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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille (God, praise waiteth Thee in the temple)

Cantata 120

  • Leipzig Town Council inauguration 1728 or 1729
  • Rating: 1

There are a lot of interesting connections to and from this cantata: The first movement may very well be modelled on the slow movement of a lost solo concerto. Bits of the second turn up, modified, in the Et expecto resurrectionem of the b-minor Mass and the fourth movement looks like it's come from a common model shared by the third movement of the violin sonata BWV1019a. There's lots more than simply historical interest in this cantata, though. The music is very fine as well. The opening is something of a surprise for a festive cantata such as this. A very gentle and lyrical alto aria, with a gorgeous lilting oboe d'amore accompaniment. The surprise is amplified by the next movement which is exactly the sort of upbeat chorus (complete with trumpets) with which one might have expected the cantata to open. A recitative is followed by the soprano aria, perhaps a little less interesting than the first two movements, but still attractive with its notable violin accompaniment. The cantata comes to a close with straightforward chorale setting.

Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.