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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Verjaget, zerstreuet, zerrüttet, ihr Sterne (Dispel them, disperse them, you heavens)

Cantata BWV 249b, BC G 28

  • Birthday of Count Joachim Friederich von Flemming

The cantatas related to the Easter Oratorio, BWV 249 need a little bit of unravelling: The original composition was the laudatory cantata BWV 249a written for the birthday of Duke Christian of Saxe-Weißenfels. The music from this cantata was then re-used for a sacred cantata for Easter Sunday 1725. Then came this secular cantata for Count Joachim Friedrich von Flemming [also known as Die Feier des Genius (The Festival of Genius)] and finally, in the early 1730's, Bach revised the score of the sacred version, and titled it Oratorioto give us the work that we know best. Unfortunately, the music for this version of the cantata is lost. However all the music except that for the recitatives can be found in the Easter Oratorio. BWV 249b/1-2 correspond to BWV 249/1-2, BWV 249b/3 corresponds to BWV 249/3, BWV 249b/5 corresponds to BWV 249/5, BWV 249b/7 corresponds to BWV 249/7, BWV 249b/9 corresponds to BWV 249/9 and BWV 249b/11 corresponds to BWV 249/11. For more details, see the critical commentary to NBA I/35.

Copyright © 1999, Simon Crouch.