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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele (Praise the Lord, my soul)

Cantata 69

  • Inauguration of the New Council
  • Rating: 2

The material of this cantata was adapted and developed from that of BWV 69a for use as a celebratory cantata to be performed at the service after the inauguration of a new town council in the last decade of Bach's life (so this work is very late for a cantata composition). The recitative and chorale were newly composed and the tenor aria in BWV 69a went to the alto. Various details of orchestration were also changed. I won't repeat what is written in the review of BWV 69a but will merely point out that the recitatives are made more relevant (and far more substantial in the case of the tenor recitative, which develops to a full blown arioso) to the occasion on hand and that the accompaniment to the alto (previously tenor) aria now consists of oboe and violin over the basso continuo. In this form, I feel this aria to be slightly less attractive. The chorale that ends this version of the cantata is a straightforward harmonisation but now acquires a festive accompaniment of trumpet and drums.

Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.