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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 15
Denn du wirst meine Seele nicht in der Hölle lassen
Discussions

BWV 15

Simon Crouch wrote (May 10, 2000):
As usual another of my projects runs late... I thought that I'd let the group in for a little Easter treat (well, I hope that it's a treat!)

BWV 15, "Denn du wirst meine Seele", also know as the German Magnificat, used to be thought of as J. S. Bach's earliest cantata. That is, until W. Scheide identified it as being by Johann Ludwig Bach at the end of the fifties. Since then it seems to have disappeared into oblivion and I'm not aware of any available recordings of it. This seemed to be a glaring omission from the catalogue, so I decided to put together a MIDI file version of it. It's now done and members of this group are to have the world premiere inflicted upon them!

Point your browsers at: http://freespace.virginnet.co.uk/simon.crouch/Anhang/Anhang.htm
And you will find it on my new Bach Anhang page.

Please note:
(i) I haven't MIDI sequenced this in any way yet. It's exported as type 1 MIDI straight from a notation program.
(ii) I've omitted ornaments.
(iii) I've not realised the Basso continuo.
(iv) I've paid not the slightest attention to current thinking on how to play the Basso line in recitatives!

I'd love to hear your comments, both on the work itself and on the current state of the MIDI file!

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 10, 2000):
Sorry to disappoint you, Simon. But BWV 15 has already been recorded. Here are the details of the CD, as appear in Amazon.de:

(15-1) Bach, J.S.: Kantaten 57-59, 15
Audio CD: ()
CD Anzahl: 1
Label: Hungaroton;
ASIN: B000027C8W
Kunstler: Pál Németh

Unfortunately, I do not have it. When I tried to order it from them couple of months ago, they informed me that it is no longer available. I wonder if anybody in the list has it or has heard it. I know that Wim had it, because in the discussion of BWV 57 (December 1999) he mentioned a good recording of that cantata under the conducting of Pál Németh with Maria Zadori (S) from Hungaroton. It should be the same CD, which includes also BWV 15. However, Wim is no longer with us. We all miss him and his contribution to the list.

Simon Crouch wrote (May 10, 2000):
Ah yes, I am aware that it has been recorded...and there's the problem. Despite keeping my eyes open, I've never been able to catch it!

Simon Crouch wrote (May 15, 2000):
Maybe I should really be sending this to a "non-Bach non-Recordings" list. The cantata BWV 15 was long thought to be one of J.S. Bach's very earliest works, dating from the Arnstadt years. However, doubts were expressed about the work quite early on in Bach scholarship and it was probably rather a surprise that Schmieder gave it a main catalogue number in the BWV. Eventually, a detailed analysis of the cantatas that J.S. Bach borrowed from his uncle J.S. Bach to plug gaps in the third cantata cycle assigned BWV 15 to J.L. Bach's authorship and to virtual oblivion from the recording catalogue. There is a recording on Hungaroton but I've never been able to lay my hands on it, so it's rather difficult for us now to come to our own opinions about the matter. Until now, that is [roll on the drums]....

A quick visit to my site at:
http://freespace.virginnet.co.uk/simon.crouch/Anhang/Anhang.htm
And twenty or so minutes of listening will allow you to come to your own opinion about the authenticity of this work.

So, what do you think - Is it by J.S. Bach? Or was William Scheide right to say no?

F. Oreja wrote (May 15, 2000):
You wanted to say surely:
"Eventually, a detailed analysis of the cantatas that J.S. Bach borrowed from his ***cousin J[ohann]. L[udwig]. Bach*** to plug gaps in the third cantata cycle assigned BWV 15 to J.L. Bach's authorship and to virtual oblivion from the recording catalogue."

Simon Crouch wrote (May 16, 2000):
You are quite right! I shall go and write out the family tree one hundred times.

F. Oreja wrote (May 17, 2000):
Please, don't do that: that's quite a long job with such a family! We need your energies for better things. Keep working on your wonderful Bach pages!

Matthew Westphal wrote (May 15, 2000):
If it's not J.S. Bach, it's certainly in the family. I just wish I could get my hands on that Hungaroton recording (especially since I'm a fan of Maria Zadori) (15-1). Thanks for posting this, Simon.

 

Spurious

Shaun Ng wrote:
I am interested to find out about the cantata BWV 217, the sources and where >it remains in autograph. Also, the reasons why it is not considered a work by Bach and any other informantion.

Michael Zapf wrote (October 29, 2000):
(To Shaun Ng) I suggest you consult the Schmieder, Anhang II-23. The earliest manuscript of that cantata is from 1800, all other sources are from the first half of the 19th century. The Schmieder cites various secondary sources for the authenticity debate, starting from the second volume of Spitta to an article by Dürr (Musica 7, 1953) which covers other dubious cantatas as well.

 

BWV 15, 141, 142 and 160

John Pike wrote (October 26, 2004):
A new recording by Wolfgang Helbich of more apocryphal Bach cantatas has been released on CPO 999 985-2. I see Aryeh has already got it on his website. Last year I was unable to get any complete recordings of BWV 15 or BWV 141. Although not by JS Bach, the music is, apparently, "not half bad" according to the review in BBC Music Magazine this month. George Pratt gives it 5* for sound and 4* for performance (out of 5 best). He comments "Not to be missed".

BWV 15 is copied from JS Bach's cousin Johann Ludwig Bach, BWV 141 (probably) and BWV 160 are by Telemann, and BWV 142 probably by Kuhnau.

