Monday, June 05, 2017

Bach on Pentecost - Whit Monday

Bach wrote several cantatas for the second day of Pentecost (Whit Monday), but for me the choice was a no-brainer. BWV 68, Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt (For God so loved the world...), from 1725, is a curious juxtaposition of the grave and solemn with the airily joyous, which makes for an enjoyable listening experience. The late Craig Smith of Emmanuel Music had this to say about it:
Bach Cantata BWV 68 is an oddly schizophrenic piece. The two choruses are of a very severe cast, while the two arias in the center of the piece are in a popular, even casual style. They are both arrangements from a much earlier Weimar work, the "Hunt" Cantata. The opening movement is a gorgeous and grave Siciliano with a rather obscure chorale tune based upon the reading from John in the soprano. The jump to the jolly cello solo with the soprano singing her famous "My Heart ever Faithful" is a big one. But the effect is a wonderful personalization of the rather abstract opening. The soprano is so light-hearted and infectious that an oboe and solo violin join after the voice part is finished for a delightful trio sonata. The bass aria with three oboes is even more popular in style. Here the rollicking jig is an interesting take on the rather serious words. The final motet movement is a very sober setting in archaic motet-style of the texts from Acts.
For today's offering I've chosen the 1975 recording by the Munich Bach Choir and Orchestra under the direction of Karl Richter, mainly for the lovely voice of soprano Edith Mathis, who makes the soprano aria Mein glaubiges Herze sound positively Mozartian. Enjoy!

Photo © 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

1 comment:

  1. It's regrettable that I see almost all of your Bach posts at one or the other of my local public libraries, where I can't listen to the videos that you include.

    My first exposure to Bach was probably Walter (now Wendy) Carlos' "Switched-On Bach" LP in the early seventies (The LP came out in 1968, but I didn't get to hear it until a few years later, during my A Clockwork Orange phase.). Either that or when Apollo 100's "Joy" hit the Top 40 in 1972.