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Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion

Cantata BWV 106
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus Tragicus)
Discussions - Part 6

Continue from Part 5

Personality and character...BWV 106

Continue of discussion from: Members of the BCML/BRML - 2006 [General Topics]

John Pike wrote (February 6, 2006):
[To Thomas Braatz] It is a pity that another flame war is starting again, but I am inclined to agree that, when one considers that BWV 106, for example, was written when Bach was only 20, references to the "mature" Bach are relative and distinctions between phases somewhat blurred. It is undoubtedly the case that some of Bach's early works demonstrate great maturity in every conceivable way.

So far as temperament is concerned, I am not at all persuaded that Bach had equal temperament in mind for the WTC or, indeed, any of his other compositions. No doubt he was aware of it and of its virtue (being able to play in all the major and minor keys) but I also find the argument compelling that he was aware of the major drawback with it (lack of differentiation in colour etc between the different keys). It seems far more likely to me that he preferred a temperament which, while allowing one to play in all the keys, also provided different colours between those keys.

I have listened to Brad's 2 recent compilations (one on Harpsichord and 3 discs of organ music played on the Goshen college organ tuned to Brad's suggestion of Bach's temperament) and greatly enjoyed them both. The playing is excellent and the temperament gives very pleasing results. Even one of the people who disgrees with Brad's proposal has nevertheless acknowledged that it gives "very pleasing results". I can warmly recommend these discs to list members and encourage them to give this temperament "a go", on recording and (if you are more able than me) playing.

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 6, 2006):
< I am inclined to agree that, when one considers that BWV 106, for example, was written when Bach was only 20, references to the "mature" Bach are relative and distinctions between phases somewhat blurred. It is undoubtedly the case that some of Bach's early works demonstrate great maturity in every conceivable way. >
Speaking of BWV 106, which has to be one of my very favorites of all the Bach cantatas: thank-you to list members who have recommended the recent (2004) recording by Carlos Mena et al, Ricercar Consort, Philippe Pierlot. Mirare #002 [42]. I was able to get it recently for something under half price from Berkshire Record Outlet, and wow. The performances of BWV 18 and BWV 150 on that disc are excellent, too.

If I had heard BWV 106 out of nowhere and not known it's by Bach, I would have guessed much farther back into the 17th century on it. Some composer who already knew well his "stylus phantasticus" and had some expressive things to say in it.

John Pike wrote (February 6, 2006):
[To Bradley Lehman] [42] Yes, I have this recording as well, and it is quite stunning.

Eric Bergerud wrote (February 7, 2006):
[To Bradley Lehman] When you think about it, Bach's early works are of very high quality. As I noted in an earlier post there weren't very many 12 year old composers like Mozart or Rossini for which we have musical record. But not many of the great masters had a distinguished track record by age 25 either. Bach certainly did. Not only do we have the wonderful early cantatas (I'd rank BWV 4 very close to BWV 106 in quality) but there was the first wave of keyboard works also.

I've been collecting 17th century cantatas and sacred music (mostly German) for a year or so and Brad's right of course concerning 106. But if I may be allowed to chuck responsible analysis out the window for a moment, I'd say that BWV 106 (or BWV 4) might sound like something composed earlier but they're also simply better. The style of the works may not be anyway unique to Bach, but their execution illustrates unique genius.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 7, 2006):
Eric Bergerud wrote:
< When you think about it, Bach's early works are of very high quality. As I noted in an earlier post there weren't very many 12 year old composers like Mozart or Rossini for which we have musical record. >
I don't think the 17 year old Mendelssohn ever wrote a finer work than the music for A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 7, 2006):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>If I had heard BWV 106 out of nowhere and not known it's by Bach, I would have guessed much farther back into the 17th century on it. Some composer who already knew well his "stylus phantasticus" and had some expressive things to say in it.<<
Calling BWV 106 a cantata that contains evidence of Bach's application of "stylus phantasticus" is certainly a careless, if not entirely incorrect use of the musicological term. Edward A. Lippman in the MGG1 (Bärenreiter, 1986) clearly describes this term as follows: "Der »stylus phantasticus« besteht aus freier Instrumental-Musik, die nicht mit Tanz, Theater oder Kirche verbunden ist und nicht auf einem bestimmten
Text oder melodischen Thema beruht. Es ist ein Stil, der aus harmonischer und kontrapunktischer Erfindungsgabe entspringt, je nach der Eigenart eines einzelnen Instrumentes, und Fantasien, Ricercari, Toccaten und Sonaten umfaßt
." (The 'stylus
phantasticus' consists of freely-invented instrumental music which is not connected with dance, theater or church music and it is not based upon a definite text or specific melody. It is a style which arises from inventive talent/imagination using the skills of
harmony and counterpoint according to the characteristic features of individual instruments, including such forms as Fantasias, Ricercari, Toccatas and Sonatas."]

Note: 'stylus phantasticus' is not present in BWV 106 for the following reasons:

1. The cantata involves the use of voices (the 'stylus phantasticus' is reserved only for the use of instruments, primarily a single instrument by itself or a solo instrument within an ensemble)

2. The cantata is specifically written for use during a church service

3. The cantata is based upon a specific text

4. The cantata contains specific melodic themes

5. The cantata is not based upon free harmonic and or contrapuntal improvisation

6. The cantata is not in the form of a fantasia, ricercare, toccata or sonata.

Eric Bergerud wrote (February 7, 2006):
[To Doug Cowling] Point taken. I have a real soft spot for Mendelssohn and find it difficult to believe that his reputation (sky high in his prime) took a dramatic nose dive thanks the artistic food fights associated with Wagner vs Brahms. That said, young Mendelssohn only wrote the overture to MSN at a tender age. The public premier played in London a few months after a private performance - during the concert Mendelssohn was the soloist in the English premier of Beethoven's "Emperor" concerto in 1827. The remainder of the incidental music was composed at the request of the King of Prussia in 1843 and performed just months before the violin concerto. (That's my favorite along with the "Scotch" symphony.) According to the liner notes that accompany a wonderful Mackerras/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment performance of the MS Night's Dream & Italian Symphony and a set of very complete notes from a volume of Naxos' Schubert Leider (another teen prodigy), Mendelssohn's style and content hit stride just when Europe was keen on Ossian, Walter Scott and all things concerned with misty bogs or storms in northern seas. Music like "Fingals Cave" - as sweet a romantic overture as ever penned - found a big audience. As might be expected Mendelssohn's reputation was highest in Britain.

