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Cantata BWV 24
Ein ungefärbt Gemüte
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Discussions in the Week of July 17, 2005

Peter Bright wrote (July 19, 2005):
Introduction: BWV 24

The cantata for discussion this week (18 July to 24 July-) is:

Cantata BWV 24
Ein ungefärbt Gemüte
(“An open mind”)

Cantata for the 4th Sunday after Trinity (in 1723 this was 20th June), was performed after the initial presentations of BWV 75 and BWV 76 and a repeat performance of BWV 21 (which is to say that, dating from Bach's taking of office, it was the third cantata composed). Compared with its predecessors, its scale is small; beginning with an aria and having a chorus in the middle, it has a symmetrical structure. Alfred Dürr guesses that for its premiere, it was presented together with the previously composed BWV 185, which dated from the Weimar period.

Link to texts, commentary, vocal score, music examples, and list of known recordings: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV24.htm

Link to previous discussions: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV24-D.htm

It is possible to hear two versions of the complete cantata on the internet (Harnoncourt from 1973 [2], and Leusink, from 2000 [9]). See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Mus/BWV24-Mus.htm

The following text is taken from the notes to the Suzuki Cantata series vol. 9 (Tadashi Isoyama and Masaaki Suzuki, 1998) [7]:
---------------------------

The Gospel appointed for this day (Luke 6: 36-42) presents a leaching about being merciful and not judging others. Erdmann Neumeister's libretto, which is based on this text, revolves around the idea of Christians' "Tun und Handel' (deeds and behaviour), emphasizing the importance of 'Treu und Güte' (truth and goodness). This text is perhaps too didactic, but the advice 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' is surely relevant even to this day. Bach sets this line to a powerful chorus which forms the core of the cantata.

The orchestration is simple, calling for two oboes/ oboes d'amore with strings and continue. In the autograph parts for Nos. 3 and 6, a notation for a wind instrument called a 'clarino' can be found; further explanation of this can be found in Masaaki Suzuki's notes on performance.

The cantata opens with an F major alto aria in 3/4 time (Mvt. 1). The subject played by the strings, which was taken from the violin sonata BWV 1014, suggests 'ein ungefarbt Gemüte' ('An open mind'). Both then and now, this is an aria that encompasses German values. Following a tenor recitative which expounds on the meaning of sincerity (No. 2), a chorus in G minor based on a passage from St. Matthew's Gospel develops. It gives an image of many individual people joining their voices; there is a good contrast between the homophonic first half and the double fugue (Allegro e Vivace) in the second half. In the double fugue, the theme 'Alles nun' ('Therefore all things') and the powerful advice 'das tut' ('do ye even') are simultaneously combined.

No. 4 is a bass recitative that strictly censures hypocrisy. It is written in dramatic accompagnato style. Moving on to 'sincerity and truth', the tenor sings anew in an aria in A minor (No. 5). The polyphonic intertwining of two oboes d'amore and continue is lovely, and the meaning of the words is treated elaborately. After this, the work winds up with a chorale in F major (Mvt. 6) praising God, the source of all. The style of this piece, in which each line of the chorale is joined to the next by instrumental passages, originated with former Kantor Johann Kuhnau.

T. Isoyama (1998)
-----------

On Trumpets

Among the approximately 200 cantatas which survive for us today, about half include either trumpet or horn in their orchestration. If we consider this proportion, it is somewhat surprising that of the 27 cantatas composed in the first of Bach's Leipzig years, 1723, a full 20 call for trumpet or horn.

Although it is common knowledge that, in Bach's time, the horn and trumpet were played by the same musician, even now there are still many opinions as to what sort of instrument was used. For example, in movements 3 and 6 of BWV 24, there is a part given the name of 'clarino'. Since the mid-17th century, this term has been used not to refer to an instrument, but rather to indicate the highest register of the trumpet family; No. 3, however, requires many notes which cannot be played by a standard natural trumpet, so if a trumpet indeed played that part, it could only have been a slide trumpet. But it is difficult to imagine that Bach planned this fast-paced piece for a slide trumpet, intending the length of the mouth pipe to be adjusted during the performance. In addition, the motifs which appear in No. 6 point to the registration of a horn.

