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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Ach! Ich sehe, jetzt, da ich zur Hochzeit gehe (Ah! now I see, as I go to the marriage)

Cantata 162

  • Twentieth Sunday after Trinity
  • Epistle: Ephesians v. 15-21 (Avoid bad company)
  • Gospel: Matthew xvii. 1-14 (Parable of the marriage of the king's son)
  • Rating: 3+

The outer movements provide the only real interest here. The opening movement is a solo aria for bass describing the invitation to the Gospel's wedding feast in sombre, austere music. A slide trumpet provides a haunting accompaniment to what is a beautifully contemplative piece. At the other end of the work, the concluding chorale is short, simple but outstandingly beautiful. Alas, in between these two interest is not maintained. The soprano aria (which commentators suggest is missing an obbligato instrument) is pleasant but somewhat unmemorable and the alto/tenor duet that follows the intervening recitative seems merely routine by Bach's standards.

Copyright © 1997 & 1998, Simon Crouch.