But appreciation for Mendelssohn or Schubert aside, both composers penned works that, for good reason, are rarely played now. Both were splendid artists indeed, but their output lacked the extraordinary consistency that graced the work of Bach, adult Mozart and Beethoven. Or so it sounds to my humble ears.

John Pike wrote (February 7, 2006):
[To Doug Cowling] ....or the octet, composed when he was 16!

John Pike wrote (February 7, 2006):
[To Eric Bergerud] I agree, Eric, but Mendelssohn is, nevertheless, one of my 10 favourite composers. Some of my favourite works, besides the overtures, octet, Scottish symphony and violin concerto already mentioned, are some of the string quartets, and the Italian and Reformation symphonies, nos. 4 and 5.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 7, 2006):
[To John Pike] Don't forget the String Octet!

 

BWV 106/Recordings

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 8, 2006):
Mostly to Aryeh, re an old (2004) post, which I am too lazy to look up again. To the effect that no one had yet made any comments about BCW leading to recording purchases. Last month, I had about 100 cantatas on LP and CD, including one BWV 106. I was digging into them, thinking about trying to unscramble the chronology a bit, since Craig Smith and Emmanuel Music had got me started with their 2 CD set of BWV 75 plus (more to come). I found my BWV 106 LP, connected to BCW again, and that got me started. Then I realized I was about a year late in the chronological discussions, and I am scrambling to catch up.

A month later, I have about 200 cantatas (including multiples and the occasional LP/CD duplicate, so not yet complete). That includes the big chunk of 75 on the Richter 26 CD set, but several others as well.

Including Ricercar, BWV 106, thanks to:

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 6, 2006):
Speaking of BWV 106, which has to be one of my very favorites of all the Bach cantatas: thank-you to list members who have recommended the recent (2004) recording by Carlos Mena et al, Ricercar Consort, Philippe Pierlot. Mirare #002 [42]. I was able to get it recently for something under half price from Berkshire Record Outlet, and wow. The performances of BWV 18 and BWV 150 on that disc are excellent, too.

Now I have three BWV 106. The old LP is not obsolete by any means, comparative discussion to follow.

I am writing to share my experience with others who may be at a similar level of interest. The Richter 26 CD set is a steal at about US$100 on amazon.com. I do not see it listed anywhere else in the US, so maybe it is going out of print (corrections always welcome, spare the flame). Do not make the mistake I made, which was to buy an individual 5 CD set first (Vol. V, in order to get BWV 106) for a little over US$30. Then I realized from a BCW post that the whole set is just the five individual sets bundled together. All notes included, and very compact packaging if that is a consideration. Now I have the complete set, plus an extra Vol. V. to give away. Relax, don't attack. I actually have real life friends (scarce though, not the guys I meet on a walk downtown, Yoel) who listen to this stuff, and who will reciprocate the gift.

Did I mention inexpensive? If you are reading this far you are probably interested. If $100 is within your budget (without letting the kids go too hungry, or whatever) stop thinking, share my experience, and buy the full
Richter package. Then start writing about it here.

Eric Bergerud wrote (March 8, 2006):
[To Ed Myskowski] As I recall the BWV 106 thread a few months back was pretty lively: it's a great work and everyone seems to like it. No accident that there are plenty of recordings. You might check the archives of both the recent and original discussion that took place in 2002. (I have to admit that I've looked around for answers to a number of items in plain sight on the site - no pun intended. J.P Morgan once said you're not rich if you know how much money you have. Maybe the sign of a good site is that even people that check it regularly don't know every corner.)

As for Richter I bought three of his CDs. My ears have been whipped into shape by the period instrument movement and I don't favor the "good old days" and don't forsee buying a lot of Richter. I do have all of the Thomanerchor / Collegium Musicum under Hans Joachim Rotzsch that I could find. It strikes me that it is a good "big battalion" version and you can't knock the pedigree. I don't have a "classic" passion or Mass in B (BWV 232): maybe I should remedy that.

 

BWV 106

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 14, 2006):
There have already been many words posted about BWV 106, so I will be as
brief as I am able. I want to say something because:
(1) It is my previously unlisted recording (June 1964, below) which led me to communicate with BCW. A recording with qualities worth noting.
(2) There are some general features of the cantata which have not been discussed, and which I find interesting, maybe important.
(3) It is one of the few cantatas where I am now able to make comparisons among several recordings, which are

[4] Hermann Scherchen
[8] June 1964, J.S. Bach: Cantatas BWV 106 (with BWV 161). Heinz Markus Göttsche. Mannheimer Bach Orchestra & Choir
[11] Karl Richter. Münchener Bach-Chor /Münchener Bach-Orchester
[42] Bach: Actus Tragicus. Philippe Pierlot (OVPP - No Choir) /
Ricercar Consort

I will do my best to limit discussion to three topics, one (or a few) paragaphs each (not counting cross references to related posts):
(1) Instrumentation, especially flauti (Bach designation?)
(2) Vocals, choir or solo, OVPP (One or One hundred?)
(3) Texts, especially "Bestelle dein Haus," "Es ist der alte Bund."

Aryeh Oron wrote (Oct. 8, 2000, re BWV 161)
The playing of the flutes in the opening of the aria for alto is charming. [...] But again, who can not be arrested by the combination of the choir and the flutes in the concluding chorale?

Thomas Braatz wrote (September 1, 2000):
Bach's earliest use of the recorder is in BWV 106 (Mühlhausen, 1707)

We are not even started, and there is inflammatory language. In order to avoid confusion (and make no one completely happy) I will refer to the recorders as "becs" (for "flute a bec", equivalent to English recorder, Bach flauto, and German blockfloete (as listed on the jacket (or liner notes)) of my Göttsche LP vinyl record). So there. I will call the flutes (modern), flutes [4] and [9?].

To my ears, the flutes are becs (apologies, Aryeh, but perhaps that is what you meant), and are so listed, on both BWV 106 and BWV 161 by Gottsche. Not only that, but the playing and recording balance of the becs make this the outstanding version of BWV 106, of the four I have. Old vinyl and surface noise notwithstanding. The recording balance is so good that I want to mention the engineer (Aufnahmeleitung: Dr. Klaus Preis, from liner notes) in case the name is recognized, and because engineers never get enough credit.

