Johann Kuhnau (1660–1722) O Holy Time
Cantata for Christmas – Urtext edited by David Erler [solos,(ch),orch] Duration: 15'
solos: SATB – 0.0.0.0 – 0.0.0.0 – str – bc
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The cantata O heilige Zeit [O Holy Time] of the former St. Thomas cantor Johann Kuhnau is the ideal baroque festive music for small scorings. Even though this is the larger of two cantatas with this text underlay, it can be performed by four soloists (SATB), single or double strings, and continuo organ. The participation of a choir in non-soloistic passages is optional, for historically unproven.
The cantata was composed in the years 1704/05 and can therefore be placed in Kuhnau’s term as St. Thomas cantor in Leipzig. A contemporary text by Erdmann Neumeister is fitted with a modern musical garb here while keeping unconditional adherence to it. Using a structural artifice as simple as it is effective, he provides a ritornello-like musical equivalent to the repeatedly recurring line of text “O heilige Zeit!”.
This edition continues the series of works by Kuhnau started in the Pfefferkorn Musikverlag. Another festive music by Kuhnau with larger scoring is found in the Magnificat in C major, deemed a direct predecessor of Bach’s Magnificat.
|1. O heilige Zeit|
|2. Wüte nur, du alte Schlange|
|3. Ach, denk ich zwar, mein liebster Jesu, hier zurücke|
|4. Eigne dir mein Herze zu|
|5. Was ist der Mensch als Staub und Erde?|
|6. Haltet mich nicht länger auf|
|7. Ich bin entzückt, da ich’s in Glauben nur erblickt|