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Cantata BWV 22
Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe
Discussions - Part 3

Continue from Part 2

Discussions in the Week of April 18, 2010

David Jones wrote (April 19, 2010):
Cantata BWV 22 Intro [PLEASE REVIEW AND POST]

First, I'd like to apologize to the group for the lateness of this cantata review. The time got away from me, even though our moderator gave me plenty of advance warning.

This sunday's cantata is BWV 22 or Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe, Jesus took unto him the twelve. The theme of this cantata is Jesus's warning to his disciples of his impending crucifixion.

Cantata Quinquagesima Sunday [Test piece for the position of Cantor at St Thomas’s, Leipzig]
Readings: Epistle: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13; Gospel: Luke 18: 31-43

Composed:

Köthen/Leipzig, 1723
1st performance: February 7, 1723 - Leipzig (Evidence points to the fact that, on this particular Sunday, BWV 22 was performed before and BWV 23 after the sermon as Bach’s audition for the vacant position in Leipzig)
2nd performance: February 20, 1724 - Leipzig.

Bach sets the opening words in solemn, melodiously foreboding arioso. The bass, as Vox Christi, utters the words of Scripture with a stern authority. Bach's decision to set the words "they understood none of these things and did not know know what was spoken" to a skittish, masterly fugue is a stroke of genius. The words could have been just as easily ascribed to the Leipzig congregation towards Bach's music or our efforts to recreate the Baroque sound world of Bach in the field of HIP or even, to the depth and power of these devotional works in a thoroughly secular world.

Julian Mincham wrote (April 19, 2010):
David Jones wrote:
< This sunday's cantata is BWV 22 or Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe, Jesus took unto him the twelve. The theme of this cantata is Jesus's warning to his disciples of his impending crucifixion. >
This cantata has got some splendid moments, although it does seem a little 'downbeat' for an audition piece for such a prestigious appointment. However, after one of Bach's intense G minor opening chorus we find one of those highly expressive arias for alto and solo (Ed!) which Bach was want to compose, particularly in the earlier years. And the chorale arrangement which concludes is must be one of the most energetic that he composed.

Personally I feel that the second work for this service (BWV 23, coming up on list) is a better work, especially the opening duet. It is worth noticing that Bach went out of his way to 'doll up' the chorales at the end of both cantatas, and by very different means.

I have often wondered whether he was tipped off that original presentations of the chorales would go down well at Leipzig. Dürr says that the chorale for BWV 23 was actually composed after Bach turned up for the audition, something I have always been a bit sceptical about since it appears on oboes and strings in the recitative. I think it unlikely that he would have used it there if he hadn't been planning to end the work with it.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 19, 2010):
Baroque Surveillance

Julian Mincham wrote:
< I have often wondered whether he was tipped off that original presentations of the chorales would go down well at Leipzig. >
Was the Bach Family Mafia running intell operations in Leipzig for him?

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 19, 2010):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Was the Bach Family Mafia running intell operations in Leipzig for him? >
Perhaps front-running the marketing effort, as well?

William Hoffman wrote (April 19, 2010):
I believe Bach had plenty of intelligence on the Leipzig situation, including the Kapellmeister and Cantor factions, described in great detail in "Bach's Situation in the Cultural Politics of Contemporary Leipzig" by Ulrich Siegele, in <Bach's Changing World: Voices in the Community>, ed. Carol K. Barron (University of Rochester Press, 2006). As I recall, Telemann had an intense visit and protracted discussions re. his composing operas and not having to teach Latin, which the Town Council accepted. Bach probably also had much information, first- and second-hand through Telemann, Fasch and Graupner, as well as extensive knowledge of his Leipzig predecessors and access to personal contacts he had "on the ground." Bach obviously knew that the position was perfect for him since he could pursue fully his calling for a well-regulated church music to the glory of god, as well as superior musicians than Hamburg (one of Telemann's perpetual complaints). At the "end of the day," both factions de-facto accepted Bach because he was the best still available, but because he did not have a university degree, Bach did not have the luxuries of a Kapellmeister to compose operas and be exempt from Latin. This is my perspective.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 19, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< At the "end of the day," both factions de-facto accepted Bach because he was the best still available, but because he did not have a university degree, Bach did not have the luxuries of a Kapellmeister to compose operas and be exempt from Latin. This is my perspective. >
An interesting thought, which provides a neat explanation for the constraint on Bach to not present operatic music, despite the fact that there is nothing specifically operatic in his prior work. My impression (perhaps needing refinement) was that Bach was required to demonstrate his proficiency to teach Latin, but was then immediately granted the option to sub-contract it to someone else, which he did. Sounds like the traditional question of who pays.

The original thought, that BWV 22 was specifically designed to please the Leipzig authorities, seems to be supported. The additional fact that there were two factions to be pleased, and the possibility that Bach recognized this in advance, adds to the enjoyment of his skills, for me.

On a related topic, Bachs specific emphasis on chorales for his Leipzig presentation pieces, see John Butt, OCC, p. 344 (organ chorales entry):
<it [organ chorale] could also introduce a concerted work [...] or form a component in an organ recital. This last function was possibly more important than many historians, unduly concerned with seeing the genre in a purely religious context, realize.> (end quote)

Perhaps John Butt is thoroughly secularized, but I read him as saying that many Bach commentators are too thoroughly religion-(Lutheran?)-ized.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 19, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< Perhaps John Butt is thoroughly secularized, but I read him as saying that many Bach commentators are too thoroughly religion-(Lutheran?)-ized. >
I would say over-specialization. Bach's chorale cantatas and organ chorale preludes are intimately related -- he even arranged vocal pieces for organ solo -- and yet even this forum rarely makes connections between the two genres. Even among organists, the "free" compositions are more frequently performed and commented upon than the chorale-based works.

