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Cantata BWV 128
Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein
Discussions - Part 1

Discussions in the Week of May 5, 2002

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 6, 2002):
Introduction

The subject of this week’s discussion (May 5, 2002), according to Riccardo Nughes suggest list, is the Chorale Cantata for Ascension Day BWV 128 ‘Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein’. We have another fine libretto from the pen of poetess Christiane Mariane von Ziegler, who wrote the libretto also for Cantata BWV 103, discussed in the BCML two weeks ago. In the case of BWV 128, Bach emended the text for his setting. The text reflects on the meaning of Christ’s Ascension for the believer, without any direct connection from either the Gospel or Epistle for the day. But the main idea is there, and everybody who has heard some Bach cantatas on similar subject, will not fail to guess while hearing the opening chorus (Mvt. 1) what it is all about.

In order to allow the members of the BCML being prepared for the discussion, I compiled a list of the recordings of this cantata, the details of which can be found in the following page of the Bach Cantatas Website: Cantata BWV 128 - Recordings

In the same page you can also find links to translations of the German text, done by members of the BCML:
English translation (English-3) by Francis Browne: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV128-Eng3.htm
Hebrew translation by Aryeh Oron: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV128-Heb1.htm
I hope that the English and Hebrew readers of the BCML will find the translations useful. Unlike last week’s Secular Cantatas BWV 207 & BWV 207a, the text is very important for better comprehension of this cantata, and the music Bach set to it. I repeat once again my wish see other members of the BCML contributing translations to their languages (French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, etc.).

There are six complete recordings of this cantata - from Ramin [1] of the early 1950’s to Leusink [6] of late 1990’s. In between we can find Winschermann [2], Rilling [3], Leonhardt [4], and Gardiner [5]. Donald Satz wrote a favourable review of the Gardiner’s CD, which you can read at the page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Gardiner-C4.htm

I hope to see many of you participating in the discussion. I have just finished the first round of listening to all 6 recordings in a raw. My initial conclusion is a warm recommendation to listen to this small cantata, because it almost never fails to enlighten (one recording is an exception, which proves the generalisation).

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 11, 2002):
Background

The background below is taken from the following sources:
Alec Robertson: ‘The Church Cantatas of J.S. Bach’ (1972)
W. Murray Young: ‘The Cantatas of J.S. Bach – An Analytical Guide’ (1989)
David Humphreys, in ‘Oxford Composer Companion – J.S. Bach’, edited by Malcolm Boyd (1999)
The English translations are by Francis Browne, a member of the BCML.

See: Cantata BWV 128 - Commentary

Review of the Recordings

[1] Ramin (1953)
The opening chorus (Mvt. 1) with Ramin does not only sounds heavy and phlegmatic, but also the spirit, which is usually one of Ramin’s strengths, is not really there. You can not soar up high to the sky with such unpolished singing and playing; you stay deep in the mud on the ground. Gert Lutze is too expressive and operatic in the recitative for tenor. He surely understands what he is singing, but such approach is almost unbearable for contemporary ears. Similar things could be said about the bass Johannes Oettel, although some of the heaviness of the opening chorus adhered also to him. I would better avoid of saying anything about the playing of the trumpet. The duet (Mvt. 4) is the best part of this generally unsatisfactory rendition, mainly due to the contribution of the contralto Wolf-Matthäus and the competent playing of the unidentified oboist.

[2] Winschermann (1971)
The opening ritornello (Mvt. 1) of Winschermann is light, airy, transparent and cheerful. Then the choir enters with precise and cohesive singing and keeps the same atmosphere and spirit. Both the instrumental and the vocal lines can be easily followed. What a joy is it hearing Equiluz in the short recitative for tenor, giving meaning to every word, every syllable. André’s trumpet playing in the third movement is a model of good taste. Surely he has no problem to blow out a glorious and bright tone, but he keeps it somewhat restrained and achieves by that much more beautiful and moving result. Hermann Prey is in fine form too, expressive with taste. He transfers from the aria to the recitative and back so naturally. Winchermann was clever enough to give the oboe d’amore part of the fourth movement (Mvt. 4) to himself and we can be only thankful to him for that. He is a master oboe player and through his playing we realise that all three participants in this movement (alto singer, tenor singer, and oboe d’amore) have equal parts, and that this is actually a trio and not a duet. Furthermore the oboe is the one who is to move the movement ahead, because he is given most of the melodic material. He has fantastic partners here with Hamari and Equiluz. Their voices blend so nicely together, and with the oboe d’amore of Winschermann we get a fine and delicate weave. This is an exemplary rendition, which is impossible to improve upon.