Uri Golomb wrote (October 26, 2004):
John Pike wrote: < George Pratt gives it 5* for sound and 4* for performance (out of 5 best). He comments "Not to be missed". >
The only certainty is that BBC Music Magazine gave it 5* for sound and 4* for performance. As a Goldberg reviewer, I sometimes see the magazine changing my star ratings (always for the worse -- that is, publishing my review with one star less than what I gave). I'm not sure whether BBC MM's editors also find it appropriate to overrule their critics star-ratings. I would find it peculiar, at any rate, that a reviewer would give less than 5* to a recordings he finds "unmissable" -- though, in this case, the word might refer more to the repertoire than to the performance (and 4* is still pretty high).

Eric Bergerud wrote (October 27, 2004):
[To Uri Golomb] Years back before Newsday packed its New York baggage and retreated to Long Island I reviewed military history books for them. The book editor was a vet and I got to know him pretty well. As luck would have it I talked with him once about numerical rating systems whether the icons are numbers, little platters, rosettes or a little man sleeping-jumping up and down. He said such things, common among movie reviewers, weren't used by book reviews because, almost by definition, readers would read reviews. There was also an assumption that because so many more books are released than can possibly be reviewed that editors would try to review books worth reading as opposed finding books worth avoiding. (This wasn't true if something was controversial in the political or entertainment realm.) Anyway, although most reviewers considered themselves honor bound to find something wrong with anything reviewed now matter how good, it was pretty much a "thumbs up" business. numerical rating stuff, he told me, was influenced by a quota system. If there were too many rosettes, or 5's or little men jumping in the air, the readers would find it impossible to recognize works of special merit. If there were too few, readers were also dissatisfied. In any case, suffer the poor movie maker that debuts a good film on the same week as two or three other good films. Likewise, if an okay film appears at the same time that a turkey flock comes to town, it's good news. Something similar could work with record reviews.

That said, I'm sure not knocking the Simon Crouch star system. Actually, I wish we had more such things. I find the cantata reviews in the archives very interesting (hope some can be revised in light of new recordings). However, I really like some guidance in which among 200+ cantatas and choral works that wise heads consider particularly worthy. I don't always agree with Crouch (6 isn't a 1*?) but I appreciate the effort and it's led to some good listening.

 

Solution to the bells in the Kantata 15

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (July 26, 2006):
As most of us know the BWV folks assigned the number BWV 15 (if I am recalling my BWV numbers correctly) a funeral cantata that they claimed that JS Bach wrote but later scholars claim he did not.

There has been a mystery about the Bells called for in the score. I was browsing Groves and came up with what maybe the answer:
"Real bells of 4' or 2' pitch, played by hands or feet, on many organs, especially in central and south Germany from 1737–50 onwards; there were trackers to small striking hammers."

So apparently the Church had these Bells at one time and the low notes called for are not really bass bells but notes that transpose in octaves thus the low C on the Organ Pedal would ring the lowest 4' pitched bell in the series of Bells. However this leaves the question as to where the bells were located---in the tower or in the Church itself????

Douglas Cowling wrote (July 26, 2006):
Ludwig wrote:
< So apparently the Church had these Bells at one time and the low notes called for are not really bass bells but notes that transpose in octaves thus the low C on the Organ Pedal would ring the lowest 4' pitched bell in the series of Bells. However this leaves the question as to where the bells were located---in the tower or in the Church itself???? >
From what I've read they were a set of small bells inside the organ which could be coupled to one of the manuals (keyboards). Many baroque organs had bizarre stops that played bird-calls and had pipes under water. I think E Power Biggs recorded some of these exotic instruments back in the 70's.

 

Bach Cantata BWV 15 and Haydn some astounding similarities

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (March 1, 2007):
As most of you; J. Hadyn was the father of the Symphony as we know it today. Haydn was also acquainted with Bach's works. As a composer of such works; I took of the study of Hadyn's developement of the Symphony from his earliest works which feature elements of the concerto to the Symphony 102 which at time one thinks one is listening to an early work of Beethoven.

In the Symphony#93 or is it 94?; Haydn copys the whimering of the repeated Flute passages of the BWV 15.

Now as most of us now know---this Kantata is of disputed authorship. Many scholars now seem to think that the work is not by the Great J.S. Bach but by his ancestor and perhaps grandfather J.S. Bach Senior.

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 1, 2007):
< In the Symphony#93 or is it 94?; Haydn copys the whimering of the repeated Flute passages of the BWV 15.
Now as most of us now know---this Kantata is of disputed authorship. Many scholars now seem to think that the work is not by the Great J.S. Bach but by his ancestor and perhaps grandfather J.S. Bach Senior. >

Huh? The BWV gives that piece (BWV 15, "Denn du wirst meine Seele") a pretty secure attribution to Johann Ludwig Bach; and that's referred back to an article by Scheide in Bach-Jahrbuch 1959.

And who's this elder JS Bach? JSB's two grandfathers were Christoph Bach and Valentin Lemmerhirt (some spellings may vary). He did have a grandson "Johann Sebastian Bach" himself, and there was also a nephew, but he too was younger than the main JSB here.

The way JSB himself reckoned The Bach Family Tree, only through the males -- see pages 200-211 of the old Bach Reader 1966 -- among the 59 males shown there, there's only one "Johann Sebastian" and it goes only to one generation past himself. There are ten of "Johann Christoph" (including one of JSB's sons), plus his other son "Johann Christoph Friedrich", plus his own grandpa "Christoph", and uncle "Georg Christoph". 13 Christophs printed there, and only the one Sebastian. But it doesn't account for any of the other males, as father or grandfather or whatever, of any of the wives or sisters or mothers or aunts or grandmothers....