Musical silos everywhere.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 20, 2010):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I would say over-specialization. Bach's chorale cantatas and organ chorale preludes arintimately related -- he even arranged vocal pieces for organ solo -- and yet even this forum rarely makes connections between the two genres. >
Over-specialization, indeed. One of the problems of trying to discuss a relation between a chorale prelude and a chorale cantata on this forum is the decision as to whether to post to BCML, BRML, both, or neither. I have opted for neither on more than one occasion, when the point was relatively minor, and not related to a topic of the week.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 20, 2010):
Julian Mincham wrote:
>the chorale arrangement which concludes (BWV 22) must be one of the most energetic that he composed.<
Hi, Julian; yes - in Koopman's version [3].

Alternatively, for a relaxed, spacious and lovely reading, listen to Suzuki [4].

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 20, 2010):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< This cantata has got some splendid moments, although it does seem a little 'downbeat' for an audition piece for such a prestigious appointment. >
EM:
Downbeat? Opening movement only, as you subsequently suggest. As David notes in his intro, the uneasy lack of understanding, nicely represented in the music, is soon resolved.

JM:
< However, after one of Bach's intense G minor opening chorus we find one of those highly expressive arias for alto and solo (Ed!) which Bach was wont to compose, particularly in the earlier years. And the chorale arrangement which concludes it must be one of the most energetic that he composed. >
EM:
All right, Mate (not to say Old Professor), you have my attention.

Downbeat is relative, no? From the alto aria (No. 2, translation from Gardiner CD [6]):
<Happy me, if I can wholly understand the importance of this time of death and pain for my own comfort!>
That is not exactly upbeat to my 21st C. experience and temperament, but I am a bit removed from the day-to-day experience of death and pain that was reality for Bach in the 18th C.

Is BWV 22/2 the prototype of the expressive alto aria, with oboe?

It would be a welcome exercise to follow Dougs hint, to explore these chorales (BWV 22/5, for example) through their various permutations in both instrumental and vocal works.

JM:
< Personally I feel that the second work for this service (BWV 23, coming up on list) is a better work, especially the opening duet. It is worth noticing that Bach went out of his way to 'doll up' the chorales at the end of both cantatas, and by very different means. >
EM:
One of the many virtues of the Gardiner series is the arrangement of works; BWV 23 follows BWV 22 [6]. I am hard-pressed to distinguish one as better than the other. What comes across to me more intensely the more I listen is the individuality of the works, the effort Bach takes not to repeat himself.

See above, nice exercise to compare doll up of chorlaes for these trial pieces, with other examples.

JM:
< I have often wondered whether he was tipped off that original presentations of the chorales would go down well at Leipzig. >
EM:
Oh, that Bach Family Mafia! Not to mention the feedback from old buddy Telemann.

JM:
< Dürr says that the chorale for BWV 23 was actually composed after Bach turned up for the audition, something I have always been a bit sceptical about since it appears on oboes and strings in the recitative. I think it unlikely that he would have used it there if he hadn't been planning to end the work with it. >
EM:
Shades of the midnight composing scramble? Given the care that Bach put into the Leipzig application (see WTC, including tuning spiral on cover), I am sceptical as well, to put it mildly.

William Hoffman wrote (April 20, 2010):
Douglas Cowling replies:
< I would say over-specialization. Bach's chorale cantatas and organ chorale preludes are intimately related -- he even arranged vocal pieces for organ solo -- and yet even this forum rarely makes connections between the two genres. >
Ed Myskowski replies:
< Over-specialization, indeed. One of the problems of trying to discuss a relation between a chorale prelude and a chorale cantata on this forum is the decision as to whether to post to BCML, BRML, both, or neither. I have opted for neither on more than one occasion, when the point was relatively minor, and not related to a topic of the week. >
William Hoffman replies:

Bach's "chorale preludes played a role similar to that of music in his vocal works. It served to emphasize, illustrate, and interpret a text," says Calvin Stapert in <My Only Comfort: Death, Deliverance, and Discipleship in the Music of Bach>. Stapert makes the artificial distinction between the "essential" and "canonical" Bach: "essential" involves the vocal, text-based music which is explicitly Christian, performed at service, "well-ordered," didactic, and proclamatory; "canonical" is the instrumental music which is generic, "pure" (wordless), and objective. This is why I included a summary of Bach's organ chorale prelude collections in last year's BCW vocal discussion of the Schemelli Song Book. At the same time, I have included in my list of all Bach chorale settings all vocal as well as chorale-prelude usages or applications. Admittedly, in some of Bach's more elaborate chorale preludes, it is difficult to find the chorale melody on which the words are based.

Also, Peter Williams' <The Organ Music of JSB> is the most informative and essential treatment of the chorales and includes all the vocal settings in his writings. Williams has performed a remarkable service enhancing our understanding of these significant yet sometimes complicated connections of various melodies and text settings. We still have a long way to go at BCW with the chorale postings. For example, I would really like to see a translation of all 34 verses of the Passion chorale "Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod." I have just about finished with my categorization of Bach's <omnes tempore> chorales, with the Easter Season, and, like Rilling's chorale volumes in the "Complete" Bach CD collection, still grappling to understand the <de tempore> thematic usages -- and all the overlap that goes on among many of the chorale applications. Still, I find it a fascinating pursuit, although it could border on what some scientists and engineers call research to the point of "naval-gazing" or peeling layers of onions -- or finding ordered or symbolic numbers in everything.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 20, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Still, I find it a fascinating pursuit, although it could border on what some scientists and engineers call research to the point of "naval-gazing" or peeling layers of onions -- or finding ordered or symbolic numbers in everything. >
One of the joys of analyzing art is that, unlike technology or engineering, the objective is not necessarily a practical result.

