Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd (The merry hunt is all that I love), BWV 208a,[a] is a secular cantata composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was first performed on 3 August 1740 in Leipzig.
History, text and structure
The score is lost, but the music was likely similar to Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd BWV 208, which Bach composed in 1713. The original cantata was set to a text by Salomon Franck (1659–1725), which celebrated the birthday of Duke Christian of Saxe-Weissenfels. The text of the later work is an adaptation for the name day of the Elector of Saxony Frederick Augustus II. (The differences between the two versions are given in detail in NBA Kritische Berichte I/37).
Bach wrote a number of works for the Electors of Saxony. Ihr Häuser des Himmels, ihr scheinenden Lichter, BWV 193a, for example, is a name day cantata, written for Frederick Augustus I (Augustus the Strong), and drawing on an earlier congratulatory cantata.
- Leipziger Universitätschor / Pauliner Barockensemble, David Timm. J.S. Bach: Festmusiken zu Leipziger Universitätsfeiern. Querstand, 2009.