Several things have changed since I wrote my post about Cantata 86 in May 2017.
I now have my own Westerland rose growing against the front of my house. The abundance of flowers, the range of color, and the glorious scent are daily blessings this time of year. And while in 2017 I still had to piece together my favorite recording of Cantata 86 from some of Gardiner’s and some of Koopman’s, there now is the fabulous live recording of the Netherlands Bach Society on YouTube, published on September 7, 2018. It even has two of my heros in the alto aria: Shunske Sato on violin and Robin Blaze singing countertenor. Other wonderful soloists on this recording: Marion Strijk, soprano; Daniel Johannsen, tenor; and Stephan MacLeod, bass.
Sato and Blaze present a very clear explanation of how Bach illustrates the “breaking” of the roses in the alto aria in this short video. Worth all the four and a half minutes of your time.
Wieneke Gorter, May 15, 2020.