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Cantata BWV 193
Es ist dir gesagt, Mench, was gut ist
Cantata BWV 193a
Zion Ihr Häuser des Himmels, ihr scheinenden Lichter
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of September 4, 2016 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (September 5, 2016):
Town Council Cantata 193, 'Ihr Tore zu Zion' Intro.

Bach’s sacred festive Cantata BWV 193, "Ihr Tore zu Zion" (Ye Portals of Zion), encompasses several unique features. It was one of the Leipzig cantor and music director’s first works to serve dual duty as special music for the August 25, 1727, annual sacred service of the installation of the Leipzig Town Council, Bach’s employer, as well as the civic celebration of the birthday of the regional Catholic authority August II, the Strong, visiting from the Court in Dresden. Although the extant music is incomplete, the creative and festive character of Cantata 193 has enabled Bach authorities to reconstruct it and to secure its place in the repertory as well as its influences on later Bach music. Lasting some 18 minutes, it features an exultant opening chorus with full orchestra involving trumpets and drums, two da-capo arias for soprano and alto with striking music of an accompanying florid oboe, one of which is in the style of a menuett, and three straight-forward recitatives. In lieu of the usual closing chorale, Bach simply had the opening chorus repeated. 1

This music, which had its origins possibly in a New Year’s sacred-secular celebration at the Cöthen Court of Prince Leopold, also may have provided the impetus or seed for Bach’s “Great Catholic” Mass in B Minor, the culmination of his art. As Bach’s creativity in 1727 shifted from weekly musical sermons in annual cantata cycles to instrumental music and special vocal music for civic observances, he had greater motives. Bach began the process of transforming music through the method of parody or new-text underlay from occasional, festive profane pieces to extended works in a larger, well-ordered Christological Cycle embracing Lutheran liturgical and doctrinal tradition. Meanwhile, Bach was able to satisfy his motives and opportunities for meeting both employment vocations through extended use of music originally composed for special civic occasions to compositions as part of a well-order church music to the glory of God.

The text of Cantata 193 is typical of the libretti Bach used in his sacred settings for the Leipzig Town Council annual installation service at the Nikolaikirche, on the Monday following the feast of St. Bartholomew, August 24. Although not part of the church year, this music of thanksgiving and praise liberally cited passages from similar psalms, either directly or as paraphrase. Typically these are community songs of thanksgiving such as Psalm 65, 67, 75 and 136, and hymns of praise to the creator as Lord of the Universe, especially Psalms 72, 103, 147-149 and Psalm 150 Doxology.

Anatomy of Town Council Cantatas 2

A quarter century after composing his first Town Council cantata, BWV 71, "Gott is mein König" (God is my King), Bach as municipal music director in Leipzig in 1723 began the first of a series of as many as nine annual festive works that reveal a mastery of late German Baroque technique while still following his original model. These cantatas employ large orchestra with three trumpets and drums, opening chorus psalm quotations and usually closing festive hymns. The internal arias use a mixture of musical styles in poetic form with references to the gifts God has bestowed, sometimes in dance style. Bach constructed the scaffolding of stirring introductory choruses and sinfonias with closing (usually), summarizing harmonized chorales with trumpet flourishes. The recitatives generally proclaim the blessings produced through good governance.

The result was a special facet of Bach's "well-ordered church music to the glory of God." Although they could be considered "Gebrauch" or utilitarian music commissioned and conceived by formula for a special annual service, the Leipzig town council cantatas often served as a repertory to be repeated as well as to find new uses in both related celebrations and in the church year. Bach’s range of Leipzig works began with the exploration of form and content in his first year (1723) with Cantata 119, "Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn" (Praise the Lord, Jerusalem), and 1727 with Cantata BWV 193, "Ihr Tore zu Zion" (Ye Portals of Zion), and his mastery around 1729 with Cantata BWV 120, "Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille" (God, one praises Thee in the stillness) and in 1731 with Cantata BWV 29, "Wir danken dir, Gott" (We thank Thee, God). In his final decade of the 1740s in Leipzig Bach provided mostly repeats and parodies, as for example BWV 69, “Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele I (Praise the Lord, my soul, Psalm 103:1). All the while Bach transformed festive, borrowing materials for new music and creating movements to become parodies such as the two choruses in the B Minor Mass.

BWV 193, Background, Genesis3

The librettist of Cantata 193 is probably Picander, as he wrote the poetry for the congratulatory parody, Cantata 193a, presented three weeks before for the birthday of Saxon King August. Picander also is the probable lyricist for other Town Council cantatas during this time: Cantata BWV Anh. 4, 1725; Cantata BWV 120, 1728/29; Cantata BWV 216a, 1729 (only "secular" council work); and Cantata BWV Anh. 3, 1730. The primary biblical references in these council cantatas are to various thanksgiving Psalms.

The source of Cantata BWV 193a in all likelihood is a Cöthen celebratory secular cantata (serenade) for Prince Leopold, possibly presented on New Year's Day 1721 with text probably by Christian Friedrich Hunold (Menantes), who collaborated with Bach from his Halle University post as poet and rhetorician on annual court presentations. The source is Friedrich Smend's Bach in Köthen.4 Chapter 7 is devoted to two parodies, festive Cantatas BWV 190 and BWV 193/a (pp. 69-73). Hunold/Menantes also authored Cöthen Cantatas BWV 66a, BWV 134a, and Cantatas BWV Anh. 5-7 (text only); and possibly BWV 173a, BWV 184a and BWV 194a, which Bach also parodied in Leipzig as sacred cantatas for the Easter/Pentecost season festivals.

