J.S. Bach – Parable of the Great Banquet – Cantata BWV 76, at Trinity II

The parable of the great banquet also appears, with differences, in Matthew 22:1-14, which makes explicit that the feast represents the Kingdom of Heaven, that those unsuitable shall be cast from it; “for many are called, but few chosen.” Implied in this is the notion of the value of selfless generosity, that is to say, that giving is of itself and is not an anticipation of something in return, for many are unable to give recompense. Key messages are that the insincerity of the well-to-do, that is to say, their evasion of the offer of salvation, ensures their permanent debarment from the eternal feast; and that all who are worthy, no matter their station or circumstance, are able to partake of the feast, that is to say, of salvation. Hence the Kingdom will be complete when all who are elect are within.

Bartholomeus van Bassen : The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Circa 1620-30.

The introductory chorus of the first part is in two sections, each introduced by solos. The sound of the trumpet floats above all. The part writing is intricate, very musically interesting, and very demanding to bring off

The bass recitative, and bass aria, with trumpet and strings, from Part One of the cantata, the aria featuring thrilling work in the voice.

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