughs with the farmer's wife Mieke about the tax collector's machinations while praising the economy of Dieskau's wife, ending by especially cheering on Dieskau. In places it uses the dialect of Upper Saxony ("Guschel" for mouth, "Dahlen" for love-games, "Ranzen" for belly and "Neu-Schock" for a 60 Groschen piece).
- a farmer (bass)
- Mieke, a farmer's wife (soprano)
- String trio of violin, viola and basso continuo, accompanied by a flute, horn and second violin respectively
In accordance with the nature of the text, Bach created a relatively simple composition held with short sentences and usually simple accompaniment. He repeatedly drew on popular dance forms, folk and popular melodies (such as La Folia and the folk song "Mit dir und mir ins Federbett, mit dir und mir aufs Stroh", whose title translates as "With you and me in the spring bed, with you and me on the straw") and parts from his own historical pieces (Set 14 from BWV Anh 11 and Theorem 20 from BWV 201 / 7).
- Bach Cantatas, Rudolf Ewerhart, Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, Ursula Buckel, Klaus Ocker, Vox 1965
- J.S. Bach: Cantatas BWV 211 & BWV 212, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wien, Rotraud Hansmann, Max van Egmond, Telefunken 1967
- Bach made in Germany Vol. VII - Secular Cantatas VII, Peter Schreier, Kammerorchester Berlin, Edith Mathis, Theo Adam, Eterna 1975
- Edition Bachakademie Vol. 67 - Secular Cantatas, Helmuth Rilling, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Christine Schäfer, Thomas Quasthoff, Hänssler 1996
- J.S. Bach: Complete Cantatas Vol. 5, Ton Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Lisa Larsson, Klaus Mertens, Antoine Marchand 1996
- Alfred Dürr: Johann Sebastian Bach: Die Kantaten. Bärenreiter, Kassel 1999, ISBN 3-7618-1476-3
- Werner Neumann: Handbuch der Kantaten J.S.Bachs, 1947, 5.Auf. 1984, ISBN 3-7651-0054-4
- Hans-Joachim Schulze: Die Bach-Kantaten: Einführungen zu sämtlichen Kantaten Johann Sebastian Bachs. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlags-Anstalt; Stuttgart: Carus-Verlag 2006 (Edition Bach-Archiv Leipzig) ISBN 3-374-02390-8 (Evang. Verl.-Anst.), ISBN 3-89948-073-2 (Carus-Verl.)
- Christoph Wolff, Ton Koopman: Die Welt der Bach-Kantaten. Verlag J. B. Metzler, Stuttgart, Weimar 2006, ISBN 978-3-476-02127-4
- Score on IMSLP
- Structure and full text
- Cantata BWV 212 Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet on bach-cantatas
- Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet on the Bach website (in German)
- Entries for BWV 212 on WorldCat