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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 29
Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir
Discussions - Part 1

Cantata 29

Håkan Lindberg wrote (August 19, 2001):
I wonder where I can find any releases of J.S.bach´s cantata BWV 29? I have only heard the sinfonia (Mvt. 1) of it. I have search but without results.

Armagan Ekici wrote (August 19, 2001):
[To Håkan Lindberg] This is what you are looking for:
http://www.harmoniamundi.com/prod_main.asp?numb=901690
http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004SDHT/

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 19, 2001):
[To Håkan Lindberg] Cantata BWV 29 'Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir' zum Ratswechsel (Inaguration of the Leipzig Town Concil), has not been yet discussed in the weekly cantata discusions in the Bach Cantatas Mailing List.

There are at least 7 complete recordings of this cantata:

Mogens Wöldike on Vanguard Classics (1960) [1]
Wolfgang Gönnenwein on Cantata / MHS (Mid 1960's) - LP only [2]
Nikoaus Harnoncourt on Teldec (1974) [3]
Hans-Joachim Rotzsch on Leizig Classics (1974) [4]
Helmuth Rilling on Hänssler (1984) [5]
Philippe Herreweghe on Harmonia Mundi France (1999) [6]
Pieter Jan Leusink on Brilliant Classics (2000) [7]

AFAIK, except the Gönnenwein [2], all the other recordings are generally available from the usual internet stores.

Enjoy, and if you like the Bach Cantatas, I warmly recommend to you joining the BCML.

Håkan Lindberg wrote (August 20, 2001):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thank you for the information about the cantata BWV 29, it was a lot of useful information you send me. Also thanks for the tips about BCML.

Håkan Lindberg wrote (August 19, 2001):
I have a couple of questions about cantata BWV 29.
In what year was it composed?
for what occasion?
instrumentation?
Hope someone can help me with answers.

Steven Langley Guy wrote (August 21, 2001):
[To Håkan Lindberg] The score includes parts for three trumpets (clarini in D), timpani in D & A, 2 oboes (d'amore in the Sinfonia?), strings & continuo and an solo organ part. If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader I can send you the entire score for the opening sinfonia (Mvt. 1). (I can also offer midi and sibelius versions of this movement)

Johan van Veen wrote (August 21, 2001):
[To Håkan Lindberg] BWV 29 is one of the so-called 'Ratswechsel' cantatas, works Bach composed for the renewal of the Leipzig town council. The instrumentation is: strings, 2 oboes, 3 trumpets, timpani, organ obligato and bc.

Here the notes in the booklet of Philippe Herreweghe's recording of three 'Ratswechsel' cantatas on Harmonia mundi France (HMC 901690) [6]:

During his brief sojourn at Mühlhausen Bach had already had occasion to compose two cantatas for the renewal of the town council. The first of them (Gott ist mein Kdnig BWV 71) is the only cantata we know that was published during Bach's lifetime (1708), while we do not even know the literary incipit of the second, although it was printed by the local publisher Tobias David Brückner in 1709. It was in Leipzig, however, that the Thomaskantor regularly worked on the production of cantatas destined for performance during the liturgical service on the occasion of the opening of the sessions of the Municipal Council.

The head of the civic administration was the consul or burgomaster (mayor) who enjoyed the prerogative of 'regens' and bore the title (granted in 1711) of 'comes palatinus caesarean'. He had two deputies, or 'proconsules'. Every St Bartholomew's Day (24 August) one of these burgomasters came into power by rotation for a period of one year. The municipal council (Rat) was composed of thirty members elected for life and divided into three sections of ten members; each section, presided over by site of the three burgo­masters, deliberated - also in rotation - for a period of a year at a time. In practice, therefore, one of the three sections was "in session" while the other two were "in retirement" excepting when the importance of the deliberation was such that it was felt necessary to convoke all three of them in a plenary session. The nomination of the Thomaskantor was regarded as one of these "important deliberations".

The ceremony of the installation of the section of the Council whose turn it was to govern the city took place at 7 a.m. on the Monday following St Bartholomew's Day in the Church of St Nicholas (the principal church of the town and the seat of the ecclesiastic super­intendent). This was followed in the early afternoon by the solemn investiture of the ten councillors which took place in the municipal council chamber. Generally about a week before these solemnities the subject of the sermon (based on a particular passage from the Bible) and the Kirchenmusik to be performed on the occasion were entered in the communal registers. But the registers for the years 1723-1728 and 1744 mention only the subjects of the sermons, but not the music, so that we do not know for certain whether it was Bach who always produced the music destitted for this particular liturgical service.

Between 1723 and 1750 (in which year, four weeks before his death, a cantata by Bach again resounded beneath the vaults of the Nikolaikirche), there were twenty-eight ceremonies for the renewal of the Municipal Council, but only eight cantatas for the occasion are known. However, since several "revivals" are documented, and in two cases the words of the cantatas were printed, a total of twelve years may be said to be "covered" by Bach. Of the eight surviving cantatas four were written in his first years in Leipzig which correspond precisely to the years for which the civil registers make no mention of the Kirchenmusik. Whatever the case may be, of the eight known cantatas only four have survived in their entirety (BWV 119, 120, 29 and 69, the latter being an adaptation of an earlier church cantata), while another (BWV 193) is incomplete. Of the remaining three one has been lost and we have no more than the words of the other two.

The installation of 1731 (27 August) was greeted by the cantata Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir (BWV 29). Further performances of the work in 1739 (31 August) and 1749 (25 August) are documented by reprints of the text. The event was celebrated with triumphant calls and hallelujahs accompanied by a sumptuous instrumental ensemble (including the use of an obbligato organ), suitable for glorifying God and extolling him that he might protect the "town and the palaces" and bless all the people. The work begins with a sinfonia (Mvt. 1), an astonishing arrangement of the Prelude from the third unaccompanied Violin Partita in F major (BWV 1006). with the same number of phrases and in which the organ plays the original solo violin part now transposed into D major. The orchestral part is, in fact, no more than a reflected image of that of the solo instrument and the formal design is perfectly analogous to that which marks the instrumental concertos. The opening chorus is a motet in stile antico, the two clauses of its text (Psalm 75:1) corresponding with the two subjects treated in canon, first separately and then jointly (in the manner of a double fugue). This movement is famous for the twofold use Bach made of it in the Mass in B minor (BWV 232) (in the Gratias agimus tibi and the Dona nobis pacem). As for the three arias, the first is for tenor with solo violin (Mvt. 3), the second is an intimate, suave siciliana for soprano with oboe and strings (Mvt. 5). while the third is a reprise of the A section of the first aria transposed into D major without the instrumental introduction and with alto substituting for tenor and obbligato organ for violin (No. 7), as if to emphasise the unity of the triptych, which, incidentally, is also suggested by the text, a repeat of the first two lines of the first aria. There are two recitatives breaking the continuity of the arias, the second of them ending exceptionally on one word ("Amen") sung by the chorus. The final chorale is a four-part setting with an autonomous brass obbligato (three trumpets and timpani) of the fifth stanza of Johann Gramann "Nun lob, mein' Seel', den Herren".

