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Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion

Cantata BWV 209
Non sa che sia dolore
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Discussion in the Week of June 22, 2008 (2nd round)

Terejia wrote (June 22, 2008):
BWV 209 - by sheer coincidence it just happened to be on air in Japan!!

What a sheer co-incidence!!! This evening we turned on the radio, as we usually do around 8:00pm Japan time and BWV 209 happened to be just on air!!

Unfortunately, it was nothing really splendid. The soprano singer, whose name I don't remember having appeared in this list, didn't have as good quality as regularly discussed performers on this list. I wish she sang with less effort.

It was my first time listening to this cantata. I have no idea of the score but if my listening were not bad, I suppose it started with E-moll sinfonia (Mvt. 1), and in the latter part, it turned into G-dur. The radio commentater said it is the only Italian text cantata by Bach, as far as the current study could get. I enjoyed the piece very much.

This is NOT a formal introduction at all, just letting you know about sheer coincidence.

Uri Golomb wrote (June 22, 2008):
BWV 209

This is indeed the week for a renewed discussion of Cantata BWV 209, Non sa che sia dolore (list of recordings on http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV209.htm, previous discussions on http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV209-D.htm ).

In several ways, it is an odd cantata. The text is a-typical of Bach's secular cantatas, both in its language (Bach only wrote one other cantata in Italian -- Amore Traditore, BWV 203 -- and doubts have been cast on the authenticity of both) and in its somewhat confusing content. It is also, apparently, quite badly-written (I don't know enough Italian to tell, but all the commentaries I've read are united on this point). It is clearly a farewell song from a departing friend -- indeed, its program is somewhat similar to Bach's youthful Capriccio, BWV 992, written as a farewell to the composer's brother -- but it is not clear who it is, and when the event took place. (Dürr cites two candidate -- Johann Matthias Gesner's departure from Weimar in 1729, and Lorenz Christoph Mizler's departure from Leipzig in 1734 -- but has doubts about both). The original MS is lost, and doubts have indeed been cast about the work's authenticity. Dürr writes that "Due to its more extended and ambitious structure, more substantial grounds for and against Bach's authorship can be adduced [compared to BWV 203], though so far withotu being able to reach a definite conclusion". However, it seems to me that Dürr -- and most other commentators who mention these doubts -- actually has little doubt that the music is indeed by Bach, though they feel obliged to mention the inconclusive nature of the documentary evidence. One commentary I remember reading -- though I can't recall where just now -- suggests that perhaps the work is a pasticcio: that is, that the Sinfonia (Mvt. 1) and two arias were originally written for other works. According to this theory, the music is probably all by Bach, but perhaps another hand is responsible for dragging the movements together into this one work.

If this speculation is true, then we owe much to the anonymous arranger for helping these delightful movements survive in a convincing sequence. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that Bach is responsible for the whole thing, except for the lyrics (how good was Bach's Italian, BTW? Is it possible that he didn't notice the infelicities in the text?). The opening Sinfonia (Mvt. 1) is probably derived from a lost concerto (not necessarily for flute, though the prospect of a complete flute concerto by BAch is certainly tantalising...). Dürr writes that it "shows no direct correspondence with the affect of the cantata" -- presumably meaning that it is too cheerful. I'm not sure I agree. The movement is certainly cheerful, but it is also rather serious (especially in its chromatic moments), and its contrapuntal richness further enhances its serious demeanour. That mixture seems quite appropriate for the occasion -- assuming, that is, that the departure is a bittersweet occasion. This is in fact spelled out later: the opening recitative, and the outer sections of the first aria, mourn the dedicatee's departure, but the aria's middle section foresees a great future for him -- and the music accordingly becomes more cheerful. The final aria -- which "exhibits some decidedly 'moder', Italinate features" (Dürr) focuses on the lighter side, sending the dedicatee off in high spirits. Dürr points out that doubts on the work's authenticity focus primarily on this movement; but he himself does not seem to share these doubts. He calls the work "a mastepriece of its kind"; and Bach was not averse to exploring the galant style on occasion.

In all, as I said, the work's mourning-to-hopeful-farewell trajectory is reminiscent of the Capriccio, though the latter work has a more elaborate and detailed narrative. Also, the mounrning in that work is more intense (or, at least, more heart-on-sleeve) than in the cantata.

Dürr sums up the work as "a cantata which, though perhaps not very profound, is nonetheless exceedingly charming and rich in inspiration". I feel there's very little to add to this; though I would actually say there is more expressive profundity here than in, say, BWV 51 (not to mention the Coffee Cantata (BWV 211) -- and BTW, I love both BWV 51 and the Coffee Cantata). This isn't, of course, the Bach of the Passions; but it's the Bach of the orchestral suites and the more cheerful concerti, and that's definitely more than enough!

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 22, 2008):
BWV 209 - Provenance

Thomas Braatz contributed Provenance page for Cantata BWV 209 discussion.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/BWV209-Ref.htm

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 23, 2008):
Uri Golomb wrote:
< This is indeed the week for a renewed discussion of Cantata BWV 209, Non sa che sia dolore (list of recordings on http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV209.htm, previous discussions on http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV209-D.htm ). In several ways, it is an odd cantata. The text is a-typical of Bach's secular cantatas, both in its language (Bach only wrote one other cantata in Italian -- Amore Traditore, BWV 203 -- and doubts have been cast on the authenticity of both) and in its somewhat confusing content. >
Do we have any evidence about the kind of secular setting which would have welcomed an Italian cantata like this? Assuming that it was performed in Leipzig (purely hypothetical), did a salon like Marianne von Ziegler's feature Italian works? Or should we be looking at noble and princely establishments?

John Pike wrote (June 23, 2008):
Uri Golomb wrote:
"though I would actually say there is more expressive profundity here than in, say, BWV 51 (not to mention the Coffee Cantata -- and BTW, I love both BWV 51 and the Coffee Cantata (BWV 211)). This isn't, of course, the Bach of the Passions; but it's the Bach of the orchestral suites and the more cheerful concerti, and that's definitely more than enough!"
I, too, am a great fan of some of Bach's lighter moments, including these two cantatas, the Peasants' cantata (BWV 212), and several other secular cantatas. Indeed, Bach obviously thought well enough of many of these secular cantatas to recycle them into some of his greatest ma. "The old wig", as JC Bach referred to his father, certainly knew how to let his wig down.

On an unrelated matter, I was fortunate enough to hear a performance of the B minor mass (BWV 232) on Saturday night in Bristol Cathedral. Definitely not HIP, with 200 choristers, but they made a splendid sound, and rose to the occasion of having Mark Padmore as tenor soloist (perfection itself), several other very good soloists, an excellent conductor and a very good period instrument orchestra, led by the aptly-named Margaret Faultless.

Julian Mincham wrote (June 23, 2008):
John Pike wrote:
< I, too, am a great fan of some of Bach's lighter moments, including these two cantatas, the Peasants' cantata (BWV 212), and several other secular cantatas. Indeed, Bach obviously thought well enough of many of these secular cantatas to recycle them into some of his greatest masterpieces. "The old wig", as JC Bach referred to his father, certainly knew how to let his wig down. >
But I wouldn't say that he is letting his wig down in the sinfonia (Mvt. 1) which seems to me to be a relatively serious piece and, as pointed out by Dürr, having little in common with the remainder of the work.. Dürr also points out the similarities (key, instrumentation and style) between this and the Bm orchestral suite BWV 1067.

He does not mention though the opening motive, the first six notes of which are identical to that which opens the double violin concerto, there in Dm. As in that work, this figure is detached to become an accompanying idea for the solo instrument(s) and here it becomes an eight note figure identical to that used throughout the violin concerto---see, for example bars 40-43 and later.

Whether intentional or an accidental misquoting one cannot know of course although stylistically it does seem allied to the period of the other pre Leipzig concerti.

John Pike wrote (June 23, 2008):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< But I wouldn't say that he is letting his wig down in the sinfonia (Mvt. 1) which seems to me to be a relatively serious piece and, as pointed out by Dürr, having little in common with the remainder of the work.. >
The 2 cantatas I was referring to are BWV 51 and the coffee cantata (BWV 211), the 2 mentioned by Uri. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I haven't had a chance to listen to BWV 209 for some years.

Julian Mincham wrote (June 23, 2008):
[To John Pike] Hi John point taken.

See what you think about this musical coincidence when you get a chance to listen to BWV 209.

