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Cantata BWV 195
Dem Gerechten muß das Licht immer wieder aufgehen
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of October 29, 2017 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (October 28, 2017):
Wedding Cantata 195, “Dem Gerechten muss das Licht immer wieder aufgehen"

Of Bach’s four extant cantatas for bridal masses (BWV 34a, and 195-197), Cantata 195, “Dem Gerechten muss das Licht immer wieder aufgehen" (For the righteous person the light must always rise again, Psalm 97:11), in its three versions and four performances existed in various iterations over a 20-year period from the later 1720s to its final performance in the late 1740s. While its origins remain obscured, it is a substantial, versatile composition with complex parody, lasting about 20 minutes in its extant six-movement version. It includes progressive style with a Lombard rhythm bass aria (no. 3) and a chorus (no. 5) in polonaise style. It may have originated as a comic tribute for an unknown Leipzig couple tribute, possibly with connections to the Saxon court, between 1727 and 1732. Only the two choruses festive choruses with trumpets and drums and the Lombardic aria (no.3) have survived with unknown recitatives in between.

Cantata 195 evolved into a sacred wedding cantata, "Dem Gerechten muß das Licht immer wieder aufgehen," possibly presented on 3 January 1736 in Ohrdruf, for Naumberg Mayor (and lawyer) Heinrich Ripping and Johanna Eleonore Schutz, daughter of a St. Thomas pastor. In its full, two-part, eight-movement version of 1742 for a full bridal Mass in Leipzig, it used parodies of an aria (no. 5) and the opening chorus in dance-style of Bach’s 1737 drammi per musica, BWV 30a, “Angenehmes Wiederau, freue dich in deinen Auen!” (Charming Wiederau, take pleasure in your meadows!). Finally, in 1748-49 in one of Bach's last efforts, it remained a sacred wedding cantata, with plans based on a surviving text in the hand of second-youngest son Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach but never realized, to replace the previous parodies with new compositions. Assembled in haste, this last version omitted the three new movements in Part 2 and simply has a closing chorale, Paul Gerhardt’s 1647 "Nun danket all und bringet Ehr" (Now give thanks and bring praise), to the BAR form melody, "Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich” (Praise God, you Christians, all together).1

This final, extant version of Cantata 195 utilizes the German stile misto mixed style with a double-fugue opening chorus and a BAR Form closing chorale (no. 7), as well as two new recitatives (nos. 2 & 4) in its final version. The choruses are scored for full orchestra with trumpets and drums, pairs of flute and oboes, with strings and continuo. The work requires a large ensemble with dual continuo and separate parts written out for concertists and ripienists (see below, “Wedding Cantatas, Ripieno Writing”). Cantata 195 also is a study in Bach’s “re-compositional process” (see below, “Notes on Text, Music,” “Cantata 195 Versions, Movements,” “Manuscripts, Three Versions,” as well as concluding commentary, “Significance of Bach’s Occasional Works”).

Cantata 195 movements, scoring, texts, key, meter (German text, Francis Browne English translation).2

