Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

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 182
Himmelskönig, sei willkommen
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Discussions in the Week of February 20, 2005

Francis Browne wrote (February 17, 2005):
BWV 182/7 Jesu deine Passion ist mir lauter Freude

In next week's cantata Bach uses in the seventh movement a chorale Jesu deine Passion ist mir lauter Freude. This, I have discovered, is the 33rd (and penultimate) strophe of a hymn by Paul Stockmann Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod which Bach used also in BWV 159 Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem and three times in the Saint John Passion ( four times in the 1725 version).

In his discussion of the background of Bach's Passion settings Christoph Wolff mentions ' the traditional practice under which the congregation sang rhymed Passion paraphrases in the form of the twenty three stanza hymn by Sebald Hayden O Mensch, beweine dein Sünde gross of 1525 or the twenty four stanzas of Paul Stockmann's Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod of 1633' (p290, Johann Sebastian Bach, The Learned Musician).

Whether the hymn is 24 or 34 stanzas it is not included in the 900 pages of my Evangelisches Gesangbuch and it is not included in sites that usually have most of the texts of the hymns used by Bach.

http://www.lutheran-hymnal.com/german/agerman_tlh.html

http://colmarisches.free.fr/Introd.html

It would be useful to have the text available on the website as background for the cantatas and passions. I have often found it illuminating to see in their original context the chorales quoted by Bach in so many cantatas and as this particular hymn seems to be what the Leipzig congregations were used to hearing on Good Friday Vespers before the SJP (BWV 245) it has a special interest. If anyone can supply the text, I am happy to translate it.

(Perhaps this would be better done offlist- I am aware that many members would have limited interest in a posting of 34 stanzas of German religious verse)

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 17, 2005):
Francis Browne wrote:
>>In next week's cantata Bach uses in the seventh movement a chorale Jesu deine Passion ist mir lauter Freude. This, I have discovered, is the 33rd (and penultimate) strophe of a hymn by Paul Stockmann Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod which Bach used also in BWV 159 Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem and three times in the Saint John Passion (BWV 245) ( four times in the 1725 version).<<
I can not locate the complete text, but here are the verses used by Bach of Stockmann's text:

SJP
(BWV 245)/11 (different version of SJP)= 33rd verse
245/14 = 10th verse
245/28 = 20th verse
245/32 = 34th and final verse

Markus-Passion uses verse 8

BWV 159/5 = 33rd verse
BWV 182/7 = 33rd verse

Peter Smaill wrote (February 18, 2005):
[To Francis Browne] Can I add to the request for a source for Paul Stockmann's Jesu, Leiden, Pein und Tod ? It is certainly a significant Chorale, not just because of its placing in Holy Week (BWV 182 is the only surviving Cantata for Palm Sunday ) but in literary terms such text as we have in part demonstrates an interesting mystical, metaphysical imagery;

(verse 33)

Jesu, deine passion
Ist mir lauter Freude,
Deine Wunden, Kron und Hohn
Meine Herzens Weide;
meine Seele auf rosen geht,
wenn ich dran gedenke
in dem Himmel eine Statt
Mir deswege schenken

Jesus, Thy passion is joy to me,
Thy wounds, thy crown and scorn are my heart's pasture;
My soul on roses walks if I thereon think
Therefore you prepare for me an abode in heaven.

BWV 159, for Quinquagesima Sunday, prefigures Lent; hence the setting of this chorale, one of the most exquisite items in the Reimenschneider collection, "wonderfully beautiful chromatic harmonies " (Whittaker). It concludes the first part of the SJP (tenth stanza), and recurs later (20th stanza), the death-word "stirb" eliciting a dramatic key change.

The edition of chorale texts by Mark Bighley, which draws on Schemelli, does not list it. Terry certainly translated the various set verses but likewise I can find no complete version, despite the obvious prominence of the work in music associated with the Passion.

The image of roses can be associated with Corpus Christi in the catholic tradition, where petals are scattered before the host in procession, such that the faithful do indeed walk on roses. Mediaeval legend asserts that the first roses appeared miraculously at Bethlehem; the purity of the Virgin is asociated with the mystical Rose.

In the early 17th century we have the beginnings of the Rosicrucians as a cult favouring Lutheranism and with the original texts in German, the cross with rose floriations being their symbol. I can't explain this strange quasi - masonic, hermetic movement ( all smacks of Da Vinci code occultism) but recollect that the Irish poet W B Yeats was a member in the early twentieth century.

The Rosicrucian movement occurs after the composition of the text of this Chorale. Nevertheless, it is intriguing to find the image of the rose in this Lutheran chorale given the strict orthodoxy we normally associate with Bach's choice of texts and images.

Doug Cowling wrote (February 18, 2005):
Francis Browne wrote:
< In next week's cantata Bach uses in the seventh movement a chorale Jesu deine Passion ist mir lauter Freude. This, I have discovered, is the 33rd (and penultimate) strophe of a hymn by Paul Stockmann Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod which Bach used also in BWV 159 Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem and three times in the Saint John Passion (four times in the 1725 version) >
Isn't that the chorale used in the second chorus of "Himmelskönig Sei Willkommen?

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (February 18, 2005):
[To Francis Browne] It is also commonly known by another strophe of the same Chorale: "Jesu Kreuz, Leiden und Pein".

Paul T. McCain (boc 1580) wrote (February 18, 2005):
As for Roses being an element of Roman Catholic tradition...I doubt that very much. Perhaps better to simply take the statement as it is...and recognize that throughout Bach's Saxony roses were a common garden flower, highly valued and cultivated and it would not be surprising to read about roses in cantata texts!

Peter Smaill wrote (February 18, 2005):
"My soul on roses walks...." (BWV 159 ("Ich gehe...), also BWV 182 (Himmelskoenig, sei wilkommen). Did the choice of this image from amongst the 34 verses of the chorale, "Jesu leiden, pein und Tod", just come from a Bachian stroll (by himself or his librettist) along the florid banks of the Ilm or the parkland along the Pleisse ? Or is it an impulse from a mystical source, not a natural one?

I was quite tentative about this connection between Bach and rosicrucianism until subsequently entering "chorales " and "rosicrucianism " into a search engine. Suprise, suprise, I was directed not to some dusty thesis but to the Bach Cantata website and the previous discussion on BWV 34, O Ewiges Feuer, O Ursprung der Liebe". Charles Francis has already make the link, and Thomas Braatz referred to the Ruth Tatlow book which dwells on the connection.