Smend cites strong stylistic evidence in Cantata BWV 193: festive opening and repeated closing chorus; extensive oboe work in both arias (Nos. 3 and 5); use of minuet in 3/8 in the soprano aria (No. 3), later double parodied in the 1734 Thomas School Director Gessner tribute, BWV Anh. 210. The Menantes-style Fame-Fortune Duet in Serenade BWV 193a/5 (not found in Cantata BWV 193), that may have influenced Bach's duet, "Domine Deus," in the B Minor Mass Gloria section, BWV 232I/7, composed in 1733. George B. Stauffer in his monograph, "The Great Catholic Mass."5 Stauffer says that "While the text only of the work [BWV 193a] survives, the words of the duet match both the structure and the character of the `Domine Deus' very closely."

A comparison of the texts of BWV 193a/3 (Picander) and 232/7 shows: BWV 193a/3. Aria (Providence): “Call, then, this thine August god! / Boast, then, Rome, in games and feasting, / Saxon August is the greatest, / For this his own laurels bloom; / Saxon August is unequaled, / For kindness and love have immortalized him.” Mass BWV 232/7 soprano-tenor duet, Domine Deus, Rex coelestis: “O Lord God, heavenly King, / God the Father Almighty, / O Lord, the only-begotten Son, / Jesus Christ, the Most High, / O Lord God, / Lamb of God, Son of the Father.

Thus, Bach may have recycled the opening chorus as well as the three arias from the original Cöthen cantata and initially used them in the secular drama per musica, BWV 193a (text only), "Ihr Häuser des Himmels, ihr scheinenden Lichter" (Ye hoof heaven, ye shining lights), presented as a birthday cantata for the name day of Saxon ruler August II (The Strong), on August 3, 1727 in Leipzig during a royal visit. It was Bach's first and only congratulatory cantata for the Dresden monarch, who died in 1733. The text writer was Picander and he may have utilized, semi-parodied, many of Menantes original Cöthen lines.

Cantata 193 Movement Summary, Psalms

A summary of the surviving movements in Cantata 193, "Ihr Tore zu Zion" (Ye Portals of Zion), is found in Linda Gingrich’s Introduction to the Cantata 193 BCML Discussion, Part 3 (Ibid.). << The cantata probably dates back to August 1727, and is, in part, a parody of BWV 193a, “Ihr Hauser des Himmels” (Ye Houses of Heaven), which celebrates the name-day of Augustus II on August 3, 1727, libretto by Picander. If BWV 193 was indeed performed later in the same month, the pressure of time may explain the lack of an ending chorus. Alfred Dürr speculates that BWV 193 may also hark back to an earlier Cöthen cantata.6

The jubilant opening chorus calls on Zion's gates to praise God (from Psalm 87:2); there is a delightful syncopated interchange between soprano and alto near the end on the word "freuet" that pops with joy and makes me wonder how the tenors and basses might have "popped" as well. The soprano recitative draws on Psalm 121:4 to paint God as protector, and the third movement aria thanks God for His goodness.

No. 4 draws a direct connection between Leipzig and Jerusalem, as often happens in these elections cantatas. I would again draw your attention to the cantata discussions from 2008 and some highly intriguing insights by Peter Smaill on the allegorical understanding of the Jerusalem image in Bach's cantatas (see below, “Leipzig as Jerusalem: Biblical Connections”).

No. 5 asks God to send His blessing to and through those who have been elected to lead the city. This alto aria is stunningly challenging; as an alto, I know how difficult it can be to move the voice through those elaborate lines in the low end of the range. I haven't worked with unchanged boy's voices so I can't speak to how it lies in their range.>>

Cantata 193 Music, Text; Secular Original

A summary of Cantata 193 music and text, as well as its secular original, Cantata 193a, are described in David Schulenberg’s Cantata 193 essay in Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach.7 <<“Ihr Tore/Pforten zu Zion” (‘Ye portals/gates of Zion’). Cantata for the installation of the Leipzig city council, BWV 193, performed on 25 August 1727. A fragment, the work survives only in an incomplete set of original manuscript parts (two oboes, two violins, viola, soprano, and alto). Three movements [opening chorus, soprano and alto arias] were parodied from an earlier secular cantata, “Ihr Häuser des Himmels, ihr scheinenden Lichter [Ye house of heaven, ye shining light], BWV 193a,” of which only the text survives.

BWV 193a was a dramma per musica for the nameday of the reigning Augustus II, performed at Leipzig on 3 August 1727. The text of its 11 movements, which included solo parts for the allegorical figures Providentia, Fama, Salus, and Pietas (Providence, Fame, Welfare, and Piety) is by Picander, who may therefore have been involved in its sacred parody performed just three weeks later. The manuscript parts for BWV193 show numerous corrections, including a copyist’s substitution in the soprano part of the word ‘Pforten’ (‘portals’) for the original ‘Thoren’ (‘gates’) - hence the identification of the work as “Ihr Pforten zu Zion” in older publications.

The opening movement is a grand D major chorus in compact modified da capo form, parodied from the opening chorus of BWV 193a (there sung by a ‘Council of the Gods’ - a flattering coincidence for any members of the Leipzig council who noticed it!). In addition to the surviving parts, it must have included at least three trumpets, timpani, and continuo, and perhaps two flutes and a third oboe as well.

A soprano recitative leads to a da capo aria in E minor, ‘Gott, wir danken deiner Gute’, also for soprano, accompanied by oboe and strings. Although parodied from Salus’s aria ‘Herr! so groiß als dein Erhohen’ in Bwv193a, its untroubled minuet rhythm and relatively simple formal structure have led to suggestions that both works derive from a lost secular cantata of Bach’s Cothen period. Christine Fröde8 suggests that the aria was parodied again in a lost cantata for the Thomasschule, in [August 4,] 1734 [BWV Anh. 210, Bach Compendium BC G 49, “Wo sind meine Wunderwerke”]. Less clear is the case of the G major alto aria [no. 5] ‘Sende, Herr, den Segen ein’, which follows a recitative for the same voice. Parodied from Pietas’s aria ‘Sachsen, komm zum Opferherd’ in BWV 193a, it resembles the first part of a da capo aria; perhaps there was a B section in some earlier version. The affect is rather neutral, despite the ornate oboe part, which, with continuo, was apparently the sole accompaniment.

