Cantata 32 is a good example of a dialogue cantata. In this case, as is so often, the dialogue is between Jesus and the soul. The cantata opens with a fine aria introduced by a plaintive oboe line, which the soprano soloist later picks up. The soul is momentarily distressed by the absence of Jesus. This is a very beautiful movement. After a recitative the bass, representing Jesus, has a long aria most notable for the virtuoso violin accompaniment. The next recitative itself takes the form of a dialogue between the soul and Jesus. The dialogue continue in the final duet. I cannot resist quoting Robertson here: "It is to be hoped that the 'pop' boys do not get hold of this number: they would inevitably vulgarise it". (!) I do not see the same degree of attractiveness in this movement that he does, it is fine but in the context of the cantatas not outstandingly so. The cantata closes with a straightforward chorale setting.
Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.