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In No 175 Peter Kooij from Holland leaves us in no doubt that death and the devil have been convincingly routed. They have no chance against his rousing dismissal, also perhaps secular in origin.

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Listen -- Öffnet euch, ihr beiden Ohren (BWV175) (track 11, 0:15-1:37)
© 2008 BIS Records AB

The only duet in the set is for the alto of Robin Blaze from Oxford and Gerd Türk's German tenor. This is no juxtaposition of fear and hope, as so often in the cantatas, but a unanimous celebration of good times in the year just ended and confidence that God will not fail in the year to come.

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Listen -- Gott ist ein Quell ... (BWV28) (track 17, 0:00-0:41)
© 2008 BIS Records AB

A main joy of the set is Dmitry Badiarov's five-stringed shoulder cello (my back already aches at the thought) that does athletic duty for Bach's violoncello piccolo but can also be the most expressive of obbligato instruments in No 183, when the tenor sets aside all fear of death.

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Listen -- Ich fürchte nicht des Todes Schrecken ... (BWV183) (track 20, 0:00-1:39)
© 2008 BIS Records AB

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Copyright © 8 July 2008 Robert Anderson, Cairo, Egypt

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