As to the contemporary ecclesiastical use of rose petals, this I have observed courtesy of the episcopalian Father Gordon Reid, who in imitation of Rome would use discarded rose petals (from the local crem) at Corpus Christi in Edinburgh. He is now in Boston Mass. - watch out America!

Regarding the influence of mysticism on Bach, we know that he had in his library alongside orthodox biblical and Lutheran material, sermons of the Dominican Tauler, "the direct product of medievalmysticism" (Spitta). Jakob Spener, who is associated with pietism, may also indicate a leaning to mystical concepts. If the rosicrucian writer Boehme is in the Bach library, then the link is the stronger : but my sources do not have a full inventory which could settle the point.

Other mystical images, particularly that of the navigatio vitae, occur in other cantatas e.g. BWV 56 ("Kreuzstab"), BWV 81 ("Jesu schlaft"). BWV 56 has one of the most poetic texts of all in the closing chorale;

Komm, O Tod, du Schlafes Bruder,
Komm und fuhre mich nur fort;
Loese meines Schiffleins Ruder,
Bringe mich an sichern Port!
Es mag, wer da will, dich scheuen,
Du kannst mich vielmehr erfreuen;
Denn durch dich komm ich herein
Zu dem schoensten Jesulein

"Come, O death, Thou sleep's dear brother,
Come and lead me fast away;
Loose for me my sailboat's rudder
Bring it safe to port this day.
Let them shun you, those who might;
I am sure in my delight;
for through death I enter here
Harbour safe in Jesu dear.

Unless Bach was recalling the seaboard at Hamburg I don't think that the use of this mystical image came simply by looking about for pictorial inspiration. There seems no doubt that some mystical impulses affected his outlook; the questions remain as to from which particular sources, and to what purpose, are these unorthodox images?

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 19, 2005):
< I was quite tentative about this connection between Bach and rosicrucianism (...) referred to the Ruth Tatlow book which dwells on the connection. >
I'd advise you (anyone interested in this topic) to actually READ Dr Tatlow's book, which was a fully respectable doctoral dissertation, and not merely to rely on internet reviews of its alleged contents.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 19, 2005):
Peter Smaill wrote:
>>I was quite tentative about this connection between Bach and rosicrucianism until subsequently entering "chorales " and "rosicrucianism " into a search engine. Suprise, suprise, I was directed not to some dusty thesis but to the Bach Cantata website and the previous discussion on
BWV 34, O Ewiges Feuer, O Ursprung der Liebe". Charles Francis has already make the link, and Thomas Braatz referred to the Ruth Tatlow book which dwells on the connection.<<
Brad Lehman commented:
>>I'd advise you (anyone interested in this topic) to actually READ Dr Tatlow's book, which was a fully respectable doctoral dissertation, and not merely to rely on internet reviews of its alleged contents.<<
To correct the misconception that may have arisen: Ruth Tatlow does not dwell on the connection between Rosicrucianism and Bach. Her focus is solely on Number Alphabets (gematria) and Bach's possible understanding and use of such an alphabet. Having to be very careful in her conclusion as she attempts to eliminate any excesses in Smend's methods, she is, nevertheless unable to deny such a connection while warning that too much may be read into 'evidence' that some researchers have produced. Aside from referring to Rosicrucianism on only a few pages where it happens to be connected with gematria, Tatlow does nothing to describe or discuss further the many other aspects of Rosicrucianism, thus, in Tatlow's book, there is
little to connect Bach positively with this type of esoteric knowledge except in a very restricted area.

Due to the severely limited scope of her thesis, Tatlow has absolutely no reference to Robert Fludd who turns out to be an extremely important figure whose influence still had a strong impact upon such key figures related to Bach as Werckmeister, Buttstett, Mattheson, J. G. Walther, and Forkel (Bach's biographer).

Friedrich Blume in the MGG [Bärenreiter, 1986] writes:

>>Wie mit seiner Philosophie Jakob Böhme, so hat Fludd mit seiner kosmologischen Systematik und der Rolle, die er darin die Musik spielen läßt, die deutschen Musiktheoretiker tief und lange beeinflußt. Werckmeister hat ihn reichlich benutzt, und noch Buttstett und Mattheson, die beiden Erzgegner, zitieren Fludd; der erstere ruft ihn als Kronzeugen an, der letztere hält es immerhin noch für nötig, sich ernsthaft mit seiner Lehre auseinanderzusetzen. Daher ist es auch verständlich, wenn Fludd noch lange in den deutschen Lexika und Bibliogr. figuriert hat. So haben J. G. Walther (MLex., 1732) und J. N. Forkel (Allgem. Literatur der Musik, 1792) Fludd ausführliche Artikel gewidmet.<<

["The same way that Jakob Böhme had a strong influence with his philosophy, so, likewise, Fludd had a similar deep and strong influence with his cosmological system, and the role which he had music play in it, upon German music theoreticians. Werckmeister used his ideas extensively and even Buttstett and Mattheson who opposed each other's ideas, quoted Fludd. Buttstett called upon Fludd as his main witness and Mattheson at least felt it was necessary for him seriously to grapple with Fludd's theory (in order to understand it.) For this reason it is understandable that Fludd still appeared in German musical dictionaries and bibliographies. Both Walther (in his Music Lexicon, 1732) and later Forkel (in his General Literature about Music, 1792) had extensive articles devoted to Fludd and his ideas."]

Tatlow, on p. 126 of her book, Bach and the Number Alphabet" [Cambridge University Press, 1991], comments as follows:

>>Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748), Bach's first cousin, and, indirectly, Andreas Werckmeister (1645-1706) may also have discussed musical invention with Bach. Werckmeister wrote about the use of symbolic numbers for compositional invention in several of his publications. There can be little doubt that Walther passed on to his younger cousin interesting ideas he received from the respected older composer and theorist.<<

Esoteric knowledge did not come to Bach only through books that he may have possessed and read [according to Ruth Tatlow.]

Peter Smaill wrote (February 19, 2005):
[To Bradley Lehman] Ruth Tatlow's book I agree emphasises the numerological issues in Bach. Of more use generally in this area is Dr James Day's "Literary Background to Bach's Cantatas." Insofar as Rosicrucianism is a contemporary , indirect, source of mystical imagery then there is a case for an open mind as to the impulses behind the cantata texts. Only a few are overtly mystical in imagery.

I say no more than has been pointed out by Thomas Braatz in his discussion of BWV 34, except to call for consideration of this unusual image of "the soul walking on roses" in the chorale in BWV 182 and BWV 159.