 

29

Bernard Nys wrote (March 9, 2002):
I must say I like the scientific contributions to this mailing list, but even more the personal feelings. Someone (sorry, if I don't know names) mentioned the Cantata BWV 29 as his "desert island" CD. I was curious to know which one it was. And indeed, it's a delightful Cantata.

Perhaps we could do a "Favorite Cantata" Poll. Interesting for beginners and for all others, because who knows them all by name, by heart,... ?

Or perhaps a Top 3, because choosing one seems difficult for me.

Juozas Rimas wrote (May 9, 2002):
< Bernard Nys wrote: Perhaps we could do a "Favorite Cantata" Poll. Interesting for beginners and for all others, because who knows them all by name, by heart,... ?

Or perhaps a Top 3, because choosing one seems difficult for me >
It's not only difficult, it may be impossible :)) I can only think of what my favorite cantata is right now.

The poll would be interesting - I'd vote for "Ich Hate Viel Bekümernis" (BWV 21; its sinfonia is unbelievably good). Herreweghe's rendition [6] sounds very nice to me.

Tim Harwood wrote (May 10, 2002):
< Bernard Nys wrote: Perhaps we could do a "Favorite Cantata" Poll. Interesting for beginners and for all others, because who knows them all by name, by heart,... ? >
DF Tovey in his Essays in Musical Analysis describes Cantata BWV 67 as 'one of the most perfect and attractive of all Bach's works'. Who am I to disagree with him, for the cantata is beautiful throughout every movement.

Kirk McElhearn wrote (May 10, 2002):
[To Tim Harwood] Interesting, I just listened to it on the latest Suzuki recording, and found it relatively bland and uninspiring. Are you sure he said BWV 67 and not BWV 66?

Tim Harwood wrote (May 10, 2002):
[To Kirk McElhearn] Tovey titles it Church Cantata BWV 67 'Hold in affection Jesus Christ!' for the First Sunday after Easter. The essay on the cantata is in volume V - Vocal music of his Essays In Musical Analysis along with essays on the B minor Mass (BWV 232), Magnificat (BWV 243) and Cantata BWV 170.

 

Discussions in the Week of February 16, 2003

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 17, 2003):
BWV 29 - Introduction

The subject of this week’s discussion (February 16, 2003) is the Cantata for Inauguration of the Leipzig Town Council BWV 29 ‘Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir’ (We thank you, God, we thank you).

Background

The commentary below, quoted from the liner notes to MHS LP reissue of Gönnenwein’s recording on Cantate label [2], was written by Werner Neumann (English translation by Virginia R. Woods):

See: Cantata BWV 29 - Commentary

Recordings

The details of the recordings of this cantata can be found at the following page of the Bach Cantatas Website: Cantata BWV 29 – Complete Recordings

There are at least 7 complete recordings of this cantata. Three of them are by the usual participants from the already completed cantata cycles – Harnoncourt [3], Rilling [5] and Leusink [7]. Each of the other four comes from a different world: The first is the legendary Danish conductor Mogens Wöldike [1] in one of his too few recordings of Bach’s vocal works. The second is the gifted German choral conductor Wolfgang Gönnenwein from the excellent series by the German Cantate label recorded during the 1960’s in connection with the editorial work of the NBA [2]. Te third is the Thomaskantor Hans-Joachim Rotzsch [4]. The last is Philippe Herreweghe [6] in his latest recording of Bach Cantatas. Recently we were informed by Piotr Jaworski that a new recording of cantatas by Herreweghe is coming soon. Although I am aware that Herreweghe has declared that he has no intention of entering into a project of recording a complete cantata cycle, I do hope that he will speed up the frequency of recording our weekly musical food.

The famous Sinfonia (Mvt. 1) of BWV 29 has been recorded numerous times. I have already started to compile a list of them, which can be found at the following page:
Cantata BWV 29 - Recordings of Individual Movements

I intend to inform the members of the BCML when the list is finished. Most probably I shall miss some and hope to be reported by the members of any omission.

Additional Information

In the page of recordings mentioned above you can also find links to four translations of the original text by members of the BCML: Francis Browne (English), Jean-Pierre Grivois (French), Rodrigo Maffei Libonati (Portuguese), and Aryeh Oron (Hebrew); There are also links to other sources over the web for the original German text and various translations.
Other links:
Score (Vocal & Piano version);
Commentary: in English by Simon Crouch (Listener’s Guide) and by Brian Robins (All Music Guide); in Spanish by Julio Sánchez Reyes (CantatasDeBach).

I hope to see many of you participating in the discussion.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 18, 2003):
BWV 29 - Provenance:

See: Cantata BWV 29 - Provenance

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 18, 2003):
BWV 29 - Recordings of the Sinfonia

Here there are, 42 recordings of the Sinfonia (Mvt. 1) from this week's Cantata BWV 29: Cantata BWV 29 – Recordings of Individual Movements

If you are aware of a recording of the Sinfonia (or of other individual movements from this cantata) not included in the list, or if you find any mistake in the list, please inform me with the relevant details, either through the BCML or to my e-mail address.