One of the joys of navel-gazing is that it provides a respite from looking at the absurdity of day-to-day reality.

I believe it was Harry who passed along, a couple years back, this quote from Einstein (I paraphrase):
<I am certain of only two things: the infinity of the universe and of human stupidity. Sometimes I still wonder about the universe.>

If that is apocryphal, blame Harry.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 20, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Stapert makes the artificial distinction between the "essential" and "canonical" Bach: "essential" involves the vocal, text-based music which is explicitly Christian, performed at service, "well-ordered," didactic, and proclamatory; "canonical" is the instrumental music which is generic, "pure" (wordless), and objective. >
EM:
I agree that the distinction is artificial.

WH:
< This is why I included a summary of Bach's organ chorale prelude collections in last year's BCW vocal discussion of the Schemelli Song Book. At the same time, I have included in my list of all Bach chorale settings all vocal as well as chorale-prelude usages or applications. >
E:
I believe I missed this. Is it archived on BCW? This info would go part way to addressing Dougs point, re lack of attention on this forum. Reader response and discussion would go the rest of the way.

WH:
< Admittedly, in some of Bach's more elaborate chorale preludes, it is difficult to find the chorale melody on which the words are based. >
EM:
I meant to post a brief review of a local performance by Barbara Bruns several months ago, of selections from the Leipzig Chorales. Her accompanying notes were wonderful: she provided the chorale melody for each piece, with a bit of commentary as to how it related to Bachs composition, and the caveat that it was not always easy to hear the relation immediately.

In a chat after the performance, she made the analogy with jazz performers composing or improvising around the contemporary American song reperoire. John Coltrane expanding on My Favorite Things remains one of my favorite examples.

This point has come up before, if only when I raised it. With very familiar tunes, it is impossible to separate text and music: hearing the music brings up the text in the listeners mind. Only a few hours ago, I listened to an instrumental jazz trio play My One and Only Love. We had a laugh over the the understood but not stated text:
<I give myself in sweet surrender>.

Without much of a stretch, you could make that a Lutheran chorale text.

WH:
< Also, Peter Williams' <The Organ Music of JSB> is the most informative and essential treatment of the chorales and includes all the vocal settings in his writings. Williams has performed a remarkable service enhancing our understanding of these significant yet sometimes complicated connections of various melodies and text settings. >
EM:
I have the good fortune to have access to a library copy of this text, but it really should be even more handy. Any prospects of affordable publication or on-line access? I agree with Wills evaluation, that Williams enhances our understanding.

WH:
< We still have a long way to go at BCW with the chorale postings. >
EM:
Thanks to Will, and everyone who has contributed. I find BCW a remarkable resource, work in progress.

There was a local revival of the Irving Berlin show Yip Yip Yap-hank, from when he was drafted in World War I (the war to end all wars). He managed to convince his superiors to let him stay up all night, sleep in the day, and write the show, to improve morale and recruiting. It was revised and revived for World War II, but has since become obscure, other than the enduring tune Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning, which includes a reference to the guy who wakes up the reveille bugler. That would be the guy who stays up all night, i.e., Berlin himself.

Nicholas Johnson wrote (April 20, 2010):
[To Ed Myskowski] It is still a joy to discover new art. This morning I just chanced upon 2 exquisite Scarlatti sonatas :both in F minor K 466 & K 467.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 20, 2010):
Johnson Nicholas wrote:
< It is still a joy to discover new art. This morning I just chanced upon 2 exquisite Scarlatti sonatas :both in F minor K 466 & K 467 >
I agree. It is often difficult to decide if it is more satisfying to discover art that was created yesterday, or art that has been overlooked for centuries. I guess Scarlatti does not quite qualify as overlooked, but still available for discovery for many of us, myself included.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 20, 2010):
Baroque Surveillance (and BWV 22)

William Hoffman wrote:
< This is why I included a summary of Bach's organ chorale prelude collections in last year's BCW vocal discussion of the Schemelli Song Book. >
I see that the discussion is archived on BCW (Schemelli Songbook). I had the precise link prepared to insert here, but alas, it has vaporized and it is not easy for me to retrieve while writing.

WH:
< At the same time, I have included in my list of all Bach chorale settings all vocal as well as chorale-prelude usages or applications. >
Is this list available on BCW? It would be a great convenience, and might go a long way toward stimulating the sort of comparative discussion suggested by Doug.

For this weeks cantata, BWV 22, I do not see from BCW sources that the chorale was used for any non-vocal compositions. Confirmation/correction invited.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 20, 2010):
Chorale preludes & Cantatas

Ed Myskowski wrote:
< For this weeks cantata, BWV 22, I do not see from BCW sources that the chorale was used for any non-vocal compositions. Confirmation/correction invited. >
Scroll down at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Herr-Christ-einge.htm#Composition

Two organ preludes are listed: the Orgelbuchlein (A Major) and the Fughetta (G Major).

We know that Bach played a prelude before the cantata. Both of these short pieces are clearly designed as preludes to either congregational singing of a chorale or a concerted work which contained the chorale. Did Bach play a similar work? Did he transpose at sight one of these works up into B flat as a "preludium" to this cantata.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 20, 2010):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Scroll down at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Herr-Christ-einge.htm#Composition
Two organ preludes are listed: the Orgelbuchlein (A Major) and the Fughetta (G Major). >
Thanks! In fact, I found my way to this page, which is cross-referenced from the BWV 22 main page, I simply overlooked the entry for untexted works. As usual, BCW turns out to be quite thorough indeed, with only a bit of effort.

