The book explores Bach’s complete record of both church and secular cantatas in a broad recognition which aims at discussing the several still opened questions aroused by the present state of the Bach-Forschung, offering in the meantime a comprehensive outlook on this part of Bach’s catalogues. Taking advantage of the great achievements of the most up-to-date international research in recent years, the book considers cantatas both as single works and in their reciprocate relations, discussing cultural background, texts, authors, theological questions, chronology, instrumentation, stylistic development, borrowings across works or group of works. A section of the book is devoted to secular cantatas, to their historical importance as a major part of Bach’s output and to their relationship with Italian contemporary genres: dramma per musica, intermezzo and cantata, considered from the point of view of modern musicological approach to 18th-century opera. Specific care has been devoted to the creation of seven indexes, which make it possible to research through a number of different levels and inquiries.
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