Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! BWV 214

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Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! BWV 214
Secular cantata by J.S. Bach
Zimmermannsches Caffeehaus.jpg
Zimmermannsches Caffeehaus, 1700s
Performed 8 December 1733 (1733-12-08): Leipzig
Movements 9
Vocal SATB choir and soloists
  • 3 trumpets
  • timpani
  • 2 flauto traverso
  • 2 oboes
  • oboe d'amore
  • 2 violins
  • viola
  • cello
  • violone
  • continuo

Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! (Resound, ye drums! Ring out, ye trumpets!), BWV 214,[a] is a cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, composed in 1733 as a congratulatory cantata for the birthday of Maria Josepha, Queen of Poland and Electress of Saxony. The work in nine movements is scored for four vocal parts and a festive orchestra with trumpets and timpani, flutes, oboes and strings. Bach used movements from the cantata again in his Christmas Oratorio, notably for its first movement.

History and text[edit]

Bach composed this cantata in 1733 to honor the 34th birthday of Maria Josepha, Queen of Poland and Electress of Saxony.[1] It is also known as Glückwünschkantate zum Geburtstage der Königin (Congratulation cantata to the Queen's birthday). The librettist of the text is unknown, but may have been Bach himself.[2]

The cantata was first performed at the Zimmermannsches Caffeehaus in Leipzig on 8 December 1733.[3]

Parts of this secular work were reworked for Bach's Christmas Oratorio,[3] including its first movement, in which the voices imitate the sound of timpani and trumpets even with the new text "Jauchzet, frohlocket" (Shout for joy, exult).[1][4]

Scoring and structure[edit]

The work features four vocal soloists who represent allegorical figures: Bellona (soprano), Pallas (alto), Irene (tenor), and Fama (bass). It is further scored for a four-part choir, three trumpets, timpani, two flutes, two oboes, oboe d'amore, two violins, viola, cello, violone, and basso continuo.[5]

It has nine movements:

  1. Chorus: Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!
  2. Recitative (tenor): Heut ist der Tag
  3. Aria (soprano): Blast die wohlgegriffnen Flöten
  4. Recitative (soprano): Mein knallendes Metall
  5. Aria (alto): Fromme Musen! meine Glieder
  6. Recitative (alto): Unsre Königin im Lande
  7. Aria (bass): Kron und Preis gekrönter Damen
  8. Recitative (bass): So dringe in das weite Erdenrund
  9. Chorus: Blühet, ihr Linden in Sachsen, wie Zedern


The opening chorus is a very long da capo form. Unusually for Bach, it opens with a timpani solo. The vocal lines are mostly homophonic or imitative – it is the instrumental forces that are the focus of the movement. Musicologist Julian Mincham notes that "the sweeping exhilaration of this movement is impossible to describe in words".[6]

The tenor recitative conveys imagery of a thunderstorm and is followed by a soprano aria and recitative representing the "clashing of arms" and the battlefield. The alto aria, the only movement in the minor mode, includes a prominent oboe d'amore, while the following recitative is accompanied by chordal strings.[6]

The bass da capo aria has a majestic obbligato trumpet line that underlines the "triumph, dignity and splendor" of the queen. The text focuses on the dual themes of fame and virtue. The penultimate movement is a bass recitative with a woodwind accompaniment. The piece ends with a dance-like chorus.[6]



  1. ^ "BWV" is Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, a thematic catalogue of Bach's works.


  1. ^ a b Dürr, Alfred; Jones, Richard D. P. (2006). The Cantatas of J. S. Bach: With Their Librettos in German-English Parallel Text. Oxford University Press. pp. 102,820,827–830. ISBN 978-0-19-929776-4. 
  2. ^ "Cantata BWV 214". Bach Cantatas Website. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! BWV 214; BC G 19 / Secular cantata (Birthday)". Bach Digital. Retrieved 16 November 2017. 
  4. ^ "Cantata No. 214". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "BWV 214". University of Alberta. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Mincham, Julian. "Chapter 95 BWV 214". jsbachcantatas. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 

External links[edit]