J S Bach - 'Himmelskönig, sei willkommen,' BWV 182

Sunday 31 March 2019
St. Margaret's Church,
Time: 6.30pm
This concert is sold out

J S Bach - 'Himmelskönig, sei willkommen,' BWV 182

Join Exeter Bach Society for a liturgical performance of J S Bach's beautiful cantata 'Himmelskönig, sei willkommen' (BWV 182) with orchestral accompaniment.

Admission is free.


Programme notes

Cantata BWV 182 was one of the earliest works written in Weimar and is thus one of Bach's earliest cantatas. The title 'Himmelskönig, sei willkommen' is translated roughly as 'King of Heaven, Welcome!' and signifies the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. He composed it in Weimar for Palm Sunday, and first performed it on 25 March 1714, which was also the feast of the Annunciation that year.

  1. Sonata
  2. Chorus: Himmelskönig, sei willkommen
  3. Recitative (Bass): Siehe, ich komme, im Buch ist von mir geschrieben
  4. Aria (Bass): Starkes Lieben
  5. Aria (Alto): Leget euch dem Heiland unter
  6. Chorale: Jesu, deine Passion ist mir lauter Freude
  7. Chorus: So lasset uns gehen in Salem der Freuden

It has a charming chamber-sized orchestration of recorder, one violin, two violas, cello and organ. The opening sinfonia has the sound of early morning about it. The recorder and solo violin trade off piquant dotted lines against the pizzicato of the other strings. The opening chorus is delightfully child-like in its portrayal of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem.

The solo bass intones a line from Psalm 40 as an introduction to the stirring aria with the strings. The solo recorder returns as the obbligato to the poignant alto aria. This is the beginning of the transition of the cantata from the joyous entrance into Jerusalem to a meditation on the Passion. After the penultimate chorale prelude on the tune "Jesu Kreuz, Leiden und Pein," the light chorus "So lasset uns gehen in Salem der Freuden" ends the cantata.



Musical Director: Jonathan Lucas Wood

Leader: Anna Cockroft

Alto: Rachel Bennett

Bass: Matthew Hulbert


Recorder: Angela Chapman

Violin 1: Anna Cockroft

Violin 2: Ruth James

Viola 1: Nicola Smith

Viola 2: Sue Smallshire

Cello: Ruth Lass

Double Bass: Isabelle Woollcott

Organ: Andrew Carter