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    Bach: Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd, BWV 208

    "Congratulatory Cantata"

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    The hunting cantata, the earliest secular cantata of Bach's which has come down to us, was performed for the birthday of Duke Christian of Saxony-Weissenfels (23February) - according to most recent research very probably in the year 1713. It was later performed again for the birthday of Duke Ernst August of Saxony-Weimar (the co-regent of Duke Wilhelm Ernst).

    Bach's score employs taut musical forms; noteworthy - and entirely characteristic of Bach's early style - is the dominant role of the continuo in recitatives and arias. The setting is in chamnber music style.