Fishing to Net Men – J.S. Bach, Cantata BWV 88, at Trinity V

Peter Paul Rubens : The Miraculous Draught of Fish (1610)

Peter Paul Rubens : The Miraculous Draught of Fish (1610)

The subtlety of Bach is found in his text, for the opening aria uses neither portions of the gospel or the epistle of the day, but is, instead, Jeremiah 16:16, which employs a metaphor for the reclamation by the Lord of the children of Israel. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

This explains the beauty of the melisma on the word sollen in the bass aria. They shall fish, because they will be reclaimed by Me.

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