I did not really pay proper attention to the becs until I read Aryeh's post. Indeed, I had only listened to my LP once since I bought it, second hand (previously owned, used, old, you know what I mean) somtime in the 1980's, just as LP's were going out of fashion and CD's were coming into fashion. Filed for future reference. The future is here.

Marie Jensen wrote (March 19, 2000):
[11] Richter's recorders sound divine.

I agree, but I will tell you where I think Gottsche surpasses: at the very finish. The conclusion of BWV 106 is remarkable under any circumstances, and especially so if Thomas Braatz is correct (do you expect that he is not?) about Bach's first writing for bec. The final rising two note figure, after all the Amens, is like an angel seeking heaven, and a perfect balance for the soprano ending section 2d. I do not recall seeing this mentioned in the earlier discussions (corredtions invited).

Richter takes the conclusion so quickly you could miss it. Gottsche's becs play ritardando and trill/vibrato, which sound correct when you hear it. Then everything else sounds not quite as good. I suppose one could argue that the heavenly transit is ephemeral, easily missed, and so Richter has some artistic justification. I prefer Goettsche. Pierlot/Ricercar is a close alternate. If the Richter were my only option (or if you followed me, bought the 75 cantata set for US$99, and have his BWV 106 as something of a bonus), play it, enjoy it, and just apply a bit of mental ritardando to the finale, especially the last two bec notes.

Neil Halliday wrote (January 16, 2005):
BWV 106 : 'hidden' chorale
Peter Smaill wrote: <"Of relatively unexplored interest is the insertion of the chorale "Ich hab mein Sach Gott Heimgestellt", scarcely audible in some recordings">.
Thanks for pointing ot the existence of this 'hidden' chorale in this movement. It turns out this chorale melody, played by the recorders, (sic, becs to us) ends with the marvellous moment I referred to in my introductory
comments, with a deeply moving trill (on the recorders); I was not aware of the existence of this chorale tune to which the final trill belongs!


It has been a true revelation to me to find this level of discussion available for the asking. I would have missed the Chorale tune without your guidance. Now that I am aware of it, it is most pronounced in the Scherchen [4] flutes. Perhaps that is cheating? It certainly sounds good, and I recall seeing a note recently that Bach later played BWV 106 with flutes, or that later versions of the score indicates flutes are an acceptable alternate. Sorry I can't recover the reference (Thomas Braatz will advise, if it is important?) This figurte also stands out reasonably well in the Gottsche. Surprisingly, it is almost lost in the Pierlot OVPP [42], one of the few real disappointments on that CD. Of course, if you hadn't told me about it, I never would have missed it.

End of first paragraph, so much for brevity. Other instrumentation topics:
(1) Harpsichord in Scherchen, pretty HIP for 1951
(2) Becs and gambas, noted by Woolf, lovely all the way through
Gottsches. In fact, Gottsches almost sounds like an early (pre-HIP)
response to Scherchen, especially the becs.


Das ist der alte Bund" Not specific to Christians. Universal!

Woolf: recorders and gambas
girl in choir
flutes in 1724 (see BWV 101 discussion)

Recordings: Rilling t solo, a choir, Gottsche, t choir, a solo, Ricercar OVPP

BWV 40 discussion, for Aryeh re. Smith/EM

The chorale ends with a descent to the tonic - from B flat to F, in F minor (BGA score) - and then the G natural (of F minor) is immediately flattened to G flat, for the slow, then actual trill. This change in interval from a major to a minor second, ie, the {G natural, F} of the chorale to the {G flat, F} of the trill, is electrifying in its effect.

I made these comments with Richter's recording [11] in mind. It is true that some other recordings, as has been pointed out, almost miss this chorale and its final 'haunting' trill, completely.

Whereas Richter [11] has the full choir (or rather, ATB section of the choir) sing loudly "It is the old bond: Man, you must die", he cleverly has the choir sopranos sing more quietly during their refrain "Yes, come, Lord Jesus", which is when the recorders quote the lines of the chorale; hence the chorale tune on the recorders is quite audible in this recording (I just did not realise the recorders are in fact playing a chorale tune).

Uri Golomb wrote (January 17, 2005):
Although I am convinced that Bach wrote most of his cantatas with an OVPP ensemble in mind, this never stopped me from enjoying choral performances, whether live or on record. The Actus Tragics is different: to my ears (which are normally quite willing to accept Bach on the piano, and on other definitely a-historical media), it actually SOUNDS wrong when performed with anything more than one singer per vocal line; the middle section, which contrasts "es ist der alte Bund" in the lower voices with "Ja komm Herr Jesu" in the soprano, particularly suffers. The soprano line sounds too self-confident, even aggressive, in most choral renditions. Some directors try to solve this by allocating the soprano line in this particular section to a soloist -- but then it doesn't sound convincingly balanced with the choral rendition of the lower voices, and the instruments are also poorly balanced. So in this case, I feel there are strong MUSICAL (as well as historical) reasons to prefer OVPP.

Neil Halliday wrote (March 14, 2006):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
<<...Uri Golomb wrote, of BWV 106 (on 7/1/05): So in this case, I feel there are strong MUSICAL (as well as historical) reasons to prefer OVPP.>>
While I'm not certain that OVPP is necessarily the best way to go (it might be, in this cantata), I must admit that when I heard the Richter recording straight after a HIP recording (I forget which one) during the recent BBC Bachfest, Richter's choir sounded way too large, something that had not been aware of, previously.

------------

On the issue of recorders: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recorder

This comprehensive article does not raise the issue of a misnomer. Notice that Pepys and Milton, as well as Shakespeare, are mentioned as examples of authors among others referring to recorders in the 16th and 17th century in England.

It would seem that those people concerned with this terminology might as well accept that English is by no means a consistent language, and 'go with the flow', on an English speaking list.

 

BWV 106 (more)

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 15, 2006):
My apologies for any confusion. I apparently neglected to move/delete some notes to myself from my previous post, and then compounded the problem by transmitting the whole thing, text plus appended jotting, twice. That is what happens when you try to rush. I am just going to continue my thoughts on BWV 106, picking up after what I called the end of the first paragraph. It would have been much better to finish the entire post first, and then send it as one piece without worrying about the recorder/blockfloete/bec issue. But too late for that now. I am continuing to use bec (for flute a bec) as the most convenient shorthand. I am not in any way suggesting that anyone else should or should not do the same. I find it convenient.

I have had another listen to Richter [11], and I was wrong to question whether section 2d is actually becs. See the comments Neil Halliday wrote (January 16, 2005) for more detail.