What I find quite amazing in Bach, and more than most composers is his ability to make further use of a figure that he seems to have stretched to the limit in one movement, and squeeze yet more from it in another. His use of repeated note figures in the cantatas (often associated with walking or treading images) bears testimony to this.

Leonardo Peña Vera wrote (June 24, 2008):
[To Terejia] This cantata "non sa che sia dolore", is divided in five movements: sinfonia (Mvt. 1), recitativo acompagnato (Mvt. 2), aria (Mvt. 3), recitativo secco (Mvt. 4) and aria (Mvt. 5). it is composed in b minor key (h-moll), the favourite key used by Bach for the flute, so the last movement was write in G major key. The text is a singular germanized- italian form, and some people think that the Kantor of Leipzig don“t spoke italian.

This cantata is so beautiful, and makes an amazing balance with the flute and soprano.

I just heard two versions: Elly Ameling, with the Collegium Aureum, and Hans-Martin Linde playing the flute [6], and ensamble Sonnerie, conducted by Monica Huggett; and singed by Nancy Argenta [22]; other version but only the sinfonia (Mvt. 1), played by Jean Pierre Rampal with Ars Rediviva orchestra, conducted by Milan Munclinger. Some time ago, I play the flute in this cantata with the baroque ensamble VITA NUOVA, here, in Bogotá, Colombia, and we had many concerts playing it.

Maybe in a future, this cantata will be played with some continuity, and we will enjoy more versions. I know what some orchestras an baroque ensembles was record it already, and I“ll like meet other versions, “cause it is a really beautiful and strange work of Bach.

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 24, 2008):
Julian Mincham wrote:
"He does not mention though the opening motive, the first six notes of which are identical to that which opens the double violin concerto, there in Dm. As in that work, this figure is detached to become an accompanying idea for the solo instrument(s) and here it becomes an eight note figure identical to that used throughout the violin concerto---see, for example bars 40-43 and later."
To illustrate the discussion, Thomas Braatz contributed score sample:
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/BWV209-Sco.htm

Ed Myskowski wrote (June 24, 2008):
Aryeh Oron wrote
>To illustrate the discussion, Thomas Braatz contributed score sample:
See:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/BWV209-Sco.htm<
I have been looking for an opportunity to insert a special thank you to Aryeh and Thomas for continuing contributions based on the NBA, and other scholarly publications, not easy of access to most of us. I write (because I can, at the moment!) without first opening the immediate sample at hand.

No agreement with content implied, simply thanks for the effort, to all concerned.

Leonardo Peña Vera wrote (June 24, 2008):
[To Aryeh Oron] Our friend of the icking music archive, was post a version of this cantata, is complete, including instrument parts. just search on the page www.icking-music-archive.org , link "by composers", link J.S.Bach.just if you want to get the complete score.

William Hoffman wrote (June 24, 2008):
BWV 209 -- Fugitive Notes

Forkel Connection. Forkel, who owned the apparent first surviving copy of Cantata BWV 209, makes a specific reference under the subheading Vocal Compositions in his Bach Biography (1802), "also a few Italian [Secular] Cantatas" (NBR 472). Since his basic source is C.P.E Bach's Obituary listing of Bach's unpublished works (1750/54, in NBR 304), Forkel's listing is actually a replacement for the C.P.E. entry involving "also several comic vocal pieces" (NBR 304).

Forkel's own detailed knowledge of Bach's vocal works is based on two sources. One is his Biography listing of 10 categories of vocal works found in the Library of the Prussian Princess Anna Amalia (NBR 473), the last listing (10) being "a peasant cantata," BWV 212, the only mention of a profane, worldly, secular work, either a copy made by Penzel in 1754 or from the hand of C.P.E. Bach's Hamburg main copyist H. Michel. The other source involves the few manuscripts which Forkel possessed. In addition to "Non sa che sia dolore," he also had copies of two cantatas from the chorale cycle which W.F. allowed him to copy, for a price, in the 1770s: Cantatas BWV 9 and BWV 178 (BD III, No. 831). That Forkel in 1802 had possessed a copy of the lost First Köthen Funeral Cantata, BC B-21 (BWV deest) is discussed at length in Smend's Bach in Köthen, Footnote 91 (ed. & rev. 1985). Unfortunately, Forkel's primary minterest in Bach focused on the keyboard works, which he unsuccessfully attempted to collect and publish.