The surviving parts indicate that a recitative for tenor or bass followed, the opening chorus then being repeated. The extant material is sufficient to permit a convincing reconstruction, except for the final recitative, which is completely lost. Unfortunately, the version [for Helmut Rilling] published by Reinhold Kubik (Stuttgart, H1983) requires modern brass instruments and makes other departures from Bach’s style (recording,>>

Cantata 193 movements, scoring, incipits, key, meter:9

1. Chorus free da-capo, instrumental introduction (16 mm) with ritornelli [SATB; Oboe I/II, Violino I/II, Viola; probably missing 2 flutes, oboe III, 3 trumpets, timpani, and basso continuo)]: A. [16 mm] “Ihr Pforten/Tore zu Zion, ihr Wohnungen Jakobs, freuet euch!” (You gates/doors to Zion, you dwellings of Jacob, rejoice!, Psalm 87:2). B. [31 mm]Gott ist unsers Herzens Freude, / Wir sind Völker seiner Weide, / Ewig ist sein Königreich.” (God is the joy of our heart, / we are people of his pasture, / everlasting is his kingdom.); A’. (32 mm] extensive repetition of A; D Major; 4/4.
2. Recitative secco [Soprano (continuo missing)]: “Der Hüter Israels entschläft noch schlummert nicht” (The guardian of Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers, Psalm 121:4); “Es ist annoch sein Angesicht / Der Schatten unsrer rechten Hand” (his face is continually / the shadow at our right hand); “Und das gesamte Land / Hat sein Gewächs im Überfluß gegeben. / Wer kann dich, Herr, genug davor erheben?” (and the whole land / has produced its harvest in abundance. / Who can sufficiently exalt you for this, Lord?); b to e minor; 4/4.
3. Aria da-capo, opening introduction (32 mm) with ritornelli [Soprano; Oboe solo, Violino I/II, Viola (continuo missing)]: A. (39 mm) “Gott, wir danken deiner Güte, / Denn dein väterlich Gemüte / Währet ewig für und für.” (God, we give thanks for your kindness, / since your fatherly disposition / lasts eternally for ever and ever.); B. (75 mm) “Du vergibst das Übertreten, / Du erhörest, wenn wir beten, / Drum kömmt alles Fleisch zu dir.” (You forgive our transgression, / you listen when we pray, / therefore all flesh comes to you.); e minor, 3/8 menuett’style.
4. Recitative secco [Alto (continuo missing): “O Leipziger Jerusalem, vergnüge dich an deinem Feste!” (O Jerusalem of Leipzig, take delight in your festival!); “Der Fried ist noch in deinen Mauern, / Es stehn annoch die Stühle zum Gericht, / Und die Gerechtigkeit bewohnet die Paläste.” (Peace is still within your walls, / the seats of judgement still stand, / and justice inhabits the palaces.); “Ach bitte, daß dein Ruhm und Licht / Also beständig möge dauern!” (Ah pray that your fame and light / may endure so steadfast!); b minor to G Major;

5. Aria two parts with ritornelli [Alto, Oboe solo (continuo missing)]: A. “Sende, Herr, den Segen ein / Laß die wachsen und erhalten,” (Send your blessing, Lord / may those people grow and prosper); B. Die vor dich das Recht verwalten / Und ein Schutz der Armen sein! / Sende, Herr, den Segen ein!” (who administer justice in your presence / and are a protection for the poor! / Send your blessing , Lord!); D Major 4/4.
6. Recitative (indicated in parts, text lost, tenor or bass with continuo, possible substitute, BWV 120/5, Recitative [Tenor; Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo]: “Nun, Herr, so weihe selbst das Regiment mit deinem Segen ein, / Dass alle Bosheit von uns fliehe / Und die Gerechtigkeit in unsern Hütten blühe” (Now, Lord, may you yourself consecrate this government with your blessing, / so that all evil may flee from us / and righteousness may flourish in our dwellings”); Dass deines Vaters reiner Same / Und dein gebenedeiter Name / Bei uns verherrlicht möge sein!” (so that your father's pure seed /and your blessed name / may be glorified among us!); D major to f-sharp minor; 4/4 [Koopman recording, , timing, 14:34).
7. Chorus (repeat No. 1).

Leipzig as Jerusalem: Biblical Connections

<<Peter Smaill wrote (April 6, 2008): The Text of this Cantata opens up an important theme in the worship in Bach's Leipzig, namely the image of Leipzig as Jerusalem. In line also with the first known civic Cantata, BWV 71, for Mühlhausen, there is no mention of Jesus in the text, only God, and it is only a single image, that of the city of light, that can be tentatively linked to the New Testament.

We also come across the destruction of Jerusalem as a significant feature in Lutheran worship, as in the text of BWV 46 and in the reading of the Josephus account on the appropriate day, the 10th Sunday in Trinity and in Holy Week. In this context, Jerusalem serves for Luther as the "analogy of faith"; it is not so much the historic fact of its destruction that matters, but the need of the believer to hold to the belief in the Holy City; in this analogy, Jerusalem is the church.

Significantly IMO the choice of Cantata sources for the B-Minor Mass includes three with Jerusalem-referentiality: BWV 46, BWV 29, and BWV 120 [the choruses of Town Council Cantatas BWV 29/2 and 120/2, “Wir danken dir, Gott” (We thank Thee, God, Psalm 75:1), and “Jauchzet, ihr erfreunten Stimmen” (Rejoice, you joyful voices), became, respectively, “Gratias agimus tibi/Dona nobis pacem” and “Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorem”; the BCML Discussion for November 6 will be BWV 233a, Missa: Kyrie-Gloria, aria possible origins, 1725-27].

The Jerusalem image, which derives from medieval ideas, is understood three ways: allegorically (the Church), tropologically (the soul) and eschatologically (the Kingdom of Heaven), says Eric Chafe in Analyzing Bach's Cantatas.10 The image is referred to over a dozen times in Helene Werthemann's "Die Bedeutung der alttestamentlichen Historien in Johann Sebastian Bachs Kantaten", pioneering work on the textual hermeneutics from 1960.11

One possibility is that the perfect dimensions of the Temple at Jerusalem are related to the highly structured numbers of bars in several of Bach's major works; scholarship is ongoing in this area [Ruth Tatlow]. Quite by chance, reading of the medieval mystic Walter Hilton's account of the dimensions of the "city upon a hill" , there is reference to "six cubits , meaning the perfection of a man's work." Perhaps here is a clue to the tendency in Bach for works in groups of sixes, a question raised recently on BCML.

The tradition of considering Leipzig as Jerusalem predates Bach. Here is the encomium of Johann Kuhnau's “Treatise on Liturgical Text Settings”: "Let our Chorum Musicum sing of [God's] glory to our hearts' content amidst the ever blessed prosperity of the Leipzig Jerusalem, until the end of the world! and let us continue the glorification of your most holy name amidst the perfect choir of angels and the elect in the heavenly Jerusalem, forever and ever. Amen." Leipzig, 12 Dec. 1709.12

Cantata 193 Original Parts, Text

The Cantata 193 surviving original parts with varied text and their subsequent adaptations and uses are discussed by Thomas Braatz (April 8, 2008), in Cantata 193 BCML Discussions Part 2 (, citing the NBA Critical Commentary, KB 32.1 pp. 112-133 (Autograph Score [Facsimile]: D B Mus. ms. Bach St 62 [BWV 193: Parts, Bach Digital,]: >>

Summary of Some Main Points under Discussion:

1. "Ihr Häuser des Himmels" (BWV 193a). a. Music (BWV 193, mvts. 1, 3, 5 are parodies of mvts. 1, 7, 9 from BWV 193a) very likely composed during the Coethen Period and text possibly an original by Christian Friedrich Hunold and modified by Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander) for the performance of this cantata on August 3, 1727.
2. "Ihr Thoren zu Zion" (BWV 193). a. Just prior to the 1st performance on August 25, 1727, Johann Heinrich Bach (1707-1783), J.S. Bach’s nephew whose father was Bach’s brother, Johann Christoph (1671-1721) and who copied parts for J.S. Bach from 1724-1727, transcribing correctly(?) from the no longer extant score (possibly the same or only score (BWV 193a with modifications for BWV 193’s new text added for the parodied mvts.) onto the Canto (Soprano) and Alto parts the word “Thoren”. J.S. Bach, during his customary revision of copied parts, then corrected in both the Soprano and Alto parts wherever the word “Thoren” appeared to read “Thore” by writing an “e” over the “-en” or simply crossing out the “-n” ending that Johann Heinrich had written. From this evidence the NBA editors have assumed that Bach intended to have “Thore” performed. Subsequently, but at a later point in time, Johann Heinrich Bach changed “Thore(n)” to read “Pforten” by writing this word over the word “Thore(n) without crossing it out, but this was done only in the soprano part, not the alto part. There is no evidence of any repeat performance of this cantata during Bach’s lifetime. [For this incomplete set of parts, 5 copyists were involved in copying these 9 parts – an indication that these parts were completed under pressure of time shortly before the performance.]
3. "Ihr Pforten zu Zion". a. Georg Poelchau (1773-1836) acquired the 9 original parts (Canto, Alto, Hautbois and 2.da, Violino 1 & Doublet,Violino 2 and Doublet, and Viola) for his collection of Bach manuscripts. The “Collection Poelchau” was probably acquired by the BB (Staatsbibliothek Berlin) in 1841 when Siegfried Wilhelm Dehn (1799-1858), in his catalogue of Bach’s works, refers to this cantata as: “Ihr Pforten zu Zion, ihr Wohnungen Jacobs. Ddur. | 2 Singst. Cant. Alt. | Violino I. II. doppelt | Viola. | Hautb. III (crossed out) I. II. | 14 Bll.” Dehn adds “C. P.” in pencil to the soprano part which lies on top of the set while Albert Kopfermann (1846-1914), in ink, writes out the title “Ihr Pforten zu Zion”. When the BG 41 volume containing this cantata was published by Alfred Dörffel (1821-1905) in April, 1894, the editor chose the title “Ihr Pforten zu Zion” as the title for this cantata. Reinhold Kubik published “Ergänzende Rekonstruktion des Fragments”, Hänssler-Verlag, Neuhausen-Stuttgart in 1984. The NBA I/32.1 was published in 1992 with the title “Ihr Tore zu Zion” based upon Bach’s original intention as determined by a close examination of the Soprano and Alto parts. [“Tore” is the modern German equivalent to the older, antiquated form "Thore"]
4. "das mißverstäTextwort. "Thore(n)" (‘the word which can cause misunderstanding’) is how the NBA explains the wavering choices that have caused some confusion here. In German, “Tor” can have two genders: neuter and masculine. As a neuter noun it can mean “gate” as in “city gate”, or “archway” or even “door” as in “Garagentor” (“das Tor”, plural: “die Tore”); but as a masculine noun it means “fool”, the equivalent to the German word “Narr”: “der Tor”, in the plural form: “die Toren”. Although “der Tor” is considered somewhat antiquated in modern German, it was used widely with this meaning before, during, and after Bach’s time.

