On this day in 1741 Christoph Graupner directed the second of the 10 cantatas of his Passion cycle "Betrachtungen über die Hauptumstände des großen Versöhnungsleidens unseres Erlösers" (Reflections on the main circumstances of the great reconciliatory suffering of our Savior). This cycle should be hailed as one of the greatest reflections on the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus, standing in its brilliance with ease alongside works like the St Matthew Passion and Messiah. While unlike those two, Graupner did not intend his (almost 4 hour long) cycle to be performed as a single work, there are stylistic aspects throughout which clearly link the cantatas together. There are also two epic choruses which start the first cantata and end the tenth, clearly acting as a frame.

Thanks to Florian Heyerick et al. we can now enjoy 9 of the 10 cantatas in absolutely first rate performances. These have been recorded on 3 CDs and released over the last couple of years. Unfortunately the producers of the discs apparently decided for a rather haphazard order and not simply chronologically as Graupner intended (the brilliant opening cantata which is for today comes on disc 3!). Thanks to the wonders of modern technology I have created a playlist in the correct order which means that anyone with a spotify account can enjoy the cycle as it was heard back in 1741 in Darmstadt: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3s...hHQSOrs8aU0Aww

And, if you already know these works (and other great recordings of Graupner) you might want to delve even deeper into his as yet unperformed (at least unrecorded) work - about 90% of his ~1400 cantatas! For that please see my (ongoing) project to produce (good quality) synthesized performances of chorales from his cantatas corresponding to every Sunday and Feast Day of the liturgical year: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...FjRi7rcVIqU2yL This might sound rather tedious, but if you have a listen you will hear that he came up with very imaginative and (for the time) often quite modern ways of orchestrating the otherwise rather plain chorales.