The vocal and instrumental scoring is remarkably individual on my four recordings, given the limited options. Christoph Woolf (Bach: Learned Musician, p. 100) points out how uniquely soft is the sound of pairs each of becs and viola da gambas, an example of Bach's mastery of limited resources and his genius at already evident at the age of twenty! Richter [11] uses organ continuo, Gotttsche [8] gets a much more delicate sound from harpsichord (cembalo) and contrabass, as does Scherchen [4], a real surprise for me. Richter's vocal scoring is what I believe is standard, with tenor and bass solo in 2b and 2c, and alto choir in 3b. Gottsche [8] inverts this, with tenor choir in 2b and alto solo in 3b. Scherchen uses chorus and choir sections throughout (2), and bass and alto solo in (3). The choir effect in both [4] and [8] is remarkably delicate, especially noticeable in the Scherchen [4] bass aria (2c), "Bestelle dein Haus" (Set thine housein order). Roessl-Majdan [4] is powerful in (3a), her restraint in (3b) makes a nice contrast. Hertha Topper [11] is nearly her equal in (3a). Sabine Kircher [8] has a much more delicate voice, but it comes across to good effect, and those who do not care for vibrato may even prefer it.

The link that Aryeh has provided to Jan Koster Cantatas Project site leads to a detailed discussion of structure and a useful interlinear translation (also linked as English 2 in the text block). The analysis of the structure as arch form is satisfying, with the chorus (2d) as the center, or keystone, of the arch. Almost like the nave of a church, if we can stand a little more of that.

Koster is also worth mentioning on the text of (2d), "Es ist die alte Bund", where Bund is typically translated as law. Koster chooses covenant, which I find much more appealing for its meaning and origin, if not musical sound. Indeed, I checked my NRV Bible, which uses "ancient decree" but in a footnote points out that it is from the Greek original, covenant.

Whatever your views on Bach's theology, and how his music relates to that theology, BWV 106 unites us all in "die alte Bund." The following quote was intended to apply to all of Bach's music, not just this one line, but it seems like a good conclusion. "Yoel L. Arbeitman" wrote:
< This is what we are and what we share in common. >
"Bestellle dein Haus" applies around the world, as well.

I am very happy to have the Gottsche's version [8], but it is not now available. If it is ever released on CD, or if you are lucky enough to find an LP, I recommend it. Until then, make do with Richter [11] for a traditional approach, and supplement it with an OVPP to grasp what all the discussion is about. I intended to say more about this, but I have already gone on too long. The Pierlot/Ricercar [42] is quite good, especially with convenient price and couplings, but I would read the earlier discussions, and consider Rifkin [20], Thomas [23], or Junghänel/Cantus Cölln [37] as perhaps a better first choice. I am happy to have the Scherchen [4] for a comparison of flutes with becs, for the alto aria (3a), and just for the realization that there was good interpretation of Bach going on 55 years ago. It didn't start with HIP and OVPP, as much of an advancement as they may be.

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 15, 2006):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>I am happy to have the Scherchen [4] for a comparison of flutes with becs, for the alto aria (3a), and just for the realization that there was good interpretation of Bach going on 55 years ago. It didn't start with HIP and OVPP, as much of an advancement as they may be.<<
A glance at the NBA KB I/34 which discusses BWV 106 in detail reveals some interesting facts:

1. There is no record of the autograph score or the original set of parts.

2. The earliest copy of the score by an unknown copyist dates from 1768 and is scored for Flauto I, Flauto II, Viola da gamba I, Viola da gamba II, SATB, Continuo. At this time Flauto probably meant transverse flute to most conductors and performers. Another 18th century score by unknown copyists is undatable. It calls for 2 Flauti, 2 Viole di Gamba, SATB + Fondamento. This manuscript copy and the one above might have been copied from the following: A lost manuscript long since disappeared was offered for sale by Breitkopf in 1761. It calls for 2 Flauti, 2 Viole da Gamba, 4 Voci + Fondamento. A set of manuscript copies are associated with Zelter's activities with the Singakademie also might have had the Breitkopf manuscript copy as a source. For one of these manuscripts Georg Poelchau, a famous collector of Bach manuscripts had to personally write in the following instrumentation indication: "Für Flöten und Gamben". He probably purchased this copy at the beginning of the 19th century. Another copy originating from the Singakademie sourch is by Friedrich Knuth at the beginning of the 19th century (no specific instruments indicated). Most importantly, however is the printing by Simrock (ed. Adolf Bernhard Marx) of this cantata again originating from the Singakademie. The title does not mention the specific orchestration. This version was also issued as a vocal score with piano accompaniment. It was the appearance of this printed version in 1830 which helped to escalate this cantata into a prominent position with many performances throughout the 19th century. Felix Mendelssohn owned it in manuscript form (and very likely performed it.) It is included in his estate at the time of his death along with his personal conducting copy of the SMP (BWV 244), BWV 78, BWV 48, BWV 67, BWV 38, and BWV 102.

There is a copy of BWV 106 in the Berlin Staatsbibliothek, very likely from the 19th century, which calls for 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 violins, 2 violas, and string bass.

The Berlin Singakademie performed from the printed score for the first time in 1837 but then it was
repeated in the following years until 1888 28 times, 15 of these performances using only a pianoforte accompaniment.

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 15, 2006):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>there was good interpretation of Bach going on 55 years ago. It didn't start with HIP and OVPP, as much of an advancement as they may be.<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< A glance at the NBA KB I/34 which discusses BWV 106 in detail reveals some interesting facts: >
Thank you for adding the material from NBA! I certainly would not have access to this information otherwise, and I expect this is true for almost all other list participants. It is most generous of you to take the time to share information from NBA. Those who are not interested can just skip over it. For those of us who are interested, your contributions are a major value of BCW.

Douglas Cowling wrote (March 15, 2006):
Speaking of Cantata BWV 106, the Churchof the Redeemer, Toronto, will peform "Gottes Zeit" as part of a Vespers service on April 26 at 7 pm. The service will also include the Buxtehude 'Magnificat' and a sermon on the scriptural themes: http://www.theredeemer.ca/

Tom Hens wrote (March 16, 2006):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< 2. The earliest copy of the score by an unknown copyist dates from 1768 and is scored for Flauto I, Flauto II, Viola da gamba I, Viola da gamba II, SATB, Continuo. At this time Flauto probably meant transverse flute to most conductors and performers. >
I'm not so sure about this. By this time the transverse flute was in general use and the recorder probably pretty much gone, but that doesn't necessarily mean the word "flauto", used without qualifiers, had shifted to mean "flauto traverso", or that musicians wouldn't still be aware of the earlier meaning. Even today, it's still quite common to use "flauto traverso" in Italian, "Querflöte" in German, or "dwarsfluit" in Dutch, in contexts in which it it quite clear that the modern transverse flute is meant and no possible confusion with the recorder exists. Terminology often outlasts the things it stands for, and just because the "flauto" became obsolete doesn't mean people automatically transferred the same designation to the "flauto traverso".

Knowing you, you will now probably come up with multiple attestations from the same period showing I am completely mistaken.

 

Not all cantatas are created equal

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (February 16, 2007):
Last night after listening to some other Bach (a matter for a separate post), I put on BWV 106, certainly a member of a small group of extraordinary cantatas in my opinion. I put on the Ricercar consort with Philippe Pierlot bc. just the other day I had listened to a few of the items on Carlos Mena's (same consort and same conductor) De Aeternitate CD, a CD which I can only listen to maximum three items at a time from.

I was flabbergasted by this reading of the so called Actus Tragicus [42]. The instrumental playing, the entirety of the quartet of singers, the singers themselves, all of them first rate even if Mena has less than perfect German (it is forgivable).

What an amazing reading of this work.

Then I put on the same work in the notorious, infamous, very famous, and-- at time of release-- the hottest item discussed here (about 5 years ago), recording by Cantus Cölln [37], a recording to which I have not returned since that time when I found it tepidly boring.

Time passes and one hears differently. While I would never want that unique reading to be anyone's only recording of this extraordinary cantata (one of Yoël's elite cantatas), I found this time the Cantus Cölln recording [37] fascinating although not the mind-boggling trip that the Ricercar reading [42] was.

But it left me confused and then I went to our webpage with the discussion on this recording which has been so well archived and most of my questions which the inadequate notes to not help with were resolved by the archived discussion at the time of release.

Then I ran into a translation there of the reflexions of a Hebrew speaking Bach non-virtual group and they preferred Rifkin whose recording [20] of this work is not amongst the cantatas by him which I now have.

I myself did not go onto to any other recordings I have bc. I simply cannot over-comparative listen. The experience with the Ricercar followed by the Cantus Cölln was enough.

Eric Bergerud wrote (February 16, 2007):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] I just got a copy of my first performances by the Ricercar Consort (BWV 82 with Egmond, BWV 152 and BWV 202 with Greta de Reyghere) and the ensemble is terrific. I checked Amazon and the group is pretty well recorded but not, for some reason, in the realm of Bach cantatas. Highest recommendations for ensemble.

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 16, 2007):
[To Eris Bergerud] All the recordings of Bach's vocal works by Ricercar Consort are listed at the page:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Ricercar.htm
Alas, most of these recordings are hard to find or out of print.. That is why you cannot find them in Amazon.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (February 17, 2007):
[To Aryeh Oron & Eric Bergerud] One wonders why, Eric and Aryeh,

The several which I have, the two I mentioned and the Ledroit set I only bought within the last few years when they were mentioned on this list. The Ledroit and the De Aeternitate I bought for the cantata BWV 53 since I collect that cantata but they had so much more on them. They are amongst my favorite CDs, all three that I have and they are so beautifully packaged as well. I guess that they do a very short run and that's that.

 

BWV 131 and BWV 106 [was: Bach & theology (BWV 131)]

Terejia wrote (June 11, 2008):
Thérèse Hanquet wrote:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/28135
< Maybe we could consider that the impression we get from BWV 106 has to do with love more than with death (and life). >
Interesting. I don't know about the historical/documental/academic detail but I FEEL your intuition is not far off. I suppose I remember you mentioning your choir performing BWV 106 along with BWV 198 on All Souls' Day-I hope my memory is correct?

For me, as is usually the case with me, what strikes me is BWV 131 is in basically in G-minor, which is the same key with the opening chorus of sheer stark sounding St. Johanness Passion, and that famous organ piece Fantasie and Fugue, etc., the collateral major key of which appears in "Mache dich mein Herze lein" and BWV 106 is in Es-dur, the same in the final choir of St. Johanness Passion (BWV 245); the collateral minor key of which is adopted in penultimate funeral chorale in St. Johanness Passion (BWV 245) and the closing chorus of St. Matthews Passion-and also in some of the famous Beethoven's piano sonatas.

< For me the soprano part I mentioned is really like the song of a lover who waits for the loved one (Jesus). This may also explain that this music speaks to so many people. >
According to hearsay that I heard from a professional Bass Baritone singer, who has recorded BWV 56, 82 with period instrument ensemble, he told me Bach often adopted soprano as "a voice of soul ", "a bride of Christ", which may well be true my intuition feels al though I don't know about academic details.

Terejia wrote (June 11, 2008):
Terejia wrote:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/28248
PS : I'd like to add

BWV 78, Mottet No. 5 "Komm, Jesu, Komm", Tenor aria and final chorale of BWV 6 to G-moll list
opening chorus of BWV 6 to C-minor list . its beautiful alto aria to Es dur list.

I'll stop here, although I'm absolutely sure there are other important and beautiful masterpieces to be added to the list. My point was, 2 flats key and 3 flats key somehow attract my attention, which may well be just a personal interest of mine...

Terejia wrote (June 11, 2008):
Terejia wrote:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/28249
PPS : I didn't take church mode into account in my last e-mail(although I'm reading and posting from website) . There are mistakes in my listing up due to church mode. Since this list consists of members with far better musical knowledge than myself, please excuse me for leaving corrections to the hands of knowledgeable experts and go off to my work.

 

BWV 106, All Saints/Souls

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 3, 2009):
I have enjoyed the posts from those who responded to my Halloween four-day weekend suggestion, especially those with the idea of BWV 106 for All Saints/Souls days.

As it turns out, this is a very personal and warm recollection: I joined BCML 3.5 years ago, in response to an invite from Aryeh, after I made him aware of a fine LP recording of BWV 106 (Gottshe, on DaCamera) which was not yet listed on BCW at that time. I am listening to it as I write: Sabine Kircher in the A/B duet (No. 5 (?)), otherwise unknown to me, sounds equal(or better) than anyone.