Part 1: 1. Chorus double fugue, solo-tutti chorus, choral insertion, sinfonia (mm 1-12) [SATB; Tromba I-III, Timpani, Flauto traverso I coll' Oboe I, Flauto traverso II coll' Oboe II, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo): A. 4/4, D Major (mm 13-51), “Dem Gerechten muss das Licht immer wieder aufgehen / und Freude den frommen Herzen.” (For the righteous person the light must always rise again / and joy for devout hearts.); B. (A Major, 6/8 mm. 52-117), “Ihr Gerechten, freuet euch des Herrn / und danket ihm (D Major, 4/4, 117-120) und preiset seine Heiligkeit.” (You who are righteous, rejoice in the Lord / and thank him and praise his holiness, Psalm 97:11-12).
2. Recitative [Bass, Continuo] : “Dem Freudenlicht gerechter Frommen / Muß stets ein neuer Zuwachs kommen, / Der Wohl und Glück bei ihnen mehrt. / Auch diesem neuen Paar, / An dem man so Gerechtigkeit / Als Tugend ehrt, / Ist heut ein Freudenlicht bereit, / Das stellen neues Wohlsein dar. / O! ein erwünscht Verbinden! / So können zwei ihr Glück eins an dem andern finden.” (To the joyful light of those who are righteous and devout / there must always come a new increase, /which well-being and happiness multiply for them / Also for this new couple / in whom we honour righteousness / as much as virtue / is today a joyful light prepared / that shows their new well-being. / Oh what a desirable union! So may these two find their happiness one in another.); b minor to G Major; 4/4.
3. Aria free da-capo, ritornelli [Bass; Oboe d'amore I/II, Flauto traverso I/II, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo]: A. “Rühmet Gottes Güt und Treu, / Rühmet ihn mit reger Freude, / Preiset Gott, Verlobten beide!” (Praise God's goodness and truth / Praise him with lively joy / Praise God, betrothed couple.); B. “Denn eu'r heutiges Verbinden / Läßt euch lauter Segen enden, /Licht und Freude werden neu.” (For your union today / lets you find pure blessing, / lets light and joy become new.); G Major; 2/4 Lombard rhythm.
4. Recitative accompagnato [Soprano; Flauto traverso I/II, Oboe d'amore I/II, Continuo]: “Wohlan, so knüpfet denn ein Band, / Das so viel Wohlsein prophezeihet. / Des Priesters Hand / Wird jetzt den Segen / Auf euren Ehestand, / Auf eure Scheitel legen. / Und wenn des Segens Kraft hinfort an euch gedeihet /So rühmt des Höchsten Vaterhand. / Er knüpfte selbst eu'r Liebesband / Und ließ das, was er angefangen, / Auch ein erwünschtes End erlangen.” (Well, a bond joins them in a way / that prophesies so much well-being. / The priest's hand / will now lay the blessing / on your married state, / on your heads [the parting of your hair] / And when the power of the blessing thrives henceforth in you, / then praise the father's hand of the Highest, / He himself ties your bond of love / And allows that what he began / should also reach a longed for end.); e minor to D Major; 4/4.
5. Chorus da capo, mostly homophonic, solo-tutti chorus, choral insertion, opening sinfonia, ritornelli (mm 1-20) [SATB; Tromba I-III, Timpani, Flauto traverso I coll' Oboe I, Flauto traverso II coll' Oboe II, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo]: A. (mm 21-97) “Wir kommen, deine Heiligkeit, /Unendlich großer Gott, zu preisen.” (We come, your holiness, / Everlasingly great God, to praise); B. (mm 98-134) “Der Anfang rührt von deinen Händen, / Durch Allmacht kannst du es vollenden / Und deinen Segen kräftig weisen.” (The beginning stems from your hands, / Through your omnipotence you can accomplish it / and show that your blessing is mighty.); D Major; 3/4 polonaise style.
Part 2: 6. Chorale plain, BAR Form obbligato horns [SATB; Corno I/II, Timpani, Flauto traverso I/II, Oboe I e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe II e Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo]: Nun danket all und bringet Ehr, / Ihr Menschen in der Welt, / Dem, dessen Lob der Engel Heer / Im Himmel stets vermeldt.” (Now give thanks and bring your praise, / You men in the world. / To Him, whose praise the angel hosts / Proclaim continually in heaven.); D Major, 4/4.

Notes on Text, Music

Gerhardt’s hymn, "Nun danket all und bringet Ehr," was written in celebration of the Peace of Westphalia, which brought to an end the Thirty Year's War (1618-1648), a most devastating war in Germany. Gerhardt’s Hymn of Thanksgiving was first published to Nicolaus Herman’s tune, in the 1647 (Berlin) edition of Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica, says Charles S. Terry.3 The 9-stanza text and English translation is by Pastor Don Hougard.4 Bach used this chorale text with the BAR-Form chorale melody “Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich” (Zahn: 198), originated from “Kommt her, ihr lieben Schwesterlein,” and not Johannes Crüger's melody from 1653 (See,

