In the year 2024, it will be 500 years since Martin Luther wrote his collection of songs. Songs from 1524/25, that still are sung today, but about which a lot has been discussed throughout the centuries.

In 1724/25 Johann Sebastian Bach composed his cycle of choral cantatas. And that was not by chance exactly 200 years after Luther’s songs in 1524/25, as recent scientific research has shown. This synopsis tells you the short story.

All the more reason, therefore, to put these two exceptional collections of religious and cultural heritage, aged 500 and 300 years, in the spotlight once again in 2024/25. Therefore, we hope to encourage all enthusiasts to have a great project year with our project L500B300. Are you curious, or would you like to participate? Please contact us.

Initiators:
Ellen van der Sar,
Lydia Vroegindeweij

[We are working to make all information available in English as well with the help of AI. This is an ongoing process, for which we ask for your patience. ]

Luther's songs 1524

Martin Luther, at the time of the Reformation, wanted to help people find comfort in their faith. Not everyone could read the Bible, but his songs from 1524/25 were the medium to memorise and pass on the doctrine.

On the (Dutch) website Kerkliedwiki you will find an overview of Luther’s songs and their translations in Dutch.

noten melodie Aus tiefer Not

Bach's choral cantatas 1724

Johann Sebastian Bach had just worked a year in Leipzig. His second cycle of cantatas, written in 1724/25, was all about church songs. In a modern musical form, the old songs were explained anew.

In this introductory article ‘What is a choral cantata‘, you can read what makes this year’s cycle so special.

Thomaskirche Leipzig

Inspiring history

The old hymns from Luther’s time were not always well understood 200 years later. Exciting discussions between the first hymnologists from the early 18th century show how the church song was treated in Bach’s time. Moreover, they shed new light on the texts and music of Bach’s cycle of choral cantatas.

Cantata calendar for 2024-2025

It is our mission to get all Bach choirs and orchestras on the right track to celebrate the double jubilee in 2024-2025. To start with, we have created a calendar with the correct dates in the church year. You can download the poster and print it yourself, preferably in A3 format.

Information per cantata

For each chorale cantata, we put together all kinds of information, such as listening examples and results of our research. Supplemented by specific external links, this is a good place to find out more about each song and the chorale cantata of the same name.

Hymnological Dossiers

If you want to dig deeper into the German sources of the 18th century yourself, you can take advantage of our Hymnological Dossiers. Here you will find the song and Schamelius’ explanations, combined with the text for each chorale cantata side by side.

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