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The Rise and Fall of the Stübel Theory

By Thomas Braatz (April 2007)

Feedback to the Article

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 14, 2007):
Stübel Theory

Aryeh Oron has kindly consented to make my recently written article on the Stübel Theory available for perusal on the BCW. A link to it can be found at the bottom of the following page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/index.htm

It is called:
The Rise and Fall of the Stübel Theory [PDF]

A more direct link, if you wish to use it is: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/StubelTheory.pdf

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 14, 2007):
[To Thomas Braatz] I am interested in reading this article, but unfortunately I am unable to open it. Perhaps it is a software problem on my end, but I find I am able to read just about everything else on BCW. Of the most recent five articles posted by Thomas Braatz, I am able to open two, unable to open three, so it does not appear to a general incompatibility on my part.

I would appreciate any help anyone can offer, and I would especially like to hear opinions on the evidence offered in the Stübel article.

Barry wrote (April 14, 2007):
[To Ed Myskowski] I was able to open the article using Adobe Acrobat 7. I've saved the main body of the article as a text file. I hope this is of some assistance.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 14, 2007):
Here is an unformatted version which is a poor substitute for the PDF file which is much easier to read:
The Rise and Fall of the Stübel Theory
Copyright © Thomas Braatz, 2007(1)

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 14, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< with Martin Geck(4) viewing it rather less enthusiastically as a theory that resembled a ball thrown onto the roulette wheel and having the same chance of winning a jackpot. >
Perhaps I am the only remaining correspondent interested in the details of this thread, but it is instructive to follow the language. Note the words by TB in his introduction, presented as if written by Geck. Subsequently we have:

< In his book on Bach, Martin Geck refers to Schulze's 'conjecture/guess' that Stübel might be the unidentified author of the chorale-cantata-cycle libretti. He expresses this in terms of a question: "Is this former Konrector of the Thomasschule, one who was removed from his office because of chiliastic, that is to say, radical pietistical views, really Bach's text author?" (12) Geck describes Schulze as having 'brought this Stübel Theory into play' only because Stübel coincidentally happened to die after a short illness around the time when Bach would have had to send the next batch of cantata libretti to the printer's. This then would have been the decisive moment that caused Bach's chorale-cantata cycle to remain incomplete. Reading between the lines, Geck's description of the Stübel Theory is rather less than an enthusiastic appraisal of its merits. >
We have gone from the roulette analogy, attributed to Geck without actual text, to reading between the lines to establish a less than enthusiastic appraisal.

On the other hand, Wolff finds the Stübel hypothesis the 'most likely'.

In a subsequent publication, Schulze, the original proposer, goes with 'no comment', perhaps simply to stay out of the fray or avoid unnecessary controversy? Certainly not necessary to read that as a retraction. The hypothesis remains just that, neither proven nor disproved.

BTW, I'm not so sure that Harry will think much of the idea that an age of 71 would be evidence for an author's lack of flexibility, as cited by TB as a weakness of the Stübel hypothesis.

Julian Mincham wrote (April 14, 2007):
Thank you Thomas for digging up this interesting background.

For me the issue which remains is not so much whether Stubel was the writer of the first forty cantata texts or not, but whether Bach actually planned the cycle in two complementary sections---an action of will rather than of crisis.

I don't expect we will ever know for certain---both propositions have their strengths and weaknesses.

What seems to me to be unarguable however, having studied the works in some detail, is the experimental range and sheer quality of music in the final 13 works.

But whether this is evidence of forward planning or Bach's remarkable ability to respond creatively to any given circumstance remains an open question.

Peter Smaill wrote (April 14, 2007):
Stübel Theory / BWV 85

[To Julian Mincham & Thomas Braatz] One of the difficulties emerging with the Stuebel theory is that, if his theological eccentricity lies in chiliasm - the belief that Jesus will imminently return to institute a thousand-year reign, as suggested by Revelation,- then there is surprisingly IMO no reference to this position in the Jahrgang II texts. Plenty other irregular theological positions, but not this!

In response to Julian's observation about the diversity of the thirteen Cantatas which conclude the ecclesiastical year there is perhaps an obvious artistic purpose causing the dichotomy. Bach is no longer in credal mode as he has been through Trinity to Easter, but is marking the Resurrection with a series of Jesus-focussed texts in which the personality of the Redeemer is emphasised.

This is particularly true of BWV 85 where a chorus would not be proper to the words , "Ich bin ein guter Hirt", nor BWV 87, "Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen" - it is Christ himself depicted as is normal by a bass voice , and Bach does not use the word "aria' in such cases. In the case of BWV 6, " Bleib bei uns" the chorale is only used internally such that the petition is freshly expressed with great intensity in the chorus and thus given greater impact than an elaboration of an established chorale tune. So even where the text could have been made to support a chorale cantata approach, Bach goes for an innovative introductory chorus.

It is true that a chorus is used for Christ's words in "Wer mich liebet, der wird mein wort halten"; but here I think Bach is emphasising the "whosoever" that shall be saved in the multiple voices of the choir, who are repeating
the Saviour's words. It will be recalled that in the prior year this text was allotted to S/B ,representing Father and Son as is the case with the "Domine deus" of the BMM.

My conclusion is thus that Bach could not continue with chorale Cantatas if he was to create the impact of Easter as a watershed in musical expression following the theological implications of the Resurrection as a time of change.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 14, 2007):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< For me the issue which remains is not so much whether Stubel was the writer of the first forty cantata texts or not, but whether Bach actually planned the cycle in two complementary sections---an action of will rather than of crisis. >
I have always agreed that this is the central issue. It is clear (to me, at least) that Wolff's published opinion is that it is an action of crisis, or at least forced by external circumstances. The identification of a candidate author (Stübel) whose demise coincides with the change in character of the texts provides circumstantial support for that opinion. However, even if the Stübel hypothesis were clearly disproved, which it is not, this would not by itself disprove the underlying case for response to a crisis. Or as Julian wrote:

< I don't expect we will ever know for certain---both propositions have their strengths and weaknesses. >
I continue to insist that it is misleading (at best) to call an hypothesis disproved, when one of the leading Bach scholars supports it in current publications, and when the negative reaction turns out to be 'reading between the lines' to find a less than enthusiastic response by a colleague. If others citing Wolff, or even Wolff himself, have overstated the case for Stübel, that is unfortunate. But two wrongs do not make a right. If not Stübel, who is or are the more likely candidate(s)?

