The Thomasschule placed severe restrictions on Bach’s choice of musicians to perform his music. However, the Collegium Musicum was a pool of highly competent musicians, some of them virtuosos of their instrument. It was from the Collegium Musicum that Bach drew his musicians for the secular cantatas.

A piece of ‘trivia’ not trivial at the time: on the day after the performance of no.215 Bach’s virtuoso trumpeter and the leader of the Leipzig Stadtpfeifer (town wind-band), Gottfried Reiche, died as a result of his musical exertions. Such are the demands of the first trumpet part of the Christmas Oratorio.

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