J.S. Bach, Cantata 162, at Trinity XX – The Variations of Spirit

Jan Brueghel the Elder : The Wedding Banquet (1623)

Jan Brueghel the Elder : The Wedding Banquet (1623)

Cantata 162 deals expansively with the allegorical intent of the Christ’s parable, which depicts the people’s indifference to the Messianic banquet described in Matthew 22:1-14.

That there still are too few of the few who accept the spirituality of natural things and the grace that all things offer, and too many of the many who do not, is, I offer, still self-evident.

The cantata begins with an aria for bass, which, in media res, describes the presence at the banquet of the opposing real conditions of prosperity and distress and their spiritual and ultimate counterparts, in which, by Bach’s inclusion of a slide trumpet, is infused a presagement of the last trump.

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