And further updates to that table are at page 285 in the New Bach Reader...still not accounting for any of the other Bachs through female connections. At least his own wives and daughters show up, this time. Pages 293-4.

 

Discussions in the Week of June 20, 2010

William Hoffman wrote (June 20, 2010):
Cantata 15: Intro.

Johann Sebastian Bach's Easter Cantata BWV 15 originally was considered his first cantata, called "church piece" or "sacred concerto," dating to 1704 in Arnstadt where the 19-year-old was church organist. The origins of this work probably date to that year but it is a composition of a talented cousin, forerunner Johann Ludwig Bach (1677-1731), who at that time was employed at the court of Saxe-Meiningen. Entitled "Denn du wirst meine Seele nicht in der Hölle lassen" (For Thou will not leave my Soul in Hell), it is an 11-movement work that cousin Sebastian later performed on Easter Sunday, April 21, 1726, in Leipzig as part of his enigmatic third annual church cantata cycle. Cantata 15 possibly was repeated at Easter Sunday, April 10, 1735.

Eight years Sebastian's senior, Johann Ludwig was one of the most talented of the Bachs and his biography is quite similar to his cousin. Descended from the "Lips" Bach Meiningen side of the Veit Bach Family, in comparison to the more noted Eisenach Johannes Bachs' line, Ludwig was a prodigy on both harpsichord and violin, was educated at the Gotha gymnasium and studied theology, did apprentice work at a local church, and entered the service of the new Meiningen royal court at age 25 in 1703 as a musician and master of ducal pages, the same year as his cousin at Weimar. He advanced from court musician to Cantor and became Capellmeister in 1711, where he remained in service until his death in 1731.

German Sacred Cantata Genesis

This Easter cantata is emblematic in many ways of the evolution of the German sacred cantata cycle with its accompanying vernacular text set to Italianate movements, an odyssey involving the leading musicians, poets and church figures of the day.

Like Sebastian for a time at the courts of Weimar and Köthen, Ludwig flourished under the patronage of Meiningen Prince Ernst Ludwig (1672-1724). The prince was an accomplished musician, poet and sermon-writer who published the first edition of the so-called Rudolstadt Text Book of devotional church lyrics in 1704. With their madrigalian verses paraphrasing biblical texts set to recitatives and arias, the Prince's complete church year cycle of 71 Sunday and feast-day services "anticipated the so-called reform cantatas of Erdmann Neumeister," written a few years later, and is the beginning of the new type of cantata (OCC:JSB, 159), taking pride of precedence.

Johann Ludwig's predecessor, noted opera composer Georg Caspar Schürmann (1672/3-1751), immediately set six of the Prince's texts while his younger assistant, Ludwig Bach, began to set these texts also as sacred concerti, perhaps with the assistance of Rudolstadt Court cantor-clergyman Christoph Helm (c.1670-1748). Other text book printings were done in 1713, 1719, and 1726 (the volume which survives) from which Bach set texts to seven cantatas for his third cycle (BWV 17, 39, 43, 45, 88, 102 and 187). At least 33 cantatas to the Rudolstadt text are extant: 20 from JLB, seven from Sebastian, and six from Schürmann,

Schürmann apparently wasn't interested in composing cantata cycles but simply used the Prince's texts for special church events in 1705 involving New Year's, Epiphany, the three-day Pentecost Feast, and Reformation. The Reformation text also was set by Ludwig Bach, now listed as JLB-1, for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany. Johann Ludwig began composing his cantatas to the Prince's texts during 1704-05 while presenting Schürmann's cantatas. He started his first cycle in 1711 when he was appointed Capellmeister at Meiningen, and completed the cycle in 1714-15. Schürmann, trained at the Hamburg Opera, served at the nearby Brunswick-Lüneberg Court (1697-1751) and was on loan to the Meiningen court (1701-1707).

Ludwig Bach's tenacity at developing the new cantata form using the Prince's texts is evident as he undertook to fashion a complete cycle which not only drew the attention of his cousin but perhaps also composer Georg Philipp Telemann. Obviously, they were seeking quality unified texts for annual church cantata cycles. Telemann had begun composing modern cantatas in Eisenach in 1711 when Neumeister's modern texts were first published there, igniting a great tradition of annual church cantata cycles, especially from those who were considered before Bach as the new Leipzig Cantor and Music Director in 1722-23 -- Fasch, Telemann, Graupner, and Stölzel.

Sebastian, Ludwig, and Telemann

Having composed his first old-style cantatas in Mühlhausen in 1707-08, Sebastian took the position of organist and court musician at Weimar where soon after his path and those of Telemann and Ludwig Bach crossed. Their common ground could have been Eisenach, where the Bach Family often held its annual reunions and Telemann initially was capellmeister (3/11/07-2/19/12), says Richard Petzoldt in his <GPT> biography (London 1974, Eng. transl.). Bach had begun attending annual family reunions c.1700, participating in quodlibits and seeking a wife among distant relatives. (See coming BCW discussion, July 11, 2010; Quodlibet, BWV 524, 1707 fragment, wedding.) Between 1708-12, Bach at Weimar met Telemann, who was C.P.E. Bach's godfather at Emmanuel's baptism in Eisenach in 1714 (Petzoldt 28).

As part of his well-regulated church music, Bach in 1708 in Weimar begun systematically composing organ chorale preludes for church main services while seeking acceptable new cantata texts. Bach's "new style" cantatas are first found in 1713 in BWV 208 (Franck text), 18 (Neumeister), 63 (Heinnecius).