Chris Kern wrote (April 14, 2007):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< This is particularly true of BWV 85 where a chorus would not be proper to the words , "Ich bin ein guter Hirt", nor BWV 87, "Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen" - it is Christ himself depicted as is normal by a bass voice , and Bach does not use the word "aria' in such cases. >
However, Bach does represent Jesus' words via chorus at times. Two weeks from now we'll be doing BWV 108, which begins with a bass "vox Christi" aria but then the fourth movement is a choral setting of John 16:13 ("But when that one, the Spirit of Truth, shall come, He shall lead you into all truth. For He will not speak of His own accord, rather what He has heard, that will He speak of; and what is to come, He will foretell."), which are Jesus' words.

(The Gospel of John is used quite a bit in the upcoming cantatas and in the post-Chorale ones we've already looked at.)

Julian Mincham wrote (April 14, 2007):
Chris Kern wrote:
< However, Bach does represent Jesus' words via chorus at times. Two weeks from now we'll be doing BWV 108, which begins with a bass "vox Christi" aria but then the fourth movement is a choral setting of John 16:13 ("But when that one, the Spirit of Truth, shall come, He shall lead you into all truth. For He will not speak of His own accord, rather what He has heard, that will He speak of; and what is to come, He will foretell."), which are Jesus' words. >
But the difference is that this is related in the third person. The three cantatas (which I have contextualised in the Intro to Cantata BWV 85) all begin with arias which are settings of his words in the first person. This is I suggest, an important difference, at least at this time in Bach's cantata planning.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 14, 2007):
< The Ultimate Demise of the Stübel Theory
It is the author of the Stübel Theory,
Hans-Joachim Schulze, who sounded its death knell when he published his extensive book on the Bach cantatas in 2006.(16) Nowhere on any of its 760 pages does Schulze ever mention Andreas Stübel or make any reference to the Stübel Theory. >
But (and someone else has already pointed this out, too): silence on a topic DOES NOT constitute a "death knell"!

It's a basic failure of logic to assert that it does.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 15, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< "The latest research, by Hans-Joachim Schulze in Die Welt der Bach Kantaten, Vol. 3, suggests that the writer was very likely to have been Andreas Stübel, the former Co-Rector of the Thomasschule. Stübel, theologically trained and an accomplished poet, died on 31 January 1725. In fact, the date of death provides convincing evidence for identifying Stübel as the probable author of the chorale cantata texts, since delivery of the texts stopped abruptly at the end of January. Consequently, Bach was unable to maintain the unified concept of a chorale cantata cycle and had to fill in the rest of the cycle ­ from Easter to the 1st Sunday after Trinity ­ with other texts." >
Was Stübel the only poet who could write a text for a chorale-based cantata? I hardly think that the mystery poet of this cantata was incapable of the task. Isn't more likely that it was a creative decision by Bach to begin with an aria and not the result of a poet's death or a desire to give his singers a break? Julian is on the trail of some reason for the decision, but the reasons advanced so far are not particularly convincing. There's reason out there somewhere.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 15, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Was Stübel the only poet who could write a text for a chorale-based cantata? >
The texts in question, whether by Stübel, or some other unknown poet(s), have a unique and uniform structure: the first and last movements of the cantatas corresponding exactly (I hesitate to shout, but you can imagine that in caps: exactly, precisely) to the first and last verses of the chorales and hymns. The interior movements are paraphrases of the chorale texts. The result is not necessarily great poetry, BOTOH, neither is it a trivial task.

Not to mention the easily overlooked speculation that the concept of Jahrgang II, a cycle of chorale based cantatas, was intended to commemorate 200 years, the bicentennial, of Lutheran chorale and hymn tradition.

Consider this scenario. Bach built up a close working relationship with the author. He died unexpectedly. There is more involved here than just finding another stooge to do the job. This might equally well have been another traumatic death in Bach's life.

< I hardly think that the mystery poet of this cantata was incapable of the task. >
I see your point. But isn't it also possible that Bach, out of respect for the mystery poet of the first forty cantatas of the cycle, wanted a change? Or perhaps Bach had pushed some unorthodox theology into the cantatas, the authorities were glad for the need of change, and forced it? We could quickly come up with many equally plausible alternatives.

The plot thickens. Perhaps Stübel was pushed? Similar speculation abounds re Humpty Dumpy.

< Isn't more likely that it was a creative decision by Bach to begin with an aria and not the result of a poet's death or a desire to give his singers a break? Julian is on the trail of some reason for the decision, but the reasons advanced so far are not particularly convincing. There's reason out there somewhere. >
How do we decide if it is more or less likely that it was a creative decision? That it exactly the point that some of us are trying to keep our minds open about, without prejudicing the shreds of actual evidence, and associated clues.

There is an open hypothesis that the first forty or so texts were written by Stübel, in remarkably consistent format. Then he died. Bad luck, but not all that unusual for Bach, or probably anyone else at that time (18th C., not 17th, not 19th) Bach did a sidestep, and moved onward. And if not Stübel, isn't the next best guess that it was a single author for the first forty? If the author didn't die, why was he replaced?

This hypothesis has been attacked, without much logic that I can see. I will leave it to the Lutheran theologians to argue the relevance of fine points of Stübel's thoughts. Has an alternate hypothesis been proposed, with better logic, either 'theo' or plain?

Julian Mincham wrote (April 15, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Was Stübel the only poet who could write a text for a chorale-based cantata? >
That does seem to be an implication but it's clearly not so as Bach wrote two more chorale fantasias as a part of the last quarter of the cycle and a dozen or so thereafter---all after S's death.

These twi were provided by von Ziegler who wrote the last 9 (and possibly 10) of the last cantata texts.

< I hardly think that the mystery poet of this cantata was incapable of the task. Isn't more likely that it was a creative decision by Bach to begin with an aria and not the result of a poet's death or a desire to give his singers a break? >
The range of experimentation would seem to indicate clear creative decision making.

Julian Mincham wrote (April 15, 2007):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< This hypothesis has been attacked, without much logic that I can see. >
Ah thre lies the rub.

