Work: Jesu, joy of man's desiring (Jesu bleibet meine Freude)
About This Work
Johann Sebastian Bach's sacred Cantata No. 147 "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" (BWV 147) (Heart and Mouth, Deeds and Life), was written for the feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary and first performed in its final definitive form in
Leipzig to mark the feast day, July 2, 1723. Much of the work originated during the composer's tenure as Konzertmeister in Weimar, where upon his appointment in 1714 he also assumed responsibility for the provision of a new cantata each month for services held in the Duke's chapel…Interestingly, the composer's original design for the Advent feasts at Weimar would have been considered entirely unsuitable by the church authorities in Leipzig, who had forbidden the performance of all concert music during this period of the liturgical year. Bach managed to overcome this restriction by incorporating references to the "Magnificat" (Luke 1: 39-56) into the score, thus tailoring the cantata specifically to the Feast of the Visitation… Part I concludes with the famous chorale known in English as "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." - Michael Jameson
Editor: The chorale in modern times has been arranged for a variety of chamber and orchestral instruments as well as guitar and organ and many of these arrangements have found their way into secular concerts and church services as well as pop and classical radio.
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