Neil Halliday wrote (February 19, 2005):
BWV 182: Introduction

The cantata for discussion this coming week (Feb.20-26) is:

BWV 182 "Himmelskoenig, sei willkommen".

Event in Lutheran Church Year: Palm Sunday.

Composed for March 25, 1714.

Link to texts, score, commentary, music examples, and list of known recordings: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV182.htm

Link to contributions by list members during previous discussions: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV182-D.htm

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

(From the Rilling booklet [6]): After having remained 5 years at Weimar, Bach applied at the end of 1713 for a new position at Halle, but the Dukes succeeded in convincing him to stay at Weimar by promoting him to the rank of Konzertmeister and increasing his salary. BWV 182 is the first cantata that he wrote in that capacity. By this time he had absorbed the new Italian styles.

------

The dotted rhythm opening sonata, here chamber-like, suggests sweet humility, rather than majesty; thus perhaps presenting a picture of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey.

The three choruses (nos. 2,7, and 8) all have their special attractions (as usual); no. 7 has the chorale, with the text recentnoted by Francis Browne, sung by the sopranos. (BTW, in #7, the tenors and basses make their entrances before the cantus firmus, but the altos make their's after it, just in case you are wondering why you missed the altos at the start). I agree with Aryeh: the final chorus is the most spontaneously attractive movement; look out for the trill on the recorder on high C sharp soaring above the choir and orchestra, on the words "Er gehet voran und oeffnet die Bahn."

There are 3 arias, for bass, alto and tenor; the alto aria is probably the longest movement that Bach had composed up to then. BTW, Ryan Michero noted a "daringly slow" aria of 8.53 from Suzuki [15], but Richter [5] comes in with 10.20; and with the lovely Anna Reynolds, this is Richter's most absorbing and successful movement in the whole cantata, IMO.

Robertson says of the tenor aria: "This is one of the most poignant movements Bach ever composed". I note that Aryeh thinks highly of it too (maybe because of the special rhythm?), but I have to admit that at least after the first few hearings of this cantata, I liked it the least of all the movements. However, the problem appears to be one that I often experience in continuo only arias: I principally hear the cello and vocal parts, with only some very vague sound from the continuo keyboard, in all the recordings I have heard. Consequently, the (in effect) two-part music that I hear seems austere, angular and unmusical.

But when I played (attempted) the piano part contained in the vocal score at the BCW, a whole new world opened up `before my eyes', and the astounding harmonies of the movement were revealed. Indeed, to continue quoting Robertson: "Five times the vocal phrases break off and there is a silent beat. It is as if Bach had in mind the Saviour's falling to the ground as He bore the Cross to Calvary. There is a cry of anguish - `the weal and the woe' - near the end, leaving the voice on a high G, the continuo bass on a low C sharp, and there is a more astonishing discord at "crucify" ("cries the world") in the first half of the aria. The loneliness this superb aria, which speaks of cross-crown and palms, conveys is breathtaking".

Indeed, but there is no way I can experience much of this from any of the recordings. But, play the breathtakingly beautiful piano part, and it becomes clear why one can hear everything and more, of which Robertson speaks. (I wonder if I can find a tenor, and present this as a duet!).

I hope to see many of you joining in the discussion.

Doug Cowling wrote (February 19, 2005):
Neil Halliday wrote:
< The cantata for discussion this coming week (Feb.20-26) is:
BWV 182 "Himmelskoenig, sei willkommen". >
As much as I love this cantata, I can only remember the disaster of my college choir's performance. Somehow in the choral-fantasy "Jesu deine Passion", we became unstuck, and soon we were swimming in a sea of 16th notes. It really was like drowning in counterpoint. Every so often the sopranos would sail by singing the chorale. Poor Bach... what indignities he suffers!

John Pike wrote (February 19, 2005):
[To Neil Halliday] This is a beautiful cantata which Bach performed again at least twice after Weimar, with changes to instrumentation. The opening is particularly charming and is followed by a splendid chorus. I also particularly enjoy the 2 last choral movements.

I have listened to Harnoncourt [8] and Rilling [6] and enjoyed both very much. There are a few minor intonation problems in Harnoncourt's choir, but the intimate feel to the performance, with small forces, is appropriate and pleasing. Rilling gives a technically assured account with nice singing, but I prefer the smaller forces in Harnoncourt's performance.

I will always associate this cantata with a splendid evening almost a year ago when my wife and I were invited to a party/concert in Berlin to celebrate the completion of restoration of the Bach manuscripts in the Staatsbibliothek there, together with many others who had contributed to the cost. We were treated to a performance of this cantata and a motet by a fine choir from Leipzig, a speech by Christoph Wolff and several others, and a chance to look at the original manuscripts of many of his finest works. It is a memory we will treasure for the rest of our lives. As we relived something of the experience today as we listened to these recordings, my wife said that this was one of her favourite cantatas.

Peter Bloemendaal wrote (February 19, 2005):
BWV 182, Himmelskönig, sei willkommen.

I agree with Aryeh Oron, that this week's cantata is really attractive indeed. The rather modest (no trumpets and timpani) but exquisite scoring, the variety in the arias, the charming opening sonata with its pastoral character, the tenor aria and the final chorus, they all contribute to this Palm Sunday cantata, Bach regaled his superiors with as his maiden composition in his new position as court organist and concert master in Weimar.

Christoph Wolff emphasizes the fact that Bach declined the Halle offer of city organist and music director in spite of the new and very large organ there, which would have enabled him to spread his wings as an organist and composer of keyboard works. However, he chose for the better and more regular income that would be his as court organist and concert master at Weimar. Moreover, the Weimar position would open opportunities for Bach to compose new works, specifically cantatas for the palace church according to a monthly schedule. For the first time in his career, composing cantatas would no longer be an occasional affair but a regular duty, which Bach was looking forward to eagerly and so he took to his assignment with great energy.

Wolff says,

<Bach's concertmaster promotion dated from March 2, 1714, two days before Oculi Sunday, so that the fourth Sunday following his new appointment fell on March 25. It was this double feast of Palm Sunday and Annunciation for which Bach prepared the inaugural cantata to be performed in his new capacity: "Himmelskönig, sei willkommen," BWV 182, scored for four voices (SATB), recorder, violin, two violas, violoncello, and continuo (violone and organ). The concurrence that year of Palm Sunday and the Marian feast, a rarity in the lithurgical calendar, provided an incentive for the ambitious overall design of the piece. Consisting of eight movements, with ten-part scoring for the tutti movements, it permitted Bach to make a major artistic statement and, at the same time, to show the court capelle at its best.

