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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Gott ist unsre Zuversicht (Have faith in thy God)

Cantata 197

  • Wedding Cantata
  • Rating: 1

Despite its length (over thirty minutes long), there are only three arias in this two part cantata. Luckily for us they are all very good indeed. Part one of the cantata (played before the marriage ceremony) opens with a fine fugal chorus, well over six minutes in length. A recitative is followed by the alto aria. Gloriously indulgent for the singer and introduced by a beautiful and stately instrumental accompaniment. A second recitative is followed by a chorale setting and with this, the first part draws to a close. The second part (played after the marriage ceremony has taken place) opens with a celebratory bass aria. Again this is an excellent vehicle for the soloist to display his worth. Also of note is the oboe and obbligato bassoon accompaniment. A further recitative and then the soprano soloist has his chance to shine, again with a fine accompaniment this time provided by violin and oboe d'amore. It's worth noting that the bass aria and the soprano aria are parodies of movements taken from (the now incomplete) Christmas cantata BWV 197a. A recitative precedes the final chorale, a simple setting of a beautiful tune.

Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.

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