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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Alles nur nach Gottes Willen (All only according to God's will)

Cantata 72

  • Third Sunday after Epiphany
  • Epistle: Romans xii. 17-21 (Overcome evil with good)
  • Gospel: Matthew viii. 1-13 (The cleansing of the leper)
  • Rating: 2+

My initial exposure to this cantata left me with a less than happy impression. However, I'm glad to say that subsequent listening has made me look more favourably upon it. My experience might direct you, therfore, away from the Teldec set and towards Rilling, for example.

The cantata opens with a chorus, a fine example of Bach's craft and artistry, whose dark minor key is amplified by an intense theme from the violins. This is followed by a recitative/arioso leading into a pleasant alto aria which has a fine violin accompaniment. A delightful soprano aria, which benefits from one of Bach's teasing oboe introductions, follows. The cantata draws to a close with a straightforward chorale harmonisation.

Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.