Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday Bach - Third Sunday After Easter

Bach wrote three cantatas for the third Sunday after Easter, also known as Jubilate. Last year I posted BWV 103, emphasizing the sorrow in Jesus' death but hope for his resurrection. This year I've gone straight for the glory - BWV 146, Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal in das Reich Gottes eingehen (We must enter the kingdom of God through much tribulation, Leipzig 1726). Listen to that magnificent opening sinfonia! It's the first movement of his D minor Concerto for Harpsichord, rearranged for organ and orchestra; it shows off both Bach's virtuosity on the organ and the virtuosity in the composition of works for the organ. This is just one gorgeous piece of music, and the rest of the cantata keeps up that high standard. Here's the late Craig Smith of Emmanuel Music on this cantata:
Bach Cantata BWV 146 is a curious amalgam of instrumental and vocal music. The first movement is a sinfonia that is an enriched version of the first movement of the D Minor Harpsichord Concerto, here arranged for organ. The second movement of that concerto is the underpinning for the opening chorus. An expressive alto aria with violin obbligato follows. Perhaps the greatest thing in this cantata is the lazy and sinuous soprano aria with flute and two oboes d’amore. This has a tone and color both sensuous and melancholy, unique in all of Bach. The big duet with tenor and bass wipes out all sadness in the cantata and ends the work with a joyous, upbeat quality. The chorale most familiarly known as Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring ends this long and impressive cantata. 
© Craig Smith
Today's performance is from a 2013 recording by Il Gardelino under the direction of Marcel Ponseele, and featuring the organ virtuosity of Lorenzo Ghielmi. Enjoy!

Photo © 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

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