Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Bach - Trinity 23

Autumn Leaves
This week's Bach cantata belies its title - Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht! (False world, I trust you not, Leipzig, 1726). Despite the gloomy title, this solo cantata for soprano consists of some amazingly  joyous music, starting with the opening sinfonia, which is a restating of the first movement of his Brandenburg Concerto #1. This uprush of orchestral joy is followed by the recitative that gives this cantata its title, but then is followed by a more positive message and more joyful music. And although this is a solo cantata for soprano, the music is incredibly lush and complex for the genre. This is a treat from any perspective! Here's what Simon Crouch has to say on the subject:
One may ask What's a bit of Brandenburg Concerto doing here?. Indeed, given the somewhat pessimistic outlook of the rest of the cantata, an adaptation of the first movement of BWV 1046 does seem a little out of place. It does establish the key of F major nicely I suppose, but perhaps it's simply that a bunch of Sebastian's friends were in town that week and he wanted to give them something to play! The recitative that follows the opening sinfonia establishes the mood of gloom and the soprano aria counters that with trust in God. This latter is a pleasant piece, with attractive string accompaniment. The next recitative is followed by another attractive soprano aria that reiterates the message of faith in the Lord being the one true salvation. Robertson points out that the opening orchestral gesture (played by the oboes) in this movement bears a resemblance to the aria V'adoro pupile from Handel's Giulio Cesare. You might like to judge for yourself whether this is one master quoting another or simply a coincidental use of common musical language. The cantata is completed by a straightforward chorale setting. 
Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.
Today's performance is from a 2003 recording in the Waalse Kerk in Amsterdam by the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir under the direction of Ton Koopman. Enjoy!


Photo © 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

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