So how did Forkel come to possess the copy of Cantata BWV 209? The most likely sources could be W.F. or publisher Bretikopf in Leipzig. Friedemann actually performed Secular Cantata BWV 205a, in Halle on Nov. 21, 1756, and Dec. 18, 1757, as well as the two Chorale Cantatas, BWV 9 and BWV 178, in September 1759 (Peter Wollny, Bach Studies 2; 209, 212). In addition to offering for sale copies of W.F.'s inherited cantata manuscripts, Breitfkopf collected and advertised copies of Cantata BWV 203 as well as motets and apocryphal Bach worldly Cantatas BWV 217, BWV 218, and BWV 220.

The Italian Connection. Bach's only other surviving Secular Cantata, BWV 203, "Amore traditore," will be discussed the week of December 28. It has no firm date of first performance and concludes this year's chronological discussion. Besides Cantata BWV 209, there are two other Italian cantatas, both also for soprano solo, which Bach also performed and are cited in Wolff's JSB:TLM: Handel's "Armida Abbandonata," for soprano and strings, HWV 105 (p.355) , and Francesco Bartolomeo Conti's "Languet anima mea," for soprano, 2 oboes and strings (p.168).

The Handel early Italian work is a mythical, Arcadian tragedie lyrique, popular with collegia musica. The copy probably dates from the 1730s, in the hand of J.S. and C.P.E. Breitkopf in 1761 acquired the work as part of the library of the deceased Carl Gotthelf Gerlach, Bach's successor at the Leipzig Collegium Musicum.

The Conti work has a different origin and purpose but similar provenance. Bach produced the score and parts, without oboes, in 1716 in Weimar, possibly from the court capelle library. He added the oboe parts and performed it in Koethen. Bach copied the work again in the summer of 1724 and it seems to have been performed more than once at Leipzig church services. This version has an organ continuo part from Bach's Leipzig copyist Christian Gottlob Meißner. It is a general liturgical motet-style work with no biblical reference (except a rousing, closing Alleluja), according to Ulrich Leisinger's notes for the recording of both works, Thomas Hengelbrock's "From the Music Library of JSB" (Hänssler). The music is found in the Breitkopf 1761 catalog.

So, what singers might have performed these two cantatas? Wolff infers that the Dresden diva Faustina Bordoni could have performed the Handel with the Collegium Musicum at Zimmerman's in the 1730s when she and husband J.A. Hasse visited Bach often. As for the Conti, the soloist could have been Bach's wife, Anna Magdalena, in Köthen but not in a Leipzig church.

Re. Douglas Cowling's recent question about where these Italian works could have been performed, Zimmerman's is the obvious choice. However, it could have depended upon who commissioned or underwrote the particular piece, for example, Cantata BWV 209, farewell music for a scholar. That person is assumed to be the Thomas School director, Johann Mathias Gesner, who in four years (1730-34) completely reformed the curriculum, remodeled and expanded the facilities, and modernized the operation. In this case, the choice could have been Zimmerman's, with its fine orchestra. Bach also presented a secular cantata at the school on Aug. 4, 1734, for Gesner's departure, BC G49, Wo sind meine Wunderwerke? The music is lost and the librettist is unknown. Probably a parodied work, the text shows four alternating recitatives and arias, concluding with a chorus.

Leipzig profane venues. The best accessible insight is George B. Stauffer's chapter, "Leipzig: a Cosmopolitan Trade Centre," in Music and Society: The Late Baroque Era From 1680s to 1740 (1993). Civic celebrations, done outdoors, included the installation of the Town Council at the Town Hall, and the visits from the Royal House of Saxony in front of merchant Apel's mansion or other noted domiciles, and parks during the spring and fall Easter and St. Michael's fairs. The public opera house was built in 1693 and financed after the Hamburg model with fragile financial support, offering mixed musical styles and texts. In Leipzig, the singers were local talent, usually academics and their wives and daughters. Built to draw fairgoers, the German language prevailed where Italian-texted arias flourished at opera houses throughout the rest of Germany. Decline began in 1715 with the death of its leader, Melchior Hoffmann, operations ceased in 1720, and the house was torn down in1727. Subsequently, opera was provided irregularly during the fairs by visiting Italian troupes with temporary stages outdoors or at the Riding House. The ensembles sometimes included castrati. A permanent opera company was restored in 1766 with the construction of the Schauspielhaus.