The poetic makeup of the libretto links it to Salomo Franck, the secretary of the ducal consistory in Weimar, who was to publish two annual cycles of cantata texts, for 1715 and 1717. The text draws on Psalm 40: 8,9 for the recitative (no. 3) and on Paul Stockmann's 1633 Passion hymn "Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod" for the penultimate movement (no. 7). In a typically Lutheran reinterpretation, the Marian feast of the Annunciation is given a Christological focus: instead of honouring Mary, it venerates Christ as the true King of Heaven. Through the sacred poetry of the cantata, the piece becomes an effective and expressive musical sermon on the Palm Sunday gospel (Matthew 21: Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem), lauding Christ the healer of the world (no. 4), admonishing the faithful to meet him properly (no. 5), praying "Let me not abandon, Lord, the banner of thy cross" (no. 6), foreshadowing Christ's Passion and its meaning (no. 7), and culminating in the anticipation of the believers' entry into the eternal Jerusalem, "the Salem of gladness" (no. 8) ThSonata is designed in overture manner and, by featuring a concerted violin-recorder duo accompanied almost exclusively by plucked strings, creates a distinct ensemble sound that draws immediate attention to the unfolding musical score and, no less important, insures that the leading role of the new concert master would not be lost on the audience.>

I only have the Leusink recording [17] and, I regret to say, am not quite satisfied with it. Knut Schoch has known better days during the recording cycle, and there is clearly a discrepancy between the general mood created by the tranquil recorders and the rather wailing sound of the counter tenor whom I usually praise against all odds. Again I agree with Aryeh when he observes that the choir does not seem to enjoy themselves in the final chorus. We could have done better. I am happy to say that the first four movements do please me, but unfortunately it is often the last impression that determines one's final judgment. So I will get myself another recording soon.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 20, 2005):
Peter Bloemendaal wrote:
< Bach's concertmaster promotion dated from March 2,
1714, two days before Oculi Sunday, so that the fourth Sunday following his new appointment fell on March 25. It was this double feast of Palm Sunday and Annunciation for which Bach prepared the inaugural cantata to be performed in his new capacity: "Himmelskönig, sei willkommen," BWV 182, scored for four voices (SATB), recorder, violin, two violas, violoncello, and continuo (violone and organ). The concurrence that year of Palm Sunday and the Marian feast, a rarity in the lithurgical calendar, provided an incentive for the ambitious overall design of the piece. >
Is the unusual conjunction of Palm Sunday and the Annunciation in 1714 the reason that Bach wrote this cantata? Normally, there appears not to have been the tradition/obligation to provide a cantata on Palm Sunday.

As we discussed before, the unusual concurrence of feast occurs in 2005 with Good Friday and the Annunciation falling on March 25.

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 20, 2005):
Fludd?

< Due to the severely limited scope of her thesis, >
...or due perhaps to other reasons... [i.e. it's improper to draw inferences of reasons/motivation from things NOT MENTIONED...]

< Tatlow has absolutely no reference to Robert Fludd who >turns out to be an extremely important figure whose >influence still had a strong impact upon such key figures related to Bach as Werckmeister, Buttstett, Mattheson, J. G. Walther, and Forkel (Bach's biographer). >
David Yearsley's fine book Bach and the Meanings of Counterpoint doesn't make reference to Fludd either, despite containing a very informative discussion of esoteric matters around these people.

The exclamation about "extremely important" here appears to be not a universal assessment of Fludd's significance.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 20, 2005):
Brad Lehman wrote:
>>[i.e. it's improper to draw inferences of reasons/motivation from things NOT MENTIONED...]<<
It certainly is in order to speculate why Rosicrucianism which was the topic that was raised by a question that had been asked about the tentative connection between Bach and Rosicrucianism is an important matter for consideration.

It was you who expanded this question by stating:
>>I'd advise you (anyone interested in this topic) to actually READ Dr Tatlow's book, which was a fully respectable doctoral dissertation, and not merely to rely on internet reviews of its alleged contents.<<

It was your directive to read Tatlow's book carefully (with the implication that there was much more to be expected about the topic under discussion in 'a fully respectable doctoral dissertation.')You also implied that internet reviews, such as the references much earlier to Tatlow's book that I posted and now are on the BCW, are generally unreliable by emphasizing that comments were made about the book's 'alleged contents.' Everyone who read Smaill's comment knows that Charles Francis and my name had been mentioned in this regard.

It was I who revealed the dearth of information in Tatlow's book on this subject, thus indicating perhaps that you yourself have not really studied this book carefully in order to know what it does and does not contain.

It was I who mentioned in passing as further clarification:
>>Tatlow has absolutely no reference to Robert Fludd who turns out to be an extremely important figure whose influence still had a strong impact upon such key figures related to Bach as Werckmeister, Buttstett, Mattheson, J. G. Walther, and Forkel (Bach's biographer).<<

Now you point out the following:
>>David Yearsley's fine book Bach and the Meanings of Counterpoint doesn't make reference to Fludd either, despite containing a very informative discussion of esoteric matters around these people.<<

To be honest, this simply points to the fact that many musicologists born into the English language still favor the biases established by the Anglo-American school of Bach scholarship. When the peer-group which judges such articles and books produced within this school, they will tend to overlook the long tradition of German Bach scholarship and favor their own instead. [As Kant was wryly expressed it: 'human beings are inherently lazy.']

>>The exclamation about "extremely important" here appears to be not a universal assessment of Fludd's significance.<<
A quick comparison of the articles on Robert Fludd in the MGG and the Grove Music Online makes one thing absolutely clear:

Andrew Ashbee's article in the GMO is very short and emphasizes that Fludd's important book "Utriusque cosmi. metaphysica, physica atque technica histories" [1617-1624] was soundly attacked by Kepler and Mersenne. As a result of this (think of the logic behind this) and a quote by Hawkins which Ashbee found: "Fludd's abstruse fantasies leave most agreeing with Hawkins that he was 'a man of a disordered imagination'" Ashbee gives short shrift to Fludd and his importance to the musical world.

Friedrich Blume in a much longer article in the MGG treats Fludd extensively and quite positively since his ideas were still alive and well in the world surrounding Bach a century after Fludd had died.

Luke 4:24 "No prophet is accepted in his own country."