“The bridegroom was likely a lawyer; hence the numerous references to righteousness,” says Melvin Unger.5 In hmovement summaries, the opening chorus using Psalm 97:11-12, emphasizes that “Light dawns for the righteous”; no. 2, the “Wedding day represents dawning of new blessing”; no. 3, “Wedding Praise: Praise God for unexpected bliss”; no. 4,”Marriage blessing pronounced as couple is united’; no. 5,”Blessing completion guaranteed by God’s power”; and no. 6, Praise to him who is praised in heaven by Angels.” Biblical allusions include in no. 2 the “light of joy” from Psalm 112:4-7 and the “righteous” from Psalm 5:12; the priestly blessing of Numbers 6:24-27 (no. 4), and the blessing in Sirach (Apocrypha) 50:22 in the closing chorale.

Etcetera. The author(s) of the texts of the various versions of Cantata 195 are unknown although Picander is a possibility, given his mid-1725 initial connection to members of the Saxon Court, which earned him an appointment as Leipzig postmaster. The use of horns in the closing chorale of Cantata 196, given the use of trumpets in the two choruses, seems an anomaly but horns with their spiritual connotations are Bach’s favored brass instrument in wedding chorale settings, BWV 250-253, composed about 1730 for half-bridal Masses: BWV 250, “Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan”; BWV 251, “Sei Lob und Ehr' dem höchsten Gut”; and BWV 252, Nun danket alle Gott (, Adaptations as well as musical details of W. Gillies Whittaker are found in Frances Browne’s Cantata 195 BCML Discussions Part 2 (April 18, 2008, The initial Cantata 195 BCML Discussion includes Aryeh Oron’s Commentary using Alfred Dürr’s research,

Suggested Couple, Further Notes

As to the celebrated couple in the final version of Cantata 195, "One can imagine that this air [no. 4] was sung at the marriage of Elisabeth Juliana Frederica, daughter of Bach, with his pupil Johann Christoph Altnickol, celebrated on 20 January 1749,” says Gilles Cantegral, as cited in Peter Smaill’s Cantata 195 Commentary Introduction.6 “But a propos this wedding mass, celebrated by Christoph Wolle, [Bach's confessor and Archdeacon at the Thomaskirche] Martin Petzoldt comments that it is ‘a question of a half-mass only in this instance, and we know that these were supported with a simple four-voice chorales, without any other figured music.’ The search for the associated happy couple thus continues…."

“For over a century a strict protocol governed the entitlement of various social gradations in Leipzig to the relative degrees of wedding ceremony,” says Smaill (Ibid.). Between 1723 and 1730 there were between 245 and 341 weddings annually, graded into quarter, half, and full bridal masses. Only the last category involved the St Thomas' choir and there were only 31 of these during Bach's tenure at the Thomaskirche, with a similar number at the Nicolaikirche. The surmise must be that, whereas the Cantatas for the liturgical cycle were generally kept for future use, the wedding Cantatas may only be a small surviving sample.”

Cantata 196, “ to the text, there is no mention of Jesus or the wedding at Cana; but in that the work is no different from all the surviving wedding Cantata texts, says Smaill (Ibid.). “All have a distinctly Deist view of marriage. However, in this instance, the triple-time BWV 195/5, whose text focusses on the nature of the Deity, seems to me to be indicating the Holy Trinity in its threefold escalation of parts, quite clear in the musical example set out in Julian Mincham's account [see below, “Wedding Cantatas, Ripieno Writing”]. The triple trumpets, from BWV 172 onwards (as observed by John Eliot Gardiner) are often associated to Trinitarian imagery.”

Cantata 195 Versions, Movements

The three versions of Cantata 195 and details of the movements are discussed in Klaus Hofmann’s 2012 liner notes to the Masaaki Suzuki BIS recording.7 <<“Dem Gerechten muss das Licht immer wieder aufgehen" (Light is sown for the righteous, BWV 195). The original score of this cantata comes from the final years of Bach’s life, and was apparently prepared for a performance in 1748 or 1749. The work was written for a wedding. The text, by an unknown author, takes the listener right into the midst of the wedding ceremony with the words: ‘Des Priesters Hand / wird jetzt den Segen / auf euren Ehestand, / auf eure Scheitel legen’ (‘The priest’s hand / Will now place the blessing / For your marriage / Upon your heads’).

