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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Herr Jesu Christ, wahr'r Mensch und Gott (Lord Jesus Christ, true man and God)

Cantata 127

  • Quinquagesima Sunday
  • Epistle: 1 Corinthians xiii. (The praises of charity)
  • Gospel: Luke xviii. 31-43 (We go up to Jerusalem)
  • Rating: 2+

I have a feeling that if you admire the great BWV 106, then the first chorus of this cantata should be your next port of call. There is a quiet but insistent eloquence about the opening of this chorale cantata. A recitative leads into a similarly restrained aria for the soprano soloist. There's a lovely melody played out by the oboe and throughout the accompaniment is very fine. Perhaps the vocal line doesn't have quite the interest to support the length of this aria but it is well worth listening to nonetheless. The next movement is a recitative/aria most striking for the inclusion of a familiar tune from the St. Matthew Passion, the choral fugue Sind Blitze, sind Donner in Wolken verschunden from just before the end of the first part. Here it is done much more slowly. The cantata draws to a close with a straightforward chorale setting.

Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.

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