Ehud Shiloni wrote (February 19, 2003):
< Thomas Braatz wrote:
The Parody Relationships:

The situation with
Mvt. 2 is a bit more complicated: Although this mvt. is later parodied in BWV 232, mvt. 7 (the “Gratias agimus tibi” of the B-minor Mass (BWV 232)) and mvt. 27 (the “Dona nobis pacem” of the B-minor Mass (BWV 232),) both of these mvts. from BWV 232 and Mvt. 2 of this cantata (BWV 29) point to an earlier source (the “Gratias” mvt. was not directly based upon Mvt. 2 of BWV 29, a fact that is made apparent in comparing the scores of the mvts. involved. This earlier source may be from the pre-Leipzig period. >
In your opinion: Is it possible that the "earlier source" may have been not an original JSB composition?

I am asking because whenever I listen to the B-Minor M(BWV 232), I get an uneasy feeling when the "Gratias" and its sister appear, as if we are wandering slightly off the magnificent high road of the rest of the composition. Is my imagination playing tricks?

Thanks for your view on this point.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 20, 2003):
[To Ehud Shiloni] You are certainly correct in hearing the very different nature of this music (‘Gratias’ & ‘Dona’ mvts. of the B minor Mass (BWV 232) and the present cantata BWV 29/2.) This style of composition hearkens back to an older period (Palestrina) and was correctly pointed out by David Schulenberg in his article on this cantata in Oxford Composer Companions: J.S. Bach [Boyd] as the ‘stile antico.’ It is also very worthwhile to read Alberto Basso’s article on the ‘stile antico’ in the same reference book. There you will find Basso’s more broadly based definition of this term with numerous examples from Bach’s oeuvre, more broadly defined than Christoph Wolff’s use of the same term. [The latter has written extensively on this subject.]

It is difficult for me to imagine the mvts. referred to here as ‘wandering slightly off the magnificent high road of the rest of the composition.’ Actually, this is rather serious sacred polyphony reflecting an earlier age and a recognized style of composition. Perhaps including among the numerous parodies in the B minor Mass (BWV 232) one that is based on a love duet (‘et in unum’ the text which Bach uses, but that originally read ‘Du bist meine, ich bin deine’ ‘you are mine and I am yours’) would be a better candidate for ‘leaving the high road,’ yet no one seems to notice much of a change in style musically here. It is much more like that which we have come to expect from a good Bach composition. In this case, knowing the original text ought to make us feel uneasy. Luckily the Dresden court, the proposed recipient of the Latin score, would have no recording or copy of the original source for comparison.

Alex Riedlmayer wrote (February 20, 2003):
< Thomas Braatz wrote: Perhaps including among the numerous parodies in the B minor Mass (BWV 232) one that is based on a love duet ("et in unum" the text which Bach uses, but that originally read "Du bist meine, ich bin dein" "you are mine and I am yours") would be a better candidate for "leaving the high road," yet no one seems to notice much of a change in style musically here. >
This was apparently only considered by Bach, and the original text of the duet actually used is unknown. The love duet from BWV 213 was parodied in the third part of the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) as "Herr, dein Mitleid..."

Perhaps the most incongruous Bach parody is the tenor aria from BWV 179, "Falscher Heuchler Ebenbild", as "Quoniam tu es solus sanctus" in the Missa in G. Not only is the sinuous music sung to an affirmative text, a single oboe replaces the fuller string textures of the former.

Ehud Shiloni wrote (February 20, 2003):
[To Thomas Braatz] Thanks for your learned and detailed answer. Actually I was aiming not so much at the style or at the textual connection - on both counts I find that the pieces do fit in with the Mass as a whole. My "uneasy" feelings derive mainly from my personal emotional reaction to the music in question - I feel that it lacks in originality and ingenuity. There is simply no "Bach" factor, that which excites and which pushes the right "emotional buttons", and makes unlearned "non-musicians" like myself into hooked aficionados. Whatever.

Anyway - thanks again for your input.

Ludwig wrote (February 21, 2003):
[To Ehud Shiloni] The reason that this seems familiar to you in the B minor mass (BWV 232) is that the B minor mass is the equivalent of a resume and summation of everything that Bach wrote as far as sacred and some secular music. It is a resource work or notebook from which Bach drew from nearly all his remaining life after and maybe before he completed the b minor. If you listen closely you will hear passages and figures from nearly every work that Bach is known to have composed including some of the secular works and sometimes he boldly steals from himself inserting something perhaps in a different arrangement than the original. He was probally copying Händel in doing this but Händel took it to the extreame so that it almost could be said that if you have heard one Händel work you have heard nearly all of Händel's works. These days there is no excuse (other than movie and television scores--which is a theme and variation proceedure due to time limitations) for such shameful proceedures as composers including myself now have many technical advances that enable us to put out an entire Symphony in less than a week or even an Opera (assuming the libreto is ready) and that includes a ready for market score. Today One wonders often when one hears that Schubert or Mozart really were able to work so quickly without the technology we have to help us today or was this just publicity geared to creating a myth about these masters.

It is common custom to think that Bach wrote this for a special occaision and for a Roman service. While it can not be proved as far as is known---there seems to be more here to the mass than meets the usual sensibilities of most of us. In my opinion; this work did not just happen one fine day but was built up in the hidden days of Bach's life that we know nothing about and can not know without science fiction paradox becoming a reality. Bach put into it the summations of all of his musical thoughts just as Beethoven did in his notebooks and then later organized everything into the Mass from which he later drew.

Lutheran services retained much of the format of the Roman Mass as it still does today along with the Episcopal Church inspite of the fact that Martin Luther was a virulent anti-catholic as well as a Jew hater. I offer as evidence for the foregoing that the Mass was not considered performable for the services in Bach's day and certainly not today when celebrants are very conscious of the clock ticking away and everyone wanting to get out of Church to do marketing, picnic and other such agendas even though granted---church was an all day affair in Bach's day.

I have discussed this with Roman, Lutheran and Anglican clergy and none can see how this huge work could have been done as they would be through with the liturgy before say the Gloria had ended.

Jane Newble wrote (February 22, 2003):
< Thomas Braatz wrote: The 1st page included in the score is empty. On top of the second page Bach wrote: JJ. Sinfonia >
These things always fascinate me. Just wondering why he left the first page empty, and why he wrote JJ for this particular one.

I have spent rather a lot of time listening to the different versions of BWV 1006, and then the versions of the sinfonia, listening to different parts each time. WOW! What an experience. The violin is amazing enough in itself, and I find the sinfonia quite astonishing. Winschermann, Herreweghe [6] and Leusink [7] were the ones I heard, and 'of course' I prefer Herreweghe's sinfonia [6].

