Johann Sebastian Bach was better known as a virtuoso
organist than as a composer in his day. His sacred
music, organ and choral works, and other instrumental
music had an enthusiasm and seeming freedom that
concealed immense rigor. Bach's use of counterpoint was
brilliant and innovative, and the immense complexities
of his compositional style -- which often included
religious and numerological symbols that seem to fit
perfectly together in a profound puzzle of special
codes -- still amaze musicians today. Many consider him
the greatest composer of all time.
"Siehe, es hat überwunden der Löwe" ("Behold, the lion
has triumphed"), BWV 219, is a Cantata by Bach for the
Feast of St Michael and All Angels in 1723 however, the
cantatas BWV 217-222 are all now regarded as either
being of dubious provenance or, in some cases, are
definitely identified as being by composers other than
J.S. Bach. However, it's worth considering them here
because it is still possible that one or two of them
may actually be genuine and since there is also a good
quality recording available of this set (conducted by
Wolfgang Helbich on CPO 999139-2), so that listeners
can come to their own conclusions!
BWV 219 has been identified as being by Telemann and is
now found as TVWV 1:1328 in the catalogue of his works.
A reference for the identification is Dürr,
Bach-Jahrbuch 1951/2, 39f. The short opening chorus
features a choral fugue with suitable martial trumpets.
The trumpets stay centre stage for the fine triumphant
bass aria "Gott stürzet den Hochmuth". A long soprano
recitative leads into a pleasant but rather routine
alto aria and the cantata is brought to a close by a
straightforward chorale setting. It's difficult to see
why this might ever have been attributed to Bach!
Although originally written for 4-part Chorus (SATB)
and Orchestra (2 trumpets, 2 violins, viola, continuo)
I created this arrangement for Wind Quintet (Flute,
Oboe, Bb Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon).