BWV 47 has an unclear genesis. Although the first known performance was in Bach's third Leipzig cycle, the work may have been first written before Bach came to Leipzig. It opens with an enormous and impressive fugal chorus very clear in outline and with many episodes. Particularly impressive is the huge section at the end which combines the two fugues that have come before. In the Leipzig performances, the obbligato to the soprano aria was taken by the organ. It was obviously originally a violin solo with its impressive passagework in the first section and the "devilish" double stops in the second section. After a brief accompanied recitative the work becomes more benign in character with a gorgeous lyrical bass aria with solo oboes and violin. A harmonization of "Warum betrübst du dich mein Herz" ends the work.

©Craig Smith

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