It appears that the English-speaking world has underestimated Fludd's effect upon music theoreticians as if such specialists existed only in the English-speaking world.

Peter Smaill wrote (February 20, 2005):
Imagery in Bach

I am grateful to contributors who have pointed to further scholarship (Tatlow and Fludd) and only a little hesitant in developing the theme since the entirely coincidental appearance of references on our website to possible Rosicrucian impulses on Cantatas (re BWV 34) and the image of the "soul walking on roses" in BWV 182 and BWV 159 seem to be leading to entrenching of positions. This theme surely is at an exploratory stage and the ivestigation may ever be inconclusive.

On further investigation :

The image of the rose also appears in another, thematically similar, reflection on mortality, BWV 161/4, "Komm du suessen Todesstunde":

Welt, gute Nacht!
und kann ich nur den trost erwerben.
in Jesu armen bald zu sterben:
er ist mein sanfter Schlaf.
das kuehle Grab wird mit Rosen decken,
Bis Jesus mich wird auferwecken,
bis er sein schaf
Fuhrt auf die suesse Lebensweide.

World, good night!
And my only comfort is that soon
I shall die in the arms of Jesus:
He is my gentle sleep.
The cool grave shall cover me with roses
Till Jesus shall wake me again,
Till he leads his sheep
Onto Life's sweet pasture.....

By way of background, we also have in the text of a verse of "Wie schön leuchtet die Morgenstern " (1599) (v1 of course from BWV 1), an allusion in highly mystical language, English translation afollows;

You bright Jasper and Ruby
Pour the flames of your love deep into my heart
And make me glad that I remain a living rib
of your chosen body.
I am sick for longing for you,
Beloved rose of Heaven,
and my heart glows, wounded by love.

While this macaronic verse ("gratiosa Coeli rosa " is the Latin used ) was not set by Bach, this third verse of Phillip Nicolai's hymn is an emple of the religious imagery from which the librettist could draw.

A further allusion to "walking on roses " comes in a radically different context. In BWV 213 ("Lasst uns sorgen "), the secular cantata known as Hercules at the Crossroads, the figure of Lust invites Hercules on the path of lascivious dalliance with the proposition :

Come , follow my path....
Enchantment already precedes you,
strewing roses at your feet...

I would struggle to think this use of the image of the rose has anything to do with Rosicrucianism. In the context of death and the Passion, however, Bach still seems to be setting a mystical icon to music.

Whether Bach is simply using texts in common usage ( Stockmann) / as appealing to Salomo Franck (BWV 161), or is in fact personally is drawn to them, implying an affinity to mystical representation, is a question which is open.

Peter Bloemendaal wrote (February 20, 2005):
[To Doug Cowling] As it is, the 25th also happens to be the birthday of my late paternal grandfather, whose name I bear, my daughter Judith and her son Lior! What an extraordinary day it will be this year!

Afaik, Bach wrote just this one cantata for Palm Sunday. I agree that the conjunction of Palm Sunday and the Annunciation in itself did not necessitate him to produce "Himmelskönig, sei willkommen", but Bach may have felt that it was high time to show the Weimar court what he was worth as a composer, conductor and director of the ducal capella, since it was already more than three weeks that he had entered his new post. After all, an important aspect of his duties was to compose a cantata every month. And this turned out to be a perfect opportunity! Until the end of 1716 Bach would turn out 24 cantatas, his last Weimar production being the glorious "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben", which we usually know in its extended Leipzig version.

There are quite a few monthly gaps in Bach's cantata output during his Weimar years: July, September, October and November 1714, January, May, August, September and October 1715, February, May, August and November 1716. In 1717, before his departure to Cöthen in August that year he did not even produce a single cantata. His sacred cantata production was only to be continued in 1723 with his appointment in Leipzig. The years in between record only an occasional secular cantata. Does anyone know which cantatas of the Weimar years have got lost and why no cantatas were required in certain months?

Paul Farseth wrote (February 20, 2005):
ROSE Imagery in Bach

Doesn't the image of Heaven's Rose come from the allegorical reading of the line "I am the Rose of Sharon" in the Song of Songs, sometimes applied to the Virigin, sometimes to the Church or "company of believers" as the Bride. The quotation given from "Wie schoen leuchted der Morgenstern" is drawing on the Song of Songs. (Perhaps many of you have already posted to this effect recently or on the last cycle.)

In English hymnody the famous hymn "Crown Him with many crowns" calls Jesus "fruit of the mystic rose, yet of that rose the stem," in this case referring to the Virgin.

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: Imagery in Bach's Vocal Works [General Topics]

Eric Bergerud wrote (February 21, 2005):
Peter Bloemendall wrote:
< There are quite a few monthly gaps in Bach's cantata output during his
Weimar years: July, September, October and November 1714, January, May, August, September and October 1715, February, May, August and November 1716. In 1717, before his departure to Cöthen in August that year he did not even produce a single cantata. His sacred cantata production was only to be continued in 1723 with his appointment in Leipzig. The years in between record only an occasional secular cantata. Does anyone know which cantatas of the Weimar years have got lost and why no cantatas were required in certain months? >
An obvious question would be to ask whether Bach's irregular output of religious cantatas pre-Leipzig has anything to do with his apparently abrupt decision to cease composing them at Leipzig after his first five years.

Neil Halliday wrote (February 21, 2005):
BWV 182: Some older recordings

BWV 182: The best of Werner [1], Richter [5], and Rilling [6].

Mvt. 1: Sonata.
The pizzicato from the large string orchestra has presence and character in the Werner recording. Richter is too soft. Rilling gives a nice chamber-like performance.

Ranking: 1.Werner [1]. 2.Rilling [6]. 3.Richter [5].

Mvt. 2: Chorus.
Richter has a bright, clear and attractive recorder, clarity in the choir, and a gentle, semi-staccato continuo line that gives the movement a pleasing, light `lift'. Rilling's continuo strings are thick, and the choir sounds too large/loud in places. Werner gives a pleasing large-choir performance.

Ranking. 1.Richter [5]. 2.Werner [1]. 3.Rilling [6].

Mvt. 3: Recitative.
Richter brings some interest to this short arioso-like movement, with the treble-clef realisation on a large organ.

Mvt. 4: Bass Aria.
Robertson says that "this movement, though dignified, does not reflect the lofty sentiment of the text". Maybe one should not worry too much about the text, in that case, because the music from Werner is stately, and at the same time tuneful. Wenk's pleasant, strong voice and the richness of the full string orchestra, including solo
violin, are a real treat.