In response to this, Bach Collegium Japan trumpet player Toshio Shimada, through a process of trial and error, came up with the idea that something like a corno da caccia in B flat, which is required for Cantata BWV 143 - an instrument like a small horn with a slide - might be suitable; he thus built one. It appears very likely that the original of the instrument in question had characteristics of both trumpet and horn.

M. Suzuki (1998)

Dale Gedcke wrote (July 21, 2005):
Introduction: BWV 24: clarino?

Peter Bright included the follow excerpt from notes by Suzuki on BWV 24 [7]:
"..... Although it is common knowledge that, in Bach's time, the horn and trumpet were played by the same musician, even now there are still many opinions as to what sort of instrument was used. For example, in movements 3 and 6 of BWV 24, there is a part given the name of 'clarino'. Since the mid-17th century, this term has been used not to refer to an instrument, but rather to indicate the highest register of the trumpet family; No. 3, however, requires many notes which cannot be played by a standard natural trumpet, so if a trumpet indeed played that part, it could only have been a slide trumpet. But it is difficult to imagine that Bach planned this fast-paced piece for a slide trumpet, intending the length of the mouth pipe to be adjusted during the performance. In addition, the motifs which appear in No. 6 point to the registration of a horn.
In response to this, Bach Collegium Japan trumpet player Toshio Shimada, through a process of trial and error, came up with the idea that something like a corno da caccia in B flat, which is required for Cantata
BWV 143 - an instrument like a small horn with a slide — might be suitable; he thus built one. It appears very likely that the original of the instrument in question had characteristics of both trumpet and horn.
M. Suzuki (1998)"
MY QUERY:

No doubt, this question has probably been dealt with by the trumpeter, Toshio Shimada. But, I am ignorant of the answer, hence the question.

Was the "clarino" designation on Mvts 3 & 6 of BWV 24, simply used to note that the part should be played in the "clarino" range, even though it was scored an octave lower in the treble clef?

Not having looked at the original score, I am making a potentially erroneous presumption that the score is written within the treble clef.

Does anyone with an original score know the answer?

Robert Sherman wrote (July 21, 2005):
[To Dale Gedcke] If you take it up an octave, it would be incredibly high. Top note would be Bb up in the ledger lines, a minor third abovethe highest note (Brandenburg 2/1) Bach wrote anywhere else, and a half step above even the M Haydn concerto. Moreover, the entire tessitura would be phenomenally high. I would question than anyone could play it. I certainly couldn't.

I agree, though, that it seems improbable that the technology of that time could have built a slide that worked fast enough. Also, its worth asking why, if somehow these notes could be gotten with a slide and true trumpet sound in this piece, Bach didn't write for them all the time.

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 21, 2005):
Dale Gedcke wrote:
>>MY QUERY:
Was the "clarino" designation on Mvts 3 & 6 of BWV 24, simply used to note that the part should be played in the "clarino" range, even though it was scored an octave lower in the treble clef? Not having looked at the original score, I am making a potentially erroneous presumption that the score is written within the treble clef.<<
It is notated as it sounds ['klingend notiert']
The Csibas have the 'Clarino' playing in only 5 works by Bach:

Clarino in C

BWV 15
BWV 24/3,6 (Tir)
BWV 167/5 (Tir)

Clarino in D

BWV 215/1,8,9
BWV 232/6

BWV 24 & BWV 167 are the only works notated as the notes sound; the others are not notated 'klingend.'

(Tir) means that a 'da Tirarsi' was necessary to achieve playing all the notes:

In BWV 24/3 d1 f g a Bb b c2 c# d d# e f f# g g# a b In BWV 24/6 (cantus firmus in F major) the notes are f a c1 f g a Bb b c2 d Eb

Have to break off here - will try to find out more later.

Dale Gedcke wrote (July 21, 2005):
REGARDING: "Also, its worth asking why, if somehow these notes could be gotten with a slide and true trumpet sound in this piece, Bach didn't write for them all the time." (See Bob Sherman's comments above.)
MY COMMENTS:

It reminds me that the trumpet part in the Herz und Mund cantata (BWV 147) (a.k.a., Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring) is written within the treble clef, and specifies notes that originally required a slide trumpet. However, the Herz und Mund is a slowly moving melody. It still requires pretty impressive agility on the slide, but was probably manageable. If BWV 24 is much faster, it might be virtually impossible to play on a slide trumpet.