The ideas I have been putting forward (as I have already stated) are indicative rather than logical and based purely upon observations drawn from the music and not from historical dates and deductions.

To claim that they lack logic is, with due respect, to miss the point.

I guess that we could embark upon a quasi-phisosophical discussion as to whether music is 'logical' or not---but count me out!

It seems likely to have been a

Alain Bruguieres wrote (April 15, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
<< Was Stübel the only poet who could write a text for a chorale-based cantata? <>
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< The textin question, whether by Stübel, or some other unknown poet(s), have a unique and uniform structure: the first and last movements of the cantatas corresponding exactly (I hesitate to shout, but you can imagine that in caps: exactly, precisely) to the first and last verses of the chorales and hymns. The interior movements are paraphrases of the chorale texts. The result is not necessarily great poetry, BOTOH, neither is it a trivial task. >
Indeed the first part of the 2nd year is characterized by a remarkable standardisation of the overall structure of the cantatas, with first and last movements treated 'verbatim' respectively as a chorale fantasia and a 'plain' 4 part choral setting of first and last verses; intermediate movements corresponding to paraphrases of the intermediate verses. This has been observed repeteadly. The verbatim treatment of the extreme verses is a straightforward corollary of their musical treatment. No need to 'shout about it'.

It seems to me that this peculiar and systematic form results from a musical choice of the composer. The librettist (or librettists) had to follow a pre-established pattern which left them comparatively little freedom as far as the form is concerned, and even the content is essentially based on the text of the hymn. This does not call for great poetic inspiration, and indeed it seems that the text evinces no great litterary quality. Bach needed someone who would follow obediently the pattern he had set.

For these reasons (based on my interpretation of the analysis of these works on the list), I think that the most likely author or authors would be any litterate person in Leipzig who would have felt like lending Bach a hand. Not an outstanding poet, and therefore probably not a person which one could single out easily amidst the crowd of people who correspond to this rough portrait. The fact that Stübel can be so easily singled out as an original fellow with suspicious religious views, as well as reportedly large poetic production, would rather be, for me, a reason to discard him...

I note that in the Bach dokumente, we have serveral texts showing the authorities did not hesitate to criticize or attack Bach on several grounds. I do not remember coming across any critics regarding the non-orthodox character of the libretti. If Bach had associated himself with such a sulfurous individual as Stübel, I would expect this to be used against him...

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 15, 2007):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< It seems likely to have been a >
Oh no, Julian has been murdered just as he was about reveal the identity of the Mystery Poet!

The plot thickens ...

Julian Mincham wrote (April 15, 2007):
[To Douglas Cowling] Come back Agatha Christie, all is forgiven.

I would complete the sentence above---if only I could remember what I was going to say!

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (April 15, 2007):
[To Julian Mincham] Oh she will come back when George Rowland's uncle cools off after he fired George and takes him back atthe Finance/Loan Company.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 15, 2007):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< This hypothesis has been attacked, without much logic that I can see. >
To clarify, I did not consider Julian an attacker of the Stübel hypothesis.

< Ah thre lies the rub.
The ideas I have been putting forward (as I have already stated) are indicative rather than logical and based purely upon observations drawn from the music and not from historical dates and deductions.
To claim that they lack logic is, with due respect, to miss the point. >
Again to clarify, there was no intent to infer that the musical ideas lack logic, indeed just the opposite. I was referring to the scanty historic evidence only.

Wolff has suggested that a single author is the best explanation for the consistency of the texts of Part 1, and the unavailability of that author is the best explanation for the change in structural character after Easter, 1725.

You have pointed out that the demise (or other loss) of the author is not the only possible explanation for the change in character; it can also be understood as Bach's planned choice for musical and/or theologic reasons, as Peter Smaill has also supported. I certainly have an open mind on those issues, but proposing a viable alternative to Stübel as author is not the same as disproving the hypothesis. That has been my main point right along, in two parts:
(1) It is misleading to suggest that Wolff or Schulze have changed their minds, without some real evidence to that effect.
(2) If other scholars are less enthusiastic than Wolff or Schulze, that is interesting information, but does not qualify as disproving the Stübel hypothesis.

As you have also pointed out, we are not likely to easily resolve these questions with certainty, all the more reason to keep all hypotheses open, including Stübel. Given the repute and visibility of Wolff's publications, perhaps they carry more weight than some people think they should. I continue to find them readable, informative, and convincingly argued.

Stephen Benson wrote (April 17, 2007):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< Perhaps I am the only remaining correspondent interested in the details of this thread, but it is instructive to follow the language. >
Yes, it is instructive to follow the language.

Unless I'm missing something -- and if I have, I apologize in advance -- here is everything Martin Geck has to say about Stbel — three sentences on p. 367 of the English translation by John Hargraves of Martin Geck's Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work. (Not being proficient in German, I can only rely on the published translation. One can only assume that it is relatively accurate.)

"Is Bach's author perhaps the former Konrektor of St. Thomas, Andreas Stbel, whose chiliastic, that is, radically Pietist views caused his removal from office? Hans-Joachim Schulze considered this scholarly and poetically gifted man a possibility because (among other reasons) he died after a three-day illness on 31 January 1725, just at the point when the last three libretti of the chorale cantata cycle set by Bach were due. Schulze conjectures that Stbel's death could have been the crucial factor causing the cycle to remain incomplete."

That's it. That's everything. Three sentences -- one question; two statements of fact summarizing Schulze's suggestion that Stübel should at least be considered a possibility.

What part of this passage even remotely resembles Mr. Braatz's characterization of Geck's position on Schulze's Stübel as "a theory that resembled a ball thrown onto the roulette wheel and having the same chance of winning a jackpot." Where in this passage is there any reference to "Schulze as having ‘brought this Stübel Theory into play’" (interior quotation marks courtesy of Mr. Braatz)? Where in this passage is there even a remote suggestion that, again according to Mr. Braatz, "Geck’s description of the Stübel Theory is rather less than an enthusiastic appraisal of its merits"?

Anyone can create a PDF document with all the trimmings; he can call it an "article" and a "paper"; he can tack on a copyright symbol and attach footnotes. He can dress it up with every academic convention known to man, and none of it alters the fact that its outward guise of respectability masks a core rotten with the deliberate misrepresentation of another's intellectual efforts reconstructed to satisfy his own biased agenda.

