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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Wahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage euch (Truly, truly, I say unto you)

Cantata 86

  • Fifth Sunday after Easter (Rogation Sunday)
  • Epistle: Jas. i. 22-27 (Be doers of the Word)
  • Gospel: John xvi. 23-30 (What you ask in My name, the Father will give)
  • Rating: 2+

Off to a good start with a triple fugue to introduce the bass aria. This is a fine movement with tuneful, earnest declamation from the vocalist woven as one strand amongst the instrumentalists. I'm quite sure that the main (vocal) theme will leave you humming for the next few hours! The other movements in the cantata are possibly most notable for their respective accompaniments. In both the remaining arias, for example, the voice part is more declamatory than tuneful. The first aria benefits from a florid virtuoso violin accompaniment, the following recitative from a bubbling duet from the oboes d'amore, and the final tenor aria an fine orchestral accompaniment. The cantata closes with a straightforward chorale setting.

Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.