Bach Cantata BWV 68 is an oddly schizophrenic piece. The two choruses are of a very severe cast, while the two arias in the center of the piece are in a popular, even casual style. They are both arrangements from a much earlier Weimar work, the "Hunt" Cantata. The opening movement is a gorgeous and grave Siciliano with a rather obscure chorale tune based upon the reading from John in the soprano. The jump to the jolly cello solo with the soprano singing her famous "My Heart ever Faithful" is a big one. But the effect is a wonderful personalization of the rather abstract opening. The soprano is so lighthearted and infectious that an oboe and solo violin join after the voice part is finished for a delightful trio sonata. The bass aria with three oboes is even more popular in style. Here the rollicking jig is an interesting take on the rather serious words. The final motet movement is a very sober setting in archaic motet-style of the texts from Acts.

©Craig Smith

Back to Bach Notes & Translations