Count me out, folks. I've had enough.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 17, 2007):
Stübel Theory Geck

Stephen Benson wrote:
>>-- here is everything Martin Geck has to say about Stübel - three sentences on p.367 of the English translation by John Hargraves of Martin Geck's Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work. (Not being proficient in German, I can only rely on the published translation. One can only assume that it is relatively accurate.)<<
"Not being proficient in German" is the reason that you are forced to rely upon Hargraves' translation into English. This should already be a good reason not to jump to premature conclusions. Unfortunately, many other Bach researchers and experts not fluent in German are placed into the same situation that you are in: they have to rely on translations which may not be as 'clean cut' as they seem to appear to an unwary reader, one not knowledgeable in German and unable to assess the possible intent of the original author who expressed himself in German.

Here is the Hargraves' translation that you gave:

>>"Is Bach's author perhaps the former Konrektor of St. Thomas, Andreas Stübel, whose chiliastic, that is, radically Pietist views caused his removal from office? Hans-Joachim Schulze considered this scholarly and poetically gifted man a possibility because (among other reasons) he died after a three-day illness on 31 January 1725, just at the point when the last three libretti of the chorale cantata cycle set by Bach were due. Schulze conjectures that Stübel's death could have been the crucial factor causing the cycle to remain incomplete."<<

Benson asks: >>Where in this passage is there any reference to "Schulze as having 'brought this Stübel Theory into play'" (interior quotation marks courtesy of Mr. Braatz)?<<
The Geck's original German statement uses the figurative expression "ins Spiel bringen" = to bring something or someone into play. In this instance Geck states that Schulze has brought Stübel whom Schulze has claimed to be a scholar and expert in poetry into play [Note that Geck is not affirming Stübel's attributes and merits; indeed he may already have questioned them in his mind because there is no evidence about Stübel's special training and
experience in theology and writing poetry] because of the coincidence relating to the date of Stübel's short illness and death and the possible cut-off date for printing the cantata texts.

"Into play" can imply that the Geck sees Schulze 'throwing in the ball', i.e., advancing the Stübel theory (a kind of 'trail baloon') based for the most part on the coincidence mentioned above. Will it 'float' or is it doomed to 'sink'? Will the 'ball fall on the right number of the roulette wheel or not'? All of these are possibilities for 'putting something or somewhat into play'. Geck is essentially saying that Schulze was 'lucky' in finding the coincidence between two events, but now this Stübel Theory is going 'into the 2nd round' where Bach experts are beginning investigate more thoroughly whether there is anything more behind this coincidence other than pure chance. This is where Schulze as the author of this theory has retreated from lending any further support to it. He simply was unable to uncover more information to support it. On the contrary, what is being uncovered
about Stübel raises even more doubts about this connection with Bach. Schulze had already intimated as much in a footnote to his presentation of the Stübel Theory.

Final sentence referred to in the translation above:
Geck: "Sein Tod könnte, so lautet die Mutmaßung Schulzes, das ausschlaggebende Moment dafür gewesen sein, daß Bachs Jahrgang, wie bereits erwähnt, unvollendet blieb."

A more literal interpretation, although cumbersome in English, would be more like this:

"His [Stübel's] death, according to the way Schulze expressed his supposition/conjecture/speculation, could/might have been the decisive trigger that caused Bach's cantata cycle to remain unfinished (a fact already referred to above)."

What is interesting is Geck's attitude toward the information/material which he is presenting here. Geck has removed himself from lending any support to the Stübel Theory, this in contrast to Christoph Wolff who continued to expand it and treat it as a viable explanation. Geck's attitude is expressed in presenting the Stübel Theory with a question which the reader should take to heart. Even Hargraves' translation still reflects this attitude with the question: Is he perhaps? Schulze 'considered' him [not 'considers'!] and Schulze 'conjectures his death could have been...' When Geck states: "just zu dem Zeitpunkt" ('just at that very point in time when"), he appears to be emphasizing more than normally necessary the coincidental nature of two events and leaving this 'in the air' for the reader to decide (as perhaps Geck has already surmised) that this argument definitely needs further elucidation with additional proof before it can be considered viable.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 17, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< "Not being proficient in German" is the reason that you are forced to rely upon Hargraves' translation into English. This should already be a good reason not to jump to premature conclusions. Unfortunately, many other Bach researchers and experts not fluent in German are placed into the same situation that you are in: they have to rely on translations which may not be as 'clean cut' as they seem to appear to an unwary reader, one not knowledgeable in German and unable to assess the possible intent of the original author who expressed himself in German. >
And on this part (and your comments that followed it): you've elevated your own proficiency with German above that of the translator, whom Geck and his publisher approved for print!

How presumptuous, especially as you then go on to second-guess what Geck allegedly meant (but didn't say), and which his approved translator should have got right (according to you) but didn't say!

All by you to put down Mr Benson personally, along with anyone else who happens to disagree with you and your methods; and anyone who admits to faith in published scholarly translations, in this case Hargraves's work. We're supposed to believe you, instead of Hargraves. Gee. I don't. I personally believe that Hargraves has a better handle on his material than you do, plus the luxury of checking his translation with Geck and peer reviewers on the way to publication.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 17, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< What is interesting is Geck's attitude toward the information/material which he is presenting here. >
But, you don't KNOW his attitude!!!! You have only his published words, not a private view inside his mind to second-guess him!

Furthermore, this whole "Stubel Theory" phrase ITSELF is something you made up, on the way to trying to discredit it; you didn't get it from Geck's book or any of the other things you cited. YOU'RE the one casting it as only a "theory", as if that renders it somehow weak enough (by virtue of this nomenclature) that you can go right on to knock it off. YOU'RE the one trying to knock it off, not Geck; and you're misquoting and misusing the authority of his published writing, in YOUR process.

I concur with, and second, Mr Benson's cogent remarks from a couple of hours ago:
< Anyone can create a PDF document with all the trimmings; he can call it an "article" and a "paper"; he can tack on a copyright symbol and attach footnotes. He can dress it up with every academic convention known to man, and none of it alters the fact that its outward guise of respectability masks a core rotten with the deliberate misrepresentation of another's intellectefforts reconstructed to satisfy his own biased agenda. >

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 18, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] I have nothing of substance to add to my previous posts on this thread. I do appreciate comments from others who have clearly followed the thread, and with whom I agree wholeheartedly.

