Ich habe meine Zuversicht, BWV 188 has been transmitted in a rather fragmented form, the greatest casualty being the opening sinfonia. Craig Smith proposed the opening movement of the Keyboard Concerto in d minor, BWV 1052, although there is scholarship that suggests it is actually the 3rd movement. Today we use the 1st movement with three added wind parts – 2 oboes and English horn- and the organ playing the solo role.The sizzling intensity of the sinfonia is broken by the pastoral nature of the lovely tenor aria. Alfred Dürr notes the similarities of the main theme with that of the Polonaise from the French Suite in E major and the Sarabande from the English Suite in e minor. A solo oboe doubles the violins in the ritornello but it establishes its independence from the point of the vocal entry. The fundamental point of the aria, and the cantata, is God’s consistency in our human failure.The secco recitative for bass speaks of God’s love and our trust in him, no matter what He might do. The shaping of the melodic line subtly adapts its expression to the sense and feeling of the text. Near the end of the recitative the time changes to 6/8, the mood becomes pastoral, the continuo line flowing and supporting the final melisma.

The dark and dramatic alto aria brings back the solo organ texture. The cross and pain referred to here are not those of Christ but individual ones of the believer (or non-believer) thus implying an analogy between the pain of Christ and that of humankind.The very brief accompanied recitative for soprano announces the demise of the world. However the third line abruptly abandons the aggression of the opening string motive and the vocal line softens to reminds us that we are blessed though trust. The cantata closes with a simple setting of the tune Auf meinen lieben Gott, a quiet expression of faith.

© Ryan Turner

Bach Cantata BWV 188 begins with the first movement of the great Harpsichord Concerto in d minor, arranged for organ and orchestra. The sizzling intensity of this outstanding work is broken somewhat by the pastoral qualities of the lovely tenor aria. After a lengthy bass recitative, a long and brilliantly detailed alto aria with organ obbligato brings back the solo organ texture. An accompanied recitative for the soprano ushers in the chorale, a simple setting of the tune "Auf meinen lieben Gott."

©Craig Smith

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