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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Siehe, es hat überwunden der Löwe (Behold, the Lion has triumphed)

Cantata 219

  • St. Michael
  • Epistle: Revelations xii. 7-12 (War in Heaven)
  • Gospel: Matthew xviii. 1-11 (Whoever humbles himself is greatest in heaven)
  • Rating: 2

The cantatas BWV 217-222 are all now regarded as either being of dubious provenance or, in some cases, are definitely identified as being by composers other than J.S. Bach. However, it's worth considering them here because it is still possible that one or two of them may actually be genuine and since there is also a good quality recording available of this set (conducted by Wolfgang Helbich on CPO 999139-2), so that listeners can come to their own conclusions!

BWV 219 has been identified as being by Telemann and is now found as TVWV 1:1328 in the catalogue of his works. A reference for the identification is Dürr, Bach-Jahrbuch 1951/2, 39f. The short opening chorus features a choral fugue with suitable martial trumpets. The trumpets stay centre stage for the fine triumphant bass aria "Gott stürzet den Hochmuth". A long soprano recitative leads into a pleasant but rather routine alto aria and the cantata is brought to a close by a straightforward chorale setting. It's difficult to see why this might ever have been attributed to Bach!

Copyright © 1998, Simon Crouch.