We do not know at whose wedding the cantata was performed. The unusually lavish scoring, however, suggests that the couple was prominent and wealthy. The large orchestra of trumpets and timpani, flutes, oboes, strings and continuo is combined with four vocal soloists and a four-part ripieno choir that reinforces the soloists in tutti passages. The cantata itself has a long and somewhat obscure history. A manuscript from the period 1747–48 shows that in an earlier version of the work, from around 1742, there was a second part comprising four movements in place of the final chorale. Only the first and fifth movements of the cantata recorded here come from this version, however, and it would seem that these had also been part of another wedding cantata, with the same name, from roughly 1727–32, of which only the cover page has survived.

The large-scale opening chorus with two fugues, on verses 11–12 of Psalm 97, allows us to state with some certainty that the cantata’s history began even earlier. The first part of the movement seems to be a parody: the fugue theme on the words ‘Dem Gerechten muss das Licht immer wieder aufgehen’ (‘Light is sown for the righteous’) declaims the text in an unusually clumsy manner, and the mighty choral interjections on the words ‘dem Gerechten’ (and their instrumental counterparts from the orchestra) bring one aspect of the text’s message all too much to the fore. Might these originally have been shouts of ‘Vivat’ in a work paying tribute to someone? Bach seems not to have been disturbed by such traces of the work’s pre-history, and in fact they do not disrupt the stirring, festive character of this splendid wedding music.

The bass aria (third movement) is surprisingly modern in style with its [Lombard] syncopations and its rhythmic and melodic finesse – by means of which Bach was following the Italianate style of the operas by the Dresden Hofkapellmeister Johann Adolf Hasse (1699–1783). The following soprano recitative with its woodwind accompaniment (in which the two flutes, in constant imitation, depict the ‘Liebesband’ [‘bond of love’]) is a particularly effective showpiece. With its especially lively choral writing and with horns instead of trumpets, the final chorale (intended for performance after the wedding) may well have originated in a different context. The text by Paul Gerhardt (1607–76) concludes Bach’s cantata with an incitement to give praise and thanks.>>
© Klaus Hofmann 2012

Wedding Cantatas, Ripieno Writing

Cantata 195 in its sacred setting is a contrast to secular wedding Cantatas BWV 202 and 210, and has many admirable features, as shown in Julian Mincham’s Commentary (, with some editing. <<Yet again a work with a history that is complex and incomplete, and the two main reasons for this should be familiar. The first is Bach’s practice of reusing his cantatas and producing several versions, in this case at least three (Dürr p 755) tailored specifically for later events. The second is the incomplete transmission of the scores. The version of this work performed today is of particular interest since it is thought to have been compiled some time in the last 3-4 of Bach’s life. It follows the movement pattern — Chorus–recit (bass)–aria (bass)–recit (sop)–chorus–chorale — with the bulk of the cantata performed before the wedding ceremony, and the chorale succeeding it.

Following the thread of the textual themes of the wedding cantatas, it will be seen that C 202 was based principally around the renewal of the seasons and the emergence of the happy spring season, whilst C 210 makes a number of allusions to the art of music and the important role of the worthy patron. C 195 has many more religious references centred principally on praise for, and goodness of, the Almighty and, putting aside the specific allusions to marriage, it would seem to have more in common with the religious cantatas. It is also the only one of these three cantatas to include a chorale. Might the bridegroom have been a Pastor? Or an ostentatiously religious individual? Dürr (p 756) suggests a lawyer but the evidence is slight. We will revisit this subject in the following chapter where C 197 also has a manifestly religious theme and includes not one, but two chorales.

