71 BWV - Gott ist mein König
Gott ist mein König (God is my King), BWV 71,[a] is a cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach written in Mühlhausen when the composer was 22 years old. Unusually for an early cantata by Bach, the date of first performance is known: at the inauguration of a new town council on 4 February 1708.
The text is compiled mainly from biblical sources, three different sections from Psalm 74 and several other verses. In addition, one stanza from Johann Heermann's hymn "O Gott, du frommer Gott" is sung simultaneously with corresponding biblical text, and free poetry by an unknown poet of Bach's time which relates to the political occasion. The cantata in seven movements is scored festively with a Baroque instrumental ensemble including trumpets and timpani, "four separate instrumental 'choirs', set against a vocal consort of four singers, an optional Capelle of ripienists and an organ". Stylistically it shares features with Bach's other early cantatas.
Bach, then organist in Mühlhausen's church Divi Blasii, led the performance on 4 February 1708 in the town's main church, the Marienkirche. Although the cantata was planned to be performed only twice, it was printed the same year, the first of his works to be printed and the only cantata extant in print that was printed in Bach's lifetime.