Meanwhile, cousin Johann Ludwig completed his first cycle in 1714 with works that include cantatas for the five Sundays in Epiphany that year. Bach may have presented the Easter Cantata BWV 15 (JLB-21) in Weimar on Easter Sunday, April 12, 1716, but there is no documentation.

Meanwhile, Telemann moved on to Frankfurt as municipal music director and cantor in 1712 while retaining the post of Capellmeister at Large ("von Haus aus") at the Eisenach court. He produced his initial annual church cantata cycle in 1714-15, first Neumeister cycle in 1716-17, and possibly incorporated the five JLB cantatas into his 1717-18 cycle, although no sources survive. On the other hand, the five JLB cantatas may have been presented in Frankfurt by Telemann's assistant, Johann Christoph Bodinus (1690-1727), who substituted church cantatas by other composers when Telemann was traveling to Gotha and Eisenach, and who succeeded Telemann in 1722.

Ludwig's Music

All the works of Johann Ludwig Bach survive through copies made in Leipzig plus the two in Frankfurt. In his pioneering book, Karl Geiringer, <Music of the Bach Family>, provides the first systematic overview of Ludwig Bach's mostly sacred works. Besides the service cantatas there are two funeral cantatas, JLB-18, a three-part work that resembles an Oratorio Passion, with chorales, "O Herr, ich bin dein Knecht" (O Lord, I am Thy Servant, nd), and JLB-19 for Duke Ernst Ludwig, "Ich suche nur das Himmelleben" (I now seek Heavenly life, 1724, Geiringer edition). Other works are a festive secular cantata for Ernst Ludwig's successor, Anton Ulrich (JLB-26, text only, 1728); 11 extensive, mostly eight-part motets (JLB-27 to 37); possibly the Missa in C (Anh. 25, 1720), the Kyrie-Gloria in e minor (BWV 166, 1716), and an Orchestral Suite in G (JLB-20, 1715).

Twenty J.L. Bach cantatas with Rudolstadt texts survive: JLB1-17, 21 performed by Johann Sebastian Bach, and JLB 22 (Xmas 2) and JLB-23=BWV 88 text [also Trinity +5] (plus extant JLB 8, 13, 14) performed in Frankfurt in surviving fragments, as well as non-Rudolstadt texts found in JLB 24 (Trinity +13/18) in Göttingen and JLB 25 (Trinity +25) in the hand of J. L. Gerber, Bach student and copyist in Leipzig (1724-26).

Sebastian collected and had the 18 cantatas copied for performance, beginning in 1726. Bach copied most of the 12 extant scores, diving them into two parts where necessary. Principal copyist Johann Heinrich Bach (Main Copyist C) did the score of JLB-21, says Scheide 1 (FN 6), as well as many of the parts, assisted by Wilhelm Friedemann and Anna Magdalena, as well as Anon. Copyists IIe, IId, and IIIb, says Hermann Max (see Bibliography below).

Easter Cantata Provenance

In 1750, Sebastian son Emmanuel received the 18 church cantatas in a collection and presumably other works as part of the Alt Bachisches Family Arkiv that his father had begun collecting, probably in the 1740s. Geiringer assumes that the 1713 J.L. Bach Passion and other works, especially other Rudolstadt cantatas cycle, are lost (p.117). These could include possibly four from JLB (Annunciation, Rogate, Trinity +4 and Trini+6) as well as two from Sebastian, Trinity 2+ and Trinity 3+, according to Konrad Küster Bach Jahrbuch lxxv (1989), p. 103.

Emmanuel described the entire cantata collection after 1750, attached in a letter, as follows:

"18 church pieces by the ducal capellmeister in Meiningen, Mr. Joh. Ludwig Bach. Most are for 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, 4 voices and bass. But all are for all these parts, only the oboes are the exception in some. 3 trumpets and kettledrums have been added to one (JLB 21=BWV 15), 2 natural horns to another (JLB-7). There are choruses in all of them; moreover, they all contain a good variety of solos, duets, recitatives and arias. They are not very long. The work has been done painstakingly throughout, with particular attention to the rules of strict style. The choruses are exceptional."
"There are works for festivals, e.g. three compositions for (the feast of) Easter (JLB 21, 10, 11). But all the texts are biblical and have been chosen in such a way as to make it possible to use them at any time of the year. As your Highness requested me to look through these pieces written by my late cousin, this I have done and made up such account as you see. They are completely at your disposal for 8 Reichstaler. Is this not a friendly price? I think it is, as the amount is not half the true worth of the copies. The honor is mine."

It is quite possible that "your Highness" was Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia (1723-1787), an ardent Bach manuscript collector in the Bach Berlin Circle, who acquired the JLB Cantata collection. Her library possessed the 11 J.L. Bach motets, JLB 27-37(Conrad Bund, 117), as well as the Sebastian Bach collection of 21 church cantatas (from Leipzig sources), the SMP and various motets, that were bequeathed to the Joachimsthaler Gymnasium in Berlin, according to the Forkel biography (NBR:473).

William Scheide, in his landmark 1959 <Bach Jahrbuch xlvi> article showed that Cantata 15 was a work of Johann Ludwig Bach. Scheide noted (p. 55) that the JLB cantata collection was found at the Berlin Singakademie in 1844 along with Sebastian's works but with only 17 of the 18 cantatas Emmanuel inherited, minus the Easter work. Meanwhile, Cantata 15 was published by the Bach Gesellschaft in Volume II in 1852, edited by Moritz Hauptmann. The Berlin Singakademie sold its Bach holdings to the Berlin Royal Library in 1854.