Possible scenario: Johann Heinrich took his uncle’s score which had undergone serious revision with the crossing out of an original text and the replacement of it with a new one. It may have been rather difficult at times to decipher his uncle’s intentions or perhaps he, as a cocky 20-year-old, simply wanted to have some fun by easily transforming the exalted and pompous-sounding conceit “You, gates of Zion = You city gates of Leipzig” to “You stupid fools of Zion = You stupid city councilors of Leipzig” by only adding a single letter “-n” to “Thore” thereby causing this potentially embarrassing analogy which would have caused serious difficulties for his uncle if this “-n” ending were sung and heard by the audience. J.S. Bach immediately caught this error and corrected it 18 times in the Soprano and Alto parts that his nephew had copied. Subsequently Johann Heinrich, it appears, changed Bach’s corrections of “Thore” for “Thoren” by replacing this word which could possibly be misunderstood into “Pforten”. Did this happen before or after the original performance? There is no way to tell. Why did he only complete the Soprano part and leave the Alto part (and possibly the other vocal parts as well) untouched? This is a mystery that may never be solved.>>

Copyist Johann Heinrich Bach

Johann Heinrich Bach (1707-83) was a principal copyist for Sebastian while a student in Leipzig, 1724-28. He was Sebastian’s nephew, as the son of Sebastian’s father’s brother, Johann Christoph ii (1671-1721). As a principal copyist of parts sets and recitative texts, he is “often referred to in the earlier Bach literature as Anonymous 2 or Hauptkopist C.F13

In 1726, Heinrich Bach was the principal copyist for the parts sets of the Rudolstadt-text cantatas of Sebastian (BWV 43, 39, 187, 45, and 17 while Christian Gottlob Meissner (1702-1760) was lead copyist for BWV 88 and 102. Heinrich Bach also was lead copyist for most of the 18 Johann Ludwig Bach Cantatas JLB 1-17 and 21. He was sole copyist for chorus Cantata BWV 27 (Tr. 16) and solo Cantata 169 (tr. 18). He was the main copyist with Meissner assisting in solo-duet cantatas BWV 35 (Tr. 12), 49 (Tr. 20), and 52, (Tr. 23) in 1726 while Meissner was lead copyist for BWV 56 (Tr. 19) and 55 (Tr. 22). Of the late 1726 chorus cantatas, Heinrich Bach was lead copyist for BWV 19 (Michaelfest), 47 (Tr. 17), and 98 (Tr. 21). Meissner was sole copyist of solo Cantata 170 (Tr. 6) and lead copyist with Heinrich Bach for chorus Cantata 17 (Tr. 14). Heinrich was the main copyist of Cantata 193 extant parts previously dated to August 26, 1726, assisted by Wilhelm Friedemann, and copied the new bassoon part for Cantata 69a presumably for the 12th Sunday after Trinity, August 31, 1727.14

These patterns of parts sets copyists, based on handwriting style, help to determine the dating of these works as well as other works during this period where only the text survives. When Heinrich Bach graduated in 1728 and returned to Ohrdruf, Meissner became chief copyist, although by this time, Bach had ceased regular cantata composition and the need for extensive parts copying under deadline.

Town Council Cantata Tonal Allegory

Tonal Allegory in the Bach Town Council cantatas, as described in Eric Chafe’s Analyzing Bach Cantatas and Tonal Allegory in J. S. Bach, is discussed in Linda Gingrich’s BCML Cantata 119 Introduction (April 15, 2013): (3rd Round), << Chafe offers further insight (Analyzing Bach Cantatas (Ibid.: 40). He says that the flat tonalities, especially G minor, represent the idea that worldly government "is human, not divine," but sanctioned by God, hence the push/pull of thanksgiving and warning, burdens and blessings. For those who would like to read the entire passage from Chafe, see Cantata BWV 119 – [Thomas Braatz’s] Commentary:

“The opposition of worldly and divine authority prompted Bach to use tonal descent and ascent in the cantatas written for the changing of the town council in both Mühlhausen and Leipzig. The 1st of these works for Leipzig, BWV 119, is a C major composition of highly extrovert, festive character – with French overture beginning, prominent trumpets and drums and the like. Its central mvt., a G minor alto aria with recorders, follows a powerful bass recitative for full orchestra, framed by trumpet fanfares, asserting government as God’s representative on earth. Coming after such a display of pomp, the minor key asserts the humanity of the ruling authorities as the tie between them and the community at large.

Says Chafe in Tonal Allegory in J. S. Bach:15 “The other Ratswechsel cantatas also exhibit to some degree the descent-ascent pattern: 29, D, D, A, f sharp-e, h [b minor], D, D, D); 69, D, b-G, e-f sharp, b-D; 120, A, D, b-b, G D-f sharp, D); and 193 (D, b-e, G, D). In most cases the tonal distance covered is not great, but in general the descent is related to God’s protection of man (“Den er versorget und erhält, beschützet und regiert Welt” (E minor) in Cantata 69 [For he looks after and upholds, protects and rules the world, no. 4 tenor recit., “Der Herr hat große Ding an uns getan” (The Lord has done great things with us], the contrast between the “most high” and his subjects on earth (A major aria, “Halleluja, Stärk und Macht / Sei des Allerhöchsten Namen!” [Alleluia, power and might / be to the name of the Highest]versus B minor aria, “Gedenk an uns mit deiner Liebe, / Schleuß uns in dein Erbarmen ein!” [Think of us with your love, / enclose us in your pity!], or in an appeal to God (all six Ratswechsel cantatas). God’s blessings and salvation must be bestowed on the rulers in order for them to provide justice and truth. (G Major aria, Cantata 120) [no. 4, soprano, “Heil und Segen / Soll und muss zu aller Zeit / Sich auf unsre Obrigkeit” (Salvation and blessing / will and must at all times / come to our authority)]. Bach’s picture of the world here is not at all tinged with pejoratives. Within the Lutheran frame of reference it is perfectly consistent; the tonal language helps to represent a baroque hierarchy with God at the top. The two cantatas that use flat-minor keys (nos. 71 and 119) point out that whatever the assertion of worldly glory is greatest, it is necessary to bring out there the contrast between the power of divinely invested ruler and his humanity.”>>