Another fact uniting Cs 195 and 197 and separating them from Cs 202 and 210 is their use of commanding choruses. This certainly implies a union of people of wealth, status and resource; perhaps the suggestion of a lawyer has been too lightly dismissed! Furthermore, the choruses are scored for particularly large ceremonial orchestras of the sort usually reserved for the cantatas for the Easter and Christmas festivals or those paying homage to individuals of high status. These are full-blooded celebratory compositions, not chamber works.

Chorus. The opening chorus of C 195 is scored for a trio of trumpets with drums, a pair each of flutes and oboes, strings and continuo. A casual glance at the score would seem to indicate that Bach also demanded a second chorus but this is misleading. Bach almost never used such resources, quite possibly because of the limitations of expense in employing additional singers. In the religious cantatas there are only three examples of his expanding the four-part choir [….] It is known that Bach often employed two ‘ranks’ of singers in the cantatas, the concertante group who sang continuously and the ripieno which joined in at certain times to expand the sound. Usually they would have sung from the same parts, thus reducing the onerous requirement for additional copying but here, for some reason, their parts appear to have been copied separately. Close examination shows that the second choir has only the briefest moments of independence (see for example the soprano lines in bar 34); for the most part it supports the first choir in tutti sections and for marked effect. The fact that the lines were copied separately could indicate: a) that a much larger choir than usual was available for a particular performance or b) that the doubling requirements were complex and best served by the provision of independent parts. It could also be that it served a pedagogical purpose, demonstrating clearly to students the contrasting but complementary roles of the two sets of voices: Bach, the ever active teacher/composer.

The text is a direct biblical quotation in two sections — Light is ever present for the righteous and joy for devout hearts—-and—-rejoice in the Lord righteous people, remember and praise His Holiness. The division of text so as to make, firstly, a general statement which is then applied directly to the members of the wedding party, clearly dictates the bipartite structure of the chorus. The lyricist also applies same principle in later movements.

It would be difficult to find a greater contrast in movements united in function than those which exist between the opening chorus of C 195 and the gentle wafting of strings in the first aria of C 202; or, indeed, the recitative heralding C 210. Presumably there are a number of contributing factors, the first of which is the text which here proudly and boldly extols the Lord’s holiness (although it may be noted that there are many examples in the religious cantatas where Bach conveys this quite effectively with lessened forces). The second must surely have been the wealth of Bach’s patrons, willing and able to provide the expense for large numbers of professional musicians. The third, already alluded to above, relates to the high status and importance of the couple whose union is celebrated. [….]

Both the recitatives have particular points of interest and serve to remind us that even late in his career Bach avoided repeating himself, continuing to experiment with new and different forms of expression. The first is secco but the continuo makes a powerful contribution in the form of a solo cello, emitting streams of triplets.

The bass recitative and aria (unusually, there is only the one aria in this cantata) are placed so that the former flows directly into the latter. Furthermore, they follow the lead of the chorus in that the first parts of each text have universal connotations and the latter lines focus more upon the blessed couple and their union. The text of the recitative revolves around the numbers of people joining the ranks of the devout and sharing the divine Light. In this case, they are destined to enjoy wealth and prosperity too, although the linking of faith and fortune is not always to be assumed, at least not in several of the religious cantatas! Nevertheless, it must have been comforting and, indeed, politic that the happy couple be assured that they may enjoy both the benefits of redemptive faith and worldly comforts! [….]

Bass aria. [….] Two features of the opening ritornello theme are worthy of attention. The first is the opening five-bar phrase which has the effect of temporarily elongating the musical thinking. The second is the inverted rhythm of the ‘scotch snap’ or ‘Lombard rhythm’, first heard in bar 2 but making its presence felt throughout the upper melodic lines. This rhythm was seldom used by Bach and has connotations of the later galante style. John Butt notes in his excellent booklet on the Mass in B minor that Bach adapted the instrumental parts of the Domine Deus from the Bm Mass to include it, presumably to appear more fashionable (p 10). This is, indeed, another indication that C 195 is a later work. The snap suggests a folk song or dance and has the effect of enervating the music and adding a sense of carefree jauntiness to its character. In fact, the listener could be forgiven for thinking that the opening ritornello theme was more akin to the style of J. C. rather than J. S. Bach. The use of minor keys in the middle section (from bar 59) conveys a more personal feeling and the long and complex melismas on Freude—-joy—-need no elucidation. This is a restrained but effective song of praise to God, combined with a celebration of the nuptials. The tiny coda added to the final ritornello statement is a further indication of Bach’s advanced structural thinking.