I look forward to ongoing discussion on this essential topic.

William Hoffman wrote (April 20, 2010):
WH:
< At the same time, I have included in my list of all Bach chorale settings all vocal as well as chorale-prelude usages or applications. >
Ed:
< Is this list available on BCW? It would be a great convenience, and might go a long way toward stimulating the sort of comparative discussion suggested by Doug. >
Like so many lists, it is in progress and as it grows it gets more complicated. It is best to accrete and to deal with blocks. It's like the list of extraneous works Bach may have encountered, like the Stölzel cantata cycle Bach may have presented in Leipzig in the 1730s. Read all about it in the new Bach Jahrbuch 2009, just out, with some interesting findings on the MBM. I wish we could get an English summary of the articles.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 20, 2010):
Thomas Braatz provides a wealth of detail, accessible from the BWV 22 discussion page, derived from NBA KB, including the following succinct note:
<The original composition score and original parts for BWV 22 are lost.>

Most other commentators are in general agreement with this data, although there remain minor suggestions of last minute composition of the chorale (BWV 22/5) at Leipzig, without supporting data.

Gardiner [6], however, provides the following comment:
<Bach deals with the first [Gospel] episode in BWV 22, which judging by the autograph score looks as though it were composed at speed in Leipzig itself.> (end quote)

Am I overlooking something? This seems an interpretion totally incompatible with the surviving fair copies of the score.

Likewise, Julians comment re the internal relations with the closing chorale of BWV 23 are convincing, that it was not likely composed on the spot at Leipzig. Is there any evidence in support of Durrs suggestion that the closing chorale was composed, and the entire work rearranged at Leipzig?

The most reasonable conclusion seems to be that both works, BWV 22 and BWV 23, were essentially complete at Cothen, before the Leipzig audition, with only the possibility of minor last-minute adon the spot.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (April 20, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< It is best to accrete and to deal with blocks. It's like the list of extraneous works Bach may have encountered, like the Stölzel cantata cycle Bach may have presented in Leipzig in the 1730s. Read all about it in the new Bach Jahrbuch 2009, just out, with some interesting findings on the MBM. I wish we could get an English summary of the articles. >
Yes, my editor and publisher mentioned an article in the 2009 Bach Year Book that some Stölzel made it into a Bach cantata (I think an entire aria). It's such ashame that Stölzel's music is not performed and most of it is not available in modern performing editions, moreso givenBach's appreciation of it.

Evan Cortens wrote (April 21, 2010):
BWV 22

[To Ed Myskowski] Regrettably I haven't had as much time to look into this as I would like, but it's clear that while the fourth movement may not have been composed at the last minute, it was certainly done later than the other three.

Two principle pieces of evidence here:

1) The chorale is not entered into the autograph score (D-B P 69)

2) It is found in the instrumental parts in a different ink, and slightly later handwriting (though still JSB's). In the original vocal parts (St 16, Faszikel 1), the chorale is indicated with the following inscription "Choral sequit sub signo [sign]", indicating that it was written on a separate sheet, catalogued as St 16, Faszikel 3. Notably, this inscription is in the same color of ink as the music in the instrumental parts. At this time also, the brass parts (Cornetto and three Trombones) were also written out, on smaller sheets of paper like the vocal inserts.

To summarize: the score and parts are all on Coethen paper, and thus were prepared sometime in advance, if not as early as the 1720 date I've seen suggested by some. (In other places, not here.) I agree with both Ed and Julian that the chorale melody is already used in the second movement and therefore Bach already had it in his mind, but the source evidence clearly supports Duerr's hypothesis, namely that it was added later, if not necessarily moments before performance.

All the sources have been digitized and are available online:
http://vmbach.rz.uni-leipzig.de:8971/content/below/bachdigital.xml

Julian Mincham wrote (April 21, 2010):
[To Evan Cortens] That's helpful. It would seem not unreasonable to suppose that Bach always wanted to end the cantata with this chorale but delayed deciding upon the form it would tale until he got to Leipzig.

Julian Mincham wrote (April 21, 2010):
After sending the note above it occurred to me that there might be room for some interesting speculation here.

If Bach had chosen the chorale for 22 but not the form it would take that would suggest that its presentation was of considerable significance to Bach, to Leipzig or both. That might throw some light upon the enormous range of differents ways in which Bach prsented chorales in the first cycle--with up to three to a cantata, sometimes plainly harmonised, sometimes interpolated into recitatives, choruses or arias. Was all this experimentation a way of trying to establish what worked best or was nest received? It's interesting that the notion of the chorale fantasia emerged from this rash of experimentation, only to be latterly abandoned.

Peter Smaill wrote (April 21, 2010):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] I think the work you refer to is BWV 200, "Bekennen will ich seinen Namen", which is by Stölzel but transposed by Bach and was discovered in the 1920's. Even knowing this recent research by Peter Wollny, Cantagrel includes it in his magnum opus ; so it may be destined, like the St Luke Passion, to be forever "Bach and not Bach"!

Julian Mincham wrote (April 21, 2010):
[To Peter Smaill] Peter is there more of this cantata existing than the one alto aria turned up in 1924? If so I haven't come across it. Stylisically that aria has a number of characteristics of the mature Bach---singling it out, for example, from other other 'Bach' works of doubtful authenticity (such as certain movements from BWV 143).

Peter Smaill wrote (April 21, 2010):
[To Julian Mincham] Thanks Julian

Alas there has never been more than this single aria AFAIK, and it has always been a favourite; just like "Bist du bei mir", not a love song but a religious cry and also by Stölzel.

