One of the main reasons I started this blog was to honor my late musician/teacher mother, and to continue her legacy of playing the appropriate Bach cantata every Sunday. In the church newsletter she would look up what Sunday it was, and then she would open the little red book by Alfred Dürr (it actually consisted of two Deutsche Taschenbuch Verlag books at the time, nowadays available as one single book in English or in German), and look up which cantatas Bach wrote for that Sunday. Then she would look through her collection of Leonhardt/Harnoncourt LPs (vinyl records), and if she had a recording, she would put it on the turn table, and read along in the score that came with the LP/vinyl record.
My mom’s routine of checking the church newsletter or doing her own calculations *before* she checked the Dürr book is crucial here. Because there are three Sundays before Lent (Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima/Estomihi), and they override the Sundays after Epiphany. If Easter is late, there can be as many as six Sundays after Epiphany (though we only have surviving Bach cantatas for the first four of those), if Easter is early (as is the case this year) there are only two Sundays after Epiphany.
This means that my post this year about cantata 3 was still correct, my next two posts (about 72 & 73, and about the operatic cantata 81) were irrelevant for this year, I should have posted about cantata 144 on Sunday January 24 instead of last week, and in the two weeks between then and now I should have introduced you to the fantastic portrayal of rain and snow in cantata 18, followed by some of Bach’s most magnificent choral writing in cantata 23.
Wieneke Gorter, February 13, 2016