I found the roulette analogy to be particularly egregious, worthy of emphasis. The 'pseudo-quote' from Schulze is in the same category of misinformation (non-information is even more accurate), mercifully omitted from the 'Article'.

BCML is one thing. It is demeaning to BCW and its participants to archive material of this caliber. We can do better.

I have no idea what a 'trail balloon is'. A 'trial balloon' is a reasonable colloquial expression for a 'hypothesis'. Shoot it down, if you must, but aim straight. And find some ammunition that will puncture a balloon. Astute readers will note the 'mixed metaphor' of a floating balloon, of whatever description, and a roulette wheel. If not, I have a game of chance you might enjoy. Second offer, as I recall.

Peter Smaill wrote (April 18, 2007):
[To Thomas Braatz] In the discussions of the Stübel theory we are perhaps missing the one new line of enquiry, the expansion of Wolff's statement that (I paraphrase) was theologically experienced but of unorthodox views. This expansion lies in Thomas Braatz setting out that Schulze , who is an expert of Leipzig characters contemporaneous to Bach, had been disciplined because of extreme Pietist leanings, specifically chiliastic teachings.

If this were so , and this aspect of Stuebel has not been disputed, then it tends to weaken the case for Stuebel on the simple grounds that the Pietists emphatically did not care for elaborate church services or indeed music. True, they had their own hymnal , Freylinghausen's "Gestreiches Gesangbuch " ( Halle 1704), but in 1716 this was formally condemned by the Wittenberg theological faculty as doctrinally suspect. As Robin Leaver states:

"In particular, the Wittenberg theologians criticised the omission of classic hymns that deal with the fundamentals of Lutheran theology, such as Luther's "Erhalt Uns bei deinem Wort"

Leaver goes on , refuting Routley's earlier position:

"Was Bach a Pietist? The answer to such a question would have to be an emphatic negative."

While it cannot be ruled out that Stuebel recanted his earlier Pietism, if this did happen he would then seem to have gone to the opposite extreme given the presence of the key Lutheran chorales in Jahrgang 2 (including "Erhalt uns..."). The Pietist expression "Christ in us" , which is contrasted to the Lutheran emphasis, "Christ for us" is perhaps expressed in some arias, such as "Komm in mein Herzens Haus". But such occasional examples of Pietist language do not lead to any general conclusion that either Bach or any of his librettists were Pietists.

Chris Rowson wrote (April 18, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
Benson asks: >>Where in this passage is there any reference to "Schulze as having 'brought this Stübel Theory into play'" (interior quotation marks courtesy of Mr. Braatz)?<<
< The Geck's original German statement uses the figurative expression "ins Spiel bringen" = to bring something or someone into play. . >
"Ins Spiel bringen" is an idiomatic expression which should not be translated literally. It is usually best translated as "to bring into consideration", as Hargraves did.

It surely has no implication of releasing a roulette ball into play, with the relatively violent and unpredictable reaction that results.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 18, 2007):
< In the discussions of the Stübel theory we are perhaps missing the one new line of enquiry, the expansion of Wolff's statement that (I paraphrase) was theologically experienced but of unorthodox views. This expansion lies in Thomas Braatz setting out that Schulze , who is an expert of Leipzig characters contemporaneous to Bach, had been disciplined because of extreme Pietist leanings, specifically chiliastic teachings. >
Wait; that's not right, either! Schulze hasn't been disciplined by anybody (AFAIK) due to any theological leanings/teachings, on his part. Let's keep that clear and straightened out.

Who is it, if anybody, who wants Andreas Stübel flushed out of here and down the toilet: as if he couldn't possibly have been accepted by Bach as a collaborator in creating cantatas? Because of being allegedly an infidel or heretic, and therefore somehow unworthy to have collaborated with Bach? Somehow smearing the reputation of the great hero Bach, by association, and therefore not allowed to have done the work...even if it's possible that he really did?

It's not the modern scholars Schulze, Wolff, or Geck who are declaring him unworthy, or infidel, or heretic, or otherwise unfit for this duty of writing cantata texts with/for Bach. That character judgment against Stuebel is coming in from elsewhere. The scholars merely report the facts of his work.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 18, 2007):
Chris Rowson wrote:
>>"Ins Spiel bringen" is an idiomatic expression which should not be translated literally. It is usually best translated as "to bring into consideration", as Hargraves did.<<
"Should not" sounds rather dogmatic here.

The Langenscheidt-Duden (2005) [PC-Bibliotehk] gives the following reference for current German:

" 'ins Spiel bringen' (Sport): bring someone on, (übertragen) bring something into play, (jemanden) get someone involved"

(" 'to bring into play' (Sports): to bring someone on or into the game literally; (figurative usage): to bring something into play; (when the object is a person) to get someone involved")

Looking at the last part first: Stübel has been dead for a long time, as a result we cannot (figuratively) get him involved in the discussion about his theoretical participation in providing texts to Bach.

We can eliminate the first option as well since this is not a game involving team members one of whom may be called into the game as a replacement.

"To bring into consideration" as a translation has lost all the 'flavor' of the original image which carries an implication to the German reader, but the reader of Hargraves' translation loses this entirely. Hargraves' translation is a possible one, but not one which gives the reader in English any sense of the special nuance in Geck's choice of words here. It is comparable to hearing a computerized program render a printed Bach composition into sound. All the notes are there and very correctly played, but the human element which normally shapes the performance of these notes with grace and expression and makes it more interesting is missing.

Ideally, a translator like Hargraves should indicate in parentheses following the place in the translation where the expression "to bring into consideration" occurs some form of the original ("ins Spiel bringen") or place a footnote at the bottom of the page to alert the reader that Geck may have intended a specific picture of this figurative expression which the translator has chosen to translate otherwise.