Delighted to hear more about this outlying fragment (has anyone translated Wollny's article?) and I hope the new discovery of its true author will not reduce performances.

Julian Mincham wrote (April 21, 2010):
[To Peter Smaill] Though its liturgical function is not certain, Dürr (p 665-6) suggests the Purification and quotes various works which were adapted from other sources for presentation on this day e.g. BWV 161, BWV 157 and BWV 158.

The text does, however, strike resonances with others of those written or adapted for this day----I confess the Name of the Lord from whom all are blest----death will not rob me of the certainty of His Light. For example a very similar sentiment, though differently expressed, may be found in the bass aria/recitative from BWV 157.

This aria, for alto, two violins and continuo has a quality of mellow assurance often to be found in works from Bach’s last decade. It is built on the ritornello principle with the familiar adaptation of ternary form There is an unmistakable ‘A’ section ending in the cadence in the dominant key over bars 25-6 and a contrasting second section passing through related keys. But there is no proper reprise, merely a few musical echoes of the original ideas. Long notes and melismas on certain key words aside, there is none of the obvious or graphic word painting with which many of the earlier works are festooned. This does appear to be Bach at his most mature and assured.

There is one final teasing observation to be made. The little upward skirl followed by falling notes, first heard at the end of the second bar, is highly reminiscent of the figure introduced by the flute in BWV 157/1. If, indeed BWV 200 was intended for the Purification, might this have come about when Bach looked back over the scores of previous works written for this day?

I don't know the article you refer to but would very nuch like to read it particularly if a translation is available. It would need some strong evidence to convince me that it isn't by Bach.

Evan Cortens wrote (April 21, 2010):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< I don't know the article you refer to but would very nuch like to read it particularly if a translation is available. It would need some strong evidence to convince me that it isn't by Bach. >
Again, I'm weighing in here without having had quite as much time to look over this stuff as I might like. There are two articles in Bach-Jahrbuch 2008, by Marc-Roderich Pfau (pp 99-122) and Peter Wollny (pp 123-158) which discuss two separate but related issues. The former dwells especially on a sixteen page text booklet and suggests on that basis, and others, that Bach performed a cantata cycle by Stölzel by 1735/36. It is the latter article, by Wollny, which discusses BWV 200, identifying its source as "Dein Kreuz", an aria from Stölzel's 1720 Gotha passion. It's not fair to say that Bach merely transposed it; I don't think Bach was capable of just copying music, heh. That said, it's clear that Bach's ariais heavily based on Stölzel's: the melodic figures are basically the same, the opening vocal melody is nearly identical. Wollny prints the full score of both arias as an appendix; I'll try to send a scan of the first page along later today.

In Bach-Jahrbuch 2009, Andreas Gloeckner, on the basis of his work in the Thomaskirche archive, expands on the work by Pfau and Wollny, showing that Bach performed cantatas from Stölzel's "Saitenspiel"-Jahrgang in 1735, from Trinity 13 to Trinity 19. Kim: I didn't see anything here about a Stölzel aria incorporated into a Bach piece. However, as I said at the outset, I did just give these three articles a very quick skim, and it's very possible I've just overlooked it.

Julian Mincham wrote (April 21, 2010):
[To Evan Cortens] If it is possible to scan in both versions, even if only partial, it would be fascinating.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 21, 2010):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< I think the work you refer to is BWV 200, "Bekennen will ich seinen Namen", which is by Stölzel but transposed by Bach and was discovered in the 1920's. It may be destined, like the St Luke Passion, to be forever "Bach and not Bach"!

Sigh ... It's like "Schlage Doch" (BWV 53) ... It's by Melchior Hoffmann, but it will always be by Bach for me.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 21, 2010):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< Was all this experimentation a way of trying to establish what worked best or was nest received? It's interesting that the notion of the chorale fantasia emerged from this rash of experimentation, only to be latterly abandoned. >
Was it related perhaps to his unease about how the striking opening of the cantata would be received? The dramatic delay of the chorus while the tenor and bass sing a concerted narrative is unique in Bach's cantatas (I think) and would make people sit up and listen: it certainly struck me as something new and exceptionally beautiful when I first heard it.

The final chorale shows one of the enduring hallmarks of Bach's genius: his ability to combine chorales with instrumental textures which could stand on their own. It's no accident that this movement was quickly anthologized along with "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" in late 19th century English adaptations as stand-alone anthems. The movement has been sung regularly by English-speaking choirs for 125 years, even though performances of the cantata remain a rarity.

Evan Cortens wrote (April 21, 2010):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Sigh ... It's like "Schlage Doch" (BWV 53) ... It's by Melchior Hoffmann, but it will always be by Bach for me. >
I think it's rather like "All Along The Watchtower"; a Dylan song to be sure, but the iconic version in my mind is Jimi Hendrix's. Like I say, it's perhaps fairer to say that BWV 200 is based on Stölzel's "Dein Kreuz," rather than by the latter composer.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 21, 2010):
BWV 23 [was: BWV 22]

Evan Cortens wrote:
< To summarize: the score and parts are all on Coethen paper, and thus were prepared sometime in advance, if not as early as the 1720 date I've seen suggested by some. (In other places, not here.) I agree with both Ed and Julian that the chorale melody is already used in the second movement and therefore Bach already had it in his mind, but the source evidence clearly supports Duerr's hypothesis, namely that it was added later, if not necessarily moments before performance. >
Thanks for the response and added info. I should have done a bit more reading, before jumping on Gardiner's apparent error in his notes, re BWV 22 [6]. As it turns out, the topic has been covered with a credible scenarion by Wolff (Bach: Essays on His Life and Music, 1991) in the article Bachs Audition for the St. thomas Cantorate, which is consistent with his later biography JSB: The Learned Musician, and which is reflected in BCW archives in postings by Brad Lehman re BWV 23, and which is also consistent (I believe, but check for yourself) with the additional details provided by Thomas Braatz.

