Of Redemption – J.S. Bach, Cantata BWV 21, at Trinity III

Parable-of-Lost-Coin- c. 1618 Feti

Domenico Fetti: Parable of the Lost Coin (c. 1618)

The sinfonia, which is utterly wonderful, clearly prefigures the mood of the opening lines in the succeeding chorus, namely Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis in meinem Herzen (My heart was sore distressed), uses an expressive oboe and violin cantilena, in dialogue, against weary footsteps, a heartbreakingly exquisite bass in the continuo, and sorrowful harmonies in the strings. The continuo quickens on the third beat of the sixth bar, and the strings imitate in the seventh, and so introduce the thumbprint of the choral theme in the succeeding movement.

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