Video: Nuria Rial Performs J.S. Bach

2

February
2011

The words to the aria Auch mit gedämpften, schwachen Stimmen (“Also with muted, weak voices”) are relatively simple, yet evocative.

Also with muted, weak voices
is God’s majesty honored.
For if the Spirit only resounds with it,
it becomes such an outcry,
that is is heard in heaven itself.

(Translation: Pamela Dellal)

The aria comes from cantata Schwingt freudig euch empor (“Soar joyfully upwards to the exalted stars”), BWV 36, composed for the first Sunday of Advent.

It’s a great example of Johann Sebastian Bach at his most picturesque in setting words to music.

Written for solo soprano, obbligato violin (muted), and basso continuo, the sparse instrumental palette appears thin, in theory, but listen to a performance by Nuria Rial (pictured), John Holloway, and the J.S. Bach-Stiftung (Rudolf Lutz, dir.)

It is simply haunting.

Watch:

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(Photo: Courtesy of the Artist)

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