Jesus among the Doctors, by Quinten Matsijs (1456/1466-1530), oil on canvas, created 1509-1511. National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon, Portugal.

For this Sunday, the first after Epiphany, Bach wrote a new cantata every year during his first three years in Leipzig. All three cantatas are beautiful, and all three are more or less based on the story of Mary and Joseph dealing with the angst of not being able to find their 12-year-old son.

Whether you’d like to learn about all the different ways Bach illustrates this story in his writing, or just listen to the beautiful music, or see how Veronese or Dürer painted this subject, you can find it all in two previous posts on this blog. In 2016 I wrote about Cantata 154 from 1724 and Cantata 32 from 1726. In 2018 I wrote about Cantata 124 from 1725. I’ve updated all the links for recordings in all those posts, so it should all work, and these are all great cantatas. Happy listening!

Wieneke Gorter, January 11, 2020.