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O holder Tag, erwünschte Zeit, BWV210

1738-1741; wedding
author of text

As the longest of all his solo cantatas, Bach wrote BWV210 O holder Tag for a wedding, but once again we are unsure whose it was. Scholars have narrowed it down to four likely occasions, probably between 1738 and 1746, but the text (by an unknown poet) tells us that it was certainly for the wedding of an influential supporter of music and the arts. Written out in elaborate calligraphy, the parts were likely presented as a gift to the couple, the words speaking of marital love, and the role music plays within it. The recitatives which precede each aria are lengthy, almost like mini sermons, and describe in detail the esteem to which the patron holds music and its effect upon us all.

The cantata is scored for strings with oboe d’amore and flute obbligato. Both flute and oboe have solo movements, and only in the final recitative and aria does the ensemble play all together. The piece begins with a joyful blessing on the nuptial day and a lively aria in bright A major, which colours the “gentle swoon” with a wavy vocal line finishing on a long held E in order to emphasise the lulling effect of the song. The text twice refers specifically to the individual instruments, in the first aria suggesting “the delight of the strings strengthen and uplift” the soul. In the gentle, yet playful middle aria, the command, “Silence, you flutes, silence your tones”, goes unheeded as the flute carries on with extended runs which weave around the voice. The lilting E major aria with oboe suggests rest for the “weary notes”, each time painted with an elongated and tied note, while “tender harmony” is illustrated with a rising arpeggio. Bach’s “Great Patrons” are nobly represented by a courtly dance, and the wedding couple are celebrated in the last movement by a jubilant finale. This bright finale features trills which suggest banners snapping in the breeze and vocal coloratura sparkling like celebratory fireworks!

from notes by Gillian Keith © 2017


Bach: The complete solo soprano cantatas, Vol. 1
Studio Master: SIGCD488Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


No 01. Recitativo: O holder Tag, erwünschte Zeit
Track 15 on SIGCD488 [0'51] Download only
No 02. Aria: Spielet, ihr beseelten Lieder
Track 16 on SIGCD488 [6'06] Download only
No 03. Recitativo: Doch, haltet ein, ihr muntern Saiten
Track 17 on SIGCD488 [1'05] Download only
No 04. Aria: Ruhet hie, matte Töne
Track 18 on SIGCD488 [6'39] Download only
No 05. Recitativo: So glaubt man denn, dass die Musik verführe
Track 19 on SIGCD488 [1'52] Download only
No 06. Aria: Schweigt, ihr Flöten, schweigt, ihr Töne
Track 20 on SIGCD488 [4'31] Download only
No 07. Recitativo: Was Luft? was Grab?
Track 21 on SIGCD488 [1'35] Download only
No 08. Aria: Großer Gönner, dein Vergnügen
Track 22 on SIGCD488 [2'50] Download only
No 09. Recitativo: Hochteurer Mann, so fahre ferner fort
Track 23 on SIGCD488 [1'29] Download only
No 10. Aria: Seid beglückt, edle Beide
Track 24 on SIGCD488 [4'33] Download only

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