The whole cantata is beautiful, and I love the contrast between the hectic sinfonia and the solemn, weighty chorus that follows.

The tenor aria is a lively song of praise to the name of God with one of those melodies that will stay in my head for ages. It seems as if Bach himself enjoyed it too, as it comes back near the end of the cantata.

The soprano aria has a lovely tenderness which is very suitable for prayer. Here I prefer Marjon Strijk [7] to Deborah York [6], as her voice is lighter.

It is a nice surprise to get part of the Hallelujah aria again for alto, and I always like Bach's chorales.

The Herreweghe CD [6] is still one of my all-time favourites.

It is quite wonderful that this was written for the installation of the city council, and that they would have appreciated the richness of all the instruments. I can't imagine playing this for the cloth-heads our town council consists of...... But then our town is not exactly comparable to Zion either.

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 22, 2003):
BWV 29 - Background - The Three Arias

The background below is based mostly on Young’s book and something of my own.

Cantata BWV 29 is best known for its splendid and energetic opening Sinfonia for organ solo accompanied by trumpets and drums, oboes and strings. As have been mentioned this Sinfonia, the organ solo of which is a transposition of the entire Prelude of E major Solo Violin Partita BWV 1006, has many individual recordings (about 40) apart from its inclusion in the seven complete recordings of the cantata. The opening chorus ‘Wir danken dir, Gott’ (Mvt. 1) is also familiar since Bach used the same music for two movements in the Mass in B minor BWV 232 with only slight alterations to accommodate the new text: ‘Gratias agimus tibi’ and ‘Dona nobis pacem’.

But my attention this time has been given to the three splendid arias included in the cantata, each one for a different combination: aria for tenor with solo violin (Mvt. 3), aria for soprano with oboe and strings (Mvt. 5), and aria for alto with obbligato organ and continuo (Mvt. 7).

As much as I love seeing Zion mentioned in the text of the aria for tenor, I am quite aware that most probably in Bach’s mind it was synonymous with Leipzig. This aria continues the opening chorus with the praise that citizens of these cities should give to God for supporting them and their forefathers. The joy-motif in the rhythm, played by the solo violin obbligato, and the tenor happy runs on ‘Halleluja’ are fine features of this aria. The melody was probably taken from a movement of a violin sonata. The tenor singer of this aria should convey courage and confidence.

The aria for soprano has a peaceful melody for oboes, strings and organ, which may be originated from a lost violin composition. The text refers to God’s guidance of Leipzig’s bourgeois officials, about whom Whittaker wrote: ‘The association of the pompous burgomasters with a siciliano is quite humorous’. Humorous or not, this aria is a beautiful, touching and reflecting prayer, showing Bach’s skill in adapting other music to the text he wants to illustrate.

The first two lines of the aria for tenor are repeated in the aria for alto as the penultimate movement of this cantata. Immediately after the chorus enters with the cry ‘Amen’ in the previous movement, the alto embarks on the aria with an unusual unifying touch, on an aria that takes up and develops the motif of the aria for tenor to a level of emotional weight which is almost unbearable.

The Recordings

Last week I have been listening to the following 6 complete recordings of Cantata BWV 29:

[1] Mogens Wöldike (1960)
[3] Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1974)
[4] Hans-Joachim Rotzsch (1974)
[5] Helmuth Rilling (1984)
[6] Philippe Herreweghe (1999)
[7] Pieter Jan Leusink (1999)

As usual, in order to be as objective as possible, I have avoided reading the messages regarding the recordings of this cantata, which were sent to the BCML prior to mine.

Short Review of the Recordings

[1] Wöldike gives a most compelling rendition, and he also has three fine vocal soloists for the arias. Dermota sings with power and conviction. He might sound kind of ‘operatic’ to some ears. For me he is very natural in the Bach idiom. Davrath is the kind of soprano who could do justice to almost every Bach piece she was given to sing. How pity is that she recorded so little Bach! She raises the aria for soprano to emotional level, unmatched by any other woman soprano singer. I might not be objective here, because the late Davrath was an Israeli, like me. On the other hand, my conclusion came only after several comparative listenings. Hilde Rössl-Majdan (HRM) is also second to none in the aria for alto. What a marvellous voice, and what a touching singing! The instrumental soloists in all the arias are also first rate. Heiller, the organist, deserves special accolade.

[3] Harnoncourt’s gives wisely the podium to his soloists in the arias, not imposing his approach on them and they take the opportunity. Equiluz humble interpretation of the aria for tenor is moving with its simplicity. The violinist who plays with him (Alice Harnoncourt, I presume) displays technical assurance. The anonymous boy soprano in the second aria has a good technique, full control of his voice production and a moving expression. I do not know how old was he when he recorded the aria, but judging by his interpretation alone, he sounds to my ears definitely mature. He is given excellent support from the oboe and the strings. Esswood is the weakest of the three. It seems that he is too cautious, preferring to stay on the surface, not daring to indulge into the emotional depths of the aria for alto. The organ obbligato (Tachezi) in this aria is delicate and sensitive.

[4] Rotzsch gave the aria for tenor to himself. There is not really need for a conductor here, only for a good violin player and Gerhard Bosse certainly is a solid one, if not brilliant or interesting. Rotzsch had better moments as a tenor singer in the 1950’s and the 1960’s under other conductors’ guidance. His voice here is still pleasant but some of its bright has been lost. His expression is questionable. I do not hear the courage and confidence this aria calls for. Sometimes he sounds simply tired. Regina Werner has a clear voice with captivating freshness. However her expressive powers are not enough to carry the aria successfully. Along the long aria I simply lost interest and started to be annoyed by her strong vibrato. Heidi Rieß in the aria for alto is weak both technically and emotionally.

[5] Aldo Baldin sings the aria for tenor with pathos and enthusiasm. And this approach, although very different from Equiluz’, suits this aria very well. The violinist, Georg Egger, has more bright than the previous ones have and his playing is faultless. With this rendition the joy-motif dominates the aria. Ulrike Sonntag’s bell-like voice is very good in the high range. However, she does not have enough volume in the low range to make the outmost of the aria for soprano. I found her expression also somewhat limited. Saving of some vibrato would also improve her singing of the aria. The playing of the oboe and strings in this aria is irresistible. Elisabeth Graf’s voice is of the contralto type, low, full and expressive. Nevertheless, it is not heavy and she passes the technical obstacles quite easily. How pity that she was given so short part to sing.

[6] Herreweghe supplies wonderful accompaniment to his singer, transparent, supportive and reactive. The instrumental soloists in all the three arias help to raise them to upper level. Padmore, who is the best of Herreweghe’s vocal soloists, is in pick form in the aria for tenor. He conveys assurance and joy without sounding too extrovert as Baldin, for example. Deborah York is the weakest of the three soloists. She has a charming boyish voice, but with no power at all. As a result her rendition lacks meaningful emotional content. Ingeborg Danz is more a mezzo than a contralto, but the main problem is the strong fast vibrato in her singing. Her expression shows that she knows what she is singing about, but her technique preventthe listener from full enjoyment.

[7] None of Leusink’s soloists stands with the best of the above-described renditions.

Conclusion

Satisfying renditions:
Aria for Tenor: Dermota/Wöldike [1], Equiluz/Harnoncourt [3], Baldin/Rilling [5], Padmore/Herreweghe [6]
Aria for Soprano: Davrath/Wöldike [1], Boy Soprano/Harnoncourt [3]
Aria for Alto: HRM/Wöldike [1], Graf/Rilling [5]
The whole Cantata: Wöldike [1], Herreweghe [6]

A movement to take away: The aria for soprano with Davrath/Wöldike.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 23, 2003):
BWV 29 - Commentaries: [Spitta, Schweitzer, Dürr, W. Gillies Whittaker, Little & Jenne („Dance and the Music of J. S. Bach”), Daniel R. Melamed (“Die Welt der Bach Kantaten” Vol 3 – article on „Chorsätze“), George B. Stauffer (“Die Welt der Bach Kantaten” Vol 3 – article on “Die Sinfonien”), Christoph Wolff (Die Welt der Bach Kantaten” Vol 3 – „Bachs Leipziger Kirchenkantaten: Repertoire und Kontext), Michael Marissen (“The Social and Religious Designs of J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos”), David Schulenberg (article in the “Oxford Composer Companions: J.S. Bach” [Boyd]]

See: Cantata BWV 29 - Commentary

The Recordings:

This week I listened to the following:

Harnoncourt (1974) [3]; Rotzsch (1974) [4]; Rilling (1984) [5]; and Leusink (2000) [7]

I have just read through Aryeh's assessment of these recordings and must concur with his observations regarding the soloists in the recordings that I have. I also felt that, aside from the exciting 1st mvt. sinfonia, which seems to be appealing no matter what guise (non-HIP or HIP) it happens to be in, the remainder of the performances, particularly of the choral mvts. were rather average with nothing truly spectacular about them (even with the trumpets and timpani.)

I truly regret not being able to hear the Wöldike performance [1] with Davrath because I have heard her voice in a few non-Bach recordings played on the radio. It is a truly wonderful voice. I am glad to hear that Aryeh believes that she can sing Bach as well. Perhaps some day it will be possible to share such recordings more easily without fear of copyright infringement.

I will not go into a detailed discussion of the few recordings of this cantata that I do have.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 23, 2003):
Jane Newble inquired:
>> Thomas Braatz wrote:
< The 1st page included in the score is empty. On top of the second page Bach wrote:
JJ. Sinfonia >
>>These things always fascinate me. Just wondering why he left the first page empty, and why he wrote JJ for this particular one.<<
The mystery regarding the empty page is difficult to solve. The NBA KB simply reported this without surmising any reason.

Regarding the 1st title to appear on the score: JJ. Sinfonia, my guess would be that it marked the official beginning of the cantata (the score consists of loose sheets – perhaps the loose sheet which appeared 1st, was, in reality, meant to be used for another mvt. which was never included.) Somewhere I think I read a comment that the Sinfonia was added after he had already completed assembling (as we know, much of the rest of the cantata was lifted from earlier sources as well) the vocal sections of the cantata. With so many mvts. based on previous versions, it was probably a last-minute decision as he revised the Sinfonia from another source, to indicate this with the JJ to make clear that the cantata began with this mvt.

Jane Newble wrote (February 24, 2003):
[To Thomas Braatz] Thank you for answering my questions, even if there is no real answer available to the first one. Do you know how often Bach wrote JJ at the beginning of cantatas?

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 24, 2003):
Jane Newble asked:
>>Do you know how often Bach wrote JJ at the beginning of cantatas?<<
I've been wondering about this myself, so this morning I decided to spend a few hours figuring this out from all the NBA KBs which give this information if an autograph score exists. I decided to include all of Bach's sacred music including the passions, masses, motets, oratorios, and even some of the so-called secular cantatas, of which only the very obviously secular cantatas had no special inscription at all (Coffee Cantata, etc.)

Here is what I found:

There were 149 instances (including BWV numbers through BWV 245) where the autograph score was extant and analyzed. 3% of these 149 scores were fragments. A rough estimate would be that we have about 80% of Bach's autograph scores (almost entirely sacred music) still extant. These were thoroughly analyzed for the KBs.

Bach's word to designate most cantatas (usually only the solo cantatas will be called 'cantatas') is 'Concerto.' The word 'Concerto' appeared 42% of the time.

'Cantata' appeared only 6% of the time.

Many times Bach would write both 'Fine' and 'SDG' at the very end. This happened 49% of the time, while simply a 'Fine' without 'SDG' occurred only 19% of the time. Often the final chorale was the last thing to be composed and copied to the parts. In one instance Bach had a 'Fine' after Part 1 of a 2-part cantata, but there would be no 'Fine' at the end. All of this seems to indicate the hurry that he may have been in as he tried to complete the cantata. -

And now the question that you wanted answered:

How many times did Bach write 'J.J.' as the first 'word' on top of the actual 1st page of the score (not the separate title page that might appear separately!):

'J.J.' appeared 85% of the time!

Jane Newble wrote (February 25, 2003):
[To Thomas Braatz] That's more than I expected!!

Thank you for all that research work. I have printed out your email to keep in my Bach book. I find it very interesting, as it tells me a lot about him.

 

BWV 29 sinfonia - and "puny chamber organ"

Neil Halliday wrote (April 11, 2003):
On the subject of organs, I have just received Herreweghe's recording of BWV 29, BWV 119, and BWV 120.