[3] Rilling (1980-1981)
Rilling’s opening chorus (Mvt. 1) is colourful and well-balanced. But next to Winchermann it sounds somewhat rough and too large-scale. Baldin, with his beautiful voice, tries to put too much expression into the short recitative for tenor, and sounds as if he does not know how to do it right. He could have learnt something by listening to Equiluz (with Winschermann). The trumpet of Immer, which opens and accompanies the third movement, is bright and impressive, but lacks the taste that André has. Schöne is the best of the three singers in this rendition of the cantata, almost on the same par with Prey. The transfer from the aria to the recitative is a little bit more shocking here, and I like it. The playing of Kärcner in the oboe d'amore is beautiful and delightful, if somewhat rushed. The main problem of the duet (Mvt. 4) lies with the two vocal soloists, who are not in their best here, and as a result the whole combination is not working.

[4] Leonhardt (1983)
The over-accentuation of the bit by Leonhardt in the opening chorus (Mvt. 1) prevents his rendition from achieving better effect, because all the other components are good – the choir, the playing of the old instruments and the clarity of the lines. Equiluz returns 12 years after his recording with Winschermann, and shows that he has lost nothing of his beautiful voice and tasteful singing. In the third movement Max van Egmond, with his modest approach, does not show the same expressive powers that both Prey and Schöne have. The playing of the trumpet by either Smithers or Immer (not the same as Rilling’s Immer) is somewhat stiff and less precise and flowing that the two previous renditions. The oboe d‘amore (Ku Ebbing?) is charming and clean, and the voices of Equiluz and Jacobs mesh marvellously with the atmosphere created by the oboist. This is thbest movement of Leonhardt’s recording.

[5] Gardiner (1999)
The opening chorus (Mvt. 1) belongs to the kind of movements in which Gardiner usually excels. And he indeed does not disappoint. The playing and the singing are exemplary, the balance between all the components is kept, and the dancing and jumpy rhythm dominates most of the circumstances. One can easily join him in his happy journey to Heaven, where Christ is awaiting him. I like Genz’ restrained approach to the recitative for tenor. Hagen is not bad either in the aria and recitative for bass, but something is missing. It is pleasant but in expressive terms it does not rise to the level of singers like Prey and Schöne. My ears are already poisoned. The same conclusion is applicable also to the duet (Mvt. 4). Blaze, Genz and the oboist are all in good form, and have good taste, and they listen carefully to each other. But who can match Winschermann?

[6] Leusink (1999)
Leusink’s rendition reminds me most of all Winschermann’s and you can consider this as an appreciation. But Leusink also adopts Leonhardt’s accentuation of the bit. If we compare Winschermann and Leusink, carefully parameter by parameter, clarity of singing and playing, balance between the components, and the overall effect, we can easily realise why the latter does not soar as high as the former. Meel does not do much with the short recitative for tenor. Ramselaar is much better in the third movement and he also enjoys the good partnership of the trumpeter Susan Williams. The duet (Mvt. 4) with Buwalda and Meel is not something to write home about, although the playing of the oboist is delightful.

Conclusion

Personal preferences:
Mvt. 1 Chorus & Mvt. 5 Chorale: Winschermann [2], Gardiner [5], Rilling [3], Leonhardt [4], Leusink [6], Ramin [1]
Mvt. 2 Recitative for Tenor: Winschermann/Equiluz [2], Leonhardt/Equiluz [4], Gardiner/Genz [5], Leusink/Meel [6], Rilling/Baldin [3], Ramin/Lutze [1]
Mvt. 3 Aria and Recitative for Bass: Winschermann/Prey [2], Rilling/Schöne [3], Gardiner/Hagen [5], Leonhardt/Egmond [4], Ramin/Oettel [1]
Mvt. 4 Aria (Duet) for Alto and Tenor: Winschermann/Hamari & Equiluz [2], Leonhardt/Jacobs & Equiluz [4], Gardiner/Blaze & Genz [5], Rilling/Schreckenbach & Baldin [3], Leusink/Buwalda & Meel [6], Ramin/Lutze & Wolf-Matthäus [1]
Overall performance: Winschermann [2], Gardiner [5], Rilling [3], Leonhardt [4], Leusink [6], Ramin [1]

Last personal remark: As you read earlier in this review, both Robertson and Young were unanimous in their opinion about the fourth movement (Mvt. 4), writing that: “this duet is not very interesting”. I usually concur with these two gentlemen, but here I have to disagree with them. For me this is the movement of this cantata I most cherished and the one to which I shall await impatiently when hearing again this modest but beautiful cantata.

