Non sa che sia dolore (He knows not what sorrow is),
BWV 209, is a secular cantata composed by Johann
Sebastian Bach and first performed in Leipzig in
1747.Bach likely composed this cantata as a farewell
for Lorenz Albrecht Beck (1723-1768). The librettist
for the work is unknown.
Bach may have derived the opening sinfonia in B minor
from a previous concerto. It includes a prominent
"baroque 'weeping' figure". The first recitative uses
tonality to underline the meaning of the
"quasi-philosophical" text. The following da capo aria
is in E minor and features a flute obbligato. The
second recitative is short and secco, contrasting
sharply with the final "ebulliently major" da capo
The piece is scored for solo soprano voice, flauto
traverso, two violins, viola, and basso continuo.
I created this transcription of the opening Sinfonia:
"Non sa che sia dolore" (He knows not what sorrow) is
for Flute & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).