Soprano recitative. The second and final recitative is for soprano and continuo with a pair each of oboes and flutes, all with independent parts. It is a musical portrayal of the central part of the marriage ceremony when the vows having been exchanged, the priest blesses the union as the hand of God ties the bonds of love, thus completing the process. The oboes sustain the harmonies and mark the cadences in an act of well-rooted certainty and commitment of faith. The flutes embellish the central act with a series of scalic passages, beginning separately but always coming together in a symbolic act of the ritual ceremony. The soundscape is like no other in Bach, a perfect union of earthly commitment and Divine benefice. The rising scale passages pre-empt those with which the second, and final, chorus begins.

Chorus. It is unusual for Bach to include two massive choruses in a wedding cantata, another indication of the importance of the event. The second one is more traditional in structure, a frequently used combination of ritornello and da capo form. Here the ripieno choir is still required, indeed it would surely have been a waste of resources not to have included it in both of the ch. But now its interventions are more obvious and less complex than in the first movement, so simple indications of solo and tutti suffice on the one copied part for each voice. The text again falls into two parts, the first a call to come together in order to praise the God of limitless mightiness. This lies at the heart of the setting of the outer sections, dominated by the imitated rising scales heard from the first bar (and latterly in all parts). [….]

Chorale. The closing chorale is a simple offering of thanks and praise from mortal souls to the One Whom the angel choir extols in heaven. Its main interest lies in the added instruments. The flute and one horn double the chorale melody (in the case of the former, an octave higher), timpani accentuate the few tonic/dominant notes to which they are tuned and the second horn is given an independent part. This would seem to indicate that the movement survives from an earlier version of the cantata in which horns replaced the trumpets. It calls to mind the closing movement of C 1 (vol 2, chapter 41) in which the first horn also doubled the chorale and the second had its own melody. But that was a much more flamboyant gesture; here the second instrument is modest and draws little attention to itself.

Close analysis of these cantatas reveals much of the people and events which impinged upon Bach’s life when he produced commissions of this kind. They are miniature windows through which we may glimpse certain aspects of the culture of German eighteenth century lifestyles.>>

Manuscripts, Three Versions

Recent research of Peter Wollny, as described in Alfred Dürr’s cantata study,8 has revealed a complex history of the three versions and possibly four performances of Cantata 195. The first version (now lost) is documented solely through the surviving wrapper of the original performing parts,9 dated to 1727-32. Comments: I. earliest version (1727-1732); parts: (SATB lost), Trumpet I, Trumpet II, Trumpet III, Timpani, Flauto I, Flauto II, Oboe I, Oboe II, Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Basso continuo; 1727-31; “Comment: Text and music of this version are lost but may be reconstructed on the basis of the later versions. The cover of the original parts belongs to this version.”

The presumed 1736 version, performed in Ohrdruf by Bach’s nephews Johann Christoph as cantor, and Johann Bernard as organist, that “included movements from Bach’s cantatas BWV 195 and 34a; probably not performed under Bach’s direction,” says Robin A. Leaver.10 It has eight movements in two-parts, with different text incipits from the final version for the following movments: no. 2 bass recitative, “Des höchsten unerforsches Führen”; no. 3 alto aria, “Habe deine Lust am Herzen”; no. 4 tenor recitative, “So trett nun, vebundne Zwei, zusammen”; no. 6, aria, “O heilige Stätte”; no. 7, recitative, “”Wohlan, Es sei dies ausgesprochne Wort”; and no. 8, “Gesegnet Paar! Dein Heerscher zeigt sich.” The music of all the movements except nos. 1 and 5 is lost. “2nd version (c.1742), parts SATB in Ripieno; Comment: This 2nd version of the cantata is preserved incompletely; scribes: Sebastian Bach, Noah, Georg Heinrich Noah (1716–1762) = Main Copyist I.” About 1742 for a Leipzig wedding, Bach revived the work in its six-movement setting, with the addition of SATB parts in ripieno.11

