Bach wrote a small-scale special cantata for Johannis (St. John, the feast celebrating the birth of St. John the Baptist) and performed it on the feast day, Thursday June 24, 1723. Read about the beautiful cantata in my post about St. John.

The next week, on Friday July 2, 1723, he performed an elaborate, two-part cantata on the feast of Mariä Heimsuchung (feast celebrating Mary visiting Elizabeth, or Visitation).

No cantatas survive for Trinity 5 and Trinity 6, the two Sundays that fall within these two special holiday weeks in 1723, which would have been June 27 and July 4 that year, June 26 and July 3 this year (2016).

Perhaps both these cantatas got lost. It would be a strange coincidence, since only one other cantata from 1723 is missing: the one for Trinity 18, which was right around the feast day of St. Michael.

So we can wonder: did the cantata from Thursday June 24 get repeated on Sunday June 27? And did the same happen the next week: did the cantata from Friday July 2 get repeated on Sunday July 4?

Or, did Bach get dispensation from the Council for the two Sundays since he needed time to rehearse the elaborate cantata for the feast of the Visitation on July 2 with choir and orchestra?

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Wieneke Gorter, June 23, 2016