Huttenlocher with Rilling is fine. Some of Richter's bad points are showing here, with the `square' rhythm, somewhat `thumpy' continuo, and an orchestra that is too strong in the ritornellos. I found Adam's vibrato to be intrusive.

Ranking: 1.Werner [1]. 2.Rilling [6]. 3.Richter [5].

Mvt. 5: Alto Aria.
Whereas I don't understand Robertson's election of the following tenor aria as one of the most poignant movements Bach ever wrote, I have no problem applying his description to this movement, especially after hearing Richter. This very `moving' (and slow -10.20) account has Reynold's quiet, highly expressive singing, decorated with the lovely melodic line weaved around it by the recorder. Soffel with Rilling is fine, but the faster pace (6.36) detracts from the pathos; and Werner has Hellman with a too strong vibrato and an even faster pace (6.21).

Ranking. 1. Richter [5]. 2. Rilling [6]. 3. Werner [1].

Mvt. 6: Tenor Aria.
I have already noted the problems I have with conventional performances, such as we have here, with recordings of this movement (despite differences between them), and how I would deal with it.Krebs with Werner has a particularly pleasing voice; Schreier and Baldin are also fine tenors.

Mvt. 7: Chorale.
This impressive choral fantasia with " fugal treatment in the Pachabel style" (Robertson) is most effectively presented by Rilling, who displays extra clarity of vocal lines and fine accompaniment from the orchestra. Werner is fine. The choral lines become muddied in places, in Richter's unnecessarily brisk/fast
performance.

Ranking: Rilling [6]. Werner [1], Richter [5].

BTW. thanks to Doug for his amusing anecdote about one particular disaster, in a performance of this chorus, with the "chorale sopranos serenely sailing through a confused sea of notes".

Mvt. 8: Chorus.
This graceful triple-time "processional" movement is most attractive. The recorder which always can be heard over the full choir and orchestra in the Rilling recording [6], is especially effective in the middle section when the high-pitched trill on the recorder is followed by long held notes at the same pitch first by the sopranos, and then other voices (lower octaves)Richter's slower tempo seems to drag, in comparison. Werner is strong in all the vocal and instrumental parts.

Ranking: 1. Rilling [6]. 2.Werner [1]. 3. Richter [5].

Rianto Pardede wrote (February 23, 2005):
Neil Halliday wrote:
(Re: BWV 182: Some older recordings)
Mvt. 5: Alto Aria.
Whereas I don't understand Robertson's election of the following tenor aria as one of the most poignant movements Bach ever wrote, I have no problem applying his description to this movement, especially after hearing Richter. This very `moving' (and slow -10.20) account has Reynold's quiet, highly expressive singing, decorated with the lovely melodic line weaved around it by the recorder. Soffel with Rilling
[6] is fine, but the faster pace (6.36) detracts from the pathos; and Werner has Hellman with a too strong vibrato and an even faster pace (6.21).
Ranking. 1. Richter. 2. Rilling. 3. Werner. >
Listening to Leusink [17] and Rilling [6] recordings of BWV 182, this alto aria also comes out as one of my picks (the other being the sonata). And, it is in Leusink recording that the poignancy of this movement (quite slow -- 7.20) begins to show up.

The text asks the hearts to prostrate themselves humbly before the entering King. For this reason, besides poignancy other characteristics such as humility, solemnity and stateliness, may be perceived in this movement. In the recording, a very unintrusive organ playing really help to enhance the sentiment of the text. It is almost as if the cello and the recorder were the only accompaniment.

But all the beauty is only begining to show up in this recording. The singing is good, but I guess there must be someone out there whose singing is closer to my ideal. Now, I'm really intriqued to listen to Reynold in Richter.

***

This is the first time I listen to this cantata. Looking at the title of BWV 182 (there's the word könig in there) and naive as I may be, I expected to be introduced to the heavy metal instrumentations (trumpets, timpani... love 'em) like that of BWV 71 (Gott ist mein König), discussed sometime here in the recent past. Instead, I was confronted with recorder, strings and continuo. How come Bach greeted the King with a recorder? In Weimar court capelle, he as a concertmaster had trumpeters in his disposal. Why a recorder, that low status instrument within the musical hierarchy? Well, I guess I get one or two things while digging into this cantata.

The King was coming to Jerusalem, humble, riding a donkey, his disciples walking behind. Look, Jerusalem was not too far away from them now. And, I imagine outside the gates of Jerusalem at that time the surroundings must be sparsely populated, the environment was more like a countryside. Oh yes, maybe there were some sheperds too with their herds, along the way.

Against the above background, the sonata (movement #1) is convincingly and beautifully played by Leusink and company in their recording. With the recorder lines, the music has all that simple, rustic and pastoral quality in it. But at the same time in its rhythm it is also stately, with dignity. I'm very much content with this Leusink sonata.
***

Actually, I almost gave up writing something about BWV 182 just because I didn't think I had anything of interest to add to the whole discussions (considering the limited recordings I have). But, upon reading Neil's observation I finally have something to start with. And remembering Peter's Ode to Aryeh, I decided to give this one a go, however short it is.

Thank's to Aryeh, and to all of you.

Eric Bergerud wrote (February 25, 2005):
Although I didn't appreciate it at first, BMV 182 is a really splendid work. Writing down my impressions of this work does not advance Bach studies in any way, but it did encourage me to listen three different versions three times each. A wonderful time. As I think we can all agree, Bach's music has extraordinary depth and does not wear out its welcome. Anyway, below is my view of a small portion of available works.

Ensembles available in my collection include Leusink's [17], Koopman's [12] and Rifkin's [13]. A good trio in a way. All are HIP but Leusink employs a boys choir, Koopman a full sized adult choir and Rifkin - no surprise - puts his soloists to work from start to finish.

I find it difficult to compare or make meaningful judgements concerning the work of the soloists involved. Frankly, their skills so humble me that I don't really understand how any of them do what they do. Maybe if I had a chance to see the singers in action I could at least pick up an obvious blooper, but recording engineers tend to such things. And I'm not sure how often that would happen. In any case, this is a boys club because there are no soprano parts in Himmelskönig.

