Researchers believe that Bach composed a total of 295 sacred cantatas. This number is based on the assumption that, for five years in Leipzig, Bach wrote 59 cantatas a year – one for every Sunday (with the exception of the six Sundays of Lent and the last three Sundays of Advent), plus cantatas for the various Feasts throughout the liturgical year.
Since only 190 sacred cantatas are currently known to survive, easily another third of Bach’s cantatas are lost. Wouldn’t it be excellent if someone were to discover a dusty old trunk filled with the lost cantatas? A girl can dream, can’t she?