The final version in the late 1740s is a saga unto itself. “Bach undertook a radical revision,” says Dürr Ibid.: 755). Movements nos. 2-4 were replaced and the recitatives (nos. 2 and 4) were newly composed and the Lombard-rhythm aria (no. 3) “was parodied elsewhere, perhaps from BWV Anh. I 13, no 3 of 1738” ( Bach planned to adopt a similar procedure for again added movements 6-8 in part 2, according to a handwritten note with new texts by son Johan Christoph Friedrich, the “Buckeburg Bach,” in the newly composed score ( Part 2: 6a. Aria free da-capo, [alto, flute, strings, Bc]: “Auf und rühmt des Höchsten Güte” (BWV 30a/5 parody, “Was die Seelen kann ergötzen). 7. Recitative (new) “Hochedles Paar, du bist nunmehr verbunden.” 8. Chorus, da capo (ABABA), chordal or light polyphony [tutti as 1 and 5] “Höchster, schenke diesem Paar” (BWV 30a/1 parody, “Angenehmes Wiederau”). However, in the score and new parts set13 c.1748-49, these three movements are replaced with the plain chorale setting (no. 6).14

Friedrich, the “Bukeburg Bach,” was quite active in 1748-49 and “worked — sometimes largely independently — on completing and/or revising the performance materials” for Cantata 195, says Wollny,15 as well as the Mass in A Major, BWV 234, the St. John Passion and the autograph of the B-Minor Mass.

Significance of Bach’s Occasional Works

The significance of Bach's occasional, commissioned works is described in Hofmann's notes (Ibid: 5f). t <<The cantatas on this disc [BWV 195, 192, 157, and 120a] bring us to a subsidiary field in Bach's activities as a composer during his Leipzig years: the broad spectrum of occasional and commissioned works. In Bach's time — far more than today — the special occasions in people's public and private lives were celebrated with specially written poetry and music. Moreover, as all aspects of public and private life had a spiritual as well as a worldly dimension, such highlights were also marked by suitably elaborate church services. The organizer of such events had the task of commissioning the poet, composer and performers. For Bach, such commissions were a welcome supplement to his income as Cantor. In Leipzig, the regular occasions for which such works were required included the annual church service for the council elections; for each of these occasions, the city asked Bach to produce a festive cantata. In addition there were commissions for noble and bourgeois birthdays, marriages, funerals and other events, as well as a few projects for academic ceremonies connected with Leipzig University.

Bach approached such commissions with undiminished artistic care. His occasional pieces are in no way inferior in quality to the sacred music he wrote as part of his `day job'. From time to time, however, he made life easier for himself by reusing music that he had composed earlier, if necessary providing it with a new text and adapting it to its new purpose. His resolve in this respect may have been strengthened by the knowledge that the works in question had been planned for just a single performance — and, as some of the movements were highly effective, Bach may have regretted that they would not be heard again. There was, however, some possibility of reusing material for later events with similar musical demands and expectations.

Bach's sacred occasional pieces are independent works and did not form part of his cantata cycles for the Sundays and feast days of the church year. Probably owing to their associations with specific events, they have been affected more than the works belonging to the cantata years by the loss of original materials after Bach's death. Their special status may also explain why many questions regarding these works remain unanswered — concerning for example their purpose and raison d'être, whether they are parodies, and other contextual issues: the time and place of their composition and thus their position within Bach's life and work. This applies to the four cantatas on this disc as well.>>