Life is never as uncomplicated as we might like to make it. Dia de los Muertos appears to be correct Spanish for All Souls Day, Nov. 2, which was a special one-day celebration back in the days when my consultant was current. It appears (according to NPR radio report this afternoon) that the Mexicans have long since beat me to it, in creating the four-day celebration. Quel surprise, eh?

As best I can tell, as I move to the Rifkin CD, OVPP, recorded at MMMH (get HIP), the Holy Days are now Dias de Muertos in Mexico, Oct. 30 to Nov.2. Perhaps Larry King (Billy-Jean Kings ex-husband) was right, after all, calling Friday All Hallows Eve? Billy-Jean? I know that tune.

The Rifkin was pioneering, still a joy to listen to. Check it out, if you have not yet done so. And check out that Methuen recording acoustic, while you are at it!

Mary Vinquist wrote (November 3, 2009):
[To Ed Myskowski] The church you referred to in a previous post did BWV 106 on Sunday afternoon at Bach Vespers. It was beautiful. One of my favorite cantatas.

Next Sunday they are doing the cantata that goes with the recently discovered (last spring) fantasia forgan. Name escapes me right now.

William Hoffman wrote (November 3, 2009):
BWV 106, All Saints/Souls; BWV 1127-28

[To Mary Vinquist] William Hoffman replies:
I believe the work is the Weimar Ode, BWV 1127, found by Michael Maul. The organ fantasia, I think, is a tabulature of "Am Wasserfluessen Babylon," which may BWV 1128. For more information, go to Oxford University Press, Early Music and purchase: David Yearsley Bach discoveries
Early Music 2009 37: 489-492; doi:10.1093/em/cap055 [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Glen Armstrong wrote (November 3, 2009):
[To Mary Vinquist] Forgive me if this has already been proposed, but wouldn't "derived from" be less objectionable, because of popular use than, "parodied"? Admittedly, the "from" is ugly, but "derivation" and "derivative" might be used. Now I think of it, I guess 'derivative' has some pejorative connotations. Oh, well.

Billie Jean and Larry? I have to question that. And was the marriage before or after she "came out"? A Lawrence doesn't necessarily a Larry make. With his coterie of ex-wives to remember, poor Larry probably couldn't tell us.

Evan Cortens wrote (November 3, 2009):
[To Glen Armstrong] It seems the appropriateness (or not) of the word "parody" is a not-infrequent topic of discussion on this list... I confess, it's never actually bothered me. When someone says that Bach parodied a given composition, Wierd Al et al. don't even enter my mind.

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 4, 2009):
Evan Cortens wrote:
< It seems the appropriateness (or not) of the word "parody" is a not-infrequent topic of discussion on this list... I confess, it's never actually bothered me. >
It's in the same category as "farcing" a Gregorian chant.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 4, 2009):
>> It seems the appropriateness (or not) of the word "parody" is a not-infrequent topic of discussion on this list... <<
>It's in the same category as "farcing" a Gregorian chant. <
This thread is a travesty of a serious model!

Which provides me a neat opportunity to insert a correction: the first mention of recorder cited by OED is in fact 1430-40 (CE), based on a subsequent 16th C. citation, which is what I misquoted from memory. Recorder, in English, 15th century (at the latest, could be earlier).

Glen Armstrong wrote (November 4, 2009):
[To Ed Myskowski] Now, how about a correction re the O.T. error about Larry King's (as in TV personality) "marriage" to Billie Jean? Never happened. Wrong guy -- although same name.

William Hoffman wrote (November 4, 2009):
BWV 106: Parody

William Hoffman replies: There are all kinds of misuse, misapplication, misconstruction of terms in music. Just take the word "obbligato," meaning "necessary." In its original application, it was an optional part, secondary to the rest of the music. Now, it all depends on one's perspective.

Evan Cortens wrote (November 4, 2009):
William Hoffman wrote:
< William Hoffman replies: There are all kinds of misuse, misapplication, misconstruction of terms in music. Just take the word "obbligato," meaning "necessary." In its original application, it was an optional part, secondary to the rest of the music. Now, it all depends on one's perspective. >
Hmm, this doesn't sound quite right to me. The first definition given in the Oxford English Dictionary, dating from 1724 says:

"1. Originally: designating a part which is subordinate to the principal melody, but nevertheless essential to the completeness of a composition and not to be omitted (cf. AD LIBITUM adv.); (in later use also, more generally) designating any prominent instrumental part, usually one which is nevertheless subordinate to the principal melody; (also) designating an instrument on which such a part is played. Also in extended use."

In other words, the part itself was secondary, but not optional. Perhaps this is what you meant?

It seems to me this sort of usage arises from a culture where the instrumentation for a given piece of music wasn't specified, as was typically the case in Western European music before 1600. (I'm generalizing, of course! Well into the eighteenth century, we still see music written for "flute, or oboe, or violin.") Obbligato seems to have arisen as a way of denoting an exception to this, namely it _must_ be this particular melody instrument, rather than merely one capable of playing the given notes.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 4, 2009):
OT: Larry King [was: BWV 106 etc.]

Glen Armstrong wrote:
< Now, how about a correction re the O.T. error about Larry King's (as in TV personality) >"marriage" to Billie Jean? Never happened. Wrong guy -- although same name. >
I will take Glens word for it, although I have always assumed otherwise. Without any research, I hasten to add, other than a vague recollection that I heard it on TV, and the statistical likelihood, given the number of his exes.

I can assure you that Larry King (as in TV personality) is the guy who opened his Oct. 30 show with: <Today is All Hallows Eve, the day before Halloween>. I can no longer assure you that he was incorrect, given the expansion of Mexicos Dias de Muertos (the subtitle of my book reference, by Jaunita Garciagodoy: <Digging the Days of the Dead>). My spouse (aka Employee No. 1a) lit candles yesterday for each of our closest departed family, eight total, and we had a very spiritual and reflective Dia de los Muertos to wind down the four-day weekend, followed by the usual outrageous and musically interesting Monday evening open mike at the local, In a Pigs Eye.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 4, 2009):
William Hoffman replies:
>>There are all kinds of misuse, misapplication, misconstruction of terms in music. Just take the word "obbligato," meaning "necessary." In its original application, it was an optional part, secondary to the rest of the music. Now, it all depends on one's perspective. <<
Evan Cortens responded:
>Hmm, this doesn't sound quite right to me. The first definition given in the Oxford English Dictionary, dating from 1724 says: "1. Originally: designating a part which is subordinate to the principal melody, but nevertheless essential to the completeness of a composition and not to be omitted [...] <
Evans comments are convincing and informative, but the exchange sends us down another pathway of the evolution of language. Consider the current connotations of the word obligatory: I once got a few laughs and an extra beer from a new acquaintance, from my reference to the obligatory peas on a motel dinner plate.