I think overall I'd have to give Koopman's [12] trio of Klaus Mertens, Kai Wessel and Christoph Pregardien the nod. There is a level of precision and polish that shows through in most of Koopman's work and his fine singers contribute to it. Leusink is at a bit of a disadvantage here because Ruth Holton is on the bench and she's his "franchise player." That said, Leusink's gents acquit themselves well to my ears. Perhaps Schoch doesn't match Pregardien in the lovely tenor aria, but Bach's music is so good that Schoch can only be criticized in comparison to another top notch soloist. I guess you either like Sytse Buwalda or you don't. I do and don't see that he gives much if anything away to Wessel. The surprise here in my opinion is Rifkin's [13] countertenor Steven Richards. Richards has a very light and distinctive voice - almost boy like. For a delicate cantata like 182 I think he sounds great. (Might note that I don't have Suzuki's full performance but I do have Yoshikazu Mera's rendition of the alto aria which appears on his second recital album. Mera has a unique talent and must rank with the finest singers of our era.)

Himmelskönig has a chorale and two choruses, nearly half the work. And it's in the choirs that the listener may well decide which performance is most rewarding. I don't understand how anyone could fault the technical skills of Koopman's singers. The performance is polished and simply lovely to the ear. The contrast with Rifkin [13] is striking and most interesting. I believe someone described a diffeOVPP version has being "thin" in the choral movements. I wouldn't use that term with Rifkin. There is a fluid, delicate and lovely agility to the entire approach. OVPP might not work for every cantata, but it works here. I can understand why the approach is gaining adherents on both sides of the Atlantic.

And Leusink [17] has the boys. Ultimately this must be a matter of taste. Koopman's adults have a strength and range that a boys choir can't match. But boys sound different. And Bach wrote for boys. I really can't articulate why I like boys so much with Bach, but I do. The entire choir is not made up of children. On the contrary it's the interplay between the adult and boy singers that I find so appealing. A perfect example of this is the first chorus where I think the Holland Boys Choir does a wonderful job. (I recently acquired the Psalm 51, BMV 1083 [11]. The St. Florianer Sangersknaben sing beautifully. Done by adults the work would be utterly different and I do not think better.)

Both Aryeh and Peter fault the Leusink's last chorus [17]. I do hesitate to take issue with my betters, but I'm not sure that I agree. Much deals with tempo here. Both Koopman [12] and Rifkin [13] approach the concluding chorus briskly and with elan. Leusink's tempo is more moderate, the approach more sedate. Perhaps the boys were tired or the schedule was wearing on them. On the other hand, I'm not so sure that the final chorus should be celebratory. Here again we face the famous Bach "bitter sweet." The simple text, I think, might lead a conductor to approach it with some circumspection: "So let us go now to the Salem of gladness, Attending the King in love and in sorrow. He goes on ahead, And opens the path." Love and sorrow. The phrase may have been in Leusink's mind.

But no complaints. I've added BWV 182 to the growing list of Bach masterpieces that will reward indefinitely.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 25, 2005):
Eric Bergerud wrote:
>>In any case, this is a boys club because there are no soprano parts in Himmelskönig.... And Leusink has the boys. Ultimately this must be a matter of taste. Koopman's
[12] adults have a strength and range that a boys choir can't match. But boys sound different. And Bach wrote for boys. I really can't articulate why I like boys so much with Bach, but I do. The entire choir is not made up of children. On the contrary it's the interplay between the adult and boy singers that I find so appealing.<<
While Christoph Wolff in "Johann Sebastian Bach:The Learned Musician" [Norton, 2000, p. 157] tends to paint an overly rosy picture about the use of boys in Bach's Weimar cantatas: "Christoph Alt and Johann Döbernitz led the choirboys delegated from the gymnasium to the court cantorei....", Konrad Küster, an expert on the pre-Leipzig musical activities of Bach, sees the use of such boys (for Bach cantatas) as being "sporadic" in nature and rather limited (p.184 of "Bach Handbuch" [Bärenreiter, Kassel, 1999.]

On p. 145 of the same reference book, Küster points to records of 8 boys being used as 'Kapellknaben' [members of a boys' choir], but these were used primarily for "das Choralsingen [zu] verrichten" [singing the chorale melody.] Küster compares these boys with Bach's 4th choir in Leipzig (Bach had classified the latter as 'so unmusical' that he would only use them for singing the chorale melody.)

Küster conjectures that the vocal parts were sung with a maximum of 8 professional singers with the bass part possibly being sung by only one singer. (The functions of these court musicians were not always clearly defined, i.e. they might also have crossed over from instrument to voice or vice versa as needed.)

Thus it might appear from the above that Bach could have used boys only for the chorale mvt. "Jesu, deine Passion" but would not have a boys' choir singing along in all the choral sections (any parts other than the soprano chorale melody already pointed out.)

Eric Bergerud wrote (February 25, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] So Bach's job was conductor of a group of professional musicians? What was all the stuff about Thomas'? In any case, take up the issue with Wolff or Harnoncourt for that matter. (Might inform the Thomanchor also - they appear most proud of the Bach heritage.)

Eric Bergerud wrote (February 26, 2005):
BWV 182, Himmelskönig: second thoughts

On second reading it appears that Mr. Braatz is only referring to the pre-Leipzig period. Obviously then, Leipzig matters would not be part of the equation. Apologies. So, forget Thomanchor and simply take up the matter with Wolff, Harnoncourt, Leusnik and every other conductor that has ever used a boys choir for a Weimar cantata. (I should think the OVPP crowd would like Kuster's thesis very much. Paying singers is a real incentive to keep the numbers down.)

BTW: as a matter of research methodology, unless there is consensus on an issue, one scholar does not "paint an overly rosy picture" about a matter while another scholar possess truth. What one does say is that "in contrast to what Dr. Wolff argues, it is the opinion of Mr. Kuster that.." That changes the matter from being a matter of right / wrong (in which case, simply call Dr. Wolff wrong) to one of a difference in interpretation, a common situation in every academic field. Now, if Wolff has recognized he is in error and agrees with Kuster this should be made quite clear and the matter is over. If not, you're masquerading your opinion as fact. Doubt that would get past peer review.

Peter Bloemendaal wrote (February 26, 2005):
The New Bach Reader, in a list of the Castle capelle members 1714-16 mentions the following singers:
Tenors: Johan Döbernitz and Andreas Aiblinger, the former also being a Court Cantor, so a very experienced singer
Bass: Christoph Alt, who was also Court Cantor
Alto: Christian Gerhard Bernhardi
Sopranos: Johann Philipp Weichard and Johann Christian Germann
Six Choir Boys
Twelve in total.

