J.S. Bach – Cantata 95, at Trinity XVI

Lucas Cranach the Younger: Raising of the Son of the Widow of Nain (1569)

Lucas Cranach the Younger: Raising of the Son of the Widow of Nain (1569)

Cantata 95 (1723), a fine work, is infused with great intensity of the longing for death and the repudiation of mortality. Its fifth movement, an aria for tenor, is of exquisite and astonishing beauty, and certainly one of Bach’s masterpieces: Ach, slage doch bald, selge Stunde, den allerletzen Glockenschlag! (Ah, strike quickly, blessed hour, the very last bell-stroke!) The whole is accompanied by oboes d’amore and a pizzicato string part of considerable difficulty and effect.

 

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