Bach chorale cantatas based on tunes we still sing
BWV 80 - Ein’ feste Burg (“A mighty fortress is our God”)
Excepting maybe the “Ehre sei dir, Gott” of the Christmas Oratorio, I’m not sure there’s any Bach more fun than mvts. 1 and 5 of this one. Herreweghe does a romp on this one. (And I like those trumpets and timpani - which Bach didn’t write, but they’re cool anyway, so why not?)
BWV 140 - Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (“Wake, O Wake”)
You probably got it in your undergrad music history sequence, but if you were like me, you were so overloaded with Gabrieli, Schüta, Buxtehude, et al that there wasn’t room to savor Bach. This one only gradually grew on me, and I still am so-so on the solo movements. I still haven’t found a recording of this one I really think does the trick.
BWV 137 - Lobe den Herren (“Praise to the Lord”)
The last one is lesser-known, but it’d be a great piece to put together for a summer concert or some such. Pretty standard chorale cantata: big opening chorus with the chorale in the soprano as a cantus firmus, some solo movements, then a straight-up harmonization of the chorale.
Interesting how the tune is different - I wonder why the discrepancy between what Bach used and what I’ve always otherwise seen and sung.
BWV 192 - Nun danket alle Gott (“Now thank we all our God”)
Again, lesser-known, and actually incomplete. But, we do have the opening chorus, a duet, and a closing chorus. The opening is pretty demanding on the singers and has some interesting “extra” padding - first and last vocal entrances are unrelated to the chorale. The 2nd chorus reminds one “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” with the constant triplet motion in the violins, but here the singers get in on the fun, too. :)
Any that I missed? Of course, there are other great chorale cantatas, but I am specifically interested in ones based on chorales we still sing, esp. in Catholic churches. (I believe some churches do still sing “Mit Fried’ und Freud’” and “Werde munter, mein Gemüthe”, e.g. “Jesu Joy” - but these seem less prevalent?)