Re the specific question of the timing of composition for the chorale, BWV 23/4, Wolffs conclusions:

(1) Bach brought BWV 23 to Leipzig complete, as a three-movement cantata.

(2) The chorale was also complete, but as part of a subsequently lost Weimar passion.

(3) The actual addition of the chorale to the cantata was done in Leipzig.

Although Durrs statement is a bit misleading, I do not see it as contradictory to this scenario.

Gardiners statement re composition of BWV 22 [6] in Leipzig is inconsistent with Wolff, but I notice that it is repeated in booklet notes to Suzuki's recording [4]. I will comment further, before the week is out; the working hypothesis is that the booklet notes are incorrect in both cases. I feel some personal responsibility on this detail, since I have often extolled Gardiner's personal notes as a virtue of the Pilgrimage series. I continue to believe that, but with the reminder that booklet notes do not carry the reference status of peer-reviewed research.

Julian Mincham wrote (April 21, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< Although Durr's statement is a bit misleading, I do not see it as contradictory to this scenario.>
Only in that it only tells part of the known story

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 21, 2010):
From the Thomas Braatz post, June 2005, BWV 22 and BWV 23, Additional Details (based on NBA):
<We possess the autograph clean copy of BWV 22 which Bach prepared for the audition, but missing are the composing score and the original parts which were still listed as part of CPE Bach's estate (1790).>

From the booklet notes to Suzuki CD [4], Bach Cantatas Vol. 8, signed and dated Tadashi Isoyama 1998:
<...it can be seen from the manuscript that BWV 22 was composed after Bachs arrival in Leipzig. (Not only is the paper on which it is written of Leipzig manufacture, but there are copies of parts in the hands of students from the Thomasschule.)

I previously cited Gardiner, notes to Bach Cantatas, Vol. 21, (c)2006 [6]
<BWV 22 [...], judging by the autograph score, looks as though it were composed at speed in Leipzig itself.>

I see no way to reconcile these statements. Perhaps Isoyama is referrng to score and parts for a later performance?

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 21, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
<< Although Dürr's statement is a bit misleading, I do not see it as contradictory to this scenario. >>
Julian Mincham wrote:
< Only in that it only tells part of the known story >
EM:
Here is Dürr's statement (p. 242), from the English edition of The Cantatas of J. S. Bach, 2005 (original German edition, 1992):

<Bach evidently composed the first three movements of this cantata in Cothen, with a view to performing them as the trial piece in his application for the post of Cantor at St. Thomas, Leipzig, on 7 February 1723. After his arrival in Leipzig he rearranged the work, adding a closing chorale (presumably an older composition) and transposing the whole cantata down from C minor to B minor.>

I agree with Julian, this is not only consistent with Wolff, but not especially misleading. I used that word without rechecking Durr, based on a quick earlier reading (in response to Julians scepticism!) where I overinterpreted rearranged, and overlooked the key statement in parentheses.

On balance, I think Durr comes out lookquite good, indeed. OTOH, I would never have ventured down this fascinating path without Julians expressed scepticism, presumably now resolved?

Julian Mincham wrote (April 21, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< On balance, I think Dürr comes out looking quite good, indeed. OTOH, I would never have ventured down this fascinating path without Julians expressed scepticism, presumably now resolved? <
Well Ed I am not sure that my scepticism is ever fully resolved---but it's a good start!

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 21, 2010):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< Well Ed I am not sure that my scepticism is ever fully resolved---but it's a good start! >
Just to remind everyone, Julians original scepticism for this thread was in relation to Dürr's comment re the Leipzig composition of BWV 23/4, keeping me on-topic by a thread! Hence, no need to go off-list with this reply?

<Those of us with keen powers of observation and analysis are often called sceptics by those lacking such powers>

I saw this as a crypto-quote puzzle several (plus) years ago, attributed to George Bernard Shaw. I never did confirm the source, but it sounds like him, at least to my sceptical mind.

Peter Smaill wrote (April 22, 2010):
BWV 23 ; BWV 22

[To Julian Mincham & Ed Myskowski] The interesting question regarding the final choice of BWV 22 over BWV 23 for the Probestuck is exactly why one and not the other; or even both. With apologies to Julian, who has heard this analysis before last year, my suggestion is that the theology of BWV 22 was preferred over that of BWV 23, perhaps in order to appeal to pietist burgomasters. (Lange who wrote the texts was already a firm supporter of Bach's approach). BWV 23 would otherwise have been the more natural choice,or as is generally suggested have formed a two-cantata lineup pre and post the sermon; since it is more conventional musically in that it has an opening chorus . (Both have wonderful closing chorales, especially BWV 23 which is eucharistic in content and therefore appropriate to a post-sermon positioning). Here goes: the full text with footnotes is on http://www.bachnetwork.co.uk/ub4/smaill.pdf :

"
<Bach was supplied with two texts for his Probestück (audition piece) in February 1723, intended to be played before and after the sermon; it has been suggested that the author was Gottfried Lange, the Burgomaster and long-term Bach ally. Bach extends BWV 23 by the addition of the eucharistic ‘Christe, du Lamm Gottes’. What I suggest is that the theological bandwidth of the two works became extended and the result was that together the works accommodated every significant strand of religious opinion active in Leipzig at the time.
Pietism itself had already been suppressed in Leipzig with the banning of Francke under the initiative of his former teacher Johann Benedikt Carpzov II in 1690; thereafter Pietism retreated to Halle so as to progress under the empathy or benign indifference of the Hohenzollern. Nevertheless, as Carol Baron observes, ‘the Leipzig City Council approved a mutually satisfactory compromise, accommodating well-to-do citizens with Pietist leanings’.