1 Cantata 193 BCW Details and Discography, Score Vocal & Piano [1.31 MB],, Score BGA [1.56 MB], References: BGA XLI, (Cantatas 191-200, Alfred Dörffel, 1894), NBA KB I/32.1 (Town Council cantatas, Christine Fröde, 1992, Bach Compendium BC B 5, Zwang K 149.
2 Source material, BCML Cantata 119 Discussions Part 4 (August 23, 2015),
FN Source material, BCDiscussion, Cantatas 193 and 193a, Part 3 (April 21, 2013),
4 Friedrich Smend, Bach in Köthen (St. Louis MO: Concordia Publishing, 1985), updated and translated in from the 1951 publication by Stephen Daw and John Page).
5 George B. Stauffer, Bach: The Mass in B Minor, (New Haven CN: Yale Univ. Press 2003: 81).
6 Alfred Dürr, Cantatas of J. S. Bach, revised and translated by Richard D. P. Jones (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005: 731).
7 David Schulenberg, in Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach, ed. Malcolm Boyd (New York: Oxford University Press: New York, 1999: 237f).
8 Christine Fröde, ‘Zur Entstehung (Origin) der Kantate “Ihr Tore zu Zion” (BWV 193)’, Bach Jahrbuch 77 (1991), 183-5; NBA KB I/32.2: 1994.
9 Cantata 193 German text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW
10 Eric Chafe in Analyzing Bach's Cantatas (New York: Oxford University Press: 2003: 241f).
11Theologisches zur Bach-Forschung: Die Bedeutung der alttestamentlichen Historien in J. S. Bachs Kantaten/ Brodde, Otto. - In: Musica. - Kassel : Bärenreiter, ISSN 0027-4518. - Bd. 14 (1960), S. 820].

12Bach’s Changing World: Voices in the Community. essays ed. Carol K. Baron (University of Rochester Press: 2006): 219-226]>>
13 See Bach, Johann Heinrich, Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach, ed. Boyd, Malcolm (New York: Oxford University Press: 1999: 36), as well as BCW Short Biography,
14 See Gerhard Herz, “The New Chronology of Bach‘s Vocal Music,” Bach Cantata No. 140, Norton Critical Scores (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1967: 33-37).
15 Eric Chafe, Tonal Allegory in J. S. Bach (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991: 159f).


To Come: Cantata 193a, "Ihr Häuser des Himmels, ihr scheinenden Lichter" (Ye houses of heaven, ye shining lights), Performance Calendar of Bach’s Leipzig Town Council Cantatas, and more music for the Saxon Court in 1727.

William Hoffman wrote (September 8, 2016):
Saxon Court Cantata 193a, 'Ihr Häuser des Himmels': Intro.


While the Köthen libretto for the original version of Cantata 193 is lacking -- and may never have been published -- Picander’s 11-movement homage parody offers a tantalizing view of Bach’s creative and transformative processes. The core madrigalian music survives in various guises – all appropriate for celebrations at the Köthen court about 1721 and the Saxon Court in 1727, as well as the governing Town Council in a sacred service three weeks later. In addition, the Fame-Fortune love duet could have yielded two additional uses, as the soprano-tenor aria, Domine Deus, Rex coelestis (Lord, God, Heavenly King), in the Gloria of the Mass in B Minor in 1733, and a year later in a secular tribute to the departing Thomas School Rector, “Wo sind meine Wunderwerke?,” BWV Anh. 210.

Cantata BWV 193a, "Ihr Häuser des Himmels, ihr scheinenden Lichter" (Ye houses of heaven, ye radiant torches,) was presented as a birthday cantata for the nameday of Saxon ruler August II (The Strong), on August 3, 1727, in Leipzig during a royal visit, text probably by Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander). It was Bach’s second music for the Saxon Court in Dresden, and shows a complex compositional history through the process of parody or new-text underlay, involving the poet Picander.

To the original Köthen music, BWV 193[b], now lost, two arias were added, possibly parodies since the original music has never been found, with Bach setting the five recitative texts and adding a closing vanity scena aria with chorus for a total of 11 numbers. The four mythological and allegorical characters are: Providentia (Providence), Fama (Fame), Salus (Health), and Pietas (Piety). As the BCW details note: "Picander's [published] text for BWV 193a may have been based on an earlier text by Christian Friedrich Hunold, which Bach set to music in Köthen where the original music for BWV 193 may have been composed."1 Librettists Menantes and Picander (and Georg Christian Lehms) used allegorical figures in their texts, including sacred works (Fear, Hope, Soul, Jesus, Believer) in BWV 66, 60, 57, 58, and Anh. 168).

Cantata 193a Köthen Origin

The source of Cantata BWV 193a in all likelihood is a Köthen celebratory secular cantata (serenade) for Prince Leopold, possibly presented on New Year's Day 1721 with text presumably by Christian Friedrich Hunold (Menantes, 1681-8/6/1721), who collaborated with Bach from his Halle University post as poet and rhetorician on annual court presentations. The source is Friedrich Smend's Bach in Köthen.2 Chapter 7 is devoted to two parodies, festive Cantata BWV 190 and BWV 193/a (pp. 69-73). Hunold/Menantes also authored Köthen serenade Cantatas BWV 66a, BWV 134a and possibly BWV 173a, BWV 184a and BWV 194a, which Bach also parodied in Leipzig as sacred cantatas for the Easter/Pentecost season festivals. Also, only the text survives for Hunold/Menantes’ serenades and BWV Anh. 5-7.

