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Cantata 51 follows the traditional chorale cantata pattern. The first movement is a brilliant da capo aria, in ritornello form, that features bravura passage-work for the singer and the trumpeter, often in virtuoso counterpoint that ranks among Bach’s most original writing for a voice with an obbligato instrument. The recitative second movement opens with a serene chordal accompaniment in the upper strings over a bass ostinato. The soprano’s part, at first restrained and mostly syllabic, becomes much more ornate as it develops. There is a notable example of Bach’s word-painting at the word ‘lallen’, set to a long-drawn-out, rather jagged melisma. The ensuing aria, in a flowing 12/8 rhythm, is under-girded by a mainly stepwise bass line that gives the impression of aspiring continually upwards. The soprano’s elaborate, wide-ranging melodic line perfectly complements the prayer for God to bestow his mercies each day.
The last movement opens with a violin duet, against which the soprano enunciates the chorale melody ‘Nun Lob’, mein Seel’, den Herren’. There are joyful, extended ritornello sections, making much use of instrumental imitation. The movement, and the work, culminates in a blissful setting of ‘Alleluia’ in which the trumpet rejoins the soprano for a display of spiritual virtuosity that has often been rated the finest ‘Alleluia’ setting before that in Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate.
from notes by Malcolm MacDonald © 2012
extrait des notes rédigées par Sir John Eliot Gardiner © 2004
Français: Michel Roubinet
aus dem Begleittext von Sir John Eliot Gardiner © 2004
Deutsch: Gudrun Meier
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