What Appealed to Sebastian

Johann Ludwig's cantatas are described as "vigorous music, full of strength and inspiration, rich in variety, and imbued with a sensuous pleasure in tonal beauty," says Geiringer (p.109f) in 1954. They show effective voice treatment, especially solos, based on Italian models. The texts often are based on the Bible, freely paraphrased, beginning with Old Testament and then New Testament references. Meiningen Prince Ludwig "may have been responsible for at least part of these `madriaglian sections'." Each of the cantatas is for a particular event of the church year while the "texts are of a general character."

"The individual numbers are usually short, and there is often no demarcation between arioso and aria. The difference between Sebastian and his Meiningen cousin is particularly obvious in the recitatives, which are calm and gentle in Ludwig's cantatas, lacking the vehemence and poignancy of those of his kinsman. Everything Ludwig writes, however, sounds well and makes the most efficient use of the human voice. To achieve full clarity, the solo voice in arias and duets usually takes turns with individual instruments, while the full orchestra accompanies only in the chorus."

Johann Ludwig's Easter Cantata has musical and textual ingredients very favorable to cousin Sebastian. It is his largest church service cantata (11 movements running 21 minutes) and the only cantata with three trumpets and timpani, found in five movements. It includes a brief internal instrumental sinfonia (sonata) and two scena, plus a closing elaborate chorale that may have been expanded in Leipzig to replace the simple closing North German-style setting. It has short lyrical aria and chorus movements (no da capo) and tuneful Italianate character, including extended recitatives that are embellished as ariosi and can become scenas.

Geiringer assumed in 1954 (p.209) that Cantata BWV 15 was Sebastian's first cantata, composed in 1704, also based on Spitta's findings (I:229-34) affirmed by Whittaker (JSB Cantatas I: 13-22). Geiringer says that the work conforms to Bach's pattern in the early cantatas (Nos. 31, 71, and 106 in Mühlhausen), "although the work obviously was revised by the composer at a later date. The foundation of the text is provided by seven verses from a church hymn. There is ample evidence that this is the work of a very young composer, for the declamation is frequently awkward, the expression exaggerated and the texture predominately homophonic."

EASTER SUNDAY: Cantata BWV 15 > Anh III 157; JLB-21
Works Catalogs: BGA II (Hauptmann 1852), NBA I/41 (Misc., Glöckner 2000, BC V (Spurious Vocal) 99; BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV15.htm
Sources: (1) score copy (C.H. Bach, SPK P.476), (2) parts set, JSB etc., SPH St. 13a)
Bibliography (see below)
Text: #1-10 (Rudolstdadt) Meiningen Prince Ernst Ludwig; #11, chorale, N. Hermann "Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist" (When my last hour is at hand, S.4).
Forces: SATB, 4vv, 3 tps., timp, str., bc
Movements:
1. Arioso-aria (B, tutti): For Thou will not leave my Soul in Hell
2. Recit.-aso. (S): My Jesus was dead, now . . . he lives
3. Duet (SA, str.): Yield, fear and horror
4. Aria (T, tutti): Affright yourselves not, ye seek Jesus
5. Aria (S, str.): Up, rejoice thyself, soul (V.1)
6. Scena (ATB, tops., timp.): Where remains thy raging (V.2-4)
7. Duet (SA, str.): I exhalt, I laugh (V.5)
8. Sinfonia (sonata): tutti orch.
9. Aso.-recit. (TB): Therefore, thank the highest (V.6)
10. Scena (SATB, tutti): To Thee give I my own self (V.7)
11. Cle. ex. (tutti): Because Thou from death arisen art (?Leipzig).

The first Biblical quotation is the opening bass arioso movement with trumpets:

Denn du wirst meine Seele nicht in der Hölle lassen
For you will not leave my soul in hell
und nicht zugeben, daß dein Heiliger verwese.
and you will not allow that your holy one should rot. (Psalms 16:10)

The second is No. 4, tenor aria with trumpets:

Entsetzet euch nicht.
Do not be afraid.
Ihr suchet Jesum von Nazareth, den Gekreuzigten;
You look for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified;
Er ist auferstanden und ist nicht hie.
He has arisen and is not here. (Matthew 28:5-6)

BCW Francis Browne Translation: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV15-Eng3.htm

Bibliography (BCW): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Bach-Johann-Ludwig.htm

1. Dörffel: Verzeichnis der Kirchenkompositionen des Johann Ludwig Bach in Meiningen, Johann Sebastian Bachs Werke (BG), xli (1894), 275f & 17 incipts, JLB-1-17.

2. A. M. Jaffé: The Cantatas of Johann Ludwig Bach (dissertation, Boston U., 1957)

3. W. H. Scheide: Johann Sebastian Bachs Sammlung von Kantaten seines Vetters Johann Ludwig Bach, BJb, xlvi (1959), 52-94, 1. Lost Easter Cantata; xlviii (1961), 5-24, 2. Their History and Influence on JSB's Own Works;xlix (1962), 5-32, Sequel & Close; trans. Alfred Dürr.

4. W. Blankenburg: Eine neue TextqueIle zu sieben Kantaten 1. S. Bachs und achtzehn Kantaten J.L. Bachs, BJb, lxiii (1977), 7

5. K. Hofmann: Forkel und die "Köthener Trauermusik" Joh. Seb. Bachs, BJb, Ixix (1983) [re: funeral music, O Herr, ich bin] BACH, JL: Funeral music (Max) by Johann Ludwig Bach. Listen to classical music CDs online. ... Part I: Aria: O Herr, ich bin dein Knecht (Alto) 00:02:54 ... Capriccio CD: http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=c10814

More Bibliography

6. Karl Geiringer: Music of the Bach Family: Seven Generations of Creative Genius; "Part II, "Expansion and Culmination (1700-1750): The MeiningenBachs (Johann Ludwig and Nikolas Ephraim Bach), pp. 102-18 (London: Allen & Unwin 1954)

7. Conrad Bund: "Johann Ludwig Bach und die Franfurter Kapellmusik in der Zeit Georg Philipp Telemann," <Bach Jahrbuch lxx> (1984), 117-29.

