Geschwinde, ihr wirbelnden Winde, BWV 201
Geschwinde, ihr wirbelnden Winde (Swift, you swirling winds), BWV 201, is a secular cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, with a libretto by Christian Friedrich Henrici. The manuscript of the work gives its title as Der Streit zwischen Phoebus und Pan (The Dispute between Phoebus and Pan).
The cantata was a commission for a middle-class Collegium Musicum which held its concerts in the Zimmermannsches Kaffeehaus in Leipzig. Bach probably composed it for the opening concert of the Collegium's first season under his direction, which occurred in 1729 – Bach became its head that year and it thus became known as the Bachisches Collegium Musicum.
The work was likely performed again in the late 1730s and in 1749, both in Leipzig.
The cantata text uses the ancient myth of a musical contest between Phoebus-Apollo and Pan as a comment to a controversy between Bach's contemporaries about "popular" and "learned" music, the first being represented by Pan, the latter by Apollo. At the end, Pan is defeated completely.
Scoring and structure
The work is scored for Momus (soprano), Mercurius (alto), Tmolus (tenor), Midas (tenor), Phoebus (bass), Pan (bass), a six-part choir of those voices, three trumpets, timpani, two tranverse flutes, two oboes d'amore, two violins, viola, and basso continuo.
The piece has 15 movements, as follows:
- Recitative: Phoebus, Pan and Momus with continuo
- Aria: Momus with continuo
- Recitative: Mercurius, Phoebus and Pan with continuo
- Aria: Phoebus with instruments
- Recitative: Momus and Pan with continuo
- Aria: Pan with violins and continuo
- Recitative: Mercurius and Tmolus with continuo
- Aria: Tmolus with oboe d'amore and continuo
- Recitative: Pan and Midas with continuo
- Aria: Midas with violins and continuo
- Recitative: all voices with continuo
- Aria: Mercurius with tranverse flutes and continuo
- Recitative: Momus with strings and continuo
- J.S. Bach: Cantata BWV 201, Schwäbischer Singkreis Stuttgart/Ton-Studio Orchestra Stuttgart (1952)
- J.S. Bach: Kantate Nr. 201, Thomanerchor Leipzig / Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (1953)
- J.S. Bach: Cantata BWV 201, Moscow Conservatoire Chamber Orchestra (1987)
- J.S. Bach: Cantate Profanes, RIAS-Kammerchor / Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (1995)