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Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36c

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Title: Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36c  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Die Freude reget sich, BWV 36b, Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36, Steigt freudig in die Luft, BWV 36a
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Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36c

Schwingt freudig euch empor ("Soar joyfully aloft"), BWV 36c, is a secular cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig, most likely in 1725, there is evidence of a performance of this cantata taking place in April or May 1725. He used it as a base for two other secular cantatas and a church cantata for the First Sunday in Advent, Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36.

History and text

The cantata was probably a homage to one of Bach's academic colleagues, but it is not known which; Johann Matthias Gesner (at the time based in Weimar),[1] and Johann Heinrich Ernesti (the septuagenarian rector of the Thomasschule) have been suggested as possible recipients. Bach reworked this cantata in both secular and sacred versions:

The text is likely by Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander), who in 1727 published another version (Steigt freudig in die Luft), a birthday cantata for the duchess of Anhalt-Köthen. The duchess's birthday cantata was also set by Bach (probably in 1726), but the music is lost.[2][3]

Scoring and structure

The cantata is scored for three soloists—soprano, tenor and bass—a four-part choir, two oboes d'amore, two violins, viola, viola d'amore and basso continuo.[4]

  1. Coro: Schwingt freudig euch empor
  2. Recitative (tenor): Ein Herz, in zärtlichem Empfinden
  3. Aria (tenor): Die Liebe führt mit sanften Schritten
  4. Recitative (bass): Du bist es ja
  5. Aria (bass): Der Tag, der dich vordem gebar
  6. Recitative (soprano): Nur dieses Einz'ge sorgen wir
  7. Aria (soprano): Auch mit gedämpften, schwachen Stimmen
  8. Recitative (tenor): Bei solchen freudenvollen Stunden
  9. Chorus & Recitatives (soprano, tenor, bass): Wie die Jahre sich verneuen


The opening chorus is a "jolly" gavotte form, highlighting the oboe d'amore (which is also important in introducing the third movement).[5][6] The recitatives are all secco and fairly short, with the tenor recitative being only six measures long.[6]




The first source is the score.

General sources are found for the Bach cantatas. Several databases provide additional information on each single cantata:

  • Cantata BWV 36c Schwingt freudig euch empor history, scoring, sources for text and music, translations to various languages, discography, discussion, bach-cantatas website
  • Schwingt freudig euch empor history, scoring, Bach website (German)
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Alberta
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