The DWB (equivalent to the large OED in English) indicates that the picture of "Spiel" lurks behind all of its variant figurative usages. OED:
"spiel bezeichnet im allgemeinen eine thätigkeit, die man nicht um eines resultats oder eines praktischen zweckes willen, sondern zum zeitvertreib, zur unterhaltung und zum vergnügen übt"

(A 'Spiel' generally designates an activity which you carry out/engage in, not for the purpose of attaining a specific result or a practical purpose, but rather as a pastime, as entertainment, or for personal pleasure.")

This is the 'picture' behind the figurative expre, one that can be rendered into English more specifically as the current standard German - English dictionary indicates.

I contend that "to bring into play" as a translation of Geck's original "ins Spiel bringen" is definitely truer to Geck's intention than the less picturesque, rather dull and matter-of-fact "to bring into consideration" that Hargraves used. Perhaps Geck had already sensed (I assume that he did read the original Schulze presentation of the Stübel Theory to which he gives the correct reference) that Schulze knew that he was "on thin ice" as he stated serious objections to his own theory in his footnote.

My sense of Geck's three sentences devoted to this matter is that Geck realized the tentative nature of this theory based upon a coincidence that lacked further substantiating evidence. As a result he did the following:

1. Geck began his presentation of the Stübel Theory with a question to the effect of 'Is he really the author of these texts if we know of his radical religious views and that he was prematurely removed from his office/position?'

2. Geck uses the phrase "also just zu dem Zeitpunkt, an dem..." ("and it just happened to be at the very same point in time when...") which implies "can you really believe in this coincidence [between Stübel's short illness and death and the printing cut-off date for the next set of libretti]?"

3. Geck uses the subjunctive "könnte gewesen sein" ("could possibly have been") and "so lautet die Mutmaßung Schulzes" ("this at least is what Schulze's conjecture/suspicion/assumption/speculation/guess
sounds like to me").

Geck is certainly not presenting Schulze's Stübel Theory with the same enthusiasm as Christoph Wolff did in two places. On the contrary, he is only sharing this information as an obligation to represent what was still tentative speculation in 2000, while hoping that the reader would sense from the subtle techniques of Geck's own presenation that the theory, as it stood at that moment, had very little factual support beyond a sheer coincidence of time and place which in itself is insufficient for a theory that Schulze already admitted upon its initial presentation was beset by serious objections which would be difficult to overcome.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 18, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< My sense of Geck's three sentences devoted to this matter is that Geck realized the tentative nature of this theory based upon a coincidence that lacked further substantiating evidence. As a result he did the following:
1. Geck began his presentation of the Stübel Theory with a question to the effect of 'Is he really the author of these texts if we know of his radical religious views and that he was prematurely removed from his office/position?' >
Your long, long postings here this week STILL don't tell us what Martin Geck actually wrote there, word for word, but only your own interpretation!

Just give us those *&#%@*#%#@% three sentences themselves, word for word and without a smidge of your interpretation, and then those of us who read German will see exactly what the man wrote. Three sentences! Not five pages of your wishful explanations!

Furthermore, "the Stübel Theory" is still YOUR made-up phrase.

Chris Rowson wrote (April 18, 2007):
Chris Rowson wrote:
>>"Ins Spiel bringen" is an idiomatic expression which should not be translated literally. It is usually best translated as "to bring into consideration", as Hargraves did.<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< "Should not" sounds rather dogmatic here. >
It is indeed rather dogmatic. The translation "bring into play" is misleading, because the significance which the "Spiel" image has for the German reader is different from that that which the literal translation "play" or "game" has for the English reader.

Geck´s sentence is better conveyed in English, as Hargraves has done, by adopting the English idiom "bring into consideration", which is generally considered in such a context to be equivalent to the German idiom in question.

Certainly this loses the "'flavor' of the original image which carries an implication to the German reader". Instead, it carries an appropriate implication for the English reader.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 18, 2007):

Chris Rowson wrote:
>>Certainly this [the use of the bland, more nondescript translation of "ins Spiel bringen"] loses the "'flavor' of the original image which carries an implication to the German reader". Instead, it carries an appropriate implication for the English reader.<<
Who decides what is "an appropriate implication for the English reader"? As an astute English reader, I would prefer to have a more complete picture of what the original author had in mind, rather than the simply "dumbed-down", nondescript version which has surgically removed all the picturesque images and more subtle intimations and innuendos of the original author so as to make the results in translation appear less offensive to PC-inclined editors who may have their own agendas to fulfill.

By removing the inherent images upon which figurative expressions are based, there is great danger of losing essential portions of the original message. This means that the author's thoughts are no longer completely represented. A good translator should always strive to represent as fully as possible what the original author had in mind.

Hargraves has made a certain choice with which I disagree for two reasons:

1) because Hargraves' choice gave only a part of what Geck had in mind when he chose "ins Spiel bringen" over many other German variants such as "in Betracht ziehen" or "in Erwägung ziehen". Both of the latter more perfectly reflect the English straightforward, more literal equivalent to "to take into consideration";

2) the OED has "to take [not 'bring'] into consideration/under consideration" as the standard, usual concatenation of verb+preposition+noun object. It does not seem to recognize Hargraves' "to bring into consideration" as standard usage. Was Hargraves unduly influenced by the use of German "bringen" in "ins Spiel bringen"? Very possibly! Perhaps he should have checked both the OED for standard usage before mixing it with the German choice of verb and the Langenscheidt German-English dictionary for the more accurate rendering of "ins Spiel bringen" = "to bring into play".

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 19, 2007):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< In the discussions of the Stuebel theory we are perhaps missing the one new line of enquiry, the expansion of Wolff's statement that (I paraphrase) was theologically experienced but of unorthodox views. This expansion lies in Thomas Braatz setting out that Schulze , who is an expert of Leipzig characters contemporaneous to Bach, had been disciplined because of extreme Pietist leanings, specifically chiliastic teachings. >
Schulze is the 20th C. (still extant in the 21st?) expert of characters contemporary (18th C.) with Bach? Stübel, not Schulze was (allegedly?) disciplined. Wolff represents him as Konrector emeritus, so someone is apparently incorrect, either the discipline or the emeritus. Or possibly the first 'golden parachute' (ACE), add to my list of copyright ideas for 'The Forging of BWV 143'.

