Carolyn Sampson & Freiburger Barockorchester – Bach – Cantata, BWV 199 (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 23:28 minutes | 434 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © harmonia mundi
In each of the works he composed at Weimar (1708-17), the young Johann Sebastian introduces bold experiments at every turn, ever in search of renewed possibilities of musical expression and thus of an expansion of the conventional formal and stylistic canon.
One remarkable example, his cantata “Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut”, BWV 199, [‘My heart swims in blood’] depicts the contrition of a repentant sinner in extremely eloquent and graphic language. Bach was clearly stimulated by the expressive quality of the poetry to create music that teased every nuance out of even the subtlest impulses, thus raising the cantata genre to a new level.
My heart swims in blood since in God’s holy eyes, the multitude of my sins makes me a monster. How can one possibly resist a cantata with a title like this? Bach himself seemed to like this one, since he revised the cantata on a number of occasions with the result that there are now three existing versions of the score. The theme of this cantata for solo soprano is a common one in the cantatas, that of the sinner bewailing the failings of their humanity but eventually finding relief in God’s redemption.
The cantata opens with an introductory recitative in which the sinner traces her misfortune back to the fall of Adam and Eve. After this, we’re into the first of the three fine arias. This one is introduced by an oboe figure of intensely beautiful grief which expresses the feelings that the words alone cannot: Silent sighing, soundless grieving, Speak the pain my heart, perceiving, Cannot by my lips express. After the next recitative, which introduces a note of hope, the following aria is a tour-de-force in which the repentant sinner approaches God for forgiveness. The orchestral introduction strides forward with melodious optimism. This is one of my favourite moments in Bach. After a recitative, there’s a chorale setting with a rare appearance for obbligato viola (see BWV 5 for another one) and following the final recitative, happiness and sunshine breaks out all over in the final aria, the only quick movement in the cantata.
1. Carolyn Sampson – Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199: I. Recitativo “Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut”
2. Carolyn Sampson – Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199: II. Aria “Stumme Seufzer, stille Klagen”
3. Carolyn Sampson – Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199: III. Recitativo “Doch Gott muß mir genädig sein”
4. Carolyn Sampson – Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199: IV. Aria “Tief gebückt und voller Reue”
5. Carolyn Sampson – Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199: V. Recitativo “Auf diese Schmerzensreu”
6. Carolyn Sampson – Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199: VI.Choral “Ich, dein betrübtes Kind”
7. Carolyn Sampson – Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199: VII. Recitativo “Ich lege mich in diese Wunden”
8. Carolyn Sampson – Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199: VIII. Aria “Wie freudig ist mein Herz”