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Bach Cantata Listener's Guide

Gott soll allein mein Herze haben (God alone shall have my heart)

Cantata 169

  • Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity
  • Epistle: 1 Corinthians 4-8 (Paul gives thanks for the grace of God)
  • Gospel: Matthew xxii. 34-46 (The first great commandment)
  • Rating: 2

This cantata provides a good example of Bach's adaptation of previously existing material to a new context. In this case, the first and second movements of the E Major Clavier Concerto BWV 1053 are used to provide the opening sinfonia (where the keyboard part is provided by the organ) and the second alto aria (with independent voice part). This process of adaptation leads here to an attractive cantata and the first alto aria, a gently beautiful piece accompanied by a simple continuo and organ part, provides original music well up to the standard of the rest. The cantata is rounded off by a straightforward chorale setting.

Copyright © 1997 & 1998, Simon Crouch.