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Bach Cantata Series - The "Coffee Cantata" ("Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht", BWV 211)

Thursday, October 18, 2012 1:30PM Grand Pavilion

Soprano (Liesgen) Katie Baughman Bass (Schlendrian) James Krabbendam Tenor (narrator) Matthew Hill Conductor C. Paul Heins

Also known as "The Coffee Cantata", "Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht" is a satirical work, poking fun at coffee as a 17th and 18th century vice in trading cities like Leipzig, where the cantata was premiered at Gottfried Zimmerman's coffeehouse.

Coffee arrived in Italy around 1615, brought in by Venetian merchants from Constantinople, and it was soon consumed throughout Europe. Coffee's Turkish origins rankled devout Catholics, who considered it the drink of the infidels. Pope Clement VIII went further, calling it "the drink of the devil." He later tasted it, enjoyed it, and even baptized the drink, allowing Catholics to enjoy the beverage with a clear conscience.

The Bach Cantata Series is dedicated to exploring the more than 200 extant cantatas by the great master through informal performances by students and friends of the UMD Choral Activities.

Although we don't allow coffee in the library, visit MSPAL to learn more about Bach's life and works, including his hundreds of sacred and secular cantata:

  • Recordings: Listen to recordings of BVW 211 by ensembles from all over the world.
  • Scores: Too jazzed up from all the caffeine?  Follow along with a score of the "Coffee Cantata."
  • Books: Learn more about Bach's life and his works through resources available on the shelves of MSPAL - just be careful not to spill your java!
Streaming Audio:  Enjoy performances of Bach's "Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht" streaming from Naxos Music Library and Alexander Street Press's Classical Music Library from anywhere, including your smartphone.