Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen (Rejoice, you hearts), BWV 66,
is a church cantata for Easter by Johann Sebastian
Bach. The cantata is Bach's first composition for
Easter in Leipzig. The day before, on Easter Sunday of
1724, he had performed Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV
4. He derived the cantata for the Second Day of Easter
("den zweiten Osterfesttag") from his earlier secular
work, the Serenata Der Himmel dacht auf Anhalts Ruhm
und Glück composed in Köthen. On the Third Day of
Easter of 1724 he performed Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum
lebend weiß, BWV 134, which he derived in a similar way
from Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a, a
cantata to celebrate the New Year's Day of 1719 in
Bach performed the cantata again in Leipzig on 26 March
1731 and probably on 11 April 1735.
In this, the last duet aria the voices are homophonic
for most of the time, but with little rhythmical
differences, showing their different attitude to the
darkness of the grave (des Grabes Finsternissen): the
alto expresses "ich furchte zwar" (I truly fear) on
steady long notes, whereas the tenor tells in
ornamented figuration "ich furchte nicht" (I do not
fear). In the continuation they also deviate only on
one word, "klagete" (lamented) in the alto, "hoffete"
(hoped) in the tenor. The flowing 12/8 time signature
of the duet and a virtuoso solo violin are reminiscent
of the original purpose of the music in the
congratulatory cantata. It is most fitting for the
middle section of the da capo form, when both voices
agree: "Nun ist mein Herze voller Trost" (Now my heart
is full of comfort).
The cantata in six movements is festively scored for
alto, tenor, and bass soloists, a four-part choir,
trumpet, two oboes, two violins, viola and basso
continuo including bassoon.
I created this arrangement for Woodwind Quartet (Flute,
Oboe, Bb Clarinet, & Bassoon).