J.S. Bach: The Church Cantatas, Vol. 36: Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!, BWV 70

In this video

BWV 70 (21 November 1723, but based on an earlier version of 6 December 1716) starts off to an exciting trumpet fanfare which returns in different guises a number of times. The words `Wachet!’ and `Betet!’ have their own themes: an upward scale for `wachet’ (at its first entry unaccompanied) and a sustained note for `betet’. At `seid bereit’ there is new material, and then there is quieter music at the words `diese Welt ein Ende macht’. The trumpet fanfare returns to round of this splendid chorus. A bass recitative with trembling and joy being vividly contrasted leads to an alto aria with a pleasant violoncello line; the words are a clear warning that it is `die letzte Zeit’ and high time to flee from Sodom; `Feuer’ and `Fliehen’ receive coloraturas. After another recitative which speaks of a `Jammervolles Ach’ we get a soprano aria which is everything but `jammervoll’. The violins play a figure indicative of the jeers of the mockers; the tone is defiant, Christ’s word will stand: a long sustained note. A recitative and a chorale (with a decoration on the word `jubilieren’) end the first part of the cantata. Atenor aria full of cheer follows, with a stress on `empor’ and a long note on `getrost’. Next comes a furious bass recitative in which the last trumpet is sounded in the form of the chorale `Es ist gewisslich an die Zeit’. The excitement is briefly suspended when the bass sings `Seeligster Erquickungstag’ in the next aria, until at `schalle, knalle’ everything starts moving again. The closing chorale is in seven parts, the first violin playing high above the sopranos.

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Artists: Netherlands Bach Collegium, Pieter Jan Leusink (conductor), Holland Boys Choir, Bas Ramselaar (Basso), Charles Brett (Alto), Nico van der Meel (Tenore) & Ruth Holton (Soprano)

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Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!, BWV 70:
00:00 I. Coro. Wachet! Betet! Betet! Wachet!
04:05 II. Recitativo. Erschrecket, ihr verstockten Sünder (Basso)
05:20 III. Aria. Wenn Kömmt der Tag (Alto)
09:21 IV. Recitativo. Auch bei dem Himmlischen (Tenore)
10:05 V. Aria. Laßt der Spötter Zungen schmähen (Soprano)
12:53 VI. Recitativo. Jedoch bei dem Unartigen (Tenore)
13:29 VII. Choral. Freu dich sehr, O meine Seele (Coro)
14:39 VIII. Aria. Hebt euer Haupt empor (Tenore)
17:50 IX. Recitativo. Ach, soll nicht dieser große Tag (Basso)
19:41 X. Aria. Seligste Erquickungstag (Basso)
22:41 Choral. Nicht nach Welt (Coro)

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