One badge of Pietist leanings was to echo the central dictum of August Hermann Francke (1663-1727), which insists on personal conversion in life as a hallmark of justification. This sentiment is occasionally found in the cantatas; but most notably, in the Probestück, Jesu nahm zu sich die Zwölfe (BWV 22), whose final chorale prays that Jesus may ‘weaken the old man /that the new man may live’, following the aria BWV 22/4 which calls for renunciation of the flesh, personal transformation and spiritual mortification.

By contrast, the theology of the other audition piece, Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn (BWV 23,), is deeply Anselmian by virtue of the German ‘Agnus Dei’ with which it closes; it is Catholic in the sense that the text does not feel the need of mentioning faith as the mode of justification, nor calling on the sinner to repent. BWV 22 does both these things; for, in addition to the conversion rhetoric noted above, the aria BWV 22/2 asks for faith by way of a prayer that ‘my consolation can be thoroughly understood by me’. >

Julian Mincham wrote (April 22, 2010):
[To Peter Smaill] yes, you bring a very interesting perspective to the puzzles surrounding these cantatas.

Evan Cortens wrote (April 22, 2010):
Julian Mincham wrote to Evan Cortens:
< if it is possible to scan in both versions, even if only partial, it would be fascinating. >
As promised, here are scans of the first two pages of each aria. The full text is available in Bach-Jahrbuch 2008, pp. 148ff.

Like I say, the Bach is clearly based on the Stölzel, but it's by no means merely a transposition.

Enjoy: http://evancortens.com/wollny/

Julian Mincham wrote (April 22, 2010):
[To Evan Cortens] Evan many thanks. I will look at this with great interest.

it is fully established that the Stölzel came first is it?

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: Bach Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel & Bach [Bach & Other Composers]

Jung Jin Baek wrote (April 22, 2010):
BWV 23 ; BWV 22 & St. John Passion

Peter Smaill wrote:
<< By contrast, the theology of the other audition piece, Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn (BWV 23,), is deeply Anselmian by virtue of the German ŒAgnus Dei¹ with which it closes; it is Catholic in the sense that the text does not feel the need of mentioning faith as the mode of justification, nor calling on the sinner to repent >>
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Is any of this related to Bach's decision to use the closing chorale as the final movement of the 1725 version of the St. John Passion? >
I don't know any theological reason to use this movement in the second version of St. John, but this German Agnus Dei serves well the roll of preparing the Lenten season on the week of Quinquagesima.

BWV 23 was played again in the next year of his audition to the Leipzig Cantorate. Also Bach used this CF in BWV 159 for the same week in the following Leipzig cycle.

As you know, originally it was for the lost Passion in Weimar (or Gotha).
I just assume this might be enough to be used for closing Passion.

Another interesting thing is..
There are some interesting motivic relations between the opening movement of BWV 22 and the closing Chorale of BWV 23.
- The notes and rhythm of Ob in mm.1 in BWV 22/1 and the Ten in mm.6 in BWV 23/4 are exactly same.
- Rhythmic motive of Ob in mm.3 in BWV 22 and mm.1 in BWV 23 is same.
- Rhythmic motive of Va in both are also same.
Conspiracy or coincidence?
When Bach wrote BWV 22 & BWV 23, did he already had this Chorale Fantasia in his mind?

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 23, 2010):
Baek Jung Jin wrote:
< I don't know any theological reason to use this movement in the second version of St. John, but this German Agnus Dei serves well the roll of preparing the Lenten season on the week of Quinquagesima. >
A new voice? Welcome.
I share the difficulty to understand theolgoical reasoning, when the same piece is used in different theological context. I belive this is what you meant?

BJJ:
< BWV 23 was played again in the next year of his audition to the Leipzig Cantorate. Also Bach used this CF in BWV 159 for same week in the following Leipzig cycle. >
EM:
In the next year (1724) it would fall within Jahrgang I. Next re-used for BWV 159, Jahrgang II.

BJJ:
< Conspiracy or coincidence? >
EM:
When there is a choice , conspiracy is always more likely?

BJJ
< When Bach wrote BWV 22 & BWV 23, did he already had this [BWV 159?] Chorale Fantasia in his mind? >
EM:
Interesting thought. In general, I think we (with the exception of Doug Cowling) always underestimate Bachs forward thinking and planning.

Perhaps you can tell us who you are, where from, et cetera?

Jung Jin Baek wrote (April 23, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< Perhaps you can tell us who you are, where from, et cetera? >
Thanks for your welcoming.
I joined at this email list for months ago and have enjoyed a lot. Thank you for all of your contribution. This is a great project.

I am from S. Korea and in a doctoral program in CCM at UC in OH.
Two weeks from today I have my lecture recital with theses two cantatas on the title of "J.S. Bach’s Audition Pieces for the Leipzig Cantorate: A Study of the Musical and Liturgical Context”
That is one of the reasons to have a courage to write.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 23, 2010):
BWV 22 (from Cantatas Website)

The best way for me to jump in, and say congratulations, is to cite a tidbit, re BWV 22/1

<Might he [Bach], as suggested in essays at the beginning of this volume, have been trying to demonstrate that he could produce the maximum range of expressive effect from the minimum of resources, something that is always appreciated by penny pinching authorities?>

I infer that the writer (Julian Mincham) has had some experience with such authorities?

