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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Es is euch gut, dass ich hingehe (It is for your good that I go)

Cantata 108

  • Fourth Sunday after Easter
  • Epistle: Jas. 1. 17-21 (Every good gift is from above)
  • Gospel: John xvi. 5-15 (It is expedient that I go away)
  • Rating: 2+

Another reminder of what a beautifully expressive instrument the oboe d'amore is as it introduces the first aria of this relatively short cantata (a little over fifteen minutes long). The most interesting part of this work (which follows very closely the words and sentiment of the Gospel reading) is the fourth movement chorus which is a quite outstanding fugal setting of John xvi. 13. Not one, not two, but three fugues all in a row in less that five minutes! Of the arias, the first for bass, despite the plangent oboe d'amore theme and the second for tenor, despite the athletic violin accompaniment, are somewhat vocally routine. However, the alto aria, which follows the fugal chorus is far more convincing. The concluding chorale is beautifully rich.

Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.