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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht (My Jesus leave me not)

Cantata 124

  • First Sunday after Trinity
  • Epistle: Romans xii. -6 (We are at one with Christ)
  • Gospel: Luke ii. 41-52 (Jesus in the temple)
  • Rating: 1

The oboe d'amore takes centre stage, as so often in the cantatas, both in the opening chorus and in the tenor aria. In the latter, the theme is so delicious that it must be considered fair game for television producers looking for a new theme tune. Since that aria starts with the words And when the dreaded stroke of death…., it would seem perfectly appropriate to a detective series! This is one of the shorter cantatas, at around fifteen minutes and has the fairly straightforward form of chorus, recitative, aria, recitative, duet, chorale. In the opening chorus there is an elaborate part for the oboe d'amore weaving semiquaver runs around the choir whose sopranos sing a chorale melody above independent parts for the lower voices. Very effective. After a recitative and the tenor aria referred to above another recitative introduces a simple but delightful dance-like duet between soprano and alto. The cantata concludes with a chorale harmonisation.

Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.

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