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Sinfonia from "Cantata No 29"

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (arr. Ninmer)

General Info

Year: 1731
Duration: c. 4:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Clarinets I-II-III-IV
B-flat Alto Clarinets I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinets I-II
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
E-flat Contrabass Clarinet


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Some of Bach’s most popular and enduring music comes from his cantatas. Among his offerings in this genre, numbering as many as 220, is the spirited Sinfonia from Cantata No. 29, “Wir danken dir, Gott’ which was first performed in 1731. Bach wrote sinfonias for several of his cantatas, but the reason for their inclusion in a sacred choral work remains somewhat of a mystery. Some scholars speculate that Bach added these instrumental features as a way to showcase his own organ playing or to highlight the skills of a visiting instrumentalist. The melody of this particular sinfonia was borrowed from an earlier partita for solo violin, BWV 1006, written in the fruitful period while Bach was employed in Cöthen. Just as the piece acts as an instrumental overture to the cantata, this popular sinfonia also is often heard as a stand-alone overture in the concert hall.

- Program Note from U.S. Marine Band concert program, 14 December 2016

This work is an arrangement for clarinet choir of the opening movement of Bach’s Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, (We thank you, God, we thank you), BWV 29.


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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