I have difficulty deducing from Suzuki's notes [7], whether the special Bb trumpet/horn hybrid includes a slide to reach all the notes written in BWV 24. Or, is he implying that the slide was not between the lead pipe and mouthpiece, but located instead part way through the rest of the plumbing? (Engelbert Schmid makes such a reconstruction, http://www.corno.de/schmid/deu-eng/naturalhorn.htm.) With the latter arrangement, the slide could be moved with one hand, while the rest of the corno da caccia remains in a fixed position. Most importantly, the whole instrument would not be shifting towards and away from the lips. With such a construction, one would expect to be able to change the pitch by moving the slide just as rapidly as one can achieve on a modern trombone. Is that a fair description of the Bb corno da caccia that Toshio Shimada developed? If someone in Bach's time had used such a construction, it might also have been employed in Herz Und Mund (but, in a different key).

Robert Sherman wrote (July 21, 2005):
[To Dale Gedcke] Good point, but do we have evidence that the manufacturing technology of the time could have made a slide that was both airtight and able to move that fast? True, it would only need 3 positions, vice 7 on a modern trombone, and that would reduce the friction area and make it easier to move. Still, it would be a real challenge to do that without seamless tubing.

Dale Gedcke wrote (July 22, 2005):
[To Robert Sherman] We know that the slide trumpet and the sackbut (essentially a slide trombone) had been developed and were in use during Bach's lifetime. So, some sort of acceptable slide technology was available. It is hard to know how smoothly and quickly the slides moved in the 1700s.

I appreciate the difficulty in making a quick and smooth operating slide that is relatively air tight. My first and third valve slides for the key of D, do not move as freely as the sides for the key of Eb on my B&S Eb/D trumpet. The trumpet was built with the Eb slides, and the D slides were added and adjusted a couple of months later. Just a small amount of mis-alignment of the two legs of the slide can make a big difference in freedom of movement. With any one leg of the slide inserted, the fit and movement is perfect. Inserting two legs leads to some minor binding.

I wonder how the craftsmen in the 1700s achieved such tight tolerances in the fitting of slides.

Robert Sherman wrote (July 22, 2005):
[To Dale Gedcke] I doubt that they did.

Regarding your D slides, if they're nonparallel this can be helped by heating the solder joint at the end of the crook while the slide is on the horn. The slide will then move itself into parallel.

Of course of the problem is in wrong spacing, that won't be helped by heating. I guess that's one of the things the Schilke guys spend their 20hrs per horn on.

John Pike wrote (July 22, 2005):
BWV 24 "Ein ungefaerbt Gemuete"

First performed June 20, 1723.

This is a very charming cantata. I particularly enjoyed the first and last movements.
I have listened to Harnoncourt [2], Leusink [9] and Rilling [4]. The first two are both excellent. Rilling is very good apart from the first movement, which I found quite plodding. I think it was Neil who commented on the equipollent articulation in the opening figure (and where repeated). I would certainly agree with this comment. Also, the alto's vibrato was again obtrusive. By contrast, both Harnoncourt and Leusink give nicely gestural accounts of this movement, at a faster tempo and with much more lively articulation. The soloists for both Leusink and Harnoncourt are excellent. Harnoncourt's last movement is particularly effective and moving.

Neil Halliday wrote (July 24, 2005):
John Pike wrote:
"Rilling [4] is very good apart from the first movement, which I found quite plodding. I think it was Neil who commented on the equipollent articulation in the opening figure (and where repeated). I would certainly agree with this comment."
Hi, John. I made that remark in relation to Rilling's tenor aria in BWV 75. Actually, Rilling's BWV 24 [4] opening (alto) aria is probably my favourite version of the recordings I have heard - Richter [3], Rilling [4], Harnoncourt [2], Leusink [9] and Suzuki (web sample) [7].

(Yes, in general I have noticed a lack of phrasing in the continuo in the Rilling cycle, but overall I dislike what I regard as the excessive "gesturalism", not only in the continuo, but also in the other parts, that is evident in some HIP work. These terms - "equipollent" and "gestural" - were introduced by Brad a couple of years ago, as a result of my complaints about excessive contrasts between "strong" and "weak" notes, overuse of "bell-shaped" tone production, and excessively sharp, non-legato articulation in much HIP work).