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 4, 2009):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< I can assure you that Larry King (as in TV personality) is the guy who opened his Oct. 30 show with: <Today is All Hallows Eve, the day before Halloween>. >
It's like mixing the Immaculate Conception with the Virginal Conception.

 

BWV 106 -- Recordings

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 2, 2010):
I find the American Bach Soloists version of BWV 106 especially enjoyable, including some details which I thought to be unique to my old Gottsche LP [8]. The rising two-note recorder figure at the very end is particularly outstanding in both. I find myself in good company:

Donald Satz wrote (October 14, 1999):
Adam asked for recommendations for recordings of BWV 106 and BWV 198. The only recording I'm aware of that has both these cantatas is the Gardiner on Archiv [21]. That's a fine recording, but I do have reservations about Nancy Argenta. BWV 106 is on Koopman's series, Vol.1 [25], but that has Barbara Schlick and I consider her voice relatively unpleasant to listen to. That leaves me with the American Bach Soloists on Koch [23] and Suzuki on BIS [26] for BWV 106; either one should provide much pleasure.

I do not have any problem with either Nancy Argenta or Barbara Schlick, but I do not have either of these specific recordings for comparison. For the moment, I will simply have to agree that ABS [23] provide much pleasure. I would not bother to write at this mo, except to also take the opportunity to clear up this detail from last year, with respect to my suggestion of BWV 106 as an appropriate work for the Dia de los Muertos season (ongoing right now), and some associated incorrect comments:

Glen Armstrong wrote (November 4, 2009) [from BWV 106 discussion archives]:
[To Ed Myskowski] Now, how about a correction re the O.T. error about Larry King's (as in TV personality) "marriage" to Billie Jean? Never happened. Wrong guy -- although same name.

I thought I had responded, but I do not see any record of it. My error: the Larry King who was married to Bille Jean had nothing to do with the oft-married TV personality. Billie Jean and Larry King had a mutually respectful marriage and separation, which is documented on easily accessible websites. Billie Jean King continues as an advocate of equal rights for women, deserving of respect from all of us. I believe I wrote something similar last year, but it does not hurt to say it twice.

E. Basta wrote (November 2, 2010):
[To Ed Myskowski] I very much enjoy both the Rifkin [20] and the Purcell Quartet [40] recordings of BWV 106. The Rifkin recording of 106 (and BWV 131) was rarely not in my cd player for years after I bought it. The Purcell Quartet recording reminds me of the Rifkin recording in approach but with a different, more direct idea behind the performance, if that makes sense.

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (November 2, 2010):
[To E. Basta] For BWV 106, I would like to add the Ricercar Consort recording ("Bach Actus Tragicus" - 2004, label Mirare) [42], which I enjoy very much.

I can say the same about their recording of BWV 198 ("Tombeau de Sa Majesté la Reine de Pologne" - 2006).
Both versions are OVPP, conducted by Philippe Pierlot, with the same excellent singers (Katharine Fuge, Carlos Mena, Jan Kobow, Stephan MacLeod) + Francis Jacob for BWV 198.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 2, 2010):
Thérèse Hanquet wrote:
< For BWV 106, I would like to add the Ricercar Consort recording ("Bach Actus Tragicus" - 2004, label Mirare) [42], which I enjoy very much.
I can say the same about their recording of
BWV 198 ("Tombeau de Sa Majesté la Reine de Pologne" - 2006).
Both versions are OVPP, conducted by Philippe Pierlot, with the same excellent singers (Katharine Fuge, Carlos Mena, Jan Kobow, Stephan MacLeod) + Francis Jacob for
BWV 198. >
I overlooked some posts in the BCW archives by searching for American Bach Solosists [23], rather than the conductor, Thomas. One of my points in writing was that the group has been somewhat overlooked in BCW discussions; that is not the case, in fact, with respect to BWV 106. Another point is that their performance of BWV 106 is competitive with and comparable to other better known OVPP groups, not necessarily that they are better. I would be hard pressed to make a choice between ABS and Ricercar [42], although I believe the ABS recording is somewhat more accessible in USA, at present. These detailed comments from the archives may be helpful. Note that the distinctions are subtle, and/or minor, and all are fine performances. See the comment re counter-tenor Drew Minter with ABS; although I think wobbly is perhaps a bit harsh a description, to my taste as well, his singing is not the strongest positive feature of the recording.

Uri Golomb wrote (January 17, 2005):
Although I am convinced that Bach wrote most of his cantatas with an OVPP ensemble in mind, this never stopped me from enjoying choral performances, whether live or on record. The Actus Tragics is different: to my ears (which are normally quite willing to accept Bach on the piano, and on other definitely a-historical media), it actually SOUNDS wrong when performed with anything more than one singer per vocal line; the middle section, which contrasts "es ist der alte Bund" in the lower voices with "Ja komm Herr Jesu" in the soprano, particularly suffers. The soprano line sounds too self-confident, even aggressive, in most choral renditions. Some directors try to solve this by allocating the soprano line in this particular section to a soloist -- but then it doesn't sound convincingly balanced with the choral rendition of the lower voices, and the instruments are also poorly balanced. So in this case, I feel there are strong MUSICAL (as well as historical) reasons to prefer OVPP.

I have four OVPP versions of this cantata: Rifkin [20], Consort Ricercar [22], Jeffrey Thomas [23], and Konrad Junghänel [37] (I know that more exist). They all have their strong points, but my favourite is Junghänel's.

Rifkin [20] sounds to me a bit bland. One of the chief advantages of OVPP is that it makes it easier to project this cantata's expressive richness and contrasts without seeming too blatant and exaggerated; with solo singers, the performance can be both intimate and dramatic. Rifkin and his musicians, however, seem somewhat reluctant to seize this potential. Their reading is very sensitive and musical, but to my ears it sounds too careful.

Thomas's version [23] starts with the most startling version of the Sinfonia it has been my pleasure to hear. Whereas most performances create a sense of near-unity between the two recorders, here you get a palpable sense of fluid, flexible dialogue (replete with subtle clashes), which enhances the movement's mournful expression. Many other moments (including the alte Bund/Herr Jesu contrast) are also very convincing; however, there are some wooden moments, and I didn't enjoy Drew Minter's wobbly production. An excellent performance, overall, but there are better...

