Bach composed his Cantata 21, Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis (I had much grief) in Weimar, possibly in 1713. He marked the work as e per ogni tempo (and for all times) to indicate its suitability for any occasion. Bach revised this cantata several times: during his Köthen years and again, in Leipzig, changing the instrumentation to suit the occasion.
The soprano aria in Part 1, Seufzer, Tränen, Kummer, Not (Sighs, tears, anguish, trouble) is gut-wrenchingly beautiful. It is one of the first arias in Italian style in a Bach cantata, accompanied by an obbligato oboe.
Enjoy this recording by The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir with Ton Koopman, conductor and Barbara Schlick, soprano.