I like the flowing, melodious nature of the BWV 24 alto aria (Mvt. 1), in its slower tempo form in Richter and Rilling [4]; and Rilling's greater instrumental clarity and separation of the notes in the repeated note motive gives more shape to the instrumental lines than Richter. Rilling nicely captures the interplay and canonic imitation between the continuo and unison upper string lines. I note your preference for the brisker versof this aria; and while I agree with your comments about's Watts' excessive vibrato, I find other matters to be more significant - and one can hear Watts' voice minus vibrato in the lovely melisma on "Handel".

Rilling [4] has a pleasingly musical setting of the 'sermon' that is the text of the 2nd movement (other people apparently like the short - to my my ears disjointed - accompaniment of the HIP versions).

Rilling [4] vivdly captures the contrast between the 'soli' and 'tutti' passages in the fugue of the following chorus - you can hear the soloists gradually being incorporated into the choir from the bass up, until the soprano alone is singing against the entire choir and orchestra for a few bars, before the soprano part is also taken over by the choir. (This chorus is one of a number we have considered that cannot be performed OVPP if Bach's designations of 'soli' and 'tutti' are observed). Rilling and Suzuki, with polished performances, have the liveliest, most engaging tempos, in the two sections of the chorus.

The drama of the accompanied recitative is vividly expressed in Rilling [4]; the HIP conductors weaken the striking string chords with an excessively staccato articulation.

Bach concludes the cantata with another-one of his pleasing chorales (Mvt. 6) that have developed instrumental interludes between the lines of the text.

Neil Halliday wrote (July 24, 2005):
I forgot to mention the tenor aria, enjoyable in all of the recordings.

John Pike wrote (July 25, 2005):
[To Neil Halliday] Apologies for misquoting you!

 

BWV 24/3 (was: Remarks about BWV 131 (Gardiner))

Continue of discussion from: Cantata BWV 131 - Discussions Part 2

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 28, 2008):
Neil Halliday wrote:
< BTW, Rifkin's theory would appear to be a bit shaky in the case of BWV 24/3, which is a cantata from the first year in Leipzig (June, 1723); it looks like any other of Bach's SATB choruses at the start, without any indications as to the number of singers; but half way through, the marking 'solo' appears over each of the BTAS lines in succession, followed later by a return to 'tutti' over each of the BTAS lines in succession, which means that, for example, at one point we have the soprano soloist still singing alone on the S line while the ripieniists have all resumed on the ATB lines, until she (he) too is joined by ripienists on the S line. The fact that there is no indication that multiple singers are required to be singing on each of the SATB lines at the start would suggest this was the norm rather than the exception as Rifkin contends. >
Rifkin in his book Bach's Choral Ideal devotes all of page 33 and part of 34 to this movement, BWV 24/3. Please go read his whole argument about it. It's not "shaky". Rifkin's point coming forward from page 32 is that Bach's first Leipzig cantatas (including BWV 75, BWV 76, BWV 21, and BWV 24) for his first several weeks on the job have ripienists, just because it was local custom. Once Bach got established there, he stopped doing it.

Among other things about BWV 24, Rifkin points out that the ripieno parts themselves don't exist for that piece; we have only the cues in the score that the copyists might have heeded or might not. And if they did, where are these ripieno parts, which are the only thing "missing" from the surviving set of performing materials? Did they exist?

One excerpt from page 34 where Rifkin sums up: "Whatever the case, BWV 24 effectively signals the end of demonstrable ripieno participation in his vocal music, at least on a regular basis; the very next week, both ripieno parts and cues for their production effectively vanish from the sources, surfacing again in no more than a few compositions. In principle, we could take this, too, as a statement of Bach's ideals: having tried conforming to local ways, he went back to what he had known, and preferred, at Weimar and Köthen."

Pages 36-37 then give an exhaustive and chronologically-arranged table of "indications of ripieno participation in Bach's performances after 20 June 1723": all special occasions. If BWV 24 ever had any ripienists actually singing in Bach's performance on that 20 June 1723, it was apparently the last regular Sunday cantata that used them.

Continue of this discussion, see: OVPP - Part 20 [General Topics]

 

Continue on Part 3

Cantata BWV 24: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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

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Last update: ýJanuary 17, 2013 ý13:27:56