Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen (Dearest Jesus, my
desire), BWV 32,[a] is a church cantata by Johann
Sebastian Bach. He composed the dialogue cantata in
Leipzig for the first Sunday after Epiphany and first
performed it on 13 January 1726.
The dialogue is opened by the soprano as the Soul in an
aria in E minor, accompanied by an obbligato oboe,
described by John Eliot Gardiner as "a solo oboe as her
accomplice in spinning the most ravishing cantilena in
the manner of one of Bach’s concerto slow movements".
Julian Mincham distinguishes in the oboe line two
different "ideas", in the first five measures a "sense
of striving, effort and stretching upwards", then
"garlands" of content in achieving a union, as the last
lines of the text say "Ach! mein Hort, erfreue mich,
laß dich höchst vergnügt umfangen" (Ah! My treasure,
bring me joy, let me embrace You with greatest
delight). The bass answers in a short recitative and a
da capo aria in B minor, embellished by a solo violin,
which "encircles the voice with triplets and trills".
The words "betrübter Geist (troubled spirit) appear
whenever mentioned in "minor-mode colourings in the
melody and harmony". In the following dialogue
recitative, the soul answers with a paraphrase of the
opening line of Psalm 84, "Wie lieblich ist doch deine
Wohnung" (How amiable is Thy dwelling), which both
Heinrich Schütz and Johannes Brahms set to music,
Brahms as the central movement of Ein deutsches
Requiem. Bach sets the text as an "evocative arioso
with a pulsating string accompaniment". The two voices
never sing at the same time. A duet finally unites both
voices and also their "associated obbligato instruments
(oboe and violin), so far heard only separately".
Gardiner writes: "It is one of those duets … in which
he seems to throw caution to the winds, rivalling the
lieto fine conclusions to the operas of his day, but
with far more skill, substance and even panache". A
four-part setting of Paul Gerhardt's hymn "returns the
cantata – also in terms of style – to the sphere of
reverence appropriate for a church service".
The cantata in six movements is intimately scored for
soprano and bass soloists, a four-part choir only in
the chorale, oboe, two violins, viola, and basso
I created this arrangement of the second Aria: "Hier,
in meines Vaters Stätte" (Here, in My Father's place)
for French Horn & Concert (Pedal) Harp.