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Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84

Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)

Concerto Copenhagen (photo credit: Keith Saunders)

Concerto Copenhagen (photo credit: Keith Saunders)

Composer
Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Composition Year
1727
Work Movements
1. Aria: Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke
2. Recitative: Gott is mir ja nichts schuldig
3. Aria: Ich esse mit Freuden mein weniges Brot
4. Recitative: m Schweiße meines Angesichts
5. Chorale: Ich leb indes in dir vergnüget
Artists
Concerto Copenhagen (Peter Spissky, Fredrik From, Antina Hugosson [violins], Torbjörn Köhl [viola], Kate Hearne [cello], Mattias Frostenson [bass], Fredrik Bock [archlute, Guitar], Lars-Ulrik Mortensen [harpsichord, Director]), Carolyn Sampson [soprano]

Programme Note Writer:
© Norah O' Leary

Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84 (I am content in my good fortune) was composed in Leipzig in 1727 for Septuagesima Sunday and is unusual in that it a solo cantata. BWV 84 belongs to a group of twelve solo cantatas Bach composed after the summer of 1726. The 209 surviving cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach are some of his most notable compositions, the earliest surviving cantata dates from 1707 and the last is thought to have been written in 1745. Most of Bach’s cantatas date from his early years as the cantor in Leipzig where he was required to perform a church cantata for every Sunday and Holiday.

It is unknown who wrote the text for this particular cantata but the libretto bears a striking resemblance to that of the cantata Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Stande (I am content with my position), published by Bach’s lyricist Picander in 1728.  The text is related to the gospel and differs from many other cantatas in its absence of sadness, upset, fear of death, atonement and sense of sin. BWV 84 rather focuses on the moralistic call of the Christian to live a virtuous and austere life in gratitude to God.  The language is straightforward, succinct and sagacious which was unusual in an era of figurative rhetoric.

The work is structured in five movements, alternating between arias and recitatives and finally a closing chorale, the text of which is taken from the twelfth stanza of the funeral hymn Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende by Ämilie Juliane von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and sung to the tune of Neumarks Wer nur den lieben Gott last Walten.

The opening aria is in E minor with a slow and quiet swaying rhythm reminiscent of French overtures. The oboe and soprano are pulled in wandering, decorative wistful lines over a chordal string accompaniment. The following recitative is extensive and austere with a plain vocal line devoid of any decoration, melisma or arioso passages. The second aria brings a completely different character, the words Freude and fröhlich reflect the carefree music in G major. The aria has a folk dancing feel to it; the oboe becomes the rustic chanter over the ongoing open strings of the violin that suggest the drones of bagpipes or a honky-tonk. In the second recitative the significance of the soprano’s text is given additional authority by a solemn string accompaniment. The final Chorale, as already mentioned takes it’s text from a funeral hymn and displays four-part harmonization in a remarkably simple, sparse and austere style for the composer.

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Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Performance date: Sunday 3rd July 2016
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Work Title Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84
Composition Year 1727
Work Movements 1. Aria: Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke
2. Recitative: Gott is mir ja nichts schuldig
3. Aria: Ich esse mit Freuden mein weniges Brot
4. Recitative: m Schweiße meines Angesichts
5. Chorale: Ich leb indes in dir vergnüget
Artist(s) Concerto Copenhagen (Peter Spissky, Fredrik From, Antina Hugosson [violins], Torbjörn Köhl [viola], Kate Hearne [cello], Mattias Frostenson [bass], Fredrik Bock [archlute, Guitar], Lars-Ulrik Mortensen [harpsichord, Director]), Carolyn Sampson [soprano]
Performance Date Sunday 3rd July 2016
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:13:33
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Large Mixed Ensemble
Instrumentation S-solo, ob, 3vn, va, 2vc, rec, db, lute, hpd
Programme Note Writer © Norah O' Leary

Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84 (I am content in my good fortune) was composed in Leipzig in 1727 for Septuagesima Sunday and is unusual in that it a solo cantata. BWV 84 belongs to a group of twelve solo cantatas Bach composed after the summer of 1726. The 209 surviving cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach are some of his most notable compositions, the earliest surviving cantata dates from 1707 and the last is thought to have been written in 1745. Most of Bach’s cantatas date from his early years as the cantor in Leipzig where he was required to perform a church cantata for every Sunday and Holiday.

It is unknown who wrote the text for this particular cantata but the libretto bears a striking resemblance to that of the cantata Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Stande (I am content with my position), published by Bach’s lyricist Picander in 1728.  The text is related to the gospel and differs from many other cantatas in its absence of sadness, upset, fear of death, atonement and sense of sin. BWV 84 rather focuses on the moralistic call of the Christian to live a virtuous and austere life in gratitude to God.  The language is straightforward, succinct and sagacious which was unusual in an era of figurative rhetoric.

The work is structured in five movements, alternating between arias and recitatives and finally a closing chorale, the text of which is taken from the twelfth stanza of the funeral hymn Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende by Ämilie Juliane von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and sung to the tune of Neumarks Wer nur den lieben Gott last Walten.

The opening aria is in E minor with a slow and quiet swaying rhythm reminiscent of French overtures. The oboe and soprano are pulled in wandering, decorative wistful lines over a chordal string accompaniment. The following recitative is extensive and austere with a plain vocal line devoid of any decoration, melisma or arioso passages. The second aria brings a completely different character, the words Freude and fröhlich reflect the carefree music in G major. The aria has a folk dancing feel to it; the oboe becomes the rustic chanter over the ongoing open strings of the violin that suggest the drones of bagpipes or a honky-tonk. In the second recitative the significance of the soprano’s text is given additional authority by a solemn string accompaniment. The final Chorale, as already mentioned takes it’s text from a funeral hymn and displays four-part harmonization in a remarkably simple, sparse and austere style for the composer.