Johann Sebastian Bach (16851750)

Be silent, not a word BWV 211

Coffee Cantata
Urtext Stuttgarter Bach-Ausgaben

for: 3 voices (STB), flute, 2 violins, viola, basso continuo

Piano reduction (Urtext edition)

Item no.691343
Author/ComposerJohann Sebastian Bach
EditorUwe Wolf
Languagesgerman, english
Scope40 pages; 19 × 27 cm
Duration27 minutes
Year of origin1734
Release year2019
Publisher/ProducerCarus Verlag
Producer No.CV 31.211/03


In 1729 Bach took over the running of the “Collegium musicum” in Leipzig, founded by Telemann, and continued the tradition of giving concerts at least once a week with this ensemble in Zimmermann’s coffee house or, in the summer, in the coffee garden there. The compositions which were probably composed for performance there include Bach’s famous Coffee Cantata.

The cantata is only superficially about daughter Liesgen’s addiction to coffee, in fact it is really about her strict father Schlend rian’s educational efforts, which ultimately remain ineffective – but only in Bach’s cantata. In Picander’s printed libretto it seems as if Schlendrian might prevail, and only in Bach’s cantata, which includes two movements setting additional text, is there a twist to the contrary. Might Bach’s experiences as a father have come into play here?