As always, I would like to hear other opinions, regarding the above mentioned performances, or other recordings.

Thomas Braatz wrote (May 12, 2002):
Review of the Recordings

This week I listened to Ramin (1953) [1]; Rilling (1980-81) [3]; Leonhardt (1983) [4]; Leusink (1999) [6].

I regret not being able to hear the Winschermann recording [2]. With the vocalists (Prey) and the combination of vocalists (Hamari + Equiluz), I can imagine that Winschermann provided superb performances. Prey, in his rendition of BWV 56 (Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen) is about the only vocalist who even begins to approach DFDieskau who is in a class all by himself. The only occasional problem with Prey is his tendency to sing flat.

[1] Ramin:
Mvt. 1: About the only good thing that I can say about this recording (remember that it was recorded from a radio broadcast and the rehearsals were almost non-existent) is that the Thomaner sing with great enthusiasm and conviction, perhaps even overly so, when they begin to strain and almost shout at times. The performance of the choir is anything but lackadaisical, a characteristic sometimes found in more modern recordings. With the orchestra Ramin has serious problems as he attempts to rein them in: there are sloppy entrances, instances when they are not playing together with precision. Much attention is drawn to the horns, which in addition to their numerous flubs (examples in the Horn 1 part: measures 27-28, 43), even fails to play whole sequences of notes (ms. 48-49) and remarkably the trumpet fills in a difficult passage for the 1st horn in ms. 83-84. I know that Bach would require the horn players to also be proficient on other brass instruments which they might be asked to play in a different mvt. of a cantata, but here two players (trumpet and horn) are exchanging ‘licks’ with the horn player nodding to the trumpet player at a certain high range section that is difficult to play, and saying to the trumpet player, “You show them what you can do on these few high notes, because I surely can not play them properly.” Mvt. 2: Lutze’s voice seems to expend an inordinate amount of energy in attempting to sing the high notes which sound quite strained and are unpleasant to listen to. Mvt. 3: Oettel’s operatic voice manages to grab the listener’s attention. This is a rather reasonable vocal rendition because his voice sounds quite authoritative, a quality that this aria demands. (He switches some words around in ms. 23-24.) Unfortunately the orchestral accompaniment is quite heavy and plodding. The trumpet has a clear sound with just a slight problem with the high B’s. Mvt. 4: The alto-tenor duet fails mainly because of Lutze’s voice. Wolf-Matthäus, although operatic but not too much so, can not compete with the terrible, strained sounds that Lutze makes as he attempts to reach the high notes (the word “mein” in ms. 33, 35 receives an egregious treatment.) Mvt. 5: In this chorale, which is taken at a very slow tempo, you will hear some sloppy entrances, but otherwise there is a very solid, dignified sound which a chorale should have. In the final flourish (some faster moving notes at the very end of the chorale) the trumpet once again has to step in to prevent a disaster and play the notes that Bach had intended for the horn.

