Cantata BWV 14Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit


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German TextEnglish Text


This is a late cantata (written around 1735, according to the manuscript). It has a good first chorus, in which the hunting horn sustains the notes of the chorale melody, making for a very distinctive sound… and then it all seems to go slightly off the boil a bit.

The soprano aria is also cheered up by the distinctive tones of the hunting horn and their is lots of water flowing about the place in the cello continuo of the tenor recitative: nice orchestral picture painting all round, then.

Dürr calls the first movement ‘remarkable‘ (which is pushing it a bit, I feel!) and the other movements ‘conventional’, which seems pretty accurate: I think it fair to say that inspiration had left the building the day this one was written. I struggled to find a ‘mood’ designator for this one: it’s neither sad, nor chirpy. Unfortunately, to these ears, it sounds like a fairly mechanistic workout for a composer’s technical talents.

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