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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Susser Trost, mein Jesus kömmt (Sweet comfort, my Jesus comes)

Cantata 151

  • Christmas Tuesday
  • Epistle: Hebrew i. 1-14 (Christ is preferred above the angels) or
      Ecclesiastes xv. 1-8 (Wisdom embraces those that fear God)
  • Gospel: John i. 1-14 (In the beginning was the word) or
     John xxi. 15-24 (Jesus commands Peter to feed his lambs)
  • Rating: 2+

It's a great shame that no flute concerti have come down to us from Bach's hand. Surely he must have written them, given the quality of flute players that he had available to him. Still, the opening soprano aria of this cantata is something of a consolation prize for us flutists. It's a beautiful lilting piece in 12/8 time which features the oboe d'amore as well as the flute. This is one of those pieces that could quite happily be extracted from it's context and presented as an independent concert aria. Perhaps that way it would get to be known as well as it deserves rather than lying in relative obscurity. The rest of the cantata is rather overshadowed by the opening movement and, indeed, there's only one other aria (for alto) sandwiched between two recitatives. It's a pleasant piece with the oboe d'amore more prominently featured. The cantata ends with a straightforward chorale setting, the flute delightfully doubling the soprano line.

Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.