Smend cites strong Köthen stylistic features evidence in Cantata BWV 193 that it had a Köthen origin: festive opening and repeated closing chorus and extensive oboe work in both arias (Nos. 3 and 5), all three in da-capo form, and use of minuet-style dance in 3/8 in the soprano aria (No. 3). This last aria later was parodied in the 1734 tribute to Johann Matthias Gesner, Thomas School rector, “Wo sind meine Wunderwerke?,” BWV Anh. 210 (text only). The Menantes-style Fame-Fortune Duet in Serenade BWV 193a/5 (not found in Cantata BWV 193), possibly influenced Bach's duet, Domine Deus, in the B Minor Mass Gloria section, BWV 232I/8, composed in 1733. George B. Stauffer in his monograph, "The Great Catholic Mass,"3 says that, "While the text only of the work [BWV 193a] survives, the words of the duet match both the structure and the character of the `Domine Deus' very closely."

The fifth movement, a love duet between Providentia and Fama, was not parodied in Cantata 193, since duets were not typically found in Bach’s nine Leipzig town council cantatas. It appears that Bach in 1733 used the music to shape the soprano-tenor love duet Domine Deus, the central movement of the Gloria in Bach's Mass in B Minor. A comparison of the texts of BWV 193a/3 (Picander) and 232/8 shows: BWV 193a/3. Aria (Providence), “Call, then, this thine August god! / Boast, then, Rome, in games and feasting, / Saxon August is the greatest, / For this his own laurels bloom; / Saxon August is unequaled, / For kindness and love have immortalized him”; Mass BWV 232/8, 4/4 duet in G Major, Domine Deus, Rex coelestis: “O Lord God, heavenly King, / God the Father Almighty, / O Lord, the only-begotten Son, / Jesus Christ, the Most High, / O Lord God, / Lamb of God, Son of the Father.

Here is a summary of the 11 movements:

1. Aria da capo (Chorus, Council of the Gods): “Ihr Häuser des Himmels, ihr scheinenden Lichter” (Ye houses of heaven, ye shining lights) [BWV 193/1];
2. Recitative (Providence): “Preißwuerdigster August” (Most laudable August);
3. Aria da capo (Providence): “Nenne deinen August: Gott!” (Call, then, this thine August god!) [music lost];
4. Recitative (Fame): “O! schöner Tag, o! schöne Blicke” (O lovely day, O lovely vision);
5. Aria (Providence, Fame): “{Ich will/Du solt} rühmen”, {ich will/du solt} sagen” ({I will/Thou shalt} boast now, {I will/thou shal} speak now) [dc, music lost/=?232/8 soprano-tenor duet];
6. Recitative (Providence, Fame, Health): “So Augustus / nicht an Ruhm und Thatten Seines gleichen” (Just as Augustus hath / In fame and deeds not found his equal) [music lost];
7. Aria da capo (Health): “Herr! so gross als Dein Erhöhen” (Sire, though high be thy position, (soprano aria193/3=Anh. 210/1);
8. Recitative (Piety): “Wie bin ich doch ergötzt” (I am, indeed, so pleased) [music lost];
9. Aria da capo (Piety): “Sachsen, komm zum Opffer-Heerd” (Saxons, come to sacrifice) [alto aria 193/5]
10. Recitative (Piety): “Doch worzu wollen wir viel Tempel bauen?” (But wherefore would we many temples build thee?) [music lost];
11. Scena (Piety/Chorus interspersed): Piety, “Himmel, erhöre das bethende Land” (Heaven, give ear to the prayers of this land); Chorus “Amen, Amen, Amen” [music lost].

Notes on Text

The Picander German text and Z. Philip Ambrose’s English translation and notes are found at “In order to keep the name of the king in its original position, it is necessary to stress its second syllable, as in German,” observes Ambrose. Here, the name the person honored could have been changed from “Leopold” to “August” and “Augustus,” necessitating the stress emphasis. In one case, the birthday honoree in “Hunting Cantata” BWV 208(a) was changed from Weißenfels Prince “Christian” (1713) to Weimar Prince “Ernst August” (1716) to “Augustus” in 1742.

The Fame and Providence (Fortune) Duet, BWV 193a/5, shows characteristics of Hunold/Menantes’ style in similar texts to BWV 66a, 134a, and Anh. 7, Smend points out (Ibid.: 73). Here “we have interchanging passages where the vocalists alternate between singing alone and simultaneously in duet. All this enables us to identify how Picander superimposed his congratulatory piece of 1727 on the existing score, and how, in this case too, as so often with Bach, the same work, or at least sections of it, underwent the parody treatment on several occasions. Consistent with this view is the cast that both the original version and the first parody of 1727 [BWV 193a] were suitable for use on one occasion only.”

The extant nine parts for Town Council Cantata 193, August 25, 1727, (two violins twice, soprano, alto, viola, and two oboes; identified as St. 62 M), primarily in the hand of Johann Heinrich Bach, could be musically identical with the original Köthen parts, necessitating only the copyist’s transcription of the new, presumed-Picander text overlay in the two vocal parts. This would explain why only extant are these usable Madrigalian parts (chorus, and two arias). For the previous parody of BWV 193a, for performance August 3, 1727, it can be assumed that Heinrich Bach and Christian Gottlob Meissner were assigned to transcribe the extant Picander text for the 11-movement homage serenade BWV 193a involving the opening chorus and two arias as well as the five recitatives, the Fame-Providence love duet (no. 5), a Providence aria (no. 3), and the closing scena involving Pietas and chorus interjections of “Amen, Amen, Amen.” It can be assumed that all the Madrigalian movements (chorus, closing scena, the love duet, and the three arias) were derived, virtually unchanged from the original Hunold/Menantes-texted original serenade score, although the original Köthen music is not extant. Extended Köthen tributes are possible as Cantatas BWV 66a and 173a involve eight movements each while BWV 194a has 11 movements.

