alto, aria, bass, cantata, chorale, dance, dramma per musica, Easter, Easter Oratorio, Entfliehet verschwindet entweichet ihr Sorgen, mystery play, oratorio, recitative, recorder, Sanfte soll mein Todeskummer, soprano, tenor
In the course of composing his Easter Oratorio (BWV 249), Bach reworked a secular cantata, Entfliehet, verschwindet, entweichet, ihr Sorgen (BWV 249a), that he had written for the 25 February 1725 birthday of Duke Christian of Saxe-Weißenfels. Already a month later, Bach performed the work as a sacred cantata with a new Easter text and recitatives, and then in August 1726 it was refashioned for Count Joachim Friedrich von Flemming as a dramma per musica entitled Die Feier des Genius: Verjaget, zerstreuet, zerrüttet, Ihr Sterne (BWV 249b). Finally, in the mid-1730s, Bach returned to the Easter cantata, expanded its voicing and renamed it the Easter Oratorio.
In its final form, the Easter Oratorio includes neither chorales nor a narrator. Instead, in the style of a medieval mystery play acted out by four soloists, the well-known story revolves around Sanfte soll mein Todeskummer, a tenor aria gently accompanied by recorders and muted strings. Otherwise, with three trumpets and timpani, the joyous occasion is celebrated with two sinfonias and many dance movements, including a tempo di minuetto, a bourée, a gavotte and a gigue.