I like the quality of sound on this CD a lot, but the one weak track is the Sinfonia (here it is the 1st movement of BWV 29) which is an arrangement of the 1st movement for solo violin BWV 1006 in E major.

One would think it difficult to make this arrangement for organ, brass, timpani, woodwinds and strings sound SMALLER than the original setting for solo violin, but both HIP versions I have heard (this one and Harnoncourt's) manage to achieve this feat.

The cause (apart from tempi that are too fast) is the employment of the same puny chamber organ stop(s) used in the recitatives, for a part which should at least be able to recreate the brilliance of the original violin line (here alloted to the right hand organ part.) Herreweghe is forced to restrain the brass and timpani to very quiet volumes so that the organ can be heard, and even so, he fails in this endevour. I know how much he is restraining the brass and timpani because in the following movement (which turns out to be identical to one of two settings in the B minor mass (BWV 232), the last being the Dona nobis pacem) he gives these instruments full rein, so much so I thought I was listening to Richter's version!

Brad mentioned the problems involved in balancing modern instruments; in this case the problem was in balancing period instruments. The only solution I can see, if you insist on the conventional recitative accompaniment, is to have a different organ available for the Sinfonia.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 11, 2003):
[To Neil Halliday] Hmm. I hthat Herreweghe recording [6], and the balance sounds natural to me in both those first two movements: and a strong, thrilling performance. It doesn't sound to me as if Herreweghe is holding those trumpets back. The difference is in Bach's writing: in that first movement he wrote short punctuating notes for everybody. In the second movement he gave the trumpets more melodically
sustained parts, and of course those seem louder!

When I played this piece (sinfonia to BWV 29) with our college orchestra (about 25 players, modern instruments) we used one of those "puny chamber organs"--indeed the same organ that we used in the B Minor Mass (BWV 232) and Handel and Haydn oratorios. The size of the whole instrument was less than one cubic meter, a self-contained box! And it wasn't too weak; it came through clearly. Similarly, it was plenty in those big pieces, with a chorus of more than 100 people and an orchestra of at least 30! (Those concerts were in the college gymnasium....)

Similarly, we used one of these organs when I played continuo for the B Minor Mass (BWV 232) with the Toledo Symphony (Ohio, not Spain) and a chorus of about 120: only four stops, and I hardly ever needed to pull much more than the 8-foot flute, or occasionally 8+4....

In BWV 49 a few weeks ago, with an orchestra of period instruments, we similarly had one of these organs for the whole concert. And, in all the organ solos of that cantata, we found that the organist was plenty loud if he used only 8+4 flutes, or 8+2 flutes, in the right-hand part, and 8 alone in the bass. (And then 8-foot flute alone everywhere for the rest of the program: in all continuo situations with or without the chorus. That is, we added the 4-foot or 2-foot stops only when there were obbligato organ solos.) Anything more than that was too much; and this was in a church that seated about 400-500.

These organs designed for continuo work are not "puny" or "too quiet"! Methinks you should go hear and play them in person, rather than going only by what you hear in recordings....

See also the article that I've cited here a few times: "Basso Continuo on the Organ" by Peter Williams (Music and Letters 50, 1969, two parts). He writes there about the types of organs used, and their registrations, in the 17th and 18th centuries in concerted music (cantatas, motets, etc.). Some of them indeed had a separate set of stops for continuo work: for the appropriate lower volume, lower pitch, or both.

These little modern continuo organs, then, are designed on those same principles for use in Baroque music: based on stopped pipes (Gedackt) as the main timbre. A very popular model I've used often can be seen at the bottom of the page: http://www.geocities.com/vienna/strasse/1804/Holland/klop.html

In fact, my very first date with my wife was that she helped me carry one of these back to storage after a concert I'd played....

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 11, 2003):
Neil Halliday stated:
>>The cause (apart from tempi that are too fast) is the employment of the same puny chamber organ stop(s) used in the recitatives.<<
and Brad replied: >>These organs designed for continuo work are not "puny" or "too quiet"! Methinks you should go hear and play them in person, rather than going only by what you hear in recordings....<<
I have to agree with Brad here. You won't need to hear them in person because in the Leusink series, the use of a 'chest/chamber organ' in the recitatives frequently is too loud (out of balance with the vocalist.) This may be due to various reasons: the pipes of a church organ would be at a greater distance from the mike(s) than a chest/chamber organ which usually stands close to the singer or conductor (at least as it appears on the photos of this ensemble;) also, there is the common problem in many HIP recordings with hemidemivocalists having difficulty projecting their voices at their usual sotto voce volume level over a single 8' Gedackt. Amazing!

Neil Halliday wrote (April 13, 2003):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
"It doesn't sound to me as if Herreweghe is holding those trumpets back. The difference is in Bach's writing: in that first movement he wrote short punctuating notes for everybody. In the second movement he gave the trumpets more melodically sustained parts, and of course those seem louder!"
OK. Let's look at the 2nd track.

Here the structure and function of the writing for trumpets and timpani is more like that of the Sinfonia (short chords.)

Notice that in this 2nd track (which was also later adapted to the B minor Mass (BWV 232)), Herreweghe gives these particular instruments expressions ranging from moderately soft to double forte.

Nowhere in the Sinfonia, in a direct comparison this 2nd track, can I find a similar range of expression given to the trumpets and timpani - not even the final chord approaches forte in comparison. (I invite others who have this CD [6] (with BWV 29, BWV 119, and BWV 120), to comment on these observations).

If I am right , then I can conclude that the reason why Herreweghe has restrained his trumpets and timpani, relates to a question of balance with the organ, which of course, has the significant role.

That this opening movement calls for double forte treatment of the trumpets and drums should be beyond doubt; Bach was here aiming to grab the attention of the dignitaries of Leipzig's government (subtlety not required, in fact, a hindrance to this purpose), and it should also be beyond doubt that we need an instrument to match this level of power, since the organ carries most of the argument. Or, more certainly, I can say this movement CAN convey exhiliration and splendour way beyond what is displayed here. (I come back to my point about restrained brass and timpani)

On the CD, the quasi-virtuoso melodic line, on this chamber organ, is indistinct at times, as well as lacking the brilliant tones (complex harmonics?) that are available on most town-hall concert organs.

