There is a whole generation (let’s call them baby boomers) in The Netherlands that loves Bach. For many reasons, I’m not part of that. Not part of the generation, and also not part of the JSB fanclub. I maybe have missed something in my childhood (or rather I didn’t).
Many ensembles have tried their hands at performing the series of cantates Bach wrote for his job in Leipzig. He was appointed by the city as the so called Thomaskantor, the guy in charge of the singers and musicians of the Thomaskirche in the centre of the city.
A cantate is a collection of vocal pieces around a common theme. It is not as structured as an opera or an oratorio. In Bach’s case the first 200 of them were so called sacred cantatas. They were planned around the liturgical year, commemorating a day, an event, or just the fact that that event was a week ago.