1708: Bach: Gott ist mein König (God is my King), BWV 71

SATURDAY, January 16, 2021 – 9:56 PM

Gott ist mein König (God is my King), BWV 71, age 22:


  • SATB solists
  • SATB chorus
  • three trumpets
  • two recorders, two oboes, bassoon, organ obbligato
  • two violins, viola, violoncello, viola da gamba
  • basso continuo
  • timpani

This is a cantata by Bach written in Mühlhausen when the he was only 22 years old. The date of first performance is known: at the inauguration of a new town council on 4 February 1708.

I’m not in love with the endless German singing, but this is of extreme interest to me because it shows what Bach was already up to at the age of 22, and from this we can at least imagine that he probably was up to some pretty amazing musical feats in his late teens.

The cantata in seven movements is scored festively a Baroque instrumental ensemble including trumpets and timpani. It is stylistically much like Bach’s other early cantatas.

Although the cantata was planned to be performed only twice, it was printed the same year and was the first of his works to be printed. It is also the only cantata that was printed in Bach’s lifetime.

2 thoughts on “1708: Bach: Gott ist mein König (God is my King), BWV 71

  1. A beautiful piece. It reminds me of a medieval period film. I couldn’t identify most of the wind instruments by ear. I’d say the oboe is the instrument that most sounds like its baroque counterpart.

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