I understand that chamber organs are not meant to supply this kind of power), but my point is - that is what is required in this Sinfonia.

Of the three examples you gave of your actual experiences in performance with chamber organs as part of the ensemble, the first two relate to continuo playing, whereas we are discussing a 'concerto for organ' type of role, and the organ solo's you referred to in BWV 49 are really not solos; the closest to a solo is the first movement, but here the organ has only an oboe and strings to contend with, and the music is of an entirely different nature.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 13, 2003):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
"I have to agree with Brad here. You won't need to hear them in person because in the Leusink series, the use of a 'chest/chamber organ' in the recitatives frequently is too loud (out of balance with the vocalist.)"
Yes, that chamber organ may well be too loud in the recordings you have noted, but you seem to be making my point about balance problems, when you identify some of the possible reasons for this apparent lack of balance between organ and vocalist. (mike placement etc.)

Notice that the points I made in my post to Brad concerning this Sinfonia (BWV 29) suggest that balance issues even depend on the nature of the music (serene, graceful , cf. exhilirating, splendid, etc., (something I have not thought about before.) and because, in many cases, chamber organs are less adaptable than other instruments (ability to play loud or soft) we have more problems with this particular instrument in this regard.

Hugo Saldias weote (April 13, 2003):
[To Neil Halliday] I do not have this versions of the series by Leusink but I think that this unbalance can be a recording mistake or placing of microphones during the taping....

you sa is too loud ... You mean can you understand the words? If you can understand the words then is not too loud!!!

Thanks and regards

Hugo Saldias wrote (April 13, 2003):
[To Neil Halliday] You do not need two different organs. You need one large organ that can be registered with the proper stops,balanced for each part according to what is needed: one thing is the first bars of the H MOLL MESSE (BWV 232) other is the begining of the Actus Tragicus (cantata BWV 106). That is the secret or art of registration.

I did read a book (not translated into English so far) written by one of the greatest organ builders of J S BACH's time:Karl Joseph Riepp. He mentions that the art of registration is like the culinary art or cooking if you like:he compares the stops with foods to be used and later with wines too!! May be our expert in this (T. Braatz?) can get a hand to this book find the text and translate for all...???

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: Karl Joesph Riepp & Bach [Bach & Other Composers]

Ludwig wrote (April 14, 2003):
[To Bradley Lehman] A chamber organ is inadequate for many parts of BWV 29. Bach, unlike Handel, wrote for no chamber organ. His smallest Organ had about 12 ranks of pipes. A manual rank in Bachs time consisted of 48-51 note keyboard and a pedal of approximately.

You need to get the University to install a 4 or 5 manual 100 rank organ with at least 4-32 foot ranks---bombarde, posaune, violone, principal with a positiv or ruckpositiv. I do not know why this can not be done when some of the state schools such as Winthrop have as many as 20 organs all over campus.

The opeing movement (symphonia) should be registered on the organ as follows:

Principals 8,4,2,1 +mixtures this should be contrasted on other manuals with the piquancies of flutes such as rhorflote 8 and sifflote 1' if you have a large group (26 players or more) and the Gloria should also be registered accordingly as though one
were playing the Dminor Toccata. In the pedal you would want to use a Principal 16 and the manuals coupled to the pedal.

If you are at Clemson; I offered to help you with this as I have done this work many times but you never called and I would like to have heard this performance but never knew the performance date.

Where chamber organ would be very find in BWV 29 is in the arias etc where you might want to register with a Rhorflote 8' or Holhlfote 8' alone or this could be contrasted with the some by adding a 2' flute etc.

Your chorus should not have been more than 16 handpicked singers(--consisting of a quartet of each voice---) from which the soloists would also have been chosen or if you were lucky to have special solistist as Kiri Te Kanawa- or Pavaroti etc that would have been ok.

The big romantic groups of 30 or more players in Bach cantatas are inappropriate and the performace suffers greatly as the result. This is the way things are done at Furman and the result is alway bad with their tradition Messiah performance which should never have more than 30 something players and singers who know how and where to ornament their singing. In recordings one has liberties that one can take to bring out things that one can not do in live performances or even sometimes in performances.

What became of the Berlioz that you were planning to do? Now you could use a thousand players there if you wished. The Furman performance of the Requiem was horrible and they had the temetry to make a video recording of it. I was there and also later saw the video on etv---it was bad both times.

Bill Rowland,
conductor, performer, composer

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 14, 2003):
[To Ludwig] "Clemson, a Furman Messiah, Berlioz"...huh?? Bill, are you perhaps confusing me with someone else? And the performances I was talking about were at a small college in northern Indiana 20 years ago.

Brad Lehman (Shenandoah Valley, Virginia)

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (April 14, 2003):
[To Bradley Lehman] Sorry Brad--you are correct--I had confused you with someone else. The person I thought I was writing to is at Clemson University--30 miles from me--a cow college with pretentions to the arts---the problem is that the engineers and other such folks there try to run things and they just do not know how such things should go or be as they are scientists and not artists.

Furman University is one of the top Southeastern private Universities formerly supported by the Southern Baptist Church---it is no longer as they could not run a University with teleban fundamentalist christian bogots (often with a high school education or less) telling them what they could teach and not teach, who they could hire and who to fire (they wanted the University to fire a noted Jewish professor because he would not convert to Christianity. (The University had hired him without consulting the Convention Board), what they gender and sexual orientation of faculty had to be, who they could admit to the school as students ad nauseum. Furman now has a very diversified faculty and student body and are a much better school for it--they even have --horror of horrors for a bible belt school---a gay and straight alliance club.

Furman has an excellent music program but some of the folks there are meglomaniacs and when it comes to performances the bigger the group the better. Unfortunately managing such large forces usually works to the detriment of the performance as these guys are not capable of managing well such Mahlerian forces.

I am a great lover of Bach and as the result have become somewhat of a Bach scholar. BWV 29 is one of my performance specialties. I sometimes find myself hunting all over creation for instrumental performers. Just in case you ever need viola d'amour players I found them online at the viole society and you can find viola da gamba and violon players there also. Oboe d'amoure players are easier to find but when I first began---the Smithsonian in Washington helped me find a luthier in Atlanta who made the first instruments we used--as they had used them in the recordings of Bach's Brandenburg Concerti. I do not know about you but finding trumpet players who can play the higher notes has been a problem. I have finally resorted to using a piccolo's trumpet which did not exist in Bach's time.

