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Cantata BWV 26
Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of September 16, 2012

Ed Myskowski wrote (September 16, 2012):
Introduction to BWV 26 -- Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig

Weekly reminder:

This week we continue Trinity season cantatas with BWV 26, the last of two works for the 24th Sunday after Trinity. Details of text, commentary, recordings, and previous discussion for this week are accessible via: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV26.htm

The commentary by Julian Mincham, music examples included, is especially recommended as an introduction to listening.

The BWV 26 page has convenient access to notes from the Gardiner [10], Koopman (notes by [11] Christoph Wolff), Suzuki [14], and Leusink [9] (and more!) CD issues, via link beneath the cover photo.

The chorale text and melody are accessible via links at the BWV 26 page. Francis Browne has recently added new commentary on the cantata texts to his interlinear translations, linked via [English-3I]. We can expect these to continue, not necessarily weekly. Douglas Cowling and William Hoffman are also posting relevant to chorales and other music for the Lutheran Church Year, accessible via LCY pages

I do not always take the time to check all links before posting. Special thanks to the folks who provide timely corrections.

David D. Jones wrote (September 16, 2012):
[To Ed Myskowski] Here's a cantata that's one of my absolute favorites. My preference is for Gardiner [10], who obeys Bach's vivace marking to a fare thee well, with terrifying effect; the transience of earthly life is vividly depicted. I grew to love Koopman [11], but I feel that his interpretation is like a tornado seen through the wrong end of an opera glass. For all his authentick correctness and neatness of execution, he can reduce some of Bach's grandest utterances to miniatures.

Charles Francis wrote (September 17, 2012):
BWV 26 Chorale & BWV 644 Chorale Prelude

The BWV 26 closing movement is a setting of the chorale melody for "Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig", which, from the Leipzig organ Cornet-Ton perspective, would have been in two flats (i.e., all naturals in the BGA/NBA scores). Some years earlier at Weimar, Bach had completed his Orgelbüchlein with a chorale prelude, BWV 644, on the same tune, but without fermatas, likewise in two flats.

Through experimentation, I discovered that the presumed Leipzig transposition and Weimar setting are harmonically compatible, with the exception of their respective bass lines, providing the fermatas in the BWV 26 chorale are ignored as they do not occur in BWV 644. Both works, and two derived variations combining parts from each, are performed in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FoYsJRp0GM

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 17, 2012):
BWV 26 - Fermatas More & Less

Charles Francis wrote:
< Some years earlier at Weimar, Bach had completed his Orgelbüchlein with a chorale prelude, BWV 644, on the same tune, but without fermatas, likewise in two flats. ?
Last Wednesday, the Tallis Choir of Toronto began to rehearse Bach's motet, "Komm, Jesu, Komm". We're using the Bärenreiter vocal score, one of the most scholarly of popular performing editions. When we reached the final chorale, I noticed that there were no fermatas. Racing home to my handy-handy Bach Cantatas website, I was interested to see that the BGA edition contained what I assume are the fermatas of the original. The Bärenreiter editors had clearly decided that the fermata was not a tempo marking and expunged all of them except for the final one. The older Peters vocal score of "Singet dem Herrn" retained the fermatas.

Charles Francis wrote (September 17, 2012):
[To Douglas Cowling] This the one?
www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnTh4MxO4n0

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 17, 2012):
[To Charles Francis] Yes. Now take out all the fermatas and perform it twice as fast, and you'll have the modern way of performing it (grin).

Charles Francis wrote (September 17, 2012):
[To Douglas Cowling] Even with the proposed modernisations, I doubt it could ever be as anachronistic as this Thomanerchor performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCj3j2ln4L8&feature=player_detailpage#t=489s

Who knew dying was so much fun?

 

Cantata BWV 26: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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: ęDecember 28, 2012 ę12:09:11