8. Hermann Max, "Preface," J.L. Bach "Mache dich auf," JLB-9, Hänssler-Verklag (Neuhausen-Stuttgart 1984). (Max also conducts two CDs of the JLB Cantatas 9, 5, 11, 8 (Carus); and 7, 13 and 14, as well as Missa, Anh. 166 (Capriccio).

9. Konrad Küster: "Meininger Kantatentext um Johann Ludwig Bach," Bach Jahrbuch lxxiii (1987), pp. 159-64.

10. Konrad Küster: Die Frankfurter und Leipziger Überlieferung (Preservation) der Kantaten Johan Ludwig Bachs, Bach Jahrbuch lxxv (1989), pp. 65-105.

To Come, Bach, the Collaborator: Ludwg Bach, Telemann and Beyond

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (June 20, 2010):
[To William Hoffman] Thank you for the biographical information on J.L. Bach. I found it very interesting.

I'll listen to this Cantata later.

Peter Smaill wrote (June 20, 2010):
Johann Ludwig Bach (1677-1731)

[To Anne (Nessie) Russell] Apart from the recordings of BWV 15, those interested to hear some of his best works might like to try the CD "Mache dich auf, werde licht", a selection of four Johann Ludwig Bach cantatas performed by Herman Max on Carus (83.186). The vigorous extended chorale treatments alone are worth the investment and it becomes possible to understand why he was so esteemed by his cousin Johann Sebastian.

After 1731 when J L Bach died , J S Bach composed hardly any new and original liturgical Cantatas, mainly responding to Council demands. There were the oratorios and B minor Mass of course, and the parody BWV 30 for St John's Day 1738; BWV 36 is a reworking (1731).Now that BWV 34 has been redated to 1 June 1727 and BWV 200 is a copy of a work by Stölzel, by my reckoning we now only have the sinfonia for a lost Cantata , BWV 1045, estimated as 1743-46. Possibly there were none at all: the cycles were essentially complete as regards original work by 1730.

Whether a factor or not, J S Bach stopped writing original Church cantatas after the death of his cousin and indeed, may have ceased creating entirely new church works some time before.

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 21, 2010):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< Whether a factor or not, J S Bach stopped writing original Church cantatas after the death of his cousin and indeed, may have ceased creating entirely new church works some time before. >
Sebastian's use of Ludwig's music suggests that the cousins' professional and personal relationship was the most important in Bach's life. Ludwig was only ten years older, and it is clear that he was a major force in the Leipzig Cantata Project. His experience in German musical institutions must have made him an invaluable advisor, mentor and big brother to Sebastian.

I remember hearing his magnificent motet, "Das ist meine Freude" sung by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge and thinking that "Komm, Jesu, Komm" could not have been composed without Ludwig's music. He really was a Bach.

Why, oh why, is there so little written evidence of this creative relationship?

Peter Smaill wrote (June 21, 2010):
[To Douglas Cowling] The plaintive cry from Doug, "Why, oh why, is there so little written evidence of this creative relationship?" is an issue relevant not just to the JS-JL Bach axis but also to the whole approach until quite recently in Bach scholarship. Let me set out some thoughts.

Because of the tendency in the nineteenth century to seek out a pantheon of musical titans - the statuary of the Paris Opera is an exemplar- we are accustomed to think of J S Bach as a unique genius, while well knowing there were many Bachs and even to this day the family is an interesting footnote in studies of human genetics. However, recent discoveries or rediscoveries, such as the tablature (indicating early work composed in Bohm's presence), the Alt Bachisches Archiv, and the Lowell Mason/Neumeister Chorlaes , all tend to a wider view- that Bach was deeply influenced and inpired by his closest family and musical friends, at a place and time of outstanding musical theorisation and experimentation.

In the case of the Neumeister chorales, although there is a complete facsimile, generally speaking we receive them in modern publications and recordings in which J S Bach's contribution has been ripped out from his cousins and contemporaries items. Another work which is negelected because it is of many hands , but mainly a compositional exercise in adaptation by the Bach family (I have argued) is the St Luke Passion (BWV 246). If we thought more in terms of J S Bach as "kein Gott vom Himmel faellt" , not a god descended from Heaven but as a brillaint learner and observer of his environment then the nature of the undoubted genius shifts somewhat towards a more human understanding of Bach.

By placing Bach in the setting of the Bach network with greater emphasis we will be led to find more crossover evidence. A recent case is the discovery by Michale maul of a very early C P E Bach Cantata, very similar in style to the father's works, in a church near Leipzig. It is "Ich bin vegnungt mit meinem Stande", performed in Madison, Wisconsin on 7 May 2010 to great applause; and this work had probably been unheard even in Germany since the 1730's until a Leipzig performance in the last year.

There is more to be found if you know where to look!

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 21, 2010):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< By placing Bach in the setting of the Bach network with greater emphasis we will be led to find more crossover evidence. >
This is one of the reasons why I am always bringing up the liturgical context of Bach's works, not to claim him as a "Fifth Evangelist" -- that's specious neo-Romantic hagiography -- but to suggest that there is collateral evidence in comparing the job descriptions and working environment of Lutheran cantors in general with those of the Cantor of Leipzig. There is collateral evidence.

