Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Festival Bach - Pentecost III

Today is the final day of Pentecost, and the long stretch of the everyday Ordinary Time begins. Bach navigates the segue from one to the other with a lovely little solo cantata, BWV 175, Er rufet seinen Schafen mit Namen (He calls his sheep by name, Leipzig 1725). Here's the late Craig Smith of Emmanuel Music with the commentary:
Bach Cantata BWV 175 is something of a curiosity. Most of the music probably comes from secular sources, but only the tenor aria is known in another version. The work begins with a gorgeous tenor recitative with three obbligato recorders. That same instrumental texture continues in the pastoral alto aria. Another tenor recitative follows, this time secco. The tenor aria has a delightful bouncy cello obbligato that underpins the anticipation of the coming of Jesus in the text. The following recitative is curiously the only movement that calls for violins and violas. The bass aria with brilliant obbligati for two trumpets changes the character of the cantata from pastoral to martial. The harmonization of "Komm, heiliger Geist" is one of the greatest chorale harmonizations in all of the cantatas, and the doubling of the voice parts up an octave by the recorder gives it a particularly lustrous sheen.

© Craig Smith
Today's performance id by the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner. Enjoy!

Photo © 2008 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

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