A splendid opening chorus gets this post Easter celebration off to a cracking start! And yet, does it continue quite so well? This is one of those pieces that, although good, surely could have been great. Perhaps the problem occurs immediately after the chorus with the alto aria. Where there could have been a continuation and development of the mood of the opening, there is a sudden drop in the tension. In other places, I would sing the praises of this aria but here the almost genial tone doesn't fit the words My Saviour is arisen, so why should I now fear? A shame, because the following recitative-chorale-recitative structure provides a wonderfully dramatic narrative. Further, this is followed by an extraordinary duet between the laid-back bass soloist and the chorus. Do try and hear the cantata for this movement alone! The choral effect at Wohl uns" is amazing. As usual, a fine chorale setting rounds the piece off.
Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.