(Click on picture for larger image)
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Shout for joy to God in every land!
All the creatures contained in heaven and earth
must exalt his glory,
and to our God we would
now likewise bring an offering
since in affliction and distress
at all times he has stood by us.
• Soprano Aria from BWV 51
A Beloved Cantata for a Beloved Season
This beautiful solo cantata must be rated among the greats of the cantatas and has certainly been a favourite with audiences and record companies. There are many fine recordings available. It’s a brilliant, joyous exaltation in praise of God.
We begin autumn, my favorite season, with one of Bach’s most beloved cantatas, a solo cantata featuring remarkable virtuoso soprano singing. Its theme is pure praise, adoration, and the faithful heart pleading for even more of the spirit of praise and gratitude, culminating with a spectacular “Alleluia!” This cantata is not tied to any particular text for the day or season, but stands alone as a statement of praise.
Let the trumpets resound! Let beautiful voices rise in resplendent glory! Let us praise the God of all creation, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Here are two of my favorite musicians of all time, Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis, singing and playing the opening movement (words above) of BWV 51, “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!” (Shout for joy to God in every land!)
And here is the final “Alleluia!” performed by Elizabeth Watts, with the English Concert:
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Photo by Peter Bailey at Flickr. Creative Commons License