Scoring: Soli SATB, Coro SATB, 2 Ob, Tl (Eh), Fg, 2 Vl, Va, Bc
he cantata "Ärgre dich, o Seele, nicht" (Fret thee not, thou mortal soul) BWV 186 is in a sense the companion work to the much better-known cantata "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" BWV 147. Both were composed in Advent 1716 as Bach’s last two cantatas for the Weimar court, and both were arranged for another Sunday in Bach’s first Leipzig cantata cycle by the addition of recitatives and a large-scale chorale movement, heard at the end of both parts.
The sound of the Cantata BWV 186 is characterized by the four-part woodwind ensemble writing. The final chorale, heard twice, anticipates the opening choruses of the chorale cantatas from Bach’s second cycle.
Cantata BWV 186 for the 7th Sunday after Trinity is a considerably expanded reworking of a Weimar Advent cantata of 1716. Only the text survives of the Advent cantata, but Diethard Hellmann has been able to reconstruct the work from the later version (Carus 31.186).