Die Elenden sollen essen (The miserable shall eat), BWV
75, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach
composed the cantata for the First Sunday after Trinity
and first performed it in the service in the
Nikolaikirche on 30 May 1723, to take up his position
as Thomaskantor. From then he was responsible for the
education of the Thomanerchor, performances in the
regular services in the Thomaskirche and the
Nikolaikirche, and until 1725 also for one of two
services in the Paulinerkirche. He started a project of
composing one cantata for each Sunday and holiday of
the liturgical year, termed by Christoph Wolff "an
artistic undertaking on the largest scale".
The autograph score is written neatly on non-Leipzig
paper, probably while Bach lived still in Köthen.
A Leipzig chronicle, "Acta Lipsiensium academica",
reported the social event: "... führte ... Hr. Joh.
Sebastian Bach ... mit gutem applauso seine erste Music
auf" (... performed ... with good applause his first
music). "Good applause" means "great approval" rather
than clapping of hands. A different translation renders
the note as "... the new Cantor and Director of the
Collegium Musicum, Herr Johann Sebastian Bach, who has
come hither from the Prince's court of Cöthen, produced
his first music here with great success."
This, the sinfonia "Die Elenden sollen essen" (The
miserable shall eat) begins Part II, rare in Bach's
cantatas, is especially remarkable because it is a
chorale fantasia on the same chorale melody. The tune
is played by the trumpet which was silent throughout
Part I, as the cantus firmus against a polyphonic
string setting, emphasizing once more "Was Gott tut,
das ist wohlgetan" (What God does is well done).
Although originally scored for trumpet, two violins,
viola, and basso continuo, I created this transcription
for Bb Trumpet & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).