Cantata 35, Geist und Seele wird verwirret (Spirit and soul become confused), is a solo cantata for alto voice. In Bach’s time, the alto part was normally sung by a countertenor, the highest male solo voice type. In this instance, the alto part is quite demanding, so Bach probably wrote it with a specific singer in mind.
The cantata consists of seven movements in two parts. Both parts begin with a sinfonia, a sort of orchestral introduction. The entire cantata represents one of Bach’s most joyful moments. Though he would often introduce trumpets and timpani to connote happiness, in this case, he instead chose to use an obbligato solo organ in several movements.
If I was given the opportunity to travel back in time, I’d happily choose to be at St. Thomas Church (Thomaskirche) in Leipzig on September 8, 1726 –- the day that Bach led the first performance of Cantata 35. He, most likely, played the organ part himself!
Enjoy this jubilant rendering of the fifth movement, sinfonia presto, performed by the J. S. Bach Foundation of St. Gallen under Rudolf Lutz.