< If this were so, and this aspect of Stuebel has not been disputed, then it tends to weaken the case for Stuebel on the simple grounds that the Pietists emphatically did not care for elaborate church services or indeed music. True, they had their own hymnal, Freylinghausen's "Gestreiches Gesangbuch " (Halle 1704), but in 1716 this was focondemned by the Wittenberg theological faculty as doctrinally suspect. As Robin Leaver states:
"In particular, the Wittenberg theologians criticised the omission of classic hymns that deal with the fundamentals of Lutheran theology, such as Luther's "Erhalt Uns bei deinem Wort"
Leaver goes on , refuting Routley's earlier position:
"Was Bach a Pietist? The answer to such a question would have to be an emphatic negative." >
If this will be the deciding issue on the Stübel hypothesis, which Julian proposed to resolve on musical grounds, then we need to have a definition of Pietism versus Orthodox Lutheranism, how it relates to the cantata texts, and how anyone knows what Bach was thinking versus the texts he set.

Big topic, perhaps worth doing? I can sense the grad students circling.

< While it cannot be ruled out that Stuebel recanted his earlier Pietism, if this did happen he would then seem to have gone to the opposite extreme given the presence of the key Lutheran chorales in Jahrgang 2 (including "Erhalt uns..."). The Pietist expression "Christ in us" >
Is this not a Christian expression, common to all sects? What am I missing?

< which is contrasted to the Lutheran emphasis, "Christ for us" >
Then where does Christ go, at that crucial communion moment? Has not one of the repeated arguments (not necessarily by you) for Bach's Orthodox Lutheran texts, been the communion experience?

< is perhaps expressed in some arias, such as "Komm in mein Herzens Haus". But such occasional examples of Pietist language do not lead to any general conclusion that either Bach or any of his librettists were Pietists. >
You lost me at the conclusion. If this is a genuine point, it needs much more careful argument? You cite one example of Pietist text, zero examples of contrasting (whatever) text.

Not only does the Stübel hypothesis survive, it is getting more credible for all the discussion.

BTW, if we insist on labeling it a theory, rather than a hypothesis (Wolff), I will retract my previous kind condescension on the 'speculation' issue, and go back to calling a spade a spade (ACE).

I am accumulating a small thesaurus of synonyms for 'speculation'.

Peter Smaill wrote (April 19, 2007):
[To Ed Myskowski] Thank you ed for pointing out that in the editing of my post on Stuebel his name was missed out -indeed Schulze is our contemporary and it was Stübel who was disciplined for extreme Pietism/chiliasm according the Schulze.

You will have noted all along that my hypothesis isn't that Stübel was definitely not the writer of the texts of Jahrgang 2. I have an open mind on that issue, the main problem being lack of confirmatory evidence.How can you say the Stuebel theory is gaining ground- what has been discovered in the BCML discussions to strengthen the Schulze original assertion? Nor has it been demolished either.

My contention is that the texts do not support a view that a Pietist would or could likely have been the source. For reasons of brevity I cite the Lutheran chorales ommitted in Freylinghausen, the Pietist hymnal, as the evidence of non-Pietist texts. There are very many of these in Jahrgang 2 , not zero. All of this is set out in Leaver's article on Bach and the Pietists (Concordia, January 1991) which is posted on the internet for anyone who cares to search for the relevant keywords.

Whether Bach sets out the Passion as representing Christus Victor or as the atoning sacrifice, he is expressing "Christ for us", and that is the dominant language of the Cantata texts. "Christ in us" is, as Leaver points out, a different emphasis and a mark of the Pietists, though like many tendencies in Christianity it is difficult to form a precise definition of what Pietism meant doctrinally.

Although Bach deploys Pietist sentiments in some parts of the Cantatas and in the Passions, the predominant tendency is to orthodox Lutheran expression. Leaver convinces me on evidential, not speculative grounds, that Bach is not a Pietist, and if that is so, the fact that (per Schulze) Stuebel was, lessens the liklihood of Stuebel's authorship in the absence of contrary evidence.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 19, 2007):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< My contention is that the texts do not support a view that a Pietist would or could likely have been the source. For reasons of brevity I cite the Lutheran chorales ommitted in Freylinghausen, the Pietist hymnal, as the evidence of non-Pietist texts. There are very many of these in Jahrgang 2 , not zero. All of this is set out in Leaver's article on Bach and the Pietists (Concordia , January 1991) which is posted on the internet for anyone who cares to search for the relevant keywords. >
Sorry if I sounded challenging, but in any case, you have met the challenge. Thanks for pointing out the Leaver reference. I am not qualified to form an independent opinion. I am glad that you agree that identifying the author of the unknown Jahrgang II cantatas is an open and worthwhile line of inquiry, including the possibility of Stübel. I will leave it to you and other experts as to whether his theology makes him less probable than Wolff has suggested, following Schulze. From a musical viewpoint, as pointed out by Julian, the more interesting underlying questions are:
(1) Was there a single author for the first forty cantatas, BWV 20 through BWV 1.
(2) Is it necessary to have that author disappear to explain the abrupt change in structure at Easter, with BWV 6 and BWV 42.
(3) Could the entire structure, including the transition to von Ziegler texts, have been planned.

The Stübel hypothesis only arises by presuming that the answer to 1 and 2 is yes This may seem like circular reasoning, but in fact that is how questions get answered: by proposing a possible solution and testing it. That is the current status of Stübel, no more. But as I have taken pains to point out, no less, either, as yet.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 20, 2007):
Geck's original text on the Stübel Theory

For anyone wishing to view Martin Geck's original German text on the Stübel Theory, it can be found in footnote 13 of my article on this matter at the bottom of the BCW page of articles at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/index.htm

Aryeh Oron has kindly updated the article to include the German original which, at the time, I had not considered necessary to include, but the ongoing discussion makes it appear that it should be available conveniently on the same page where a reference to Geck's 3-sentence summary of Schulze's Stübel Theory appears. I have not changed my English summary of this passage which was never intended to be an esact translation but rather simply meant to represent Geck's views as I understood them based upon his German text and how he expressed his reaction to it, a reaction quite different from Wolff's enthusiastic support of the theory during the time frame from 2000 to 2001.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 20, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< I have not changed my English summary of this passage which was never intended to be an esact translation but rather simply meant to represent Geck's views as I understood them based upon his German text and how he expressed his reaction to it, a reaction quite different from Wolff's enthusiastic support of the theory during the time frame from 2000 to 2001. >
Those following the details of this thread will not be in the least surprised to notice how the TB characterization of Wolff's endof the Stübel hypothesis has evolved from 'tentative' to 'enthusiastic' in less than a week.