Love you madly, Mate.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 23, 2010):
Baek Jung Jin wrote:
< Two weeks from today I have my lecture recital with theses two cantatas on the title of "J.S. Bach’s Audition Pieces for the Leipzig Cantorate: A Study of the Musical and Liturgical Context”
That is one of the reasons to have a courage to write. >
It is very timely that we are now discussing those very audition pieces, BWV 22 and 23. Perhaps you will get some last-minute insights from our discussion.

I understand what you mean by courage to write. I hope you will continue, it will become easier with each post. I find that I learn a lot (even at my not-so-young age) by making the effort to find words for my vague thoughts.

Peace is embraced by my regular closure, Aloha, from experience in Hawaii. On this Earth Day, a translation might be: <We all share the Home Planet>.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 23, 2010):
Baek Jung Jin wrote:
>>There are some interesting motivic relations between the opening movement of BWV 22 and the closing Chorale of BWV 23.
- The notes and rhythm of Ob in mm.1 in BWV 22/1 and the Ten in mm.6 in BWV23/4 are exactly same.
- Rhythmic motive of Ob in mm.3 in BWV 22 and mm.1 in
BWV 23 is same.
- Rhythmic motive of Va in both are also same.<<
Yes, the opening ritornello of BWV 22/1 reminded me (while listening to Rilling [2]) of the sombre majesty of the adagio of BWV 23/4, and you have identified the musical elements common to both of these G minor movements. The rising, <1/16th note with two 1/32nd notes> motif on the oboe, is especially evocative in this regard.

The rhythmic motive of the violas also occurs in the violas of BWV 22/5.

Conspiracy or coincidence? Obviously intelligent design! :-)

=======

Looking at the score of BWV 22/5, I noticed that the continuous flow of 1/16th notes on the violins in BWV 22/5 is phrased in pairs, just as in BWV 165's tenor aria. I doubt Koopman [3] can realise this articulation at such a fast tempo in BWV 22/5.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 23, 2010):
Neil Halliday wrote:
< Conspiracy or coincidence? Obviously intelligent design! :-) >
Intelligent design by Bach, if you will forgive the emphasis.

Julian Mincham wrote (April 23, 2010):
[To Baek Jung Jin] I'd be interested in reading what you have to say about these works if you would care to let me have a copy of your lecture at some time? Hope it goes well. .

Neil Halliday wrote (April 23, 2010):
BWV 22

Thanks to Julian for a wonderful resource. The web address is now in my favourites folder, to be consulted as we discuss the cantatas.

Julian has pointed to the unusual tonality of the SATB fugal entries in BWV 22/1's chorus, ie, each voice enters a fourth lower than the previous voice, and he has commented on the implications of this.

It's also interesting to notice how the upper instruments re-enter the texture; ie, two bars before the violas enter, the continuo quotes the fugue subject and then the upper instruments enter successively in the order: violas, violins 2 and violins 1 with oboe, each entry being a fifth higher than the previous entry - a reversal of the manner of the initial unaccompanied vocal entries.

The initial arioso of the movement (BWV 22/1) has an elegaic quality that reminded me of "Selig ist der Mann" BWV 57 (also in G minor, but triple time). I notice the opening two-bar-long figure on the oboe in BWV 22/1 reappears, significantly, unaccompanied by the strings, with the words "and everything will be accomplished", highlighting the the event (crucifixion) and its significance that the disciples do not yet understand. (This occurs twice - in different keys - since the text is repeated.

Jung Jin Baek wrote (April 23, 2010):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< I'd be interested in reading what you have to say about these works if you would care to let me have a copy of your lecture at some time? Hope it goes well. >.
Thanks for your interesting.
It would be my honor and I am happy to do.
When I finished it, I hope I would have something good to show you.

Ed Myskowski wrote:
< It is very timely that we are now discussing those very audition pieces, BWV 22 and BWV 23. Perhaps you will get some last-minute insights from our discussion. >
You would never know how much I was excited when BWV 22 & BWV 23 came to the discussion.

Thanks all,

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 23, 2010):
Baek Jung Jin wrote to Julian Mincham:
< Thanks for your interesting.
It would be my honor and I am happy to do.
When I finished it, I hope I would have something good to show you. >
Perhaps you could post it here on the website so we can all read it.

Julian Mincham wrote (April 23, 2010):
[To Baek Jung Jin] Look forward to it.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 24, 2010):
BWV 22: picking the subject

Here is an interesting listening exercise employing the fugue subject from the SATB chorus of BWV 22/1, that non score-readers can try.

Listen and note the spacing (2 bars) of the fugue subject, as the voices enter in the order S,A.T.B.

Thereafter, and without a break, you can hear this subject recur continuously at the same spacing in the counterpoint, in the order:

S,S,S; B,T,A,S; B,B,B; S,S; A,A,A.

[Be aware that consecutive repetitions of the subject in the same voice are not at the same pitch, but lower one step at a time, conveniently, making the subject easy to follow. However, there is one entry in the same voice that is a step above the previous entry. Can you pick it?].

(In the Rilling recording [2], the entries are clear except perhaps for the final three alto entries; however these too are audible if one is 'listening out' for them).

This gets us all the way to a kind of coda, namely, the last 13 bars, in which the fugue subject is absent.

Peter Smaill wrote (April 24, 2010):
BWV 22: structure

[To Neil Halliday] The structure of BWV 22/1 is indeed very interesting. It seems to fall very explicitly into two sections, the choral part of 51 bars and, as Hirsch observed.....an initial section of 41, numerological J S BACH. As will be recallled, this is also the length of the terzetto in BWV 150/5, where the Staatsbibliothek score dated 1755 and transcribed by Penzel has superscribed by the section title, "41".

 

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