Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! BWV 214

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The Universitätskirche in the 17th century, lithograph by Ernst Wilhelm Straßberger, c. 1839

Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! (Resound, ye drums! Ring out, ye trumpets!), BWV 214,[a] is a cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach.

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. It is also known as Glückwünschkantate zum Geburtstage der Königin (Congratulation cantata to the queen's birthday). It was first performed on 7 December 1733. The librettist of the text is unknown, but may have been Bach himself.[1]

Parts of this secular work were reworked for Bach's Christmas Oratorio.[2]

Scoring and structure[edit]

The work features four vocal soloists: Bellona (soprano), Pallas (alto), Irene (tenor), and Fama (bass). It is also scored for a four-part choir, three trumpets, timpani, two flutes, two oboes, oboe d'amore, two violins, viola, cello, violone, and basso continuo.[3]

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".[4]

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.[4]

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.[4]



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


  1. ^ "Cantata BWV 214". bach-cantatas. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Cantata No. 214". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "BWV 214". University of Alberta. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Mincham, Julian. "Chapter 95 BWV 214". jsbachcantatas. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 

External links[edit]