Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten ("If a man
love me, he will keep my words", more literally: "He
who loves me will obey my commands"), BWV 74, is a
church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it
in Leipzig for Pentecost and first performed it on 20
Bach composed this cantata in his second year in
Leipzig for the first day of Pentecost (Whit Sunday).
The prescribed readings for the feast day were from the
Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–13) and the Gospel of
John, part of the Farewell discourse (John
This, the seventh movement, an alto aria "Nichts kann
mich erretten" (Nothing can save me), has unusually
dense texture and rich scoring. It opens with a
fanfare-like ritornello followed by long melismatic
passages with repeated notes in the instrumental parts.
The short middle section moves to a less dense
accompaniment and a minor key, with a "manic chortling"
of triplets on the word lache ("laugh").
Although originally scored for four solo voices
(soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir,
three trumpets, timpani, two oboes, an oboe da caccia,
two violins, viola, and basso continuo, I created this
Arrangement for Solo Oboe & Violin and String Orchestra
(4 Violins, 2 Violas & Cellos & Bass).