[3] Rilling:
Mvt. 1 Yes, the choir consists entirely of operatic voices, and the cantus firmus in the soprano voiccould be stronger and clearer, particularly in the low range, but otherwise I can actually hear all the notes in the vocal parts, a factor in listening that I consider very important. The presentation of this chorale fantasia has all the necessary weight and dignity lacking in the HIP versions of this mvt. Whereas the latter provide an attempt at popularizing Bach as ‘lite’ background music, the Rilling version truly engages the listener so as to let this listener know that belief and conviction are expressed in this manner. Harnoncourt/Leonhardt also believe in engaging the listener, but this listener is subjected to musically nonsensical accents and phrasings that have little to do with the text and only serve to distract or anger the listener. Mvt. 2: As soon as Baldin sings with greater volume or power, his performance is degraded into a very unpleasant listening experience that can not be overcome by his attempts at expression. Mvt. 3: Schöne has a solid bass voice that is well-suited for the text that Bach has chosen for this mvt. Here is a voice that will carry and be expressive at the same time even in a large church setting. There is no ‘pussy-footing’ on the notes as in the other HIP recordings that I listened to. The trumpet sound is clear throughout, if not just a bit on the boring side. Mvt. 4: The Schreckenbach-Baldin combination for this duet is a near disaster, as these voices do not blend well together. This is very similar to the combination in the Ramin recording with the tenor playing the role of the spoiler in each instance. Here Rilling demonstrates his lack of sensitivity by overloading the basso continuo with bassoon, organ, and double bass. This combination is much too loud. Rilling also pushes the tempo too much throughout. To be more musical, he should have turned off the absolutely metronomic persistence of the driving tempo that he forces upon the musicians. Mvt. 5: Yes! This is how I think a Bach chorale should sound. It has the proper tempo with precision attacks and no sloppiness anywhere. Here I can feel what a German senses when using the words: “diese Musik steht im Raum” [“this music literally stands solidly in the sound space into which it was projected”] There is nothing contrived (as with the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt recordings) nor tentative about the musical content here.

[4] Leonhardt:
Mvt. 1: This is a ‘lite’ version caused by the extremely staccato style applied extensively to the instrumental parts (Bach marked only certain passages this way.) The basso continuo in the orchestral ritornello is weak and muffled. This is not a very convincing performance despite the presence of such words as “-gründe” and “nachholen” in the text where there is an important promise that Christ made to come back and fetch his “Glieder” [members as believers.] It is hard to imagine that the choir really understood what the text meant since they tend to sing without much conviction. Only the cantus firmus sung by the boy sopranos is really good, but the lower voices are mainly lost in the wash of muffled sound because they lack strength or volume. When not singing at the top part of their ranges, the basses and tenors become weak or do not seem to be singing at all. In any case, they are mainly singing sotto voce and probably do not have more than two to a part. This simply will not do as it creates an imbalance that Bach certainly would not have wanted. Mvt. 2: Here is an example of the mistaken notion about short accompaniment (basso continuo). Equiluz is excellent. Just listen to how he sings “komm” and then compare this to Meel’s version of this recitative. There simply is no comparison! Mvt. 3: This unfortunate half-voice of Egmond’s lacks whatever is necessary to present a convincing performance. There is not much to this voice: it lacks the ability to project a true affirmation of the words in the text. His voice has a muffled quality. The occasional thrusts, when he tries to exert himself a little more, do not make up for all the sotto voce production in the other long passages. The trumpet creates blaring sounds on not all but most notes that are played. I can almost hear Harnoncourt/Leonhardt saying, “Listen to this marvelous, primitive sound! This is what Bach heard when he performed his cantatas!” Such is the myth they wanted to have the listeners “buy into.” Mvt. 4: The oboe d’amore used here subscribes to the same notion as the player lacks control, has intonation problems, but at least this instrument still has the characteristic overtones of an oboe sound. The problem with this mvt. is that Jacobs occasionally hoots unpleasantly, but then almost disappears on the unaccented notes. This is due to the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt over-exaggeration of the written-out appoggiaturas, where the performers lean much too heavily on the leading note and allow the final note to almost disappear entirely [this is now a characteristic of many HIP recordings.] In this mvt. we have a waltz with a very strong first (main beat) note heavily accented followed by very short light beats that lack almost any substance whatever. Mvt. 5: This is a prime example of how NOT to sing a final Bach chorale. Under the misguided notions expounded by Harnoncourt, Leonhardt presents a version with ‘thrust, thrust, thrust’ and ‘chop, chop chop’ on each syllable of each word. This performance practice literally cuts the musical line to shreds. Harnoncourt (in the hands of Leonhardt, his protégé) is trying to demonstrate one of his pet theories about singing, but it fails utterly and only proves that Harnoncourt (as well as Leonhardt) lacks any sense for a musical phrase as sung by the human voice. He has tried to impose on the singable musical lines the Bach has provided, a dry, academic theory that he hatched in his mind with little or no reference to the actual vocal traditions of the past. In doing so, he has only proven his musical insensitivity, a legacy that he leaves behind in this pioneering cantata cycle for future listeners to ponder.