Remember: whomever pays the stadtpfeifer calls the tune!

Ed Myskowski wrote (June 24, 2008):
William Hoffman writes:
>Remember: whomever pays the stadtpfeifer calls the tune!<
Ed Myskowski replies:
I know this adage in an alternate (inverted?) form, <If you want to dance, you have to pay the fiddler.>

Could there be some deep humor lurking in <stadtpfeifer>? Not much at risk here on BCML, so I will write first, research after.

Jane Newble wrote (June 24, 2008):
[To Leonardo Peña] So far I have got stuck in the sinfonia (Mvt. 1).

I have been trying to work out where else the repeated accented motif of the flute occurs. There is a resemblance in the Orchestral Suite in B minor (Badinerie), and in the already mentioned violin concerto in Dm, but I am thinking of another occurrence, perhaps cantatas or CO?

Looking at the score for flute in the www.icking-music-archive.org, it looks as if it starts in bar 33.

Short of listening to all Bach's works again, I am wondering if anyone else knows. It is very clear and vey striking in "the other place", but where...oh where...?

Neil Halliday wrote (June 24, 2008):
Jane Newble wrote:
>it starts in bar 33.<
The solo violin figure near the start of the A minor violin concerto (bars 4-6) popped into my head, but this turns out to be an inverted form of the figure starting in bar 33 of 209/1. I suspect it's a widespread figure.

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 24, 2008):
William Hoffman wrote:
< The Conti work has a different origin and purpose but similar provenance. Bach produced the score and parts, without oboes, in 1716 in Weimar, possibly from the court capelle library. He added the oboe parts and performed it in Koethen. Bach copied the work again in the summer of 1724 and it seems to have been performed more than once at Leipzig church services. >
We focus so closely on Bach's own works and treat them as a closed universe that we often neglect to recall that he had wide-ranging musical tastes and regulperformed other composers' works. Has anyone compiled a list of works from the 16th-18th centuries which we know that he performed?

Ed Myskowski wrote (June 25, 2008):
William Hoffman wrote:
>Besides Cantata BWV 209, there are two other Italian cantatas, both also for soprano solo, which Bach also performed and are cited in Wolff's JSB:TLM<
Ed Myskowski replies:
If you want a job done properly, ask a graduate student, I like to say. Resident professors may take issue (or perhaps not?)

Thanks to Will for the meticulous references, the odd bits of humor, and a suggestion for the accurate short form for Wolff's essential work. I will adopt it, for future reference.

William Hoffman wrote (June 25, 2008):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Has anyone compiled a list of works from the 16th-18th centuries which we know that he performed? >
William Hoffman responds: I can find no such list. CPE Bach in his Obituary and letter to Forkel and Forkel himself speak little about this except for a few passing references. The first authority to mention the range of Bach's interest was Spitta, yet he mostly wrote anecdotally. Christoph Wolff first substantiated Bach's interests in his 1960s doctoral dissertation about Stile Antico, primarily Italian music, found in his Essay book, Chapter 8, "Bach and the tradition of the Palestrina style." Much was found in source books in Bach's Library. Around the same time I believe it was Karl Geiringer in JSB: Culmination of an Era (1966) who revealed the Old Bach Family Archives (music first published in 1935). Since then, we have had a flood of recordings of mostly vocal music, some insrumental and organ. When and where its was performed, beyond Bach Family reunions, is difficult to find. More recently two Bach scholars have examined Bach's performances of works of his contemporaries: Andreas Gloeckner, Bach Jahrbuch 1981, New Findings (Neuekenntnisse) of Bach's Performinng Schedule, 1729-36 (based on manuscripts from CPE Bach and J.L. Dietel), and Kirsten Beisswenger, Bach Jahrbuch, 1991, Bach's Involvement (Eingriffe) in Extraneous Work-Compositions" from manuscripts in his library (especially BJ 129). Of course there are the recent BWV additions and Baenreiter publications of Bach arrangements like the Pergolesi. Mention should also be made of the apocryphal BWV cantatas and motets, some of which may have been performed by Bach or his students, family or friends.

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 25, 2008):
BWV 209 -- Italian connections

[To William Hoffman] Thanks for the bibliography. The Gloeckner article looks like it's worth a trip to the library.

