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This cantata for the second Sunday in Epiphany, like Bach’s other works for this Sunday (BWV 3, 13), emphasizes spiritual distress and its resolution in Christ. The Gospel for the morning in Bach’s day was the story of the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11), and Bach chose texts that emphasize the movement from minor to major keys, from lack to provision, from questioning the presence and power of God in the midst of trouble, to trust in his goodness.
Today’s sample is a sprightly soprano aria, the climactic movement of this cantata, which encourages this trust.
As Julian Mincham comments, “The soprano aria is the one movement of this cantata which can be described as being truly joyous and it encapsulates the delight and, indeed, relief of complete commitment—-Heart, throw yourself into His merciful arms—-lay your burdens and oppressions upon His compassionate shoulders.”
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Wirf, mein Herze, wirf dich noch
In des Höchsten Liebesarme,
Dass er deiner sich erbarme.
Lege deiner Sorgen Joch,
Und was dich bisher beladen,
Auf die Achseln seiner Gnaden.
Throw yourself, my heart, just throw yourself
into the loving arms of the Almighty,
so that he may feel compassion for you.
Place the yoke of your cares
and what has burdened you up till now
on the shoulders of his grace.
Cantata Text by Richard Stokes