Contrast the simplicity of BWV 196, composed early in Bach's career with the grandeur and sophistication of BWV 195 composed at the height of his powers and revised a number of times up until near the end of his life. One can quite imagine the small, simple ceremony represented by the former and the grand occasion representing the latter! BWV 195 is framed by two mighty choruses accompanied by full orchestra (with strongly featured flute and oboe parts). A glorious beginning and a glorious end to the pre-marriage part of the cantata. Between these two pillars, a grand and wonderful bass aria is preceded and followed by a pair of recitatives far more imposing than the usual run-of-the-mill recitative. The first carrying over some of the enthusiasm and power of the opening chorus and the last by dint of the sophisticated accompaniment provided by flutes and oboe d'amore. There is a very short second part (post wedding ceremony) to the cantata consisting of two stanzas of the chorale Nun danket all und bringet Ehr set to the melody Lob Gott, ihr Christen, alle gleich.
Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.