[6] Leusink:
Here we have another ‘lite’ treatment of a Bach cantata, a treatment that follows in the footsteps of Leonhardt, but not too slavishly. Mvt. 1: A noticeable feature here is the intruding presence of the chest organ with some high register stops drawn that are distracting. Mattheson, in his “Der vollkommene Capellmeister” indicated that the purpose of the organ is simply to fill in chords in such a way that it does not draw attention to itself since the higher range instruments and the voices in particular are much more important. With Leusink, another situation might prevail: he has reduced the volume of the instruments by having them deliberately play softly and lightly. Even the choir sounds almost as though it were an OVPP arrangement, at least in the altos, tenors and basses. Sometimes only a single voice is very distinctly heard. These rather thin half voices either strain to reach the higher notes where they suddenly stand out (in measure 67 the bass hits a high ‘E’ with such a force that he might be thinking, “I really got that note, didn’t I”), or in the low range they become very weak, as if giving up their spirits entirely. The cantus firmus in the soprano slips off into nothingness in ms. 78-79 or in other places in the low range. The horns engage in some blaring on their high notes, but at least they are able to play the notes properly. Such is the progress from Ramin to Leusink. Mvt. 2: Meel is not convincing. Just listen to the dead-pan or non-existent expression on ‘komm’ and compare this with Equiluz, and Equiluz does this without engaging in artificial theatrics. Leusink uses a shortened accompaniment here, but not exactly the same as Leonha. So much for ‘exerting the independence of one’s own interpretations.’ Mvt. 3 Here Leusink takes everything much too fast and in a very light, almost superfluous vein. Ramselaar’s half-voice, sotto-voce treatment involves passages that are played and sung pianissimo (this in a glorious aria with trumpet??) Certain notes are swallowed and are much too weak to project to an audience. In ms. 57-58, he sings ‘entnommen’ which should be ‘genommen.’ In the recitative, on the words, “sein Allmacht” [“his almighty power”], he sings impiously and incongruously, as if this were an operatic performance where antics of this sort are permitted and even encouraged. He robs these words of their power so that they now lack the strength of conviction. This is sheer carelessness on the part of the conductor and singer. Mvt. 4: What is worse than a single half-voice singing? Here we have two: Buwalda and van der Meel. Buwalda’s voice is unnervingly brittle, as if always on the edge of the breaking point. This makes me very uneasy as I listen, and there is very little at the low end of the musical range that Bach demands. The appoggiatura accents are similar to Leonhardt’s. I really wonder about the oboe d’amore sound. Do baroque oboes really sound this way, very soft without the usual overtones that characterize an oboe sound? Leusink has a very decent bc accompaniment, possibly because we would hear even less of these frail voices in their low ranges if he did not cut back in this way. These voices actually blend better than any of the non-HIP versions. Mvt. 5: The warbling yodelers in the soprano only get worse the higher they have to sing. Individual voices stick out in all the vocal parts at different times, an indication of a lack of balance in the choir to achieve a unified choral sound that seems nearly impossible for this group to attain. A solid bass is lacking! This is the foundation upon which the entire chorale is based. The horns sound muted (holding the hands in the bell.) Leusink cuts short the fermati on ‘stellen’ and ‘fällen’ (a consistent problem that he must believe is a virtue of some sort.)

Personal preferences:

Mvt. 1 Chorus:
Rilling [3], Leonhardt [4], Leusink [6], Ramin [1]

Mvt. 2 Recitative for Tenor:
Leonhardt/Equiluz [4], Rilling/Baldin [3], Leusink/Meel [6], Ramin/Lutze [1]

Mvt. 3 Aria and Recitative for Bass:
Rilling/Schöne [3], Ramin/Oettel [1], Leonhardt/Egmond [4], Leusink/Ramselaar [6]

Mvt. 4 Aria (Duet) for Alto and Tenor:
Leonhardt/Jacobs & Equiluz [4], Rilling/Schreckenbach &
Baldin [3], Ramin/Lutze & Wolf-Matthäus [1], Leusink/Buwalda & Meel [6]

Mvt. 5 Chorale:
Rilling [3], Ramin [1], Leusink [6], Leonhardt [4]

Overall performance:
Rilling [3], (large gap in between) Leonhardt [4], Ramin [1], Leusink [6]

Thomas Braatz wrote (May 14, 2002):
Background

Provenance (source: NBA I/12 pp.158 ff.)