So too with the Bach family's apprentice system. The other Bachs aren't just B-minus composers in some genetic engineering program -- many comments about the Bach family steer pretty close to Victorian eugenics theory. Bach would not have become a Great Composer without the influence of family mentors like Johann Ludwig Bach. When we examine their training and careers we see parallel forces which shaped the life of Johann Sebastian. Ironically, by showing the utterly conventional patterns in Bach's life -- even in his marriages to musicians' daughters -- we gain a greater appreciation of his uniqueness.

Marva Watson wrote (June 21, 2010):
[To William Hoffman] Will (Julian and everyone), thanks so much for taking the time to put together all of the information posted. I especially appreciate the bibliography and references to good books. Many times I am curious about where all of you get such great detailed information, so any references to your sources are very interesting to me. Thanks, Marva

William Hoffman wrote (June 22, 2010):
I just found the best source of information on Johann Ludwig: Daniel Melamed’s five-page “Introduction” to JLB Motets, A-R Editions, Recent Researches in the Music of the Baroque Era, 108 (2001).

All 11 extant motets are found in the edition, edited by Melamed, including Doug’s Cowling’s BCW reference: “I remember hearing his magnificent motet, "Das ist meine Freude" sung by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge and thinking that "Komm, Jesu, Komm" could not have been composed without Ludwig's music. He really was a Bach.” "Das ist meine Freude," Motet No. 2, like Sebastian’s motets, is mostly for memorial services, with only one for Christmas in the Thuringian repertory. Motet No. 2 (Ps. 73) and two others, “Es danken dir” (Ps. 67) and Freude, unsre Trübsal (2 Cor.), are found in the Conifer Classics CD, <Bach Family Motets,” Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, cond. Richard Marlow.

Malamed says that all the motets were commissioned for special occasions and their texts are paraphrases of biblical sayings, whether as free-poetry, dialogues or hymns (like Sebastian’s motets), with strophic aria texts “increasingly common” in the German motet. “These compositions formed a working repertory for the composer.” This simple, direct music, mostly for eight voices, also includes da-capo returns and exordium addresses also found in Sebastian’s works. They are simply dated to Ludwig’s Meiningen service, 1703-1731.

“It is even possible Johann Sebastian knew these works and that he had a role their transmission,” Melamed says in his concluding six-page “Critical Report.” Their source are three volumes of mostly Thuringian motets of the 18th century, copied and compiled in Berlin for the Princess Anna Amalie Library. IMHO Ludwig’s motets were a major impetus and connection for third cousin Sebastian.

It is probable that Sebastian had a hand in the other Ludwig Bach works that survive, especially, literally, in the Mass settings attributed to Ludwig. Unfortunately, only one, BWV Anh. 166, is accepted (previously attributed to Johann Nikolaus Bach); Anh. II 26 is probably by Francesco Durante, Anh.II 25 is anonymous “and may have
no connection to Johann Ludwig, and Anh. III 167 could be by Johann Ludwig” “but there is no evidence that it is,” says Melamed. Melamed was unable to located the 8-part “Magnificat.”

Melamed says that in the case of the two Frankfurt Rudolstadt-text cantatas, JLB 22 and 23, “it is not certain where or by whom they were used.” As for the two non-Rudolstadt cantatas, JLB 24 and 25, IMHO they may have come through a member of the Bach family as they were found in the possession of the Berlin Singakademie and the estate of its director, Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1832), who had strong connections to both the C.P.E. Bach circle in Hamburg and the Berlin Bach circle. The funeral cantata, JLB-18, and a secular cantata, JLB 26, have a Berlin Bach circle connection. Georg Poelchau (1773-1836), noted early Bach manuscript collector with Hamburg and Berlin connections, bought JLB-18, “O Herr, ich bin dein Knecht” (Psalm 116:16-19, 1724), eight-voice Funeral Music for Prince Ernst Ludwig, from the Bach funeral music collection of biographer Nikolaus Forkel (1749-1818) who probably obtained it from the Bach family (BCW: K. Hofmann: Forkel und die "Köthener Trauermusik" Joh. Seb. Bachs, BJb, Ixix, 1983, 117). There is no mention in Melamed of BCW JLB-19 listing: “Funeral music, Ich suche nur das Himmelleben.”

Much has been written about the vital role played by the development of the Meiningen Court Orchestra as a leading, long-lasting institution. It appears that Johann Ludwig played a part in its establishment. After 1715, especially with new Duke Anton Ulrich after 1724, Ludwig composed considerable instrumental music, yet only one piece survives, the Orchestral Suite in G Major for strings (1715, Hänssler 30.051 edition). Its movements are French overture, air, menuet, gavotte, bourree. It too was acquired by Poelchau.

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 23, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< I just found the best source of information on Johann Ludwig: Daniel Melamed¹s five-page ³Introduction² to JLB Motets, A-R Editions, Recent Researches in the Music of the Baroque Era, 108 (2001). >
Fascinating material. Thanks for the link and summary.

Ed Myskowski wrote (June 23, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< “It is even possible Johann Sebastian knew these works and that he had a role in their transmission,” Melamed says in his concluding six-page “Critical Report.” >
Perhaps it is better to break this sentence into two parts?
(1) In fact, it is almost impossible that JSB did not know these works, given his performance history, including much JLB.
(2) JSB may also have had a role in their transmission.

I second Dougs thanks for the summary and links. Very informative, even for those of us who have nothing substantative to add.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (June 23, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Much has been written about the vital role played by the development of the Meiningen Court Orchestra as a leading, long-lasting institution. It appears that Johann Ludwig played a part in its establishment. After 1715, especially with new Duke Anton Ulrich after 1724, Ludwig composed considerable instrumental music, yet only one piece survives, the Orchestral Suite in G Major for strings (1715, Hänssler 30.051 edition). Its movements are French overture, air, menuet, gavotte, bourree. It too was acquired by Poelchau. >
What absolute shame that a *SINGLE* instrumental piece survives. Imagine all the wonders housed in that court library that have vanished without a trace. Poelchau could apparently be a tremendous bully, but thankfully he nabbed the music he did!

I think the large collection of Stölzel cantatas in Berlin owe their existence to Poelchau buying them. I hope to edit several of them, in addition to my ever growing "to do list." ;)

Absolutely fascinating thread! Thanks!

William Hoffman wrote (June 26, 2010):
Cantata 15:  JLB Funeral Cantata

Johann Ludwig Bach's 1724 Funeral Music for Meiningen Prince Ernst Ludwig, is a major work, structured somewhat like an poetic oratorio passion of choruses, elaborated chorales, arias, and recitatives, with a full orchestra, including three trumpets and drums in its final third part. Its texts are strophic stanzas of the Prince written for his funeral, with quotations from Psalms 116:16-19 in the choruses that open parts 1 and 3, chorus verses of Johann Matthaus Meyfart 91626), and chorale stanzas 1, 6, 7, and 8 of Paul Eber's "Herr Jesu Christ, Wahr Mench und Gott" (1562). An unknown author added new passages flanking the Prince's original text.

The work is scored for double chorus (four-parts in the chorales) and double orchestra. It's major features include choral scenas closing the first two parts and a tutti closing chorus and chorale to original text, reminiscent of Bach's St. John Passion, presented eight months earlier. It is cataloged as JLB-19 and Part 2 (No. 10) opens with tduet and aria, "Ich suche nur das Himmelleben," listed in the BCW as the incipit of Geiringer's edition: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Bach-Johann-Ludwig.htm

Thus, only one JLB funeral cantata is extant.

Karl Geiringer (<The Bach Family>), who published the first edition of the music in 1955 from the composer's score, says "it exhibits greater dignity and even stringer expressive powers" than his cantatas which cousin Sebastian performed in 1726. Besides the festive brass, the work has woodwind sections in both orchestras, using three flutes, two oboes, and bassoon extensively in all but the recitatives. The three section move from mourning to triumph. The first part is laid out like a typical cantata, with opening chorus, pairs of recitatives and arias and closing with a choral scena in place of a chorale, a gigue in 12/8 time which Geiringer suggests may have influenced Sebastian's opening of the <St. Matthew Passion>. Part 2 is laid out as an entire opera scena (except for the interspersed Eber chorales), with two duets and bass arias leading to the closing arias, Meyfart chorale and chorus.

Peter Wollny, current editor of the Bach Jahrbuch, speaks highly of the work in his notes to the 1998 Capriccio CD 10814, of Hermann Max: "Johann Ludwig Bach's composition follows the lines of the text with a truly intuitive feeling for the musical rendition of this language rich in imagery. For this reason, the composer accompanies the two vocal choirs with massive instrumental resources spread out over two orchestras, undoubtedly representing the full complement of the Meiningen Hofkapelle."

The music involves poignant, stately and vigorous choruses and vocal displays in the arias, to interplay of instruments in both, to the sound-massed forces in the manner of Gabrielli and Monteverdi's Vespers.

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 26, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< The music involves poignant, stately and vigorous choruses and vocal displays in the arias, to interplay of instruments in both, to the sound-massed forces in the manner of Gabrielli and Monteverdi’s Vespers.>
The Venetian polychoral tradition had a more contemporary expression in the works for San Marco by Vivaldi. Double choir and double orchestra (no timpani) are featured in the Vespers psalm, "Dixit Dominus". Vivaldi was certainly well-known in the Dresden-Munich-Vienna axis. He died in Vienna -- Haydn sang as a choirboy at is funeral in St. Stephen's.

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (June 26, 2010):
[To William Hoffman, regarding Cantata 15:  JLB Funeral Cantata] Are you referring to the same (?) Cantata that use to be referred to as BWV 15 by JS Bach but later found not to be. It is the only known work of the period that also calls for Church bells from the Organ which we learn from letters when JS Bach was called in as consultant on the Organ and the Congregation asked for Bells to be installed. This is where the confusion over who wrote this comes in. JS probably copied this work adding further confusion as to true authenticity as a work of JSB.

This is one marvelous work ---it is short and sweet to the point and SHORT. It could be done today in an Anglican (ECUSA) or Lutheran service.

You make it sound far more elaborate that it is when listening to it as it sounds like a work that could be performed today with a small group of people and instrumentalists.

 

Cantata BWV 15: Details & Recordings | Discussions | Discussions of Non-Bach Cantatas: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Johann Ludwig Bach: Short Biography | Cantata BWV 15 | Cantata Ja, mir hast du Arbeit gemacht, JLB-5 | Cantata Ich will meinen Geist in euch geben, JLB-7 | Cantata Die mit Tränen säen, JLB-8 | Cantata Mache dich auf, werde licht, JLB-9 | Cantata Er machet uns lebendig, JB-11 | Cantata Der Herr wird ein Neues im Lande erschaffen, JLB-13 | Cantata Die Weisheit kommt nicht in eine boshafte Seele, JLB-14

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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