Bach: The Cantatas

Bach Cantatas

– 5th Sunday after trinity – July 17th 2022 – J.S.Bach cantata BWV 93 – ,Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten’ –

Jul 3, 2022


‘If you will permit God, to prevail, and hope, in Him, all the times, you will be, wonderfully supported, in all your afflictions and sadness’s. He who trusts in God, not building, on sand.’

A standard, oboe-chorus-orchestra, launches this cantata, with a slow, choral gigue, with ritornelli and freely embellished chorale, all of which nicely sets the pace, for this short factual text, of cause and effect.

The haunting oboe-echo sets this idea into musical stone, as Bach makes his theological point, the phrases lengthening, from initial half bars, to overlapping whole bars, at 3.

The ritornello embellishments, sung soli, are followed, by homophonic harmonizations, of the choral melody, sung by sopranos, tutti.

The mood and color softens and turns, at 45, when, trust in The Almighty, as something not built on sand, is spoken about.

2/Recitativo (and chorale)

‘Where do our worries, get us? They only oppress our heart, with agonies, fear and pain. What good are toil and trouble? They only cause hardships. Where does it get us, each morning, getting up, with sighing, and then, going back to bed again, with a tear-soaked face? We will make our own afflictions and griefs even worse, with our sadness. A Christian gets on much better, baring the cross, with Christ-like composure.’

An alternation, between arioso (adagio) and recitativo, is matched, by an alternation, between chorale text and troped commentary, on that text.

The chorale melody, with a leaping and walking, bass line accompaniment, sets the pace, of the arioso, ruminating-commentary.

listen out, for genuine and heart-felt affliction and grief, 16, and the final line, of Christian composure.


‘Remain silent, just for a while, when you sense cross-bearing difficulties becoming a reality, because God’s sense of mercy never leaves us, -either, in word, or deed and God, who understands His elect, and God, who calls Himself, our Father, will, in the end, help all His children.’

A danced setting, -intermezzo like and lightly strummed, strung and sung, this setting is shot-full, with telling silences, through which, like gills, it breaths, celebrating, -81, through, to 96, this conception, of being Fathered, as a child.

4/Aria Duetto:

‘He knows, the right time, for joy and He knows, when it will be beneficial. If He can only find us faithful -and with no hypocrisy, then He will come before we know it and give to us, much goodness.’

This steady and ‘telling’, narrative text, is set to a steady, walking bass-line continuo accompaniment and the voices, led by the soprano are imitative and duetto-like.

The strings provide the chorale melody, which stands out, imtermitaintly.

The semiquavers, of the underlying parts and the general busy counterpoint, going on, give this fine melody, a sense, of broad spaciousness and a disinterested aspect, that makes the whole concentrated and focused, -and faithful.

Listen, for the change of mood, 33, ,…So Kömmt…‘, as the coming of The Lord, brings that goodness.


Think not, -in the heat, the thunder, the lightening or when oppressed, that God, has forsaken you. God abides, -even in the worst distresses and even, in death, and shows mercy, to His servants. You must not think, that He lives, like a rich man, in pleasures and delights. Whoever feeds, on constant good fortune, day after day, must, in the end, stare, straight into the mundane. The future will bring change. Peter toiled all night and caught nothing, but, at the word of Jesus, he was blessed. Therefore, keep trusting, -through poverty, affliction and pain, in Jesus’s, loving kindness, and with a faithful heart, believe, that, after the rain, He will give, to us, the sun and our goal.’

This extremely dramatic recitativo, alternates between chorale and troped, text, with mood directions to match.

The opening thunderstorm, -at the beginning, 2/3, gives way, via lingering weather conditions and oppressiveness, 3/4/5, into, a steady process, of recit interpolations, to the adagio, and almost arioso chorale text.


‘I will look, to The Lord and constantly trust, in Him. He is the true miracle worker, He can make the rich poor and naked and the poor, rich and great, all according, to His will.’

This Oboe introduction, is nicely shaped and imaginatively phrased, with, again, a predominately, walking bass and with its constantly changing phrase length, captures this somewhat idealistic text. At 17, Bach reminds us that that faith, will always be vague, without trust.

At 23, we are reminded, vaguely, of the chorale tune, in crochets, -an example, of resting back? and the bass line busies itself for the first time, -an example of rising, into that faith, of the miracle worker?

The naked and poverty-stricken rich, are twice noticed and noted, as so, -and a third time, at 32/33, nicely, and smugly , in the light and might of His will.


‘Sing, play and walk God’s path and way. Perform, your own tasks faithfully and trust in heavens rich blessing. Then, He shall renew Himself, in you, because, whoever puts their trust in God, them, shall God not forget.’

Trust, in the fifth line, is rewarded, by remembrance, in the sixth and final line and Bach emphasises this progression, by ‘busying-up’ the rhythm, in that penultimate bar.

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