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workers_vineyard
Parable of the workers in the vineyard by Salomon Koninck. Between 1647 and 1649. Hermitage Museum.

On the third Sunday before Lent in 1724, Bach performed Cantata 144 Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin. Read all about this short but wonderful work in my blog post from 2016, in which I discuss an unrivaled recording by Gardiner with mezzo soprano Wilke te Brummelstoete and soprano Miah Persson.

In that cantata from 1724 Bach wrote one soprano aria on the concept of “Genügsamkeit” (being satisfied with what you have), but three years later, he dedicated an entire solo work for soprano to this theme: Cantata 84 Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke (I am content in my good fortune), featuring the delightful aria Ich esse mit Freuden mein weniges Brot (It is with joy that I eat my meager piece of bread). We can probably take this as proof that Genügsamkeit was very important to Bach.

Find the German texts with English translations of Cantata 84 here, and the score here.

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Dorothee Mields

I myself count among my blessings that Herreweghe’s recording of this cantata features one of my favorite sopranos, Dorothee Mields. Read more about her in my post about the Herreweghe sopranos.

I listened to many recordings of this cantata, and I still (2020) love this interpretation the best. Mields is a terrific chamber musician together with the instrumentalists throughout this cantata, listen to the interplay between her and oboist Marcel Ponseele. I feel her voice sounds the most natural in aria “Ich esse mit Freuden mein weniges Brot.” The way she starts “Ein ruhig gewissen” the first time that comes around is just to die for as far as I’m concerned. I also like Herreweghe’s tempos the best of all the recordings I’ve listened to.

Enjoy Dorothee Mields’ singing and her being a terrific chamber musician together with the instrumentalists on Herreweghe’s recording of cantata 84 Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke on YouTube or on Spotify. The cantata appears on Herreweghe’s album Christus der ist mein Leben from 2007, which also includes the fabulous cantata 95 (discussed in the Herreweghe sopranos post mentioned above) as well as cantata 161 (not discussed on this blog yet, but worth your euros or dollars). If you like these recordings, please consider purchasing (the MP3 of) this album on Amazon.de or on Amazon.com. Or purchase the album on iTunes or whatever platform you prefer. Thanks for supporting the artists!

Wieneke Gorter, February 18, 2017, updated February 8 and 13, 2020.