Mariane von Ziegler
Catherine Bott examines JS Bach's cantata collaboration with authoress Mariane von Ziegler - a unique relationship which, as Mark A Peters in his new book about the poetess argues, brought a "woman's voice to Baroque Music".
In establishing his Protestant Church, Martin Luther had been very specific about the role of women - there wasn't one. It is all the more extraordinary then, that JS Bach, a devout Lutheran, and Cantor at one of the church's most prestigious institutions, St Thomas's in Leipzig, should have undertaken a collaboration with a local authoress for a series of weekly cantatas for use in the liturgy, bringing a woman's interpretation of the biblical texts into the heart of the church service.
Mariane von Ziegler was a local poet who felt passionately for the intellectual rights of women. She would eventually emerge as Germany's first female Poet Laureate. Her cantata texts arguably inspired Bach to a different pattern of cantata writing. Together, in 1725, they created a sequence of nine new cantatas for St Thomas's.
In this programme Catherine Bott, looks back on the life and career of Mariane, considering her achievement alongside a rich selection of music drawn from the Bach/von Ziegler collaboration.