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The Wilhelmsburg in Weimar

The Wilhelmsburg Palace in Weimar

Three hundred years ago, on New Year’s Day, 1714, Bach was serving as court organist in Weimar, devoting much of his time to composing works for the organ, but then, on 2 March 1714, his duties were dramatically expanded when he was promoted to the newly-created post of Konzertmeister. Now, for the first time in his career, Bach was expected to compose sacred works for groups of virtuoso singers and instrumentalists on a regular basis. Three weeks later, just after the birth of his son Carl Phillip Emanuel, he introduced the cantata Himmelskönig, sei willkommen (BWV 182) at a performance in the Palace Church at the Wilhelmsburg.

The autograph manuscript of this cantata, along with others dated 1714, authenticate important milestones in Bach’s creative life that merit commemoration during the course of 2014.