For election day, we perform Bach’s great election-day cantata “Preise Jerusalem.” This grand work was written in Bach’s first year at Leipzig. It opens appropriately with a magnificent chorus with the full orchestra of 4 trumpets, tympani, 3 oboes, two recorders, and strings. The first aria with two English horns and tenor, not only praises Leipzig as a great town, but as the chosen place of God. The streets of Leipzig were (and still are) lined with linden trees, thus their mention in the text. After a very grand recitative for bass, with all of the wind and brass instruments, the two recorders accompany the alto in an aria of great intimacy and refinement. A soprano recitative leads us into a grand chorus, which is, unusually, not the finale. Another brief recitative ushers in the very simply and humble chorale setting. The tone of humility is all the more striking after what has come before.