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    Bach: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61

    Cantata for the 1st Sunday in Advent

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    Bach began two of his cantatas with Martin Luthers Advent hymn „Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland", a German version of the early church hymn „Veni redemptor gentium". One of the most gripping solo parts; (following the pattern recitative – aria – recitative – aria) is the bass recitative on the words of the Revelation, with its highly expressive declamation of the vocal line and the naive graphicness of the pounding string accompaniment. Equally captivating is the following soprano aria, which „opens ist heart" upon the Saviors „knocking" in a melody full of the cheerful tidings of Advent. The cantata ends brilliantly with a lovely figurative chorale movement enhanced by the interplay of a lively, bustling violin part, which ultimately soars upward to breathtaking heights.