I have very kindly refrained from using the word 'speculation' with respect to TB posts, at the request of the moderator, in order not to cause offense.

I have repeatedly stated that I am offended by references to the Stübel 'theory', when it is clearly labeled 'hypothesis' by Wolff. Is it labeled theory in its first exposition? If yes, citation, please. Otherwise, consideration expected is consideration given. Or, tit for tat (ACE). Quid pro quo, et cetera.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 20, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< I have not changed my English summary of this passage which was never intended to be an esact translation but rather simply meant to represent Geck's views as I understood them based upon his German text and how he expressed his reaction to it >
Hello? At last! The translations are not meant to be esact (sic), but only to represent TB understanding of the original statements.

Reading between the lines, I would second the suggestion, 'get thee to a library, if you really need to know'. And if you really want to know what a record sounds like, buy or sample it. You will be amazed at how good some things sound, despite disparaging remarks in these pages. Yodelers of the world, unite!

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 20, 2007):
< Aryeh Oron has kindly updated the article to include the German original which, at the time, I had not considered necessary to include, but the ongoing discussion makes it appear that it should be available conveniently on the same page where a reference to Geck's 3-sentence summary of Schulze's Stübel Theory appears. I have not changed my English summary of this passage which was never intended to be an esact translation but rather simply meant to represent Geck's views as I understood them based upon his German text and how he expressed his reaction to it, a reaction quite different from Wolff's enthusiastic support of the theory during the time frame from 2000 to 2001. >
OK. For anybody interested in comparing all this stuff side by side, to see what Geck (as translated by Hargraves for English publication) really wrote, plus Geck's original German on those three sentences:

Bring up the English version of Geck's book at: Amazon.com
Search on "chiliastic", and page 367 comes up. Read at least pages 367 and 368 to see the context of this material, about the cantata cycle of 1724.

Then, to see the German, bring up: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/StubelTheory.pdf
Scroll down to the bottom of page 4 in it, and squint at footnote #13 which is in 8-point type or maybe even smaller. To reduce the squinting, one might wish to enlarge the PDF's display to more than 100%. One might also bypass the writer's own "roulette wheel" remark on page 1, and page 4's comment about "reading between the lines", both of which distract the reader away from what Geck really wrote.

One might also disregard the writer's outright lies (or, charitably, creative misrepresentation) here on page 4, viz.: "Geck describes Schulze as having 'brought this Stubel Theory into play' only because Stubel coincidentally happened to die after a short illness..."

But, as can be seen plainly on page 367 of Geck's book (English version), "Hans-Joachim Schulze considered this scholarly and poetically gifted man a possibility because (among other reasons) he died after a three-day illness..."

- 1. Geck uses that important phrase, "(among other reasons)", in description of Schulze's case; but the misrepresentation casts this Schulze case as "only because Stubel coincidentally happened to die". No other reasons. It makes Schulze's case, improperly, look like little beyond a scrap of rice paper.

- 2. Geck and Schulze don't call it a "Stubel Theory"; therefore, the phrase 'brought this Stubel Theory into play' is a fake quotation and really shouldn't be in those deceptive quotation marks.

That's among other problems, such as the wider misrepresentation of Geck's tone for this passage.... On those pages 367-8 of the English version, Geck's description of the possibility appears to be much more favorable toward Schulze's hypothesis than the creative writer of "The Rise and Fall of the Stubel Theory" lets on.

=====

For what my opinion is worth as a person who's read the discussion here, along with these materials: it appears to me that the alleged "fall" of the alleged "Stubel Theory" is all made up by one person, pressing his own polemic, rather than reporting accurately what published scholars have written about the topic. That "fall" hasn't necessarily happened, at all; it's just that one guy saying so, and then misusing sources that really don't support his point in the way he says they do. One must apparently "read between the lines" and make up stuff about a "roulette wheel", et al, to see it in his way. And that's taking his own words at face value, not reading between his lines to second-guess any of his meanings or motivations! He's the one claiming to "represent Geck's views as I understood them"; and the way to see if he understood them properly is to check up on his sources.

But, study the materials and draw your own conclusions.

Peter Smaill wrote (April 20, 2007):
[To Ed Myskowski] Ed and Julian raise the interesting question as to whether we can at least state that the author of the post Easter Cantatas in 1725 was not the same as the Chorale Cantata sequence from Trinity 1724 to that point.

On the one hand , it seems plausible that the post Resurrection inclusion of Jesus in the first person, as occurs in BWV 85 and BWV 87 might be indicative of an artistic desire to move from credal Cantatas to a dramatic representation of the words of the Saviour, although as has been pointed out the post Easter Cantatas are not exclusively in this mould.

One observation suggesting that Bach reverted to a format used in 1723/4 is the similarity noted in the liner notes (not to hand) of the Harnoncourt recordings.The suggestion there as I recall is that BWV 85, "Ich bin ein guter Hirt" is in fact of the same model as BWV 86, which commences with the glorious Bass aria "Warlich, warlich ich sage euch"- indeed the clustering of BWV 85, BWV 86 and BWV 87 is a rare instance of congruity in the Schmieder catalogue!

The structures of BWV 85 and BWV 86 are remarkably similar quite apart from the obvious use of the Bass as the "vox Christi". This line of thinking hints that Bach reverted to an earlier librettist who liked the drama of the Christ utterances to be followed by the individual believer's response, and then in the third movement , a collective Chorale as commentary.

Such a tack would tend to help the Stuebel argument - a throwback to an earlier and different writer. Furthermore, the theological content of the Chorale cantatas is different from the post Easter Cantatas, which IMO are hardly at all focused on doctrine but more on exposition of Christian sentiment in the wake of Easter (e.g., steadfastness (BWV 6), confidence (BWV 42), faithfulness (BWV 85)), and all of which centre on the intermediate chorale (movement 3 or 4).This chorale positioning is a hallmark of the possible interregnum prior to texts by Mariane von Ziegler, and was also the case for BWV 86.

 

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