Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet, BWV 212

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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.

History[edit]

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.

Themes[edit]

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).

Cast[edit]

Style[edit]

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).

Recordings[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]