Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata No. 32, "Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen," BWV 32 (BC A31)

    Description by James Leonard

    Composed for the First Sunday after Epiphany, which fell on January 13, 1726, Bach's Cantata No. 32 "Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen" (Dearest Jesus, my desire) (BWV 32) sets a text by Georg Christian Lehms. The text is a dialogue between Jesus and the soul. As was his usual procedure, Bach cast Jesus as a bass and the soul as a soprano. The cantata is simply scored for soprano and bass soloists, chorus, oboe, strings, and basso continuo. "Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen" begins with its first movement in dark E minor and its second in the major dominant of B major, which leads back to the original tonic of E minor for the third movement. But while its fourth starts in the dominant of B major, it closes in the relative major of serene G major, the tonality of the sixth and final movement. The fifth movement in D major serves as a structural dominant for the G major of the closing chorale. The first movement is a gloomy Adagio aria for soprano with a soulful obbligato oboe dueting above piano e spiccato sempre strings and continuo. The second movement is a very brief and restrained secco recitative for bass soloist and continuo. The third is a triple-time da capo aria in the form of a trio sonata for bass soloist, solo violin, and continuo. The fourth is a recitative for both soprano and bass soloist with strings and continuo. The fifth is a confident da capo aria duetto for both soloists with the highly embellished first violins serving as a third solo voice above the oboe, strings, and continuo. "Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen" concludes with a chorale for chorus and full orchestra colla parte.


    1. Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen
    2. Wass ist's, dass du mich gesuchet?
    3. Hier, in meines Vaters Stätte
    4. Ach, heiliger und grosser Gott!
    5. Nun verschwinden alle Plagen
    6. Mein Gott, öffne mir die Pforten

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Harmonia Mundi HMM 902368DI
    2018 Harmonia Mundi HMM 902368
    2017 CPO 5550682
    2016 BIS BIS 9055
    2016 Oehms Classics OC 1815
    2011 Warner Classics 671866
    2010 Soli Deo Gloria SDG 174
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2010 Passacaille PAS 956
    2009 BIS 1711
    2008 Teldec 69943-7
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99697
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2006 Teldec Classics 8573812045
    2006 Sarasa 1
    2005 Archipel 0267
    2005 Challenge Records 72217
    2004 Erato 4614012
    2001 Haenssler 92561
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Haenssler 92011
    1999 Teldec 3984-25706-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91756-2
    1994 Teldec 4509-91765-2
    Brilliant Classics 99704
    Brilliant 93102/88
    Brilliant 99704/12
    Brilliant Classics 93102-VOL4
    Teldec 35035
    Haenssler 98873
    Sarasa 000