The Ricercar Consort [22] and Cantus Cölln [37] are the two best; I ultimately prefer Cantus Cölln, but only by a fraction. They offer different, yet equally viable, views of this work. Thus, in the alte Bund/Herr Jesu section, the Ricercar's rendition [22] of the "You must die" text sounds long-drawn and world weary (as if the singers resign themselves to their fate), and the soprano's "Komm Herr Jesu" sounds delicate and hopeful, not as eager. In Cantus Colln (who take this section at a faster tempo), "der alte Bund" is rendered with sharp, biting articulation -- more active warning than passive resignation -- and the soprano is more ardent and passionate in her expression of hope. (end quote)

Arthur Robinson wrote (November 3, 2010):
BWV 106 - Scherchen Recording

Does anyone besides me hold dear the pioneering Hermann Scherchen recording of the "Actus Tragicus" [4] that appeared on Wesminster nearly 60 years ago?

I am 62, I grew up with it, and, for me, that LP remains the ne plus ultra.

 

Actus Tragicus - welcome!

Michael Cox wrote (November 3, 2011):
In the unlikely event that any of you are passing through Finland, welcome!
The Finnish composer Sibelius lived in the parish of Tuusula, north of Helsinki, and it has a strong musical tradition. The soloists and instrumentalists are professionals and the choir mostly amateur. I lead the bass section.

Tervetuloa/welcome!

J. S. Bach Actus Tragicus BWV 106
Tuusulan kirkko/Tuusula church http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuusula
Sunnuntai/Sunday 13.11.11 / November 13th, 2011
Klo 10 /10 a.m.
Messun yhteydessä /as part of the Communion Service

Enni Pöykkö, sopraano/soprano
Tuula Saarensola, altto/alto
Eero Hartikainen, tenori/tenor
Aarne Pelkonen, basso/bass

Pekka Silen ja/and Sunniva Fagerlund, nokkahuilut/recorders
Mika Suihkonen ja/and Varpu Haavisto, gambat/viola da gamba
Lea Pekk, sello/cello
Antti Vilkko, urut/organ

Tuusulan kamarikuoro Sonores /Tuusula chamber choir Sonores

A performance in Israel with the eminent German conductor Frieder Bernius:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfn5vFFt4Us&feature=related

I want the introduction to this cantata played at my funeral!

Julian Mincham wrote (November 3, 2011):
Michael Cox wrote:
< I want the introduction to this cantata played at my funeral! >
But not yet!!

Michael Cox wrote (November 4, 2011):
[To Julian Mincham] I’ve specified this in my will - I own several recordings, but I’ll leave it up to my son, who is a Lutheran pastor, to decide which one to use when the time comes! This has always been one of my favourite Bach cantatas.

When I first sang in it a few years back when I was recovering from a near-fatal stroke, I was brought to tears, especially by the words “Mensch, du musst sterben”. The opening sonatina is so soothing and comforting. I was standing directly behind the viole da gamba - what a wonderful sound!

Julian Mincham wrote (November 4, 2011):
[To Michael Cox] Last year I was privileged to hear a performance of BWV 106, along with BWV 150 and two other early works in the Blasiuskirche in Mühlhausen, performed on period instruments. Also a highly moving experience.

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 43, 2011):
Actus Tragicus - Crying in Bach

Michael Cox wrote:
< want the introduction to this cantata played at my funeral! >
I want the Bass Recit "Am Abend das es kuhle" and Aria "Mache dich mein Herze" from the SMP (BWV 244).

The Recitative is one of my BTM's (= Bach Tearful Moments) that never fail to reduce me to tears in a performance.

Yes, I was a very sensitive child ...

George Bromley wrote (November 4, 2011):
[To Douglas Cowling] for me Ich hab genug.(BWV 82)

Henner Schwerk wrote (November 4, 2011):
[To Douglas Cowling] I like to have the motet "Komm Jesu komm" (BWV 229)

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (November 4, 2011):
[To Henner Schwerk] I would like BWV 118: O Jesu Christ, mein's Leben Licht
the outdoor's version (with horns and litui)

We will perform it in February :)

George Bromley wrote (November 4, 2011):
[To Thérèse Hanquet] now we have all arranged our funeral music lets do a lot of living.

************

Michael Cox wrote (November 5, 2011):
George Bromley wrote:
< now we have all arranged our funeral music let’s do a lot of living >
If only we could have all the pieces mentioned at our funerals! Since I seem to have started off this train of thought, I might add that since most of my friends and relatives do not understand German, a German text would not “speak” to them, so I have indicated in my will that the said instrumental introduction to Actus Tragicus would be a subtle reminder to those who know the piece that we all have to die sometime. I have also indicated that Handel’s “I know that my redeemer liveth” might be sung (perhaps by my daughter-in-law). My wife’s own Handel solo numbers in the past have been “How beautiful are the feet” from Messiah and “O Wretched Israel” from Judas Maccabaeus, but these wouldn’t be appropriate.

Both Bach and Handel pointed beyond death to eternal life with Christ. That’s where they found their strength to live.

George Bromley wrote (November 5, 2011):
[To Michael Cox] <>

David McKay wrote (November 5, 2011):
[To Melanie Bromley] Speaking of music for one's funeral, my Aunty Ruth died last year, at the age of 100.

She specified a hymn which almost none of us knew. I think it was "Eternal Light, Eternal Light, how pure the soul must be."
A few of the older folk there had sung it years ago, but none of us could sing it confidently.

While I'd like to attend a funeral where the beautiful music of Bach is performed for a congregation of folk to whom it actually means something, I think I'd rather the folk at my funeral sing a song or two of their choosing that means something to them.

And in my 60th year, I also hope it is years and years away.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 6, 2011):
<>

Jyrki Wahlstedt wrote (November 7, 2011):
<>

Jyrki Wahlstedt wrote (November 7, 2011):
<>

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 8, 2011):
<>
I also shed an occasional tear over Bach, especially when contemplating music for my funeral.

 

Mendelssohn's Arrangement of Cantata 106

Douglas Cowling wrote (October 6, 2012):
An interesting facsimile of Mendelssohn's version of Cantata 106 to which he added clarinets and bassoons: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200153934/default.html

Julian Mincham wrote (October 6, 2012):
[To Douglas Cowling] Does anyone know if its been recorded?

 

Continue on Part 7

Cantata BWV 106: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion

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