Just today, in fact, I finally committed to doing my final paper and podcast on Bach’s Ich freue mich in dir BWV 133 in the spirit of the holiday season. I’m still just beginning the research process, which can be a bit daunting especially since I’m not familiar with the piece I’m writing about. With my past papers, I haven’t stepped too boldly out of my comfort zone in terms of topics, but this topic is going to force me to take a leap of faith and challenge myself to think critically about a piece I’ve never thought about before.
One of the main things that has jumped out to me about this cantata so far is the fact that the author of the poem Bach used, Caspar Ziegler, is apparently not very well-known. This is a bit hard to believe considering Bach made his poem quite famous with his cantata, but all of the sources I’ve seen so far make Ziegler out to be someone with very little experience in the arts. I think it would be interesting to research the meaning behind the text from the author’s point of view, which is something I hope to do.
I have really enjoyed reading about all of the imagery in this cantata as well. At this point, I’m struggling with which direction I should take my paper since I’d like my paper to focus on imagery within the piece. With this topic, I’m having a difficult time coming up with a thesis that isn’t too standard but also isn’t too complex. So far I’ve considered discussing imagery in terms of instruments and voices used, direct biblical connections and representation, or arguing the imagery used does not depict the biblical text accurately (which I’m not sure I agree with, but it could potentially be fun writing a paper this way). I know I have a lot of work to do, and I’m sure my topic will narrow itself down as I delve further into research