See: Cantata BWV 128 - Provenance

Commentary [Dürr, My own observations]

See: Cantata BWV 128 - Commentary

Dick Wursten wrote (May 18, 2002):
A little late but still a reaction to this Ascension-cantata.

First I want to thank Thomas for providing us with the original (?) text from Mariane von Ziegler. It made it possible to see exactly which changes Bach (?) has made. (the ?? are used here because the 'by whom and why' of the differences in text are subject of speculation. We know nothing, we can only guess). The music did not particularly appeal to me, but perhaps this can as much be blamed to my lack of understanding of Bach as to the performance I listened to (Leusink) [6]. The last being corroborated by the appreciations of both Thomas and Aryeh...

What intrigued me were some parts of the text and esp. the changes made in it. Thomas already wrote something about it. He also quotes Dürr’s abstract of the contents and of the most important changes. But both fail to mention the - in my opinion - two most important changes.

1. Mariane Ziegler’s text in mvt 2 and (the beginning of) mvt 4 is a consequent dialogue. She doesnot speak about Jesus or God, she adresses them, she speaks to them.... Bach (?) changed the 'second person in third person', which makes the text 'descriptive' in stead of personal. [example: In mvt 2 compare the 'emotional' value of "There I will see your face just like your holy word has promised' with: "There I will see God from face to face just like his holy Word has promised'

Only in mvt 3 to me this text sounds more like a recitative than an aria) Mariane uses the 'third person'. Here the believer speaks about his state of mind, which is torn between the proud confession of Jesus now being exalted (joy) and she being left here on earth (sadness)... comforting herself with the promise that once she will be there where he is and that he is omnipresent. The adhortation at the end: So be silent now and don't try to investigate in it any further... is not from Mariana but from Bach (?) and I find it ill-placed here. It is a different theme, which is amply dealt with in the next aria (mvt 4)... But there again Mariane has a dialogue with almighte God in which she 'becomes silent' and at when she 'shuts up' she gets an answer: a kind of vision of Jesus sitting at the right hand of his father.

Durr’s estimates the changes an improvement. I don't agree. Marianes text impressed me as a personal struggle to accept that the 'ascension' of Jesus not only was a 'farewell' (sad) but also the feast of his 'inthronizaiton and coronation' (as the symbolum states: ascended into heaven, sitting at the right hand of God, the Almighty Father).

2. The second change that I stumbled on is a very peculiar one: It has to do with the 'tent/tabernacle' that shall be built, or cannot be built... OF course a reference is made to the story of the transfiguration (on mount Tabor), where Peter suggests to set up some tents to make that moment of glory last a little longer (or forever)
In mvt 3 Mariane wrote...
"Mein Auge wird ihn EINST in gröster Klarheit schauen.
O, könnt' ich schon ALLDA mir eine Hütte bauen"
[My eye shall once see him clearly; O I wish I could already set up a tent for me THERE ]

Bach (?) changes this emotional statement to:
Mein Augen werden ihn in gröster Klarheit schauen.
O könnt ich im voraus mir eine Hütte bauen"
[My eyes will see him clearly; O I wish I could already set up a tent for me right
now]

Mariane consequently keeps her perspective. She is looking to heaven and
sees a future world, in which she already now wants to be.. Bach confuses things by breaking the perspective. The words EINST (once in the future) and ALLDA (there in heaven) are suppressed. Both words exactly making Marianes point so very clear.

Both words also being of importance for the rest of the text. The comforting words at the end of mvt 3 (and mvt 4) are comforting because they mitigate, softenthe distance (in space and time) of ALLDA and EINST.

The ALLDA (there in heaven) is compensated in mvt 3 by the statement that Jesus/God is present ÜBERALL (everywhere). The fact that the believer will see him EINST (once in the future) is mitigated and compensated by the statement in the second part of mvt 4 where is said:
"Ich SEHE durch die Sterne dass er sich SCHON zur rechten Gottes zeigt"
(I can already see - not clearly but through the stars - that he shows himself as sitting at Gods right hand).

This internal textual structure, which makes this text more than a liturigcal correct scenario for Ascension Day a is ruptured by Bach’s (?) changes. The beauty and poetry are gone. If I were Mariane I would not have been happy with them...

 

Continue on Part 2

Cantata BWV 128: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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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Last update: ýSeptember 27, 2011 ý14:17:58