Glad to see that you are at Mich U.--that is where Margo Halstead was or still is. I am also a performer on the Carillon. I have another friend there who is in counseling.

My apologies.

Hugo Saldias wrote (April 16, 2003):
[To Bradley Lehman] You said below that in Winthrop campus there are 20 organs. Are you sure? Because I just got an e mail for the organ teacher there and he tells me something else...

Please clarify this about 20 organs or be more accurate. Please answer.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 16, 2003):
[To Hugo Saldias] Don't even know what or where Winthrop is; and I've never been to Clemson or Furman. The person you should be asking here about the 20 organs is "ludwig" Bill Rowland, who wrote that message.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 16, 2003):
Incidentally, on that subject of BWV 29:

I have the old Vienna State Opera Orchestra recording of that (Vanguard "Bach Guild" LP), conducted by Mogens Wöldike (1960), with Heiller playing the organ. Does anybody here happen to know: was Nikolaus Harnoncourt playing cello in the orchestra for that performance?

Ditto for Wöldike's SMP (1959), and Scherchen's SMP (1953), and Scherchen's B Minor Mass (BWV 232) (1959 - Vienna Symphony), same question. How many of these did Harnoncourt play in?

Brad Lehman
(I believe the first recorded set of Brandenburgs that Harnoncourt played in was Prohaska's: he played viola da gamba in #6. I like it.)

Ludwig wrote (April 17, 2003):
[To Bradley Lehman] This is for those who were asking about Winthrop etc.I had tried to find the address to write these people privately but unable to locate it and apologize to the group for this diversion. Hugo--You are from Colorado and there are many students from your state who come to school here ---mmajor in Nursing at Clemson or Engineering. Winthrop offers Nursing and Education majors.

Most diehard football fans throughout the Nation have heard of CLemson which was a featured location in a Movie "Midnight Man" staring Burt Lancaseter. Don't break a leg to see it--very bad movie and distorts the local area. If you want to fly here you can book a commerical flight to GSP and rent a car to go the rest of the 40 miles to Clemson. If you fly your own plane; you can land closer at Oconee COunty Air Park. Driving --follow 1-85 south or north to Anderson and get off the exit where the signs tell you. WQhile I do not like to mention it; Bob Jones University is in the same area---where President Bush II got into trouble during the campaign because of Bob Jones University's bigotry.

Winthrop University is located in Rock Hill, South Carolina which is just over the border from Charlotte, North Carolina and in fact one can see downtown Charlotte from there on a clear day and where trees etc do not interfer with line of sight. (about 15 miles away). Major Movie Studios have facilities there and NBC broadcasts from there.

Winthrop was an all female College until recently. I had attempted to break the gender barrier back in the 1960s as it was the only state supported school that had a music major at that time and I had relatives who were alumnae. I was denied entrance solely on the basis of gender which was then legal to do so. The music department often had such illustrious Organists as Virgil Fox(now deceased) and E. Power Biggs (now deceased) to teach there or at least do seminars.

The University does have somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 Organs some of which are not organs at all but electronic substitutes or did. 18 of these smaller instruments are used for practice purposes by students with some students using other instruments off campus. There is a major Organ building firm nearby--Zimmerman Organ firm (they have a website). There are two major Organs--one in the old auditorium and one that is in the newer facility built around 1960.

These days if you wish to teach at the secondary level of South Carolina you will need to go through Winthrop's Office of Teacher Recruitment to do so in addition to getting certified at the Department of Education on Pickens Street in Columbia. If you are a Musician or an graphic artist--- the critical needs (PACE)program would like to have you apply. You should be forewarned by the voice of experience--that the reason there is a teacher shortage in these areas is that parents have not taught their kids to behave----certain minority kids are very disruptive beating on drums while you are trying to teach woodwinds their parts and will act as though you did not exist when you take measures to control them. Principals then blame you and the school boards blame the Principals and the school boards get blamed by the state legistlators while the parents and kids get off scot free because they just in a bad school or bad teachers which is not the true case.

A friend of mine who is a graphic artist, taught in a "ghetto school" here and the first day of class—all the years art supplies went flying through the air at her as she walked into the classroom. There was paint every where. It took most of the year to get this mess cleaned up. Many of these supplies she had paid for out of her own pocket. Needless to say she got blamed wrongfully for not controling the students and letting them break into supply closet. She now teaches at a private shcool and says never again to public schools.

Hugo Saldias wrote (April 17, 2003):
[To Ludwig] I will forward an e mail form the organ professor in Winthrop that he sent me yesterday. I asked how many organs there are for students practice and you will read it now...

 

BWV 29 sinfonia - the definite version?

Juozas Rimas wrote (March 18, 2006):
Could you recommend a rendition of this particular movement where the organ wouldn't be drowning in the drums and trumpets?

I find myself enjoying the robotic version of Walter Carlos. The main theme, played by organ in the original, is clearly audible, the mechanical feel suits it very well. Yes, the sound itself is artificial but at least everything can be heard!

Isn't it sad that, after listening to at least samples of the renditions by Rilling and Harnoncourt, I can't help leaving the honored musicians for the decades-old electronic stuff?

Perhaps it's better to search among individual movement recordings?

Neil Halliday wrote (March 19, 2006):
Juozas Rimas wrote:
>> Could you recommend a rendition of this particular movement where the organ wouldn't be drowning in the drums and trumpets?">>
For an antidote to the small sound of the portable baroque organs commonly used in performances of this piece, check out Richter's idiosyncratic version from 1959: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Mus/BWV29-Mus.htm

Although I'm not sure how the massive proportions of this approach would work over the entire length of the movement, I would certainly purchase this version if it were still available.

Probably the most satisfying of the conventional versions is this one from Tom Roberts: Amazon.com

The orchestra, including the oboes (not just trumpets and drums), is strong and rather expressive, but the problem you mention above is evident.

If I recall correctly, the Rilling recording has the reverse problem to most of the HIP versions; Rilling's lively, strong, organ timbre is spoilt by a feeble orchestra. I found Rotzsch and Woldike to be too leisurely.

In conclusion, I cannot say I know of a "definitive" version.

 

Continue on Part 2

Cantata BWV 29: 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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