1 Cantata BWV 195 (Bach Compendium BC B 14), BCW Details & Discography,;: Earliest version BC B 14a, Leipzig, 1727-1732 (lost, cover only); 2nd version BC B14b, Leipzig, c.1742 (incomplete, SATB parts in ripieno); latest version (BC B14c): Leipzig, 1748-1749 (parts set). Score Vocal & Piano,; Score BGA, References: BGA XIII/1 (wedding cantatas, Wilhelm Rust 1864), NBA KB I/33 (wedding cantatas, Frederick Hudson, 1958, Bach Compendium BC B 14, Zwang K 171. Piano-vocal score, Bernhard Todt (1822-1907), Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, nd (c.1895), out of print.
2 Recording, Helmut Rilling,; BCW Cantata 195 Details,
3 Charles S. Terry, Bach’s Chorals, Part I: 2 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Cantatas and Motetts (London: Cambridge University Press, 2017,
4 Pastor Don Hougard, Benediction Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, WI, USA, "Paul Gerhardt, The Singer of Comfort, Hope, and Peace in Christ: His Life and Summaries of Seventeen of His Hymns,”
5 Melvin Unger, Handbook to Bach’s Sacred Cantatas: An Interlinear Translation with Reference Guide to Biublical Quotations ands Allusions (Lanham Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1996: 684).
6 Peter Smaill, BCML Discussion Part 3 (13 May 2013),; citing Gilles Cantegral, Le Cantate de J.-S. Bach (Fayard 2010: 1279-82).
7 Cantata 195, Klaus Hofmann notes, BCW[BIS-1961-SACD].pdf; BCW Recording details,
8Alfred Dürr, Cantatas of J. S. Bach, English trans. and editing Richard D. P. Jones (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005: 754-56), citing Peter Wollny, “Neue Bach Funde,” Bach Jahrbuch 1997 (7-50), text and work history, and “Bachbemerkung zu ‘Neue Bach Funde’,” Bach Jahrbuch 1998 (167-169), 1736 version (no. 8), chorus “Gesegnet Paar,” related to sacred wedding Cantata BWV 34a/7, closing chorus, “Gib, höchster Gott.”
9 Bach Digital, Bundle 1 (earliest version, only title page on parts wrapper), D B Mus. ms. Bach St 12,
10 Robin A. Leaver, Part VI Chronology, Chapter 20, “Life and Works 1685-1750,” in The Routeledge Research Companion to Johann Sebastian Bach, ed. Robin A. Leaver (London & New York: Routeledge, 2017: 526).
11 Bundle 2, 2nd version, (SATB in Ripieno), D B Mus. ms. Bach St 12,
12 Latest version, autograph score, D B Mus. ms. Bach P 65,; scribes: Sebastian, Johann Christoph Friedrich (1732–1795), Johann Nathanael Bammler (1722–1784) = Main Copyist H (Dürr Chr);
13 Bundle 3 (latest version, new parts set), D B Mus. ms. Bach St 12,; scribes: Sebastian, Bammler, Anna Magdalena (1701–1760), Johann Christian (1735–1782), Carl Friedrich Barth (1734–1813).”
14 Provenance of manuscripts: J. S. Bach - C. P. E. Bach - (G. Poelchau, 1805) - Sing-Akademie zu Berlin (1811?) - BB (now Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz) (1855). Parts Cover: (C. P. E. Bach) “Copulations Cantata / (J. S. Bach:) Dem Gerechten muß das Licht im̅er wieder / aufgehen. / à / 4 Voci / 3 Trombe / Tamburi / 2 Hautbois è / Fiauti. / 2 Violini / Viola / e / Continuo / di / Joh: Seb: Bach”; C. P. E. estate catalogue 1790: score and also parts.
15 Peter Wollny, “Observations on the Autograph of the B-Minor Mass,” trans. James Brokaw, BACH XLVII (2016/2: 38), Berea OH: Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute.


To Come: Wedding/Reformation Cantata BWV 192, “Nun danket alle Gott"


Cantata BWV 195: Dem Gerechten muß das Licht immer wieder aufgehen for Wedding (1727-1731)
Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Discussions: 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, November 20, 2017 19:58