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Hyperion Records

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Interior of St Gommar, Lierre (1850) by David Roberts (1796-1864)
Reproduced by permission of The Wallace Collection, London
Track(s) taken from CDH55417
Recording details: April 1989
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: July 1990
Total duration: 8 minutes 32 seconds

'Splendid. A wonderful achievement, one that only renews our admiration for Bach. It has been six, maybe twelve months since I heard a record that impressed me as much as this one. Don't pass it by' (American Record Guide)

Fürchte dich nicht, BWV228
4 February 1726; funeral of wife of Staadthauptmann Winkler
author of text
Isaiah 41: 10; 43: 1
author of text
Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen; 1653

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The eight-part Fürchte dich nicht has been assigned to the funeral service of the wife of the Leipzig official Stadthauptmann Winkler on 4 February 1726. The work is in two movements. The first, a setting of Isaiah 41, verse 10, uses a modernized version of the late sixteenth-century polychoral style, with the two choirs answering and combining largely in block chords. Exactly half way through the work the text changes to Isaiah 43, verse 1, set to a three-part chromatic fugue sung by the combined lower voices of the two choirs, which then supports two verses of Paul Gerhardt’s hymn ‘Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen’, given out as a cantus firmus by the combined sopranos. Of the six Bach motets, this is the one most closely related in style to the motets of the earlier members of his family; indeed, it has exactly the same formal scheme as the eight-part setting of ‘Fürchtet euch nicht’ by Johann Michael Bach (1648–94), a work that Bach would have known from a copy in the archive of his family’s compositions, which he helped to assemble.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1990

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