It appears the Sebastian did not prepare the new Cantata 193 parts in his own handwriting but provided Heinrich with the parodied text that was a template of the music to come, relying first on the Cantata 193a score for the new Cantata 193 madrigalian movements (Chorus No. 1 and Arias Nos. 3 and 5), respectively from BWV 193a Nos. 1, 7, and 9. Later, Bach would provide the new recitative music and text. Sebastian had no need to write out a new score for Cantata 193, relying instead on the BWV 193a original score, the parodied text, and his new setting of the recitatives (Nos. 2, 4, and 6).

Meanwhile, Heinrich began copying the vocal parts, putting down the new parodied text from beginning to end, with the designated repeat of the opening chorus as Movement No. 7, then filling in the music. Henrich completed the soprano part, including the opening chorus, the first two recitatives (Nos. 2 and 4) and the two arias (Nos. 3 and 5), and noting that Recitative No. 7 would be provided later by Sebastian). In the alto part, Heinrich copied the wrong music for the Recitative (No. 4), using the music of the BWV 293a/8. Piety Recitative, “Wie bin ich doch ergötzt” (I am, indeed, so pleased), set to the new parodied text, “O Leipziger Jerusalem, vergnüge dich an deinem Feste!” (O Jerusalem of Leipzig, take delight in your festival!). At the beginning of the sixth bar of music, Heinrich discovered his error and crossed out the music and entre text, entering instead the new text to music Sebastian furnished him.

“The corrections made during the process of writing the vocal parts of St. 62, however, are all in the hand of the copyist, which suggests that Johann Heinrich Bach prepared the parody of the vocal parts of BWV 193 in Movements 1, 3, and 5, and that J. S. Bach later checked his work and corrected any faulty prosody,” says Tatiana Shabalina in “Activities around the Composer’s Desk: the Roles of Bach and his Copyists in Parody Production.”4

Shabalina doubts that the score of Town Council Cantata 193 existed at that time, noting that the NBA KB I/32.1 Christine Fröde Critical Commentary lists it as among “lost sources” (Ibid.: 121). Thus, Bach relied on his parts copyist to complete the parody, without an original score, since none was necessary. The only new music Bach had to compose were the three recitatives to new text, as well as the new festive trumpets, timpani and basso continuo parts. These are the crucial parts lacking and not found with the other nine parts written out by Heinrich Bach.

As often was his practice, Bach composed the recitatives later, the third and last being No. 6, presumably for tenor or bass, not found in the published Picander text. Meanwhile, Heinrich as parts copyist simply copied the rest of the original music from Cantata 193a into the other two vocal parts for tenor and bass (lost), as well as the extant instrumental parts for two oboes and strings, while none were required for the three new recitatives. For the performance on August 23, 1727, it is presumed that Bach conducted it from the keyboard using the original Cantata 193a score, with the printed presumed-Picander libretto.5


1 Cantata BWV 193a BCW Details: Survives as BWV 193, Score Vocal & Piano [1.31 MB],, Score BGA [1.56 MB], Reference, NBA KB I/36 (Dresden cantatas, Werner Neumann 1960), Bach Compendium G 15. Further information is found atäuser_des_Himmels,_ihr_scheinenden_Lichter,_BWV_193a.
2 Friedrich Smend, Bach in Köthen (St. Louis MO: Concordia Publishing, 1985), updated and translated in from the 1951 publication by Stephen Daw and John Page).
3 George B. Stauffer, Bach: The Mass in B Minor, (New Haven CN: Yale Univ. Press 2003: 81).
4 Tatiana Shabalina in “Activities around the Composer’s Desk: the Roles of Bach and his Copyists in Parody Production,” UnderstBach 11 (Bach Network UK 2016: 23).
5 Christian Friedrich Henrici, Ernst-Schertzhaffte und Satyrische Gedichte (Serious, Frivolous, and Satirical Poems) Teil II (Leipzig, 1729; 2nd. ed. 1734); also PT (Leipzig, 1727).


To Come: Special sacred music for the Saxon Court and the Leipzig Town Council with Bach’s Performance Calendar, and more music for the Saxon Court in 1727.

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 13, 2016):
Cantata BWV 193 - Revised & updated Discography

Cantata BWV 193a "Ihr Häuser des Himmels, ihr scheinenden Lichter" (You towers of Heaven, you shining light) was composed by J.S. Bach in Leipzig for the Name day of Frederick August I in 1727. The music & part of the text of this cantata have been lost. Cantata BWV 193 "Ihr Tore zu Zion" (You gates/doors to Zion) was composed by J.S. Bach for the Leipzg Town Council Inauguration of 1727, a few weeks after BWV 193a. Both cantatas are based on a lost cantata from Bach's Köthen.period. Some of BWV 193's music is also missing and it should be reconstructed for performance. BWV 193 is scored for soprano & alto soloists; 4-part Chorus; and orchestra of 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola & continuo.

The discography pages of BWV 193 on the BCW have been revised and updated. See:
Complete Recordings (4):
Recordings of Individual Movements (3):
The revised discographies include many listening/watching options to recordings directly from the discography pages, just below the recording details.

I also put at the BCW Home Page:
2 audios of the cantata. A short description below the audio/video image is linked to the full details at the discography pages.

I believe this are the most comprehensive discography of the cantata. If you are aware of a recording of BWV 193 missing from these pages, or want to correct/add details of a recording already presented on the BCW, please do not hesitate to inform me.

You can also read on the BCW the current discussion of the cantata in the BCML (4th round):



Cantata BWV 193: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements from
Cantata BWV 193a: Details
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Main Page | 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
Discussions of General Topics: Cantatas & Other Vocal Works | Performance Practice | Radio, Concerts, Festivals, Recordings


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Last update: Monday, September 11, 2017 15:22