It's interesting that in our discussions of a cantata we look for echoes and correspondences in other works by Bach but rarely think to mention other composers who very well may have provided the musical reference.

I racked (or is it wracked?) my brains over our mystery sinfonia theme in Cantata BWV 209, but all I could think of was the Aria and Chorus, "Almighty Ruler of the Skies" from Handel's oratorio, Joshua, which is also in B minor. Handel has a dacytlic version of the opening scale but the effect is very similar.

'Joshua' is an encyclopedia of recycled movements many of which were written during Handel's youtfhul stay in Italy. There's no particular source for this aria but both Bach and Handel's theme have an Italian sound: viz. The first solo section of Vivaldo's Concerto in C Major for two trumpets.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (June 25, 2008):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< We focus so closely on Bach's own works and treat them as a closed universe that we often neglect to recall that he had wide-ranging musical tastes and regularly performed other composers' works. >
I can't thank you enough for making this point! This is some we should keep in mind as well during the classical period-- Mozart was very complimentary of some of his peers, yet those composers hardly get any performances in concerts today (personally I think J.C. Bach, Wanhal and Ordonez are the worst victims of this being ignored). Thankfully there are a few recordings of Ordonez, and more of Wanhal, and CPO's J. Christian Bach series is fantastic!) We should pay closer attention to those composers that warranted so much attention from
those we idolize.

But back to Bach: apparently, Telemann and Stölzel were favorites of Bach when he wasn't performing his own cantatas, and he used music of some from family as well.

Thanks again!

Terejia wrote (June 27, 2008):
Leonardo Pena wrote:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/28468

Greeting Leonardo,

Thank you for your gracious reply and beautiful commentar. Yes, I think this cantata is beautiful. The two versions you gave as examples seem to be well worth listening to. I suppose those versions you gave are non-HIP? I find it is SOMETIMES(not always) paradoxical that non-HIP old time recording with modern instruments has some more flavour of historical solemnity and HIP sounds more like modern music, SOMETIMES and to my non-trained years, which is of course subject to change as I learn more.

Ed Myskowski wrote (June 29, 2008):
That (BWV 209) is not a typo, I would like to post a brief comment re last weeks cantata, as well as a personal thank you to Uri for his introductions, and ongoing contributions to BCML scholarly commentary.

I am especially enchanted by the recording by Maria Zadori (sop) and Pal Nemeth (baroque flute/dir.), Capella Savaria [19], for a number of reasons, in no particular order.

(1) The jacket photos are subtle and informative. Maria Zadori [19] reminds me of many cousins on the Polish side. From her smile she could be a descendant of the <mysz>. Her voice is radiant. Pal Nemeth is holding a wooden traverso, hence my confident identification of baroque flute. The notes state, for Capella Savaria: <original in the case of stringed instruments, and copies of period instruments for the wind section.> See previous post <New book (1)>, The End of Early Music, for recent glossary, including HIP, which this seventeen year old recording clearly is, or was.

(2) BWV 209 is a bonus, I bought this recording after I wrote the introduction to BWV 202 in early 2007, for future reference, and becasue it was inexpensive on the local second hand market. Which is to say, I bought it on a whim. I do not recall listening to it at the time. I scanned the BCW archives, and I do not see that I posted a comment. I did encounter lots of other nostalgia, including Tom Braatz and I having a friendly exchange and speculation as to whether BWV 202 could have been Bach writing his own wedding cantata, to be sung by Anna Magdalena. Sometimes, living in the present, it is difficult to remember that these (right now) are the good old days. I first heard that from Joni Mitchell (or cohort), back in the days of the other war and oil crisis (!(&#) I meant to say 1973, forgot to release the caps key.

(3) I like the sound of the recording. I believe if I went back for comparisons on BWV 202, I would have other preferences (see earlier reviews of Ricercare). For that matter, if I took the trouble to make a movement by movement comparison, I might have different choices in details for BWV 209. But here on a Sunday evening (a day late), listening and comparing an overall performance, from memory to the others, mostly the complete sets, I do not recall one that I preferred. A roundabout way of saying I am listening to Maria Zadori now, and I like best, no complaints.

Full disclosure: I was reading (]>:) while listening to the others, earlier in the week. I looked over the above paragraphs and realized I rambled. A momentary indulgence.

 

Continue on Part 3

Cantata BWV 209: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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