Bach was obliged to perform new works monthly. For rehearsals of those, the musicians of the chapelle were required to appear on Bach's demand. It was expressly ordered that rehearsels should always take place in the church chapel. We may safely assume that Bach for his introductory "show piece" cantata BWV 182 insisted on the service of all available 12 singers he had at his disposal. Assuming that four of his six choir boys were trebles and two were altos, he had a choir of six sopranos, three altos, two tenors and one bass. Other combinations are possible. Alternatives are of course conjectural, but what is the logic of singing OVPP when you have twelve experienced high quality singers at your disposal. Besides these guys weren't on the Duke's pay-roll to sit idly and let others do the singing. Those royal maecenasses of art were no philanthropists. They wanted value for their money. And if Bach could have managed or if the Duke should have wished the cantata to be performed with only four voices, the Duke would not have employed twelve.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 26, 2005):
Eric Bergerud wrote:
>>On second reading it appears that Mr. Braatz is only referring to the pre-Leipzig period. Obviously then, Leipzig matters would not be part of the equation. Apologies.<<
Apology accepted.

>>So, forget Thomanchor and simply take up the matter with Wolff, Harnoncourt, Leusnik and every other conductor that has ever used a boys choir for a Weimar cantata.<<
There is not need to take up the matter with Wolff as he simply presented the information as he saw fit. The information is not incorrect, simply less detailed and not as carefully focused as Küster's is. Wolff even has Küster's book "Der junge Bach" (1996) listed in his bibliography to his recent Bach biography, but how can one expect Wolff, who attempts to cover all of Bach's life, to give all the specdetails on a limited period in Bach's life?

Harnoncourt can not be faulted for presenting BWV 18 authentically as a Weimar cantata sans recorders. He has adult soloists and the Chorus Viennensis (also adults) assisting. If the Wiener Sängerknaben sing only the soprano chorale lines (perhaps even the simple alto lines in the chorales - in mvts. 3 & 5, this would be an attempt to recapture the initial spirit of the 1st Weimar performance. Using a boy soprano for the recitatives and aria (soprano is not listed, hence a member of the Wiener Sängerknaben) would be taking things too far, if Harnoncourt prided himself in being truly authentic.

Leusink's care and concern for authenticity is questionable and a different standard should be applied here. For instance, on numerous occasions he was not even concerned enough to check his performance version with the NBA, allowing his singers to sing different versions of the texts than those made available by serious scholarship.

>>I should think the OVPP crowd would like Kuster's thesis very much. Paying singers is a real incentive to keep the numbers down.<<)
It is well known that there were space limitations, but 8 professional singers is an interesting number for the Weimar cantatas that are often performed strictly OVPP.

>>BTW: as a matter of research methodology, unless there is consensus on an issue, one scholar does not "paint an overly rosy picture" about a matter while another scholar possess truth. What one does say is that "in contrast to what Dr. Wolff argues, it is the opinion of Mr. Kuster that.." That changes the matter from being a matter of right wrong (in which case, simply call Dr. Wolff wrong) to one of a difference in interpretation, a common situation in every academic field. Now, if Wolff has recognized he is in error and agrees with Kuster this should be made quite clear and the matter is over. If not, you're masquerading your opinion as fact. Doubt that would get past peer review.<<
When I state that Wolff 'tends to paint a rosy picture of', I am offering a personal interpretation and a characterization of Wolff's contribution to a specific aspect of historical material. As a contributor to these lists, I am not trying to 'get past peer review' and follow the strict guidelines for academic research that needs to be accepted and published.

When I state that Wolff 'tends to paint a rosy picture of', this means that his treatment of the subject matter is slightly less focused than Küster's in regard to the matter under discussion. People can read much more into the information (like a boys choir is possibly acceptable.) I have not disputed any of the facts that Wolff presents to indicated that Wolff is 'wrong' and Küster is 'absolutely right' in a given matter. Actually, your suggestion to use "in contrast to what Dr. Wolff argues, it is the opinion of Mr. Kuster that.." would be a slap in the face of Küster who is a professor of musicology at the University of Freiburg. I think there is much less harm done by pointing out as I did that Wolff's treatment has, despite his excellent presentation otherwise, less pertinent details regarding to the use of boys in Bach's Weimar cantatas.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 26, 2005):
Sorry, my preceding comments reference BWV 18 instead of BWV 182. This is important to understanding my comments about the Haroncourt recording. But otherwise the discussion applies to both BWV 182 and BWV 18.

Eric Bergerud wrote (February 26, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] When acting as intermediary between two scholars it is essential to make plain what is opinion and what reflects consensus. Saying that one person "paints a rosy picture" does not imply that the picture is less detailed - it implies that it is distorted either willfully or through error. It certainly does not imply a simple disagreement between two respected people in the field.

I certainly don't understand how my hypothetical sentence is a "slap" in anyone's face. I didn't know Mr. Kuster's rank. Fill in the blanks. Frankly, that's the kind of baloney that gives academics a bad name. How about Herr Wolff and Herr Kuster?

I also have no quibbles with Peter's point concerning the Weimar choir. If Bach had twelve singers, including six boys, wouldn't he have used them for BWV 182? Or does Herr Kuster argue otherwise? Believe me, I have no preconceptions on the matter. If a consensus exists on what appears to be a pretty straight forward matter, I'd hardly question it. Yet if contemporary ensembles can exclude boys from Leipzig cantatas where they most certainly belong, I can't see anything wrong with inserting them in a Weimar work where perhaps they don't.

Doug Cowling wrote (February 27, 2005):
Peter Bloemendaal wrote:
< The New Bach Reader, in a list of the Castle capelle members 1714-16 mentions the following singers:
Tenors: Johan Döbernitz and Andreas Aiblinger, the former also being a Court Cantor, so a very experienced singer
Bass: Christoph Alt, who was also Court Cantor
Alto: Christian Gerhard Bernhardi
Sopranos: Johann Philipp Weichard and Johann Christian Germann
Six Choir Boys
Twelve in total. >
It's worth remembering that a list of singers doesn't mean that they all sang at the same time. There is plenty of evidence from all over Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries that singing were scheduled in rotas to cover statutory obligations.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 27, 2005):
[To Doug Cowling] Any specific historical evidence that this (singing in rotation) was done at the courts of Weimar or Dresden during Bach's lifetime?

Doug Cowling wrote (February 27, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] No, although it is was more likely to have occurred in a Catholic chapel royal than a Lutheran: the former usually had a daily mass and office with extra festival music on holy days.

 

Continue